— 18 February 2005 —

Hey UX… Who’s Your Male Parental Authority Figure!

There are many items floating around the UX blogland related to who owns the user experience.

I’ve sounded off on this before due to a couple of posts on OK/Cancel and Wodtke’s site. Well a new post and comic are up on the OK/Cancel site today. And being the intorvert who is really an extrovert, I have a response.

Who Owns UX?

Those who sign the paychecks of the people who design and test the product or service in question.

Thank you.

Know the Law. Don’t Be the Law

We designers and usabilityers are like lawyers.

We can identify the risks to business and give them mitigation strategies, but it is up to them to decide what that really want to do. Why? Because it’s their money. If they want to design some software that everyone hates, against your well-reasoned and research-backed conclusions, so be it. Look how many times Microsoft has gone out of business because of the crap they sometimes produce.

We certainly have a serious responsibility toward making the user’s experience a positive one. But the bottom line is that we own nothing, nor should we. The further down the development cycle you are, the less say you have over the decisions made. So if you are a QCer, you basically have no say. Sorry, but that’s just the cycle.

If you want to have more responsibility over the user experience you must position yourself in that sweet spot where those wacky business people sit around and say, “Hey, I gots me an idear!” (Just kidding busifolks, I love ya.) That way you can influence decisions as they are being made. If you are stuck influencing decisions like where to put widget X, you are not contributing much to the user experience.

We are all part of a system of commerce: business, users (ya know… people!), designers, testers, developers, and even project managers. We all influence each other and hopefully are all working toward a better tomorrow today.

But until you are in a position to sign the cheques, you gots nothing but a responsibility to challenge business decisions with research-based knowledge, challenge development choices that could impact the performance of this System of Commerece, challenge users to be better users, and finally challenge yourself to not get in the way.

I love you all, but many of you take this crap waaaay too seriously. Chill. Be curious. Help people. Think big. Own nothing but a good work ethic and a desire to learn.

Respond Eloquently Below

April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 August 2003 July 2003 June 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 February 2003 January 2003 December 2002 November 2002 October 2002 September 2002
Snook Approved!