Building Professional UX in Your Company
When I started working in UX, the field was not established yet in the Czech Republic and you could count the UX professionals on the fingers of one hand. Over the course of time, my positions varied from “UX DIY Guy” to CXO. From scratch, I built UX teams, implemented User Centric Development processes and redesigned applications. Now I have turned my solid experience into UX consultations and interim management services for software companies.
I help long-term projects improve their user experience by building UX teams, implementing new methods and changing the processes. Short-term, singular projects and web presentations are out of my scope. My services can also be used in the Service Design and Customer Experience areas.
I focus on medium-sized and large software products companies to whom I help increase the UX maturity – from any level up to 6–8. Level 7 can be reached in record time of two years; if conditions are optimal, even one year. The first meaningful results are visible in several months. I see the gist in changing the approach of product teams, therefore the results are long-term.
First I learn all about your company mission and your products – by asking lots of questions and listening. Then we start working together on finding a suitable way of increasing the UX maturity of your company. I help you hire, train and develop a UX team which gradually implements UX techniques and processes. We always begin with analyzing the product, its users and their needs. Only then we start designing and developing. Every major step is verified with the users.
Outsourcing UX does not help. It is best to have your own UX team sharing and living the company values. The ideal team size proves to be one UX professional for every nine people working on the product. What also brings positive results is building the team from current employees and new hires. The internal people know the product, customers and the company; newly hired people are good at UX. It is important to achieve a good rapport within the team, as well as to integrate the UX team view and processes into the daily company operations.
Hiring UX experts is just a beginning. Then we need to work on setting new standards, methods, and inter-team cooperation. For the success of UX, it is crucial that everybody involved in the product development starts paying attention to the users and their needs, acts on these observations and verifies changes with users constantly. This is true not only for developers, but also for product managers, testers, technical writers, trainers and managers.
If your product and UX have not met yet, it is likely the product will end up being redesigned. The redesign scope will depend on the initial analysis results, especially user testing, user interviews and user observations. A successful product should not be replaced with a new one completely; it pays off to introduce incremental improvements. The whole redesign project can be split into several packages, which can be prioritized and implemented one by one.