Meet Adi Mazor Kario, UI/UX Architect & Manager of Wizard UI Consulting

Adi is a UX architect. She worked both as in-house UX and as a UX consultant for 15 years but she is still enthusiastic and passionate about UX since the day she started. Adi holds a BA in Design and MA in cognitive science. Adi is the manager and owner of Wizard UI Consulting, which specializes in “Creating Happy Users”. Take a look at what she thinks about the most burning issues surrounding user experience!

Where do you get UX inspiration?

Regarding graphic design per-say, I read many UX articles. I’m always on top of the new trends. I review new apps and if I want to look at new designs I’d use my dribbble favorites (some of them which I work with). I love to find new apps, with great design. When I find such an app (whether web, mobile or tablet) it makes me happy. I usually study it thoroughly, to analyze the fundamental nature of its UX.

How do you recognize a great UX designer?

As I see my profession, an architect/functional UI/UX designer must be a high-level thinker, to grasp the essence of the users and the functionality quickly, and provide the best user experience solutions. A UX designer, however, should be VERY into details –perfectionist and up-to-date. I think the designer must know what the trend is always. As I see it, a good designer mostly learns and evolves all the time, since the pace of UX graphic trends is very fast.

What do you think are the 3 most common misconceptions about user experience?

  • That it’s magic you add after you developed the app – sometimes technical people believe they could “add the UX “ later.
  • That it’s about form mainly (“make it sexy”) – making the look-n-feel, meaning the designer role, the only role in UX.
  • That it’s about the controls or layouts – making the detailed design part of the work as the most important.

As I see UX, it’s a methodology that spotlights the technological capabilities on what people need and want (as opposed to basing a product on what the technology has to offer).

In addition, I clearly see a distinction between an UX architect- responsible for the functional design and a UX graphic designer who is responsible for the look-n-feel- these two should collaborate, but they come from a different point of view and profession. Therefore, I don’t believe a designer could do an architect work and vice versa.

Jeff Gothelf calls copywriting “The Secret Weapon of UX”. Do you agree and to what extent?

I think that it’s no longer a secret. It is commonly known that UX sells, and many big and small companies prioritize accordingly. I think this article, from March 2013, UX specialist are hot commodities, says it all.

There is this whole issue of in-house designers being highly underrated by executives, and thus, being overtaken by UX consultants hired by those same executives. What’s your take on this?

During my career, I’ve done both and this in an issue I dealt with in the past in my blog. I think there is a difference between in-house designers and consultants, mainly in their role in the process. An in-house designer is usually working on the same capability/application, in the same company, and knows all the small details of each minor functionality. I think that since he is working for a long period closely together with the PM/dev. team, in many cases, their professional influence is lower. As opposed to a consultant, who came to the process from outside, he holds a fresh view on the app, he (should) look at it in the higher level and he has no connection to the inner organization intrigues AND in many cases he is being paid by the hour (this way, the organization will probably want to take the best from what he offers). This way, the consultant has a better position to influence the UX, (but only on a high level).

How can management best assess how much time and budget should be available for UX?

It depends on the product/the stage of the product’s life cycle and the team. You can see that ”EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON UX BRINGS IN BETWEEN $2 AND $100 DOLLARS IN RETURN.”

What’s your first course of action when you begin the process of evaluating a product’s user experience?
I start from “system analysis” – getting to know and understanding: users, work-flows, object-actions and tasks and seeing real users work in their natural environment. All this BEFORE I start with the screens. After that, I check the basic functionality (mentioned in the analysis).

What are your top 2 recommendations for making the first visit to an online service a success?

  • Focus on main actions (what is the action you wish the users to do) – this is very close to the “mobile first” point of view.
  • Create a clear orientation/navigation model.

What do you love about being a UX Architect consultant?

  • I love learning new stuff and in my daily life I meet new apps, new users, new trends, and new technologies every day.
  • I love to work with people – my clients
  • I love to think analytically in high level
  • I love the fact that I grasp the essence of an experience and through design I to help make it happen in the best clear way.

How do you see the future of UX?

  • No doubt that UX is a growing profession and it will be needed even more in the future. All the products around us will have some kind of interaction with its users.  I wish that people will remember to create products that make people’s lives better, bearing in mind the vast influence of technology on our daily lives.