Some thoughts on why these specialist positions have different feedback loops that impact digital user experiences.

 

Billions of mobile & desktop screens are accessed on a daily/hourly basis – all offer varying experiences to their users. From complex interfaces to simple functionality – each designed for a purpose, and built to address a certain problem or need.

 

People stop using an App/software if a User Experience is significantly worse than the cost differential and immediately look for an alternative that saves them time and serves their need with less friction.

 

At VIGA we walk many miles in customers shoes to get a complete understanding of what they expect from a company or service provider.

 

As UX Specialists we are deeply involved in the design process, and as techies, we know what is possible to build and what is in the User’s best interest.

We all have the tendency to problem solve

We have first hand experience of many client meetings where business, marketing and tech disagree on the scope and the timelines of a new product/project. All ‘great’ ideas need to be challenged to make sure it covers all the bases from a User’s perspective.

 

While many of the ideas contribute towards finding a solution to a particular problem, the requirement of who is responsible for what may not be defined correctly. This is where the delineation of responsibilities and roles come in to play

UI for feel

 

UI design plays a fundamental role in delivering a great user experience through interaction design and re-enforcing the visual identity of a brand through a product. his is a specialised field focused on solution design. In a similar way, the specialised field of development focus on the solution and often under the most pressured timelines.

 

“One of usability’s most hard-earned lessons… is that you are not the user.” – Jacob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group

UX consultants bring an additional dimension to the table:

UX aims to understand the User and have empathy for what the the end goal is – what they actually need. UX design is only an ‘educated hypothesis’ without involving the user.

 

The intention of each person in the design team may be to create a product to satisfy the user, but the primary focus of everyone in the team is generally on delivery of a solution.

 

UX is more than just delivery, but understanding the intention of the User, what motivates their behaviour and triggers them to take action.

 

Our process starts with a problem statement, after methodical research, to form a clear understanding of the user and to  continue  ongoing user validation.

 

This involves research, psychology, design and technical skills but a drive and a passion for designing for purpose.

Why we don’t combine the roles in our company

It may seem like a financially sensible – cheaper – decision to combine the UX, UI and Dev roles because they form the same part of the mysterious process of building an app or a website AND can save you money in the short term, but not in the long run.

 

In the long term however,  this myth is debunked and OFTEN, more likely than not…it means UI and Development has to be reworked.

 

When these roles are combined into one person, there will always be a trade-off between UX and UI/Dev because these can be conflict in focus – user satisfaction VS delivery. Not to mention the specialised skills required for each role.

 

At VIGA we have a team of specialists; each having clearly defined role with a designated purpose.

 

Clear delineation allows us to challenge each other, but the User always wins.

Below a representation of how UX puts the user first.

 

 

By Jennifer Hull