UxP is ubiquitous. UX has evolved from being perceived as a superficial “nice to have” to a core necessity that resonates across all levels of the organization.
UxP fulfills several roles
Our Role in Design
Implementation: At the most granular “nuts-and-bolts” level, we provide best practices, continuity, standards, design models workflow efficiency, responsiveness, branding.
We do ease of use, as well as ease of maintenance.
Our Role in the Team
Collaboration: When stakeholders say “What’s your process?”, they often want to know How can you make UX part of how we do things? The focus is on Integration within the team’s culture. It’s often a balancing act between responsiveness and guideance.
The baseline is to get things under control.
Our Role in the Enterprise
Strategy: At the level of the organization we provide advocacy, expertise, and insight at a high level. The focus is to build a service-oriented, customer-centric infrastructure.
This is Multi-Dimensional UX
We implement Design Solutions
At a very granular-product level, UX focuses on “dirt under the fingernails” usability solutions.:
- Do we use a dropdown or display a series of optionbuttons?
- Is it a list of steps or wizard?.
- How do we deal with multiple presentation platforms?
Many of these techniques are already accepted “knowns & norms“. They don’t necessarily need to be re-discovered or rigorously tested.
By the same token, we’re still working out some of the UX logistics of designing for a Mobile platform. Technology is a moving target.
UX Design is an ongoing iterative process
UxP takes the customer information gathered by Marketing.
UxPdesigns a solution to the needs defined by Business.
UxP hands the model over to the Technical for implementation.
UxP presents the design for Stakeholderacceptance.
UxP ensures that the finished product conforms to Clientexpectations.
UxP champions Customer-centricdesign.
We are the Competitive Edge
E-commerce may be the future, but software development is rarely the enterprise’s core business. Building a whole IT practice is a big corporate headache to begin with: The mechanics of producing software that works is no mean feat in itself. But the real competitive edge is defined by “usability” – the User Experience.
Many enterprises are now struggling with the challenge of making UxP an integral part of the business – not merely an afterthought. There are two schools of thought:
We need an independent, professional perspective.
Maintain an arm’s length, “consultancy” relationship with an external service bureau design shop.This option requires strong process and accountability. It’s based on effective liaison with stakeholders and and a sense of trustworthiness. The enterprise company maintains its flexibility as regards its ability to contract for design services and can concentrate on its core business.
We need to evangelize and educate from within.
Build knowledge and advocacy within the organization structure. This option requires a strong management committment to establish an internal design practice. The company must invest in infrastructure and the development of a knowledge base. It’s a slower sell. The IT department and the enterprise itself must evolve into a “professional” software production house. The implications for organizational change are significant.
Are you an Innie or are you an Outie?
Of course, it’s not necessarily an exclusive either/or solution, nonetheless the debate between “innie” and “outie” is still at the heart of the struggle to promote usability.
I’ve worked both sides and have to admit, I’m also of two minds about it :
Are we (UX / UI / Interaction Design folks) most effective when our profile is as an “external consultant” or as an “internal advocate“?
In either case, the most critical challenge for any business during the next decade is to implement UxP.
What is ithe organization’s “maturity model” as regards UX?
Is there a UX department? Is there a UX advocacy at a high level?
Where does UX reside? Is it under Technical development? Is it under Creative? Is it under anyone?
How It All Fits Together
Process + Deliverables = Infrastructure
UxP has a lot of overlapping grey areas – this table captures some of the essential big issues and relationships that emerge as Deliverable Tasks.
Do your customers want to use it?
UxP defines Effective Team Process
(c) copyright John Vaughan / The Communication Studio