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I am little confused with the roles of these two. What is really the difference between the UX Manager and his subordinate, a Senior UX Designer?

Currently in our team of two (2), the UX Manager will arrange the timeline, speak to the stakeholders, then ask his Senior UX Designer to work on the design process (from research, wireframe, to prototyping).

Once all are done, he will collect the deliverables and arrange a meeting with the stakeholders - without including the Senior UX Designer. He will present the prototype and get the feedback all by himself, then relay it to the Senior UX Designer.

Is this really the correct process?

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  • It depends on the work load of the UX Manager. If he is handling different projects then he might not be able to have an input in the process of the Senior UX Designer. But the UX Manager should not be the one presenting the prototype as he would not have all the reasoning behind the design decisions.
    – Chris
    Apr 20, 2022 at 14:15

2 Answers 2

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Definitely not a correct process. Both roles require ownership and taking responsibility. So either they should do the job and present everything together, or a UX manager is not required here. Though that split could work with Junior UXer. Another case is when there are several UXers whose findings should be summarised and managed.

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In a typical "one man army" situation or "teams" with only 2-3 members, there are totally unnecessary to create these roles. There are just designers who have to design, without any other titles. With 2 designers the UX maturity level is so low at a company, that a PM, who also oversees the developers, is usually enough to manage the designers as well.

I was senior UX designer, lead UX designer, UX manager and also principal UX designer in the last 5 years and in my opinion, leadership roles start at a team size of 4-5 designers. A UX manager or principal UX designer is needed when the team already has 4-5 designers, and they are working on different tasks, with different dev teams, stakeholders, etc., so someone has to "manage" their time, help them with stakeholders and solve their problems, reduce bottlenecks, so they can work without any disruption. Otherwise, a senior designer should be enough to manage these things. When there is only one product, and a handful of key stakeholders, putting someone between the designer and the stakeholders is contra productive.

In your case, I think the UX manager is just a careerist and definitely wants a leadership role and not because it is good for the company. There is no point in such a team and at such UX maturity level for such roles.

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