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Collaborating on Tech Teams to Improve UX

April 28, 2022
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Here in the P&P universe, we feel it’s important to be just as creative about how we work, as the work itself – to this end, we embrace are obsessed with collaboration. As a fundamental level, the whole point of having smart people in the room together is to magnify each other, leading to better business outcomes and improved sense of meaning and fun from the practitioners involved.

Recently, Our CEO, Ceara Crawshaw wrote an in depth article “Preventing Bad UX Through Integrated Design Workflows” about it on Smashing Magazine – here are some highlights we put together.

Bad UX is a multi-faceted problem

There are a bajillion root causes of bad UX out there in the world, we mention a few of them that we see the most often. First off, under-resourced dev teams where UX is seen as a luxury. The emphasis is on delivery, not really on true user value/experience. Secondly we see under-resourced design teams – where there are 12 thousand developers to 1 designer (an exaggeration, but you get it). Finally. We have ‘Agile’ confusion – on some teams, we just ‘move really fast’, leaving design weirdness in our wake and never iterating on it. Agile doesn’t actually mean, go 10% of a useful feature and then never improve on it, in fact it’s quite focused on continuous improvement, but that’s not what we see on teams who’s UX is suffering.

Bad UX has a widespread impact on the team

Building ‘ok’ digital products can impact the team’s morale as a whole. There are a lot of bright and capable people on product teams, who can see their creative spark start to fade, as they have fewer opportunities to create great things. This may, in certain cases have a knock on effect as well, where fewer amazing experiences are delivered, so a negative feedback loop forms, making it hard for the organizational importance (and budget) of user experience to grow

How we can prevent bad UX

We discuss team responsibility around UX quality and explore ways that you can work more collaboratively as a crew. Some ideas we look at are early collaboration with technical teams, mapping out complexity together, sharing research findings and defining high quality UX as a team. Part of this collaboration process involves seeing a shared responsibility for high UX quality across teams.

📝 🧠 If you’re curious about high quality UX and microinteractions in a more technical sense, we wrote an article that talked about the nitty gritty for enterprise software.

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