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If an organisation just started measuring the user experience, what are the next steps to also begin holding designers responsible for product quality and user satisfaction when management think that design spec is merely a suggestion?

  • This is a big question that feels like it might benefit from being unpacked a little. Are you suggesting that you're not getting buy-in from managers? Or you're getting buy-in but they don't understand the process? How is your measurement of user satisfaction breaking out into actionable goals? Why just designers on the hook, and not engineers/developers? – dennislees May 2 '14 at 14:18
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Changes and decisions may be dictated from top to bottom, but in a good company, there is just as much information going the other way.

If you're a designer, it's your responsibility to make management care about UX. They have marketing, finances, HR and development constantly shouting at them for attention and resources. If there's no voice for UX, you don't get to blame them for not caring.

This kind of thing is a long-term process. You have to give little lectures. You have to send blog posts around the mailing list. You have to drop little hints in private conversations. But most of all, you have to show them your process. Show them how you work, show them how you think, and show them the payoff. As a UX designer, part of your responsibility is to cultivate and maintain the UX culture in the company.

Luckily, you have the advantage. You know how to convince people, you know how to teach people and you know how to convey complicated concepts in a natural way. And by and large, clients like UX people. Do a few user tests, and the potential users will feel like somebody's looking out for them, which, after a while will feed back to your boss.

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Change, just like work, rolls downhill. No matter how much change you implement, if management is not on board, lasting change cannot be created. You cannot hold designers or anyone else accountable without the responsibility for a quality product first being placed on management.

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