How making UX more visible can save you a whole lot of effort - Deepstash
How making UX more visible can save you a whole lot of effort

How making UX more visible can save you a whole lot of effort

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The Piece Of Paper On The Wall

The most persuasive argument I ever gave for UX research was a piece of paper pinned to the hallway next to my office. I had created an organizational map to understand how the organization grouped different teams and had stuck it to the wall on a whim.

But because of that, people stopped by to study the chart and asked me many questions about UX, User Research, and more. As a result, I probably had more conversations with various members of internal teams than if I had sent out a company-wide e-mail.

This example shows the importance of visibility of user research.


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Making UX more visible

The heuristic states that the design should always keep users informed about what is going on through appropriate feedback within a reasonable amount of time. But this heuristic can relate to much more than just UI design. At its core, it’s about communication and transparency.


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Transparency And Communication

The more information we have, the better our decision-making is.

Knowing the system’s current state helps us assess where we are and if we need to change anything to reach our goals. So let’s take that logic and apply it to the ‘system’ known as your organization.


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The Visibility of UX Design and Research: UX designs screens

One of the most visible and visual things that people see UX professionals doing is creating screens, prototypes, and more. While this is true, if the team thinks this is all you do, it can cause many misunderstandings (and the quote mentioned above). Fortunately, this viewpoint is commonly paired with another.


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UX tests with users

User testing is another big part of our job, and fortunately, one that is pretty visible. From recruiting, testing, facilitating, and analyzing, there are many ways for stakeholders to hear about, if not directly observe or interact, with user testing. If most people in your organization have this takeaway, you might not have issues getting people on board with users. However, the last section is where you may run into problems.


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UX does user research

If people aren’t 100% familiar with UX, then this is where people may struggle. You might think that user research goes hand in hand with user testing, but there’s one major problem that user research faces:

Research is localized, while the design is organization-wide.


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The different reach of UX Design and UX Research

Visuals are quicker than words.

The problem is that user research tends not to be conveyed in that manner. Design exists as visuals like screens and prototypes, easily visible, shareable, and immediate. Research lives as Powerpoint presentations, usability reports, and other things that aren’t as easily shareable. This may suit your projects, but it might not travel as far and wide as Design prototypes.


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Solving The Visibility Problem

The best approach is to make UX (and user research) more visible to your team so that they consider you.

Doing so involves two things:

  • Making UX Research more visible to the larger organization through design artefacts.
  • Providing an open communication channel to the UX team.


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User research findings don’t have to be boring

Brief research summaries, along with design artefacts created through user research, are often great ways to engage your organization. In addition, things like journey maps, personas, or organizational charts can be easy to share, view, or otherwise printed in the hallway and looked at. 

Some Tips:


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Show Them What You Have Designed

Some examples of things that might pique user interest include:

  • Organizational maps (How different teams are grouped)
  • Journey maps (The process users go through with experiences and touchpoints in a broad sense)
  • Experience maps (The Experiences and touchpoints across a specific experience)
  • Ideation (Going from paper prototype to wireframe to high fidelity prototype)
  • User quotes


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Shout It Out Loud: Greater Awareness For UX

Let me be clear. I’m not advocating that UX seeks attention, especially when our job involves collaborating with both users and stakeholders.

But providing a greater awareness of user research and making sure that we’re not known as the ‘design screen/prototype guys’ can often be incredibly helpful in making our lives easier.

It’s one thing to convince your stakeholders of the importance of user research to understand users, test prototypes with them, and develop design recommendations.


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Recruitment consultant

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