6 Hats your UX (Focused) Team needs to cover
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6 Hats your UX (Focused) Team needs to cover

Catch me up with the movie

You can’t hire a 10 member dynamic UX team for obvious reasons 🙂 However, you want to look at your UX Process beyond UI; and you very well realize good design is a lot more interdisciplinary.

Sharing 6 thinking hats your team needs to cover. Most UX gurus will argue that these are full time dedicated roles. But in a lean start-up we need to keep multiple points of focus, and you could create a UX Focus Group.

Your “UX Focus group” would include members with different skill-sets with the common objective of User Advocacy.

#1 Chief Experience Officer

The most senior member to ensure UX focus. In a young start-up this could be the Co-Founder of the company.

A business leader with clear focus on Customer Experience and the goal of converting users to Brand Advocates.

CXO’s Objective

CXO’s Role in the UX Process

  1. Ensure your UX falls in place with the overall Customer Journey.
  2. Hungry for really positive customer feedback & testimonies.
  3. Ensuring that customers can visualize their ROI from the product.
  4. Validate UX results and the ROI of the internal UX Process.
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#2 UX Manager

The UX Manager brings in managerial skill-sets along with User Advocacy.

Safe guarding the UX Process in the organization and managing various stakeholder expectations.

UX Manager’s Objective

UX Manager’s Role

  1. Own the UX Process, and ensure necessary organization specific activities are factored in.
  2. Ensuring that stakeholders are aware of the importance of various activities and their feedback is addressed.
  3. Keeping the UX Process time bound and ensuring that the overall Project milestones can be met.
  4. Ensuring required deliverables are being produced at each step.
A UX Manager ensuring the process & deliverables

#3 UX Architect

A slightly more tricky role to relate with, rather a technical UX role.

Focus on ensuring the system’s concept matches the User’s expectation from the system

UX Architect’s Objective

To get an essence of this role or thinking hat, you can look at some of the bad design examples that irritate users.

Don Norman in his book, shares an example of a refrigerator that was really irritating when you wanted to adjust temperatures.

It had 2 nobs one for the temperature of the freezer, other for the fridge. However, in reality their was only one cooling system, and changing the temperature of one affected the other.

Rather there should have been 1 nob for the temperature and other for relative adjustment to the two compartments.

Curated from the book – Design of Everyday Things

UX Architect’s role

  1. Own the Information Architecture – the data fields being displayed, processed and stored.
  2. Review the system architecture and requirements in comparison to the user’s environment.
  3. Analyse the various user scenarios alongside relevant data calculations & workflows.
  4. Ensure the system performance is acceptable at the user’s end.
Conceptualizing the system concept in the user’s environment

#4 User Researcher

A User Researcher is getting some deserved recognition these days. This person or hat is the user’s actual friend.

Stay closest to the Users, understand their expectations, needs, and behavior.

User Researcher’s Objective

User Researcher’s Role

  1. Conduct User Interviews; spending time with customers & users.
  2. Analyze usage data, external data and industry trends.
  3. Understand the user personas & user journey; and to translate them into clear UX requirements.
  4. Conduct Prototype testing with the users and to curate the results.
  5. Lead UX brainstorming exercises or workshops.
Researchers analyzing the DNA of their audience

#5 UX Designer

All the hats 1 to 4 gather a lot of information and UX instructions. The UX designer needs to ensure that these requirements are translated in the actual User Experience provided to users.

To translate the vision, data & requirements into detailed Wire-frames; also ensuring the right software interaction & behavior.

UX Designer’s Objective

UX Designer’s Role

  1. Review the user personas, data and requirements provided.
  2. Keep up with UX trends and various platform Design Principles .
  3. Create high fidelity wire-frames & sketches.
  4. Work closely with the tech team to ensure the right interaction & behavior.
Drafting the wire-frame

#6 Visual Designer

In the end what looks good, sells easily. A visual designer is more of the “art” guy. He can create beautiful looking interfaces.

Make beautiful looking User Interfaces and enhance the user’s experience visually.

Visual Designer’s Objective

Visual Designer’s Role

  1. Create High fidelity UI designs.
  2. Keep up with the brand’s guidelines and visual identity.
  3. Create graphical icons (or illustrations).
  4. Providing UX driven visual emphasis.
Visual designer at work

Ending the story…

Good design is a highly interdisciplinary activity & process

Sharing my most recent experience of a bad design; proving the inter-disciplinary importance of a design process.

A fancy looking hotel bed with really sharp edges – something that’s way bad a design.

Yes, good design is much beyond just artwork.

Hope this added to your perspective or motivated you to strengthen your design process. If you wish to engage Surgyy design or want to know more about us, visit our home page.

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