So, you’ve assembled your dream UX team. You’ve finally got that crack group of people who can work out an interface, work out how humans will interact with it, and put the polish on it to make it shine all pretty and new. You’re ready to give your project that user friendly pizzazz it needs to go to market.
Or so, you think you have your dream UX team. But, do you? That’s the million gigabyte question, isn’t it? What are the characteristics of people who belong in a top notch team like this? By what criteria ought they be judged? Surely there must be a litmus test for these individuals? Or, has nobody thought of this to date?
Oh, there are definitely characteristics to be sought out, just heck if I’ve seen anyone take the time to write about this particular aspect of UX. Sure, the importance of teams is talked about heavily, but rarely do you see much of anything on how to assemble a team.
So, I’ll do it, because I’m just such a nice guy.
First, your UX people should all have taken one year of programming. It doesn’t matter how well they did, but they all need to have some inkling of how programming works, and what’s involved in interface logic from that standpoint.
Otherwise, they may push for designs that don’t easily work programmatically, resulting in a mess down the road. A severe mess in fact. Ergo, make sure everyone gets what programming is, even if they’re not adept at it themselves. It will go a long way.
Second, everyone needs to have an understanding of art. They should have taken a year in this as well, so they have the core tenets of art in their minds. These include things like form matching function, working with minimal materials, and guiding the human eye. It also gives them a sense of how to get ideas across in a visual manner, making the interface more logical.
Third, they need to understand people. While a sociology or psychology class helps, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker. However, your team needs to understand people, and be able to get inside their heads when imagining the experience of being a user and working with the interface put before them.
This allows them to anticipate things that may not please the customer, as well as forecast potential problems and put contingencies into place to handle them.
In the end, it’s all about having your UX team be well-rounded, and have them understand the core crafts that go into UX to some level of tolerance. You will find some excel more than others in a given trait. If this happens, use it to your advantage when working out team flow and roles, because to do otherwise may invite disaster.
You can’t expect everyone to be identical parts in a machine, so just account for this disparity and use the strengths they have to your advantage. If you want a well rounded UX team, make sure they all meat these qualifications, and then use them wisely.