UX Breakthrough - the AH-HA moment

1 Apr 2012 - 5:20am
2 years ago
3 replies
565 reads
csulok
2012

Does anybody have any success stories to share about succesfully getting the company they work for to implement UX considerations into the development process and perhaps create a UX department that oversaw all of this?

Little bit of backstory:

I work for a small software development company (70-80 devs) that develops software for scientists in a niche market. We are growing very nicely. We have big communication issues but because "everything is fine", efforts to take UX more seriously are mostly ignored.

I (and a few colleagues) have a really hard time convincing management, so I'm looking into what journeys does a typical interaction designer go through and what was the key to taking them more seriously.

Comments

2 Apr 2012 - 8:24am
Tania Schlatter
2007

Growth and success may be working against you, unfortunately. In my experience working inside software companies and consulting to them, organizations will only improve the UX of their products if they feel financial or competitive pressure. Until they hear that a customer is switching to a competitor, are not able to make a sale for a reason that can be traced to UX or are dealing with customer dissatification due to usability/UX issues it is unlikely an internal team will be able to change the mindset. 

Tania

2 Apr 2012 - 1:44pm
Brian Mila
2009

I agree and can confirm everything Tania just said.  If your company doesn't already understand why they need UX, and you really want to do UX-related work, your quickest route to get there is to start looking for a company that already "gets it".   If thats not an option you want to entertain, then prepare to dig in for the long, long haul.  I'm sure you can find plenty of articles advising you to convince upper management using small wins such as using UCD on a small intranet site, or with a small section of a larger app.  I've tried, and frankly have had very little success.  And don't bother going up the proper chain of command, thats fruitless.  Find the one person who actually has the authority to make things happen and focus your effort to convince that person.   Everyone else will just get in your way.   Thats been my experience anyway.

Brian

2 Apr 2012 - 2:15pm
Julie Blitzer
2009

I'd recommend picking up this book: http://undercoverux.com/  It offers a lot of skills and tactics for introducing UX into the organization. Another method is to do some gamestorming with the leadership and management. Or show video of usability tests where users struggle to understand your interface. Whatever you end up trying, good luck!

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