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User Experience (UX) Designer = Research + Design

UI Developer = Design + HTML/CSS/JS

Application Developer = HTML/CSS/JS + Back-End coding

With reference to above diagram i would like to know where does Business Analyst (BA) fits into the picture .

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  • What kind of results have you found on Google? There are many articles documenting such questions :) – Andrew Jul 14 '16 at 15:41
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BA's don't fit in core UX/UI technology flow but in core software development flow.
Some main functions of the BA are to understand requirements and after that to devise the logical architecture of a solution.
These two tasks are intimately related to UX/UI and impact UX.

understand requirements

We read "Know Thy User" everywhere in UX copy. Well, the BA is the one in the right position to research the user's needs. The BA is at the fringe of both worlds, the IT people and the normal people.
Another UX mantra is the need for user research, not the ex-post user testing but up-front gathering of information. This is also what the BA does.
Depending on how waterfall or agile the company process is, the BA would gather and jot down detailed information, or get a general idea and delve into the details of only the first parts to be tackled.

devise a solution

Whenever the BA has collected enough information, she will be in a position to apply Jakob's Nielsen first rule of usability.
This means to apply her professional knowledge in order to devise a set of logical IT constructs that might not do exactly what the users ask for but solve their needs in a maybe lateral thinking fashion.
Alan Cooper explains it brilliantly in this 6' video.
In short, it's the BA's responsibility to devise the solution. Not the programmers', the visual designers', whatever: the BA together with the PO (Product Owner) and if possible away from marketing requirements (at the end, nothing markets better than something with a remarkably good UI).

what does the BA do?

As was stated in previous answers, the BA writes.
Depending on the company culture she might write User Stories, Use Cases, or requirements laundry lists.
If she does laundry lists then she's not doing UX but I don't care bacause she's not browsing this list. The solution has a significant chance to be late, exceed budget, and finally be useless.
On the other hand, if the BA is writing USs or UCs, then there is a chance that she was doing Interaction Design.
It is her responsibility, but she can share it with an UX guy if available.
It is in the writing of the interaction steps of the user against the system that the interaction is defined, better by UCs than by USs (but she can use both).

interaction design

This is of paramount importance for the application (or web page, or whatever) to be usable.
Later on the visual design will surely add its part, but at the outset the application needs to have a reasonably good interaction design in order for the users not to get lost in the meanders of the actions required to use it with efficiency, efficacy and satisfaction.
It's so important because the interaction bloopers found later when doing user testing will not be fixed because it's so expensive, and nobody will have the nerve to tell the investor about the additional time and money it would require.
The BA owns the interaction design thing because at the outset she talked with the users, saw how they work, learned about their goals and needs.

during the development stages

The mission of the BA is to ensure that what the programmers are programming and what the designers are designing is aligned with her vision of the solution.
Additionally, if they are running an agile process (like the usual Scrum) she will be working full time on writing User Stories so the development teams don't starve (run out of backlog) and a great number of other duties.
But I mention the USs thing because it should convey the interaction design, or leave it to the programmers to get Dilbert-style results.

usability vs. UX

For the experience to be good to the user, the UI firstly has to be usable. This is what the BA has to provide.
After, it can become an "experience", but if the usability is not good then it will never be such a good experience for the user to feel the way we wanted in the first place.

  • Great answer - also worth adding that the BA can work with QA and UX and developers in a "Three Amigos" meeting, where they get together to discuss the user story, work out the acceptance criteria, steps to complete, and how it will be tested. – Yvonne Aburrow Jul 20 '16 at 8:47
  • Your response is circling around an important point here. Collaboration. Neither UX nor BA should have sole responsibility for process flow, usability, continuous improvement, requirements. It's a joint effort, with each being accountable for an area while both are responsible for getting the best results. – jackiemb Jul 20 '16 at 11:59
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    @jackiemb: Yes, I focused maybe too much in the BA's role. To me, working as an agile BA, collaboration is intrinsic to the process because many (most) decisions are taken by the team all together. Everybody knows everything, almost. Also the QC guys, mentioned by Yvonne Aburrow, who are relevant when working out the USs acceptance criteria. As of the responsibility, we all have success or fail as a team. Yes, I mentioned responsibilities but as roles, not as silos. Many a time others comment on my BA work and I fix things for better. – Juan Lanus Jul 20 '16 at 13:12
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    @Yvonne Aburrow: in our team the QCs are part of the team in that they are present and have voice in our work sessions. They help to shape the USs especially on the side of the acceptance criteria. – Juan Lanus Jul 20 '16 at 13:14
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The BA represents business needs, where the UX represents user needs.

UX and BA work together in constant conversation to make sure the priority is right for the product.

UI and BA work together to make sure the requirements are captured in a way that developers can interpret, and testers can test.

In your diagram the BA role should run in parallel to the UX role, ideally in equal partnership: business & user representatives.

Same for the UI. There is usually more than one BA on a project, with different responsibilities and working at different levels of detail.


In general

BAs are responsible for documenting requirements (often in the form of user stories/ use cases) & process flows. UX participate in requirements elaboration but BAs are responsible for it. UIs represent requirements with wireframes.

BAs capture & track the detail needed for the product e.g. error spreadsheet or content matrix. UX & UI feed in to this.

BAs do stakeholder management - making sure the right people are consulted & kept informed. They run workshops to elaborate requirements. UX often work with BAs in equal partnership to achieve this.

BAs analyse business problems as they come up and present options to the product owner on how to solve them.


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It's going to be different in every company, but essentially from my experience the business analyst will often be involved particularly at the start and end of this process. They might have a business need which they'll discuss with a user experience designer, who takes it from there to work on the research and interface - depending again on the company and and the BA in question, they may or may not be involved in some of the research and workshopping phase.

In my experience the BA may check into the project as it goes along, making sure their stakeholders are well informed, and often will become actively involved when it comes to measuring success - analytics etc.

The results will help them decide on their next course of action.

The bottom line is the roles are different everywhere, but in my experience (large telco in Australia), they tend to be involved at the start and end of projects, helping to come up with business ideas and then see them through, more as an overseeing role than a 'doing' role.

Hope that helps.

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You can also read about "User Research" which is generally the first step for a UX Designer when the business requirements are presented to him/her.

That's where BA and UX differ and converge in terms of core business needs taking into account what a user needs.

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