When people hear such talk, they nervously imagine chaotic change and monstrous design budgets.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to tear your workflow to bits. And you don’t need copious amounts of cash.
Unless you want to. More money certainly wouldn’t hurt ;)
All kidding aside, let’s talk about that workflow of yours.
Don’t give your workflow an extreme makeover
If you’ve been thinking about giving your workflow an extreme makeover in order to accommodate UX, please don’t. Speaking from experience, inundating your team with User Experience this and Design Thinking that will overwhelm the most seasoned individuals. When people aren’t used to creating from the user in (as opposed to the engineer out), the rapid shift and resulting strain can be too much.
Imagine all of a sudden telling your developers, who have a lot to say, that they have no say. That most of the design decisions from here on out will be placed in your users’ hands.
You get my point.
Introduce UX methods one process point at a time
What you want to do is weave User Experience into your workflow one process point at a time. And shift the influence from internal stakeholders to external users over time.
At the end of the day, UX is about translating user feedback into improvements and opportunities. So if you want to integrate UX into your workflow, start by collecting external feedback in a balanced, non-destructive way.
For example, let’s say you have a healthy number of users, but your workflow is tight. You can introduce external feedback via your help tickets and bug logs. No joke. Comb through your records. Look for patterns and potential. Then combine that learning with internal insights for the next work cycle.
If you have a small user base, you can start collecting user feedback through post-deployment tests and interviews (both internally and externally). Then translate those findings into design decisions for your next sprint.
Rinse, repeat, and integrate some more
Once you’ve gotten the hang of working with user feedback, you can look for ways to incorporate more User Experience tools and methods into your design cycles. Ideally, your workflow should evolve to a point where user feedback bears more weight than internal feedback. And where UX occurs early and often enough so that by the time you build, your chances for product success are near solid.
That doesn’t mean you’ll stop collecting post-deployment data. You never want to stop learning from your users, ever.
Until next time,
photo: Georgie Cobbs