A Message To Companies From Your UX Department

To be clear, I don’t think efforts are purposely being made to devalue UX, per se. But, there’s a damn good feeling that it’s not respected. So let’s talk about it. Data is King 
Data-driven design is key. Results from testing can actually tell us what users want. Genius, right? When data shows that cramming a hundred items on a page isn’t the best choice, don’t continue to request that ninety-nine is a decent solution.

Excel is For Spreadsheets, Not Wireframes
 Don’t abuse the power you have with Microsoft Excel. Excel only provides a UX team with a poorly done wireframe containing nothing but opinions. Give priorities. Provide requirements. Give us a problem and UX will put 110% into providing a solution. UX doesn’t step on your spreadsheet toes, so go ahead and step back from the UX shoes and let us fill them.

Print Is Not The Web
 I love print. I love posters, packaging, framed art and damn, do I love a good photo, but print is not the web. A sales paper won’t “seamlessly” adapt to a website. It’s a proven fact. Think of digital implementation, keep mobile in mind and always stay up to date.

Dollars Are Not The Only Measure of Success
 “We won’t prioritize unless the dollar amount meets certain criteria.” I call bullshit and I call it loudly. There are many metrics of success that should be considered when testing. Money is good. Money is great but user satisfaction and great experience are something to consider as well. Test fast, test often and iterate based on data. It’s simple.

It’s Not Always The Money Man That Makes The Money
 When you’re jumping for joy and celebrating all of the great accomplishments, look at the big picture. It’s not always the promotion, the sale or even the items that make a customer buy. It’s the whole experience. If a majority of your traffic is unique visitors, that’s an issue. Return visitors mean they are happy and you will eventually fail in a universe of one.

Amazon Is The Only Amazon "The way Amazon does this is attached for reference" is a terrible way to present a problem. You aren't original, you aren't thinking through things and overall, you sound like a blundering idiot. In fact, Amazon kind of sucks as Joel Kilby has established. Think for yourself, provide a problem or a goal and UX will take it from there. Competitive analysis is one thing but being a copycat is a huge mistake.

Lead Like True Leaders Should Companies without an Executive Champion for UX might as well have no UX department at all. Constant railroading, overruling and disrespect can and will happen. True leaders will go to bat for their people under every circumstance and support the decisions that their UX professionals have made. A poor leader will fold under the slightest bit of pressure. Lame.

Know Your Role Designers design, Developers develop, Copywriters write copy, Editors edit and Content Strategists strategize content (content is more than just words. Shocker, I know). They are all in place for a reason and most likely can provide a professional form of design, development, copy, editorial and content strategy. Your opinion on their work? Null and void. We don't tell you how to enter info into a spreadsheet, don't design by committee. Fair? Fair.

To some, UX is in the way. Those are the folks who think they are running the perfect web presence. It’s a pride issue. It’s a matter of feeling disrespected. Understandable to a certain extent but simply put, get over yourselves. Your opinions are worth nothing. Zero. Zilch. You are minimal compared to the swarms of great customers you could gain with a better experience. Solid UX Professionals aren’t telling you how to do your job. No one is telling you how to sell your products, subscriptions or content but rather how to sell your things in a better, and easier way, for the end user.

 I originally posted this at Giant UX

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