We all want our projects to go well. We want our clients and stakeholders to be impressed with the value they got from using UX professionals and we want our users to be delighted with the end results. However, we’ve found that in many cases our own failings can get in the way of this process and it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on some of the most common self-created issues and learning to avoid them:
Skipping on Research
Author/Copyright holder: Chai One. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved.Img source
The more experience the UX professional, the more tempting it can be to go light on the UX research. Why? Well, though research can be fun it’s both time and budget consuming. Surely, our clients will be happier if their products get to market faster? Surely, each user is pretty much the same for each product with only minor variations?
Of course clients are happy when things go to market faster but only if the product is popular. An assumption that all users are roughly the same is bound to end badly. It’s very important to remember that no matter how experience we are – we are not the users and the only way to get useful user input is via user research. You can’t skimp on it, no matter how tempting it might be.
One Sizes Fits All
Your clients and stakeholders are people. They are all different just like your users are all different. You can’t use an “out of the box” identikit approach to UX design with each customer. That’s because they’re going to want your process to reflect their reality. They don’t care that your process worked really well on the last project because… this project is different.
Author/Copyright holder: Photographer. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0
You’d be amazed at how a little tweaking to methodologies and approaches can make for much happier clients. The personal touch is essential to the user experience of your UX work.
Failing to Heed the Past
User research is great but you can reduce the amounts of user research you need to do if you’re smart enough to learn the lessons of the past. Before you go running out to meet users; go through the analytical data you have. Search through customer care databases, through Google analytics and any other kind of hard data that your client generates.
Inside all this data lies clues as to current frustrations with the product or the company and where you might want to concentrate your initial research.
You Know It Al
Author/Copyright holder: Cory Doctorow. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
Yes, your clients hire you for your expertise. No, that doesn’t grant you the right to treat them like UX idiots. The worst sin on any project is to treat the other people on that project as though they don’t matter at all. You need to take on everyone’s opinions and ideas and react to those ideas civilly. If you come across as a big-headed know-it-all then you can be certain that your clients UX of your work is abysmal and you won’t be coming back after the project (assuming they don’t fire you half way through instead).
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