With popular adoption of lean UX and Agile scrum methodologies, User Experience Designers (UXDs) are getting the center stage in collaborative development environments. UXDs must be aware of challenges because of their unique position in prominently engineering organizations, and UXDs should be ready to take lead in creating climate conducive for high performing teams. UXDs have a prominent role to play in clearing the perceptions about the user experience as domain and to set the right expectations with stakeholders and fellow team members.

UXDs has to play a leadership role in guiding and educating the team members and the organization in some cases, on the value and importance of User Experience.

Understanding Perceptions

In earlier days Londoners were hesitant to use the Double Decker buses as they feared it will tip on turns. To clear this perception London municipality have the the double Decker buses at prominent places inclined around 40 degrees.

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There are many perceptions around the UXD when they are part of  heterogeneous teams.First, let me list down the the major perceptions and later we can see how UXD can help themselves in breaking the perceptions.   .

UXD makes project progress slow

There is a general perception that UXD process will slow down the project progress as the initial research and interaction design finalization are activities that were not part of development cycle .

UX is all about mock-ups and wire frames

As wireframes and mock-ups are visible deliverables for the rest of the team many of stakeholders may build this perception that it is the only activity done by the UX team member.

UX Designers work starts after requirements are documented in specifications/design form

Many a times the requirements are gathered by the technical architect with no or minimal participation by UXD.

UXDs are tend to be expert in this field and are well versed in user research and practices for example: Design thinking needed to capture and understand the client requirements better.

UXD Prefer working in isolation !

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UXDs can help to clear these perceptions

As leaders UXDs need to set their expectations in line to break the perceptions. There are few suggestions that may help to get the real essence of UX work and value added to projects .

While Delivering with small team.

In most of the project teams there might be the only one or two UXDs and that provides opportunity to coach fellow team members on the taxonomy, processes and stages involved in UX process. UXD need to create quick prototypes and to be guided by project timelines .

Acknowledge the fact, most of terminology might be confusing to other team members so, patience and pro-activeness will help .

Educate others with  insight, knowledge, technique, considerations, best practices, design standards and anything else can be use to help them make good design decisions. .

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Improve communication skills

UXDs may need to communicate more with in and outside the team. Particularly sharing  the activities , status and leanings .

Sharing insights and providing opinion may help to break the perception of working in isolation .

Be aware about multiple aspects of UX life-cycle

There is a good chance there may be a single UXD in team responsible for all UX related activities and in order to manage stakeholder expectations UXD has to be conversant in all UX related activities in order to get the job done.

So, as a leaders UXDs need to stay on course , speak up and learn to educate others .

Well at the end the success matters and UXDs provide an edge to get the client success and satisfaction .

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

John C. Maxwell

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