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57

Most developers I've worked with have opinions about the UX, and often they can be valid. A lot of the time they cause more headaches than desired but that's primarily down to a lack of communication across the team. Communication is the antidote in this instance. I'll talk about some best practices and ideal scenarios that should help to illustrate some ...


35

In my experience you'll find this sort of politics in nearly every project and some user research can help you a lot. Try to stress out that not you nor they understand user needs exactly and to really know something, it might be worthwhile to do a little research. This way, you're not blaming them for doing your job in a bad manner. Instead you're stressing ...


32

There's a million things that you could to do to grow your skills and make yourself a better UX designer. Here are some ideas off the top of my head: Talk to your manager about how you can grow your skills to help the team out. Conduct a baseline usability study on the most recent version of the product that you designed and determine whether users are ...


29

This is about organisational structure and the classic silo mentality. Lose the silos. Silos emphasise personal goals rather than goals of the organisation. Strategies become fragmented and internalised rather than being part of a bigger picture for the benefit of the end users. Passing off chunks of work from one group to another is not the right way to ...


23

Marketing = UX… There is a remarkable amount of overlap between modern marketing and UX. Marketing is more than advertising and sales. It also includes market research, which identifies what would be useful, valuable, and desirable to consumers. Modern marketing also participates in developing the products themselves, ensuring they meet their target “value ...


21

Use dialog, not direction, Use conversations, not coercion Code monkeys are a symptom of a lousy design and development process which emphasizes direction/management versus dialog/collaboration. There are many names for this kind of process (waterfall, linear, directive, etc) but at the heart of it, the code monkey syndrome comes out of a ...


14

For starters there are a number of articles which call out the possiblity of doing User research on a low or non existent budget. A good article to start would be 10 Tips on Doing User Research with No Budget which has provides 10 different ways you can get research data without having to spend any of your budget. To briefly quote some of the points in the ...


13

Always be polite. Do not say the client isn't the best judge, just say, we made some interviews and the result of them are, that the users want this function (or what ever the client think you're wrong). If the client, which say you're wrong, give you a reason why you should be wrong, and this reason isn't true, disprove his argument with your thought (but ...


11

In my experience there is only one thing that works: Get data that proves that your solution is better (if it really is...). If there are no studies on the exact subject (there usually aren't) you'll have to test it.


11

Your story sounds similar to my case( I am not the first UX hire but I am the first guy whom they have hired who has had formal education in UX as such). Anyway here is what I would focus on: Find out who are the key stakeholders in the company who are interested in user experience: This is really important as you would need the support of atleast someone ...


9

A very common problem for professionals in our field. I usually try to convince the powers by showing various famous sites how the web convention looks today, in order to get anything done. You turn the discussion in a different direction from "I don't want to change" to "Cool, I want that on my site as well". I get the best response if I show the other ...


9

Whether it is a 'coding monkey' or a 'pixel monkey' (for graphic/visual designers) dilemma, the problem remains the same. There are essentially two aspects of any role that has some degree of specialization. In the first instance it is about being able to solve problems in your domain area, and the second instance it is about implementing the solution. The ...


8

I'll start this answer with a quote from Richard Reed, co-founder of Innocent Smoothies (the fruit drinks): "90% of our marketing strategy goes into the bottle." Innocent is not a digital company though - the point is that they invest a lot into the product quality. Marketing is way more efficient (aka delivering better conversion rates) if the promise ...


7

For starters, welcome to my world :). Coming to how I normally handle similar situations at work : Identify the management who is willing to listen to you: In my experience, Most managers still consider user experience as the same as UI or content management ( I had a manager who thinks all that was to user experience was proper grammar and pretty ...


7

Engage developers in UX Developers are smart and generally want to understand why and "because it's in the spec" just creates another reasonable question why is it in the spec? Explaining, defending and gaining respect all help but here are specific activities I have found to create leverage: Let developer see and feel users issues In user tests, ...


6

In a nice way, do your job. That means do your wireframes, elicit feedback on what the team think about them. Push at the meetings to get heard. I realise that it is difficult, but you need to make your own stamp. The problem is that while you understand the essence of what the other members of the team contribute to the project, they do not understand ...


6

At the end of the day return on investment (ROI) is key. If you can prove to your employer or client that it's worth the money you're asking them to spend, they will spend it. I've worked on both sides of the camp, as an employed UX Professional and as a consultant. as an employee I realised the the value of user experience long before it was established ...


6

But what about things which are simply not measurable? What if your new design is just more competitive or reflects state of the art design? Surely if it's more competitive then, by definition, that is measurable? Why should the business care about state of the art design? If I cannot explain why in ways the business values - that is the problem. ...


6

Firstly, it is a difficult situation to handle well. If your client doesn't want you to do the user interviews, you need to help them understand the impact that will have on the end product. You need to find out what matters most to the person making the decision and frame the problem in terms that matter to them. Lets say that customer adoption is the ...


6

I think the problem is you speak with your client in different languages. You are speaking as designer and your clients are speaking as businessmen. Hence the common points in your dialog shift to rather subjective topics. You try to give them authoritative (for you) sources, while they are non-technical people and hence do not comprehend them, I think they ...


6

One of my mentors said that you will never die of a bad presentation. So relax, take your time, and practice. :) You followed a process to create the design. You identified pain points, user goals, issues with the existing design. Walk them through the highlights of that process. I find that summarizing the work gets me relaxed and makes the presentation ...


6

This Might Not Exist It may be the case that there isn't a canonical-enough reference to satisfy your particular needs. You'll likely end up with a list resources, each of which is strong in certain aspects, and weak in others. e.g. Microsoft's patterns are up-to-date and expansive, but are the delivered in the context of proprietary software. ...


6

There are great answers here already. I'd like to provide a slightly different perspective on the topic, which is more process-based. Test driven development From the different strategies for software development, Test Driven Development (TDD) is one of the most popular ones nowadays. It asserts that you should write tests before writing any code. But ...


5

I once worked on a project where we had to replace some old (20+ years!) custom-made DOS software, with a hard requirement that we had to keep the old interface, since each employee who worked with the software knew all the keyboard shortcuts by heart (function keys F1 to F10, with different meanings in different parts of the program). The main reason they ...


5

Thanks to @Tomer Sharon for mentioning his site and upcoming book dedicated to this topic, It's Our Research. I collected and filtered the main points from the different practitioner interview videos on the site. The ideas are extensive and excellent. From Paul Adams - Product Manager at Facebook. The most important thing is developing empathy to your ...


5

BenBrocka's comment on "user friendly" is absolutely correct. The problem with the term "User Experience" compared to "user friendly" is that it is too vague and too comprehensive (and perhaps too technical) for marketing purposes. The criticism (we professionals) raise against the "user friendly" term is exactly what makes it so marketing friendly: 1) We ...


5

There is a wealth of studies looking at subjective things like aesthetics and their effects on the user that you may be able to use. The Effect of Aesthetics on Web Credibility argues that the look of the website can make you look more or less legit. Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! says that it only takes ...


5

Jakob Nielsen, a personal hero, champions his approach of "Discount Usability" (a summary available at http://www.nngroup.com/articles/discount-usability-20-years/). One of main principles is "You need only 5 participants for a usability research", and I can testify myself that you don't need more for significant results. All in all, he promises "Fast, ...



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