Colours of a UXer

The colours of a UXer

I recently took part in a Ladies that UX virtual meetup “A little less Unicorn, a little more Chameleon, please” where I looked at the colours of a UXer. I want to highlight some characteristics I found that come out during different types of UX projects and how a UXer may have to change their colours to align with a project and ensure its success.

good communication blue header banner

When everyone thinks of UX they think of good communication and a UXers ability to work with a variety of groups and people. One thing to consider is the type of communication that is needed for specific scenarios.

This feels more appropriate now as we move to distributed teams and working with teams has become remote. Some techniques I have found when working on remote design tasks are:

  • Communicate regularly through tools like Slack, messengers or video calls
  • Use ticketing systems to track your design tasks and record details
  • Create detailed documentation to explain the process, feature ideas and final decisions
  • Make use of design tools like Sketch, Adobe XD, Abstract to collaborate and share features with teams
  • Videoing wireframes and designs to get a feel for flow and user interactions

Making good use of tools, communicating through every step of design and including detailed documentation means you are gathering continual feedback for designs and features at every stage. Moving design forward with a slightly different approach to workshops, face-to-face research or brainstorming sessions.

quick to adapt purple header banner

Part of being a UXer is having a curious attitude and looking to solve problems. I feel that working in UX means getting fully immersed within a project, building empathy and trying to find the best solution. There are some factors that influence or help find the best solution and means having to adapt to any situation:

  • Moving on-site. Going to a customer site to become immersed in their team, goals and users.
  • Having users to hand. By being on-site direct users are available to research, brainstorm and gather feedback from. This also gives context for the environment that the user works in allowing you to see any external factors that might affect the use of a product or feature.
analytical yellow header banner

I think being analytical is a good trait to have when working with design and not only in tracking, gathering data and quantitative research but also asking questions, is this the best way, how can we make it better, how would the user feel?

As a UXer being wrong is ok, taking a step back to look at the bigger picture and finding the best solution for the user. Not being stuck on one idea. For projects or products that have been around for a while this can be an important outlook to have in order to improve.

By analysing workflows, drop-off points and user needs products may need adjusted and teams may need to be open to dropping features in order to simplify and refine. Making goals easier for the user to reach and in turn achieving business goals with happier users, customers and continual improvement.

explorers green header banner

Exploring projects with an open mind to avoid the straight line. In UX exploring is part of design and especially in projects where innovation is needed and brand new products are being created. By exploring and understanding problems UX becomes iterative, generating ideas, brainstorming and researching to find the user need.

Entire teams get involved in this process and become comfortable in the process and the journey leading to new innovative ideas. Research, design, marketing, sales, engineers, management and stakeholders get involved to rapidly generate and prototype ideas. Putting them in front of potential users and scrapping any that don’t fit.

Exploring can be creative and by following design processes you can see a wide variety of possibilities surfacing.

A great book looking at the Elements of User Experience and User-Centred design processes from Jesse Garrett:

“The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond”

the elements of user experience diagram
influencing dark blue header banner

Another area that some UXers may feel is needed within different projects or groups is outlining the importance of UX. Showing others the need for a user-centred design approach and the outcomes it can lead to. Getting people involved in workshops, talks and imbedding processes within projects. Continual encouragement may be needed to ensure the user is at the forefront of everyones mind and it is not just the design teams that should be thinking of this.

I currently work as UX Lead at Anaeko across of variety of projects and find that adapting between scenarios and projects is key to achieve the best results, with all projects needing a slightly different character trait or mindset.

If you’d like to become an expert in UX Design, Design Thinking, UI Design, or another related design topic, then consider to take an online UX course from the Interaction Design Foundation. For example, Design Thinking, Become a UX Designer from Scratch, Conducting Usability Testing or User Research — Methods and Best Practices. Good luck on your learning journey!

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