Creating your User Experience Dream Team - positions and titles

29 Sep 2010 - 10:46am
3 years ago
10 replies
2105 reads
Sean Pook
2008

Hi all,

Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire user experience team from scratch.

You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up?

Here's my skinny line-up:

User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual Assets Producer

Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD.

And my full-fat bells and whistles version:

Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer

It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms of most people's definition of the term UX.

Comments

29 Sep 2010 - 9:05pm
hansvon200
2006

who does the visual design in your happy cosmos?

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:12 AM, Sean Pook wrote: > Hi all, > > Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire > user experience team from scratch. > > You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up? > > Here's my skinny line-up: > > User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual > Assets Producer > > Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD. > > And my full-fat bells and whistles version: > > Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction > Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer > > It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms of > most people's definition of the term UX. > >

30 Sep 2010 - 8:07am
Jessica Ragaza
2010

I would add that it's extremely rare that a designer is equally skilled in interaction design as he/she is in visual design. I would separate the functions into 2 people.

-----Original Message----- From: ixdaor@host.ixda.org [mailto:ixdaor@host.ixda.org] On Behalf Of hans von sichart Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:57 PM To: jessicaragaza@cr-ux.com Subject: Re: [IxDA] Creating your User Experience Dream Team - positions and titles

who does the visual design in your happy cosmos?

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:12 AM, Sean Pook wrote: > Hi all, > > Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire > user experience team from scratch. > > You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up? > > /Here's my skinny line-up:/ > > User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual > Assets Producer > > Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD. > > /And my full-fat bells and whistles version:/ > > Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction > Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer > > It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms
of > most people's definition of the term UX. > >

29 Sep 2010 - 9:17pm
dszuc
2005

Hi: 

Some other thoughts:

 

  • How would you see all the roles playing together to make a great UX?
  • What other skill sets are required to communicate in and outside the team?
  • What other skills are important beyond the titles themselves?
  • What domain knowledge is required? (if any)
  • Who would manage in and out of the team? (towards what combining force?)

 

rgds,

Dan

30 Sep 2010 - 4:05am
Sean Pook
2008

Depends what you mean by visual design?

Typically a visual interaction designer could do this or have a duo of an interaction designer that passes maybe medium fidelity designs to the asset producer who simply creates the final visual.

 

@Dan - this is arealy up to you as this is a fantasy team. Just gathering concensus as to how people might like to setup their own team

30 Sep 2010 - 9:06am
Adrian Howard
2005

Hi Sean,

On 29 Sep 2010, at 17:23, Sean Pook wrote:

> Hi all, > > Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire user experience team from scratch. > > You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up?

Just coz I'm allowed to hire one person per-function... does it mean I have to?

I'd look for all the skills I need to make a really neat product.

I wouldn't particularly care whether one person had a particular set of those skills that most people would label "Information Architect" (or whatever).

> Here's my skinny line-up: > > User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual Assets Producer > > Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD. > > And my full-fat bells and whistles version: > > Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer > > It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms of most people's definition of the term UX.

Would quite happily sit in my definition of UX. Or at least I can't see how you can get a product with good UX without development or business analysis happening.

Whether that means you need to have a person with the job title of "Business Analyst" or "Coder/Developer" is another matter. But the skills need to be there.

I'd probably add sales, marketing & customer support to the folk that need to be involved too.

Cheers,

Adrian

http://quietstars.com adrianh@quietstars.com twitter.com/adrianh
t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh

30 Sep 2010 - 9:40am
alana wood
2010

It also depends on what type of environment the team will be working in. A larger corporate company might need a project manager or 2 depending on the amount of projects the team are handling. Whereas a design consultancy might want a project co-ordinator and business consultant to attract  clients. I also think you should bring in a user centred design student, it's good to have a mix of ages in the team and the student will be flexible in helping across projects.

Cheers, Alana

11 Oct 2010 - 4:05pm
hansvon200
2006

Hi Sean,

I am very sorry, I replied too quickly before reading your email closely. I overlooked the "VD". This is one of my favorite topics, because I am a Visual Interface Designer by trade. Turns out, no one knows what that actually means, they all think i can't do UX and just want to make glossy buttons, I have proof, I can do both :-) - Good thing I don't tell them I can roast coffee too, which other skill would I loose credibility for then?

That said, here is my refined thought on how to start that minimal team:

I try to look at it from the deliverables that need to be created to inform engineering and possibly QA. That would be a visual design spec and an interaction design spec. Everything else (strategy, testing) could be and should be provided and controlled by UI team, but this is the minimum.

Here at my job. we are facing similar choices right now: Which deliverable needs to be provided by an in house designer, what could be outsourced or done by a part time freelancer?

I came to the conclusion that the Interaction Designer is the most needed full-time: - His role requires persistent negotiations and building and refining a specification document over time. - There are dependencies and behavior patterns that only that interaction designer might be able to advocate towards a uninformed change happy Product Manager. - Depending on the size of the project and the number of use cases that have to be specified, that process can take years! Seems like a good idea to have that person as a predictable resource, doesn't it?

Obviously, I wish Visual Designers would be the hero, but in my experience, if the style guide has a rational structure of grids, components and templates. The guy can easily be replaced or get busy tweaking the assets to look good on the product or help with marketing material.

So the minimal line up according to these opinions: Interaction Designer | Visual Designer (freelance) | User Researcher (freelance)

Did that make any sense?

Kind regards,

  • hans

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:12 AM, Sean Pook wrote: > Hi all, > > Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire > user experience team from scratch. > > You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up? > > Here's my skinny line-up: > > User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual > Assets Producer > > Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD. > > And my full-fat bells and whistles version: > > Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction > Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer > > It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms of > most people's definition of the term UX. > >

12 Oct 2010 - 3:14am
Sean Pook
2008

@Hans

Thanks for your comments. Of all the sub jobs, I find client's are most flexible with Interaction Design. For some it includes a heavily visual element and may cross into actual coding, but more often than not they do need someone with a good VD skillset.

Good Interaction designers with both skill-sets are hard to find, but when you do, it's often their portfolios that are the most interesting to read. 

12 Oct 2010 - 3:05pm
Sascha Brossmann
2008

Hmmmm… actually, I could not care less about positions/titles when assembling a good UX team. Those are much too broadly defined/used to convey any serious information. What matters is to get certain tasks done well (even better, if those can be delegated to more than one team member). Given the range and heterogenity of available skills in current UX practicioners, you could happen to find those in just about anybody. Thinking in functional silos while staffing does not get you anywhere, at least nowhere near excellency -- the sooner this stoneage mindset dies out the better.

Hence, especially when building a smaller team, I would strive to get as many jack-of-all-trades-master-of-some(>1) types (forget about those T-shaped dinosaurs, mostly) in there as possible and take meticulous care that their individual skills, cognitive styles, personality types etc. create a good and healthy mixture. And no, those are not quite easy to find (this was not a requirement, was it?). Yet. But they are often the ones that heavily kick ass and make a real difference. :-)

In short: look what needs to be done and get the right people to do it excellently – without caring for titles at all.

Cheers,

Sascha

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 18:09, Sean Pook wrote: > Hi all, > > Imagine you had a sizable budget and have been tasked to create an entire > user experience team from scratch. > > You're allowed to hire one person per function. What's your line-up? > > Here's my skinny line-up: > > User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction Designer | Visual > Assets Producer > > Possibly combining the IA and IxD or combining the IxD and VD. > > And my full-fat bells and whistles version: > > Business Analyst | User Researcher | Information Architect | Interaction > Designer | Visual Asset Producer | Coder/Developer > > It's debatable if the BA and coder should be part of the UX team in terms of > most people's definition of the term UX. > > (((P

12 Oct 2010 - 6:06pm
sebeckley
2010

Throwing a log on the fire: Where is Content Strategy? I have heard some UX'ers say they consider CS a part of UX, but then sometimes it lives with IA. And in some places it is separate. Where do you all keep it? Personally, I think it deserves it's own area and works closely with the User Experience person (regardless of their title: UX, IA, etc).

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