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Issues impacting an organisation UX design

Organisations are increasingly putting UX design at the centre of their operations. The reason for this is not concerned with aesthetics factors but more so around how design principles can solve business issues. However, with the introduction of UX design, organisational, people and process driven challenges are being created. We find out more about three common issues experienced and potential solutions to these.  

1. Focusing too much on features while forgetting about the experience

Features are tangible assets that can be controlled, however experiences may be harder to master as they are intangible. Delivery for instance is much easier to quantify than experience. As a result, teams tend to be incentivized in releasing as many products as possible as they can outline functionalities to be followed in specification briefs and pass it on to the relevant teams to track sales once products are released making it easy to assess success. On the other hand, no specific metric values can assess the emotional attachment of a customer.

How to fix it?

When hiring designers, make sure they understand the culture of complexity of a more problem-focused method, instead of looking for a short term solution. Many non-designers such a product managers or developers are focused on how quickly they can find a solution over taking a longer route that could potentially unveil deeper problems. Rapid prototyping can be used by UX designers to teach their peers how to think more broadly to get a precise solution.  Shifting an organisation’s way of thinking isn’t easy. It takes slow and steady efforts.  When the team is facing challenges on how to improve the UX of products, remind them to think of products they love and interact with everyday. Brands such as Apple, Telstra and Nespresso are all focusing on an experience-centric approach rather than feature focused. 

2. Avoid taking risks at all costs

Large organisations don’t operate following heedless actions. These companies have the tendency to promote a stable and reliable environment which means most employees are risk-adverse.. If the existing situation helps to satisfy their personal needs they are most likely to be risk-adverse to a new design vision in case it could lead to failure given the pressure from their managers and the responsibility of the team they manage.  

How to fix it?

Exploring new ways of working can be implemented in small steps to generate  creative thinking. Reward employees when they take the initiative to introduce design thinking. . Here are some hacks you can implement with your team:

  • Informal meetings - workshops or mind mapping sessions are usually more collaborative and get employees engaged and productive.
  • Create a design thinking grid - outline the new idea, the assumptions and potential outcomes, the metrics used and the results. This will force the team to reflect and critique every step of the design process instead of just agreeing with a proposed solution. 
  • Collaborate with developers – when creating a prototype it’s recommended to try and get developers on board as soon as possible as they can use coding to validate or not a rapid prototype. 

3. Working in different directions

Executives and designers don’t always understand each other when it comes to choosing a creative direction, understanding business strategy and the impact design can have on the development of a project. Marketers tend to worry about how to set it apart, developers are concerned with system feasibility while designers think about equivocality. 

How to fix it?

It takes more than team building activities when it comes to UX design:

  • Establish sessions where departments can interact, collaborate and teach each other the skills that they are good at. This activity could be performed in an informal way such as a ‘working lunch’ to help build rapport between the teams.
  • Understand your internal culture and process to understand how to embed design thinking within it.

Encourage the designers’ team to become business-savvy by framing how a design can solve a certain business issue such as delivering greater user conversion.

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