Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sharing Ownership of UX

The role of each discipline in UX ...

"A UX architect, or lead UX designer, is the member of a product team who is primarily responsible for ensuring all aspects of a digital product that users experience directly—including its form, behavior, and content—are learnable, usable, useful, and aesthetically pleasing. Thus, a UX architect has an important role to play from a product’s conception to its launch. But creating truly great products requires an entire product team to place the needs of users foremost when making product decisions—or even better, a user-centered corporate culture. If you find yourself in a less enlightened company or on a product team that just does’t get how creating great user experiences contributes to a company’s success, you should take every opportunity to evangelize the value of UX to people in your company—from the executive management team to your peers in other disciplines on product teams. If you need help making the case for UX, have a look at my article on UXmatters, “Why UX Should Matter to Software Companies.”

The Multidisciplinary Nature of Product Teams

So, who owns UX? An entire product team must consciously share responsibility for UX—or ownership of UX—because the members of a multidisciplinary product team impact the success of a product’s user experience in different ways. Three different disciplines that play key roles are product management—It’s the role of the product manager to ensure that the product team develops a viable product—the right product for the right market—with a business model that can lead to success in the marketplace. The product manager prioritizes marketing requirements and features, according to business goals and user needs. Today, user research, Web or other usage statistics, and usability testing ideally play a major part in defining digital products. User research helps us understand who our users are and how they work, as well as their wants and needs. Recording and analyzing usage statistics lets us better understand what users are doing with our products. Usability testing identifies problems users are encountering with our existing products. The product manager must also take into account technical considerations that impact either the cost of development or the likelihood of the product’s adoption by users. So the product manager’s success in defining the product customers or users need depends to a great extent on leveraging the knowledge of and working collaboratively with other members of the product team—particularly, the UX architect and system architect. Even so, the product manager is responsible for the product vision."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]

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