Isn’t it time to discard all unnecessary and start over?
Performance LukeW at the recent Conversions 2019 conference hooked me. Many of the examples he gave were similar to my observations. UX has become a joke.
But let’s take a step back and look at the problem at hand.
Is UX trending now?
There are researchers, analysts, wireframe creators, user personas, card sorters and, if time permits, even real designers… They are all essential to the success of the product.
Or so it seems.
Over the past ten years, UX as an industry has grown at an amazing pace. Hourly rates skyrocketed. UX professionals have become the gods of the industry. Their advice has become worth its weight in gold. Their job titles … got longer and longer until they lost their meaning.
Have we bathed in glory?
Then UX slowly became a joke.
We started drinking soy lattes and browsing countless persona pages. Companies with large UX teams have developed forms that you can’t get out of if you click on the wrong one. Others have come up with even more interesting ways to upset the user.
Main problems ?
Seven nannies have a child without an eye
The gap between client and designer is huge nowadays and is filled with lawyers, marketers, researchers, product owners, project managers and probably even my mom. Each has its own five cents.
Everything for the good of UX ™
All this is like a game of “deaf phone”, when with each iteration, the message is distorted more and more. Guess how it will end.
We got so confused in our processes that we stopped pausing to think how much useful our design.
Everybody does newsletter pop-ups? The data shows it’s worth doing!
The focus is on data (which is very easy to misinterpret or distort) rather than taking a step back and to think… But this kind of thinking requires the designer to make his own decisions without hiding behind data and statistics.
- Does it make sense to get people to read 15 pages of terms and conditions?
- If 80% of people close their newsletter (and 15% just leave the page), should we use a popup?
- Should we distract the user with advertisements during the checkout process?
- You know other similar questions …
If we tried to use logic for change, we could immediately answer most of these questions. And then we could check this with users.
Nowadays, this process is often reversed – we copy mistakes that we have seen others make and do pointless research to desperately prove our point.
On those rare occasions when we listen to frustrated users and try to fix a bug, a huge number of people with one skill go out of their way to stop us. The legal department is echoed by marketers. Our research proves the previous solution. And all this mess, mixed with over-reliance on previous work and data, leads to disaster.
We know so much now …
So why are most products so bad?
Forming a small, dedicated team that is close to the product and really “thinks” is the key to success. It’s good if designers are actual (or potential) users of their products.
The processes are too complex
Our methods and processes sound bizarre, but UX language negatively affects understanding. And this affects the product.
- We need to get down to earth and start talking like ordinary people.
- Treat users and customers like people, not data points.
- Use only those methods that are necessary (seriously, spending a month on sorting cards and personas is good ONLY for YOUR finances)
- AND THINK before you design – does it make sense to me? Would that be very annoying?
Is there a hole in the UX?
It’s called an interface, which is bad.
This is often because most of the “UX designers” unable design. Here you go. I said it. Creating a rough paper wireframe and placing the checkout in the upper right corner is the same design as sketching on a napkin.
Thus, there is a huge group of project participants who cannot present the product in its final form. They don’t think about fonts, colors, readability, structure, or grids.
We need to exclude most of these people from our processes and give them time to learn Sketch. The T-shaped skill set is no longer enough. We need pyramids.
Seriously, it’s NOT that hard to figure out how to do research, think critically, have empathy, understand the user AND draw rectangles correctly…
Two “real” designers who know research, can think like a user, and know how to create an interface will almost always be more effective than a team of 20 highly specialized experts.
If we combine these experts, we will see that they are incompatible with each other on many levels. This will produce a lackluster result.
In the real world, the skills of your team members will not develop evenly. This will result in important parts missing from the final product due to poor communication and understanding. Thus, a real example would be like the picture below (or worse).
This is called an information gap for a reason. We need to understand what other team members are talking about. To achieve this, you need to stop sitting comfortably in your niche.
If we apply a pyramid scheme to our team, we get much fewer gaps and more opportunities for real collaboration within the team. What’s the alternative?
Delegate tasks on topics that someone knows better than me, sit back and hope it works?
Of course, teams are essential for UX because having different perspectives allows you to shape the best ideas. But these teams cannot be the current scattered, groups of narrowly qualified specialists who basically do nothing but talk at meetings.
Design comes from a combination of thinking, testing and good … design.
And then you need to think a little more.
Let’s ditch UX altogether. Let’s simplify. Let’s just call it design. Or digital design. ???
Each team member must understand how to design a product interface. They also need to understand how to conduct user testing, create the right scripts, and present business decisions in the least “annoying” way.
Last but not least, the team should be as close to the product as possible. She must actively use the product and be aware of its shortcomings firsthand. UX designers should also be users
Which, of course, is much easier for small organizations than for large multi-tier corporations. They do great things for people because they are driven by the desire to make a quality product. Corporations are driven by something completely different.
Our goal should not be to sit in conference rooms and discuss the latest statistics. From the outset, the goal should be to create great products.
If all the research and meetings resulted in a mediocre product, then there is definitely something wrong with this process.
Do you agree? ?