5 Must Know Tips If You Want To Avoid Failure In Building An Effective Experience Design (UX) Team.

Mayur Chaudhary - Building UX Team

(The post is based on own experiences and learn from others who manage and build UX teams. Comments are more than welcome.)

Building an effective UX team primarily depends on your vision and personalities that you would like to inculcate within your team to deliver business goals. Many factors effect this, and some of them are the size of an organization, existing structure of the design team and UX maturity within an organization. Non the less a UX team needs diversity and helps deliver any problems that come their way.

In most cases, it’s a tussle between where team members want to go than where they don’t want to go but ought to be.

As per Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development every team building goes through “Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning” which is true for UX teams too, but there are caveats.

Building goal oriented team is a process, and I would categorize them in phases (things are slightly different if you are inheriting existing design team, let’s talk about them next time..:-) ).

1. Onboarding
2. Structuring
3. Nurturing and bringing them up to speed
4. Aligning with system and business goals
5. Empowering them to deliver quality

1. Onboarding

There are a lot more than skills when you are looking for right candidates. A positive ATTITUDE, targeted APPROACH, and creative THINKERS are the traits for excellent candidates.

With the current market trend, it’s unwise to be just the right-brainers.

Experience = Usability/Analytics + Design/Creative

Mayur Chaudhary - UX Designers

2. Structuring
The path down the journey of building a product is fraught with perils and structuring team (would talk about UX for now) plays a significant role. I am a firm believer of “Lean UX” and “keep it simple.” UX has many facets, and it’s entirely human to get lost into acronyms. There are plentiful UX roles, but I would categorize a UX team in:

– Researchers
– Information Architects
– Interaction Designers
– Front End UI Developers

Skills can be added as an when required, but the key is to keep it simple for an organization to understand, assign roles and take out best from every experience designers.

3. Nurturing and bringing up to speed
Once onboard first few days are critical and bringing a designer up to speed and be productive seems to be a humongous task. Knowing the system, process and culture take time but helps one succeed in an organization.

I have always used a tried and tested method to overcome this problem. Assign a task to:

Create existing information architecture of the entire system and suggest recommendations. Create a chart of what’s good and what can be improved.

The exercise helps to know the system better, and in some ways, also promotes team work as one has to approach team members to resolve confusion and sail through the task.

4. Aligning with system and goals
A well-drafted documentation is good enough to consume process and goals but doesn’t work all the time because of it’s lengthy and theoretical nature.

Goal alignment – Increase employee engagement and the bottom line.

Work as a secondary product designer and observe. It helps you to set your benchmark both for yourself and overall standard about the quality of delivery.

Meet all your stakeholders straightaway.

Establishing yourself as a point of contact for any research, information or interaction is of utmost important. Meeting with stakeholders increases your awareness about the goals and the path to business success.

5. Empower to deliver quality
Always avoid “approval culture.” Reviewing a task is different, though. In most cases, a culture filled with bureaucracy is the real cause of failure. Empowering your design team encourages design thinking and welcomes fresh ideas. This also inculcates the value of ownership and responsibility which furthermore delivers user satisfaction and a great experience.

Conclusion:
Hiring is tough, it sucks up so much time, and it often feels like you’ll never find the right person for the job. For me “Jack of all trade and master of one” has always worked and gives me a liver to utilize the knowledge and skill in most of the cases (though I don’t support James Bond culture..:) . More in next post, stay tuned and happy reading.

Thank you for making it to the bottom of this post. If you find my ideas interesting do follow me on twitter @bornindian & visit my linkedin page.

For more UX fun and engagement visit (Closed Facebook group specially dedicated to UX designers)Rethinking User Experience

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