This scenario is happening in our company. More than 15 business-oriented, data-driven applications are getting built, that commonly show charts, lists (with filtering and paging), entry forms, and they're all about CRUD. They are very routing applications, yet highly customized for organizational customers, and also public people. For the sake of productivity, the company decides that:

  • Admin panel of all projects should become similar
  • User panel of all projects should become similar
  • Admin panels are better to look like user panels
  • Only one breaking point is considered for responsiveness of web UIs
  • Apps (Android & iOS & Windows Phone, etc.) should look like responsive web UI
  • Android and iOS should look alike, and they should resemble web panels
  • Graphic design should be the same across all UIs we have

These shoulds and musts are ensured through a very smart infrastructure of reusablity and policies. That is, if it's decided that all entry forms should have their actions be present both on the top and on the bottom of the form, it's applied throughout the entire 15 applications. Or if it's decided that navigation menus should change, it's done everywhere. The number of these applications might also increase over time.

Now this means that in iOS, we should have a navigation drawer, which is not something native to iOS's UX, and also we should have paging in all of our apps, which is somehow not intuitive on applications, but is a good UX decision for web portals.

The company argues that productivity matters here, and through this decision we can lower production cost, at the price of lowering UX, but it's acceptable in the market, because the lower production cost, means lower payment from end users which in itself is a very favorable and desired UX.

How much can we really compromise UX for the sake of economics and productivity? Is it acceptable at all?

  • This is a very complicated question. If you are sincere about this worry and want more than reputation points, I would instead recommend expressing your concern to your management. Apr 30, 2016 at 6:21
  • @maxathousand, of course I'm concerned about the answer. Just look at my reputation, and look at my history in UX. That's obvious. Apr 30, 2016 at 6:53
  • I want some valid and presentable arguments for that. Apr 30, 2016 at 6:54
  • @Saeed - this is a good question, but it's getting flagged for closure because in its current format it's too broad, and will illicit answers that are opinion based. Here's help text for broadness "There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs."
    – dennislees
    Apr 30, 2016 at 16:41

1 Answer 1


Most of the issues you raised are related to scalability hence, reuse and modular approach to design. This overlaps with finding recurrent solutions to similar problems. In my opinion this in principle is good UX as it enures consistency and deploys design effort where it matters the most.

If you have a pattern library than that is great! But do ensure that your organisation is not using one size fit all approach and the pattern library is constantly refreshed, challenged and adapted to new problems for which existing patterns are no fit.

Overall I think cost reduction and consequently lower price for customers is an absolutely valid business argument, not a ux one though. So, solutions provided should reconcile this business objective with great ux and here lies the challenge.

To answer your question, Having visibility over business road map and long term plans should buy time to look at things more holistically and take users needs into account while still ensuring high productivity.

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