An invitation to redefine the role and skills of a UX Designer

14 Apr 2010 - 12:52am
4 years ago
3 replies
1805 reads
ofilippelli
2010

I would like to engage the UX designer community in a discussion about the different roles and skills necessary in today’s User Experience design field.  We have allowed many people in years past to define, or try to define what a UX designer is.  From developers, who may see us as simple-minded individuals who don’t understand basic UI design principles, to the business executives, who may see what we do as the final frosting decoration on the cake. But how about we, the UX designers, taking a shot at it* and adding our five cents to define “us”.  After all, this is a dynamic and constantly evolving field, and I for one, don’t think the definition has been completed yet, much less valued and understood.

So let me finish by asking, how will you define us? Smile

Comments

14 Apr 2010 - 11:37pm
Elizabeth Bacon
2003

Ah, an opportunity to define our field — how rare & precious! :) Just teasing...I'm one of the folks that likes this topic. And so I'll jump in because I have a model to hand that I've been using to explain the various fields that comprise User Experience, and the skills of the Interaction Design field specifically. I call this the sundial model. The fields of UX & the skills of IxD both exist on a spectrum that encompasses Understanding, Definition & Communication.

In my view, however, the role question is different than the skill question, and proper team composition (the goal of defining roles, right?) is best address by assessing individual competencies in the fields of UX & skills of specific disciplines. By understanding individual strengths & weaknesses, one can form a well-rounded team that possesses the right mix of capabilities in terms of understanding (the domain, users...), defining (models, concepts...), and communicating (specifications, solutions...).

Cheers,
Liz

15 Apr 2010 - 1:12am
sonyugnid
2010

Friends,


I would like to know does the scope of a UX designer also covers the front end development ie HTML, DHTML, CSS, FLEX prototyping. Is it liable for a UX designer to play four to five roles such as UX designer,Graphic designer,Usability analyst,Html prototyper etc. Can one person role-play so may roles.

Is it necessary that all designers must know html prototyping. Isn't it that if a designer invests his critical time and energy in prototyping he may loose upon the User experience. Is is that a UX designer if he does prototyping things would be done more fast and correct.

Please send in your comments on this issue .




On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 11:57 AM, ofilippelli <omar.filippelli@yahoo.com> wrote:

I would like to engage the UX designer community in a discussion about the different roles and skills necessary in today’s User Experience design field.  We have allowed many people in years past to define, or try to define what a UX designer is.  From developers, who may see us as simple-minded individuals who don’t understand basic UI design principles, to the business executives, who may see what we do as the final frosting decoration on the cake. But how about we, the UX designers, taking a shot at it* and adding our five cents to define “us”.  After all, this is a dynamic and constantly evolving field, and I for one, don’t think the definition has been completed yet, much less valued and understood.

So let me finish by asking, how will you define us? 

(((Please leav
15 Apr 2010 - 9:21am
chetanprasad
2009

My understanding of UX -

Make things easy for the end user, and be the best user advocate, accomodating business goals, and technical / developemental limitations(if any).

  •  Conduct User Research to understand the requirements, painpoints and the psychology and its factors of the end user.
  •  Identify business strategy if necessary and build user profiles, scenarios, and story boarding, to capture all the necessary requirements. This should be done in a way that would speak to,  the business team to understand and imagine the outcome, the project managers to estimate the resources and time required, the developers to see what should be done on the programming front, and the marketing teams to understand how to communicate the best to the users.
  • Once the above step is completed with collaboration of all the teams, we would then work on the same philosophy that we are the advocates of the users and try to iteratively design the functionality, interface and interaction of various visual components making sure the usability by giving a high emphasis on good user experience. What is important in this step is to involve the user himself/herself after each iteration and communicate to the developement teams and try to get workarounds if any  dead ends on developement side and updating the same with business teams.
  • Once the iterative step is done, come up with a well designed functional prototype and once again iteratively test it for usability flaws and improve user experience once again working with developement teams. At this time the Project Managers are the ones who should start talking about versioning and release dates and timelines for developement cycles.
  • Once the final stage is hit, its really important to document every single point observed from the initial user research to how it shaped the product and how it has been taken into account.
  • Once a version is ready, its really important to conduct usability testing to make sure everything is in place and the most importantly, the test goals have to be in sync with the initial user research findings.
  • Just before the stage is set for release, its really important to conduct one last round of usability test to come up with good user documentations like, FAQs, How-To, Quick Stat Guides, Tips, etc.
  • Once the product is relased, keep an eye on forums, blogs, and any kind of structured or unstructured and organized or unorganized feedback and reflect the solutions to the feedback in the next version.
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