Design approval/sign off

ux

#1

Hey guys, me again… I have a question that I’d like to ask and hopefully get some great insight into this specific topic. So I have been doing a lot of designs for our company - meaning that I’ve spent time with the users to discover potential areas for improvement and I’ve also received a few requests from our BSA to look into (specifically feature that he thinks needs to be improved).

So my question is, who is the best person to approve / sign off a feature that has been developed? I know it seems obvious but I am sometimes faced with a situation where I am presenting my work to the team and the main approver is our BSA and I sometimes feel that the feedback given is more preference than actual user-based.

Is a person like the BSA actually the correct person to approve big redesigns and improvements if the UX designer based all decisions on user needs and how does one balance the approval between what a BSA thinks the users need and what they actually need?

Happy to elaborate should something be unclear


#2

By BSA, I’m assuming you mean Business Systems Analyst (for the uninitiated, a Business Analyst focused solely on business needs related to IT). Is that correct?


#3

That’s correct yeah :slight_smile:


#4

@brendin

I can provide you with my learnings and this does not mean that I will provide you with the answer to your question (actually not an easy one).

We have two main streams regarding the design deliverables

  1. Issues coming from the customers, they open a ticket and the Product Owner starts a process to evaluate it. Very often this issue is reviewed by a designer, a business analyst and a developer. They decide what to do, they estimate the effort and the BA writes the solution outline. Once the design deliverable is ready the Quality Assurance team will check the consistency between the specs and the deliverable
  2. Product enhancements, new features, new products, sale cases, we have a more complex loop for this task. For instance, based on market research and on competitor benchmarks the product team starts the process to build a new product. After the design process, the owner of the project presents the deliverable (demo, prototype etc) to the head of product and they decide according to which strategy launch/integrate the new product in the company portfolio.

I think that the approval is subjected to many scenarios, a lot depends on the use-case.

I hope it will help


#5

Hey @dopamino, thanks a lot for your feedback. Didn’t provide an exact answer but your scenarios did bring some context to the subject so I have a much better idea regarding this. And agree that it is situational and sometimes depend on scenarios. Thanks man!


#6

hey @brendin

You’re very welcome and I’m happy to read your answer.

I am 100% sure that this is the added value of being part of an online community.
In my opinion, it is hard to find a precise answer here because people need precise information, precise context and precise background.
What you can find here is a trigger to think of the problem from a different angle and to iterate the process until you have a plan to execute.

Let us know how you are approaching the problem and feel free to ask for feedback at any time :slight_smile:


#7

@dopamino, I think the main problem that I am facing is a lack of shared understanding. Our BSA could also be seen as the product owner/overseer. So this means he has a lot of strong ideas and concepts that he likes. So when I typically do a redesign or improve a process, I do that without knowing exactly what he has in mind or what he is thinking about. This results in me delivering something different to what he had in mind and then I go back to the drawing boards.

With more research and more stats, my approach is to also pick his brain a little bit more to understand what he is thinking about and what he has in mind. I think that with some kind of indication as to where is mind is would help a lot, and should my proposal be different to that, make use of some stats or scenarios to motivate my decisions.

So this is what I am planning on doing. Will let you guys know how it’s working out for me


#8

This point is not fully clear to me.
How do you start a design (or re-design) process?
Do you use user-stories and/or solution outlines?
If yes who is the owner(s) of such deliverables?
What about the design process you work with (eg card-sorting, wireframes, lo-fi, hi-fi etc)?


#9

@dopamino,

  • When designing something new OR redesigning existing feature. It’s usually either uncovered in my research or BSA/product owner informs me of something he’d like to be improved,
  • If this is a request from him, I’d dig into it and spend some time with the users to uncover patterns, behaviors and trend as well as some frustrations and hindrances - this get’s implemented in my redesign. (I realised that we sometimes miscommunicate when it comes to incrementally improving a requested feature or to completely redesign it - something that I check now before starting),
  • When I have all the feedback and I’ve done analysis, (including user journeys, task analysis etc), I’d start with the Strategy section (I try to follow @joenatoli’s 5 steps: Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, Surface),
  • I’d do functional spec and from there on I’d either to paper sketches or do some prototyping.

I usually work closely with another analyst to make sure that the info we collect is consistent with the business requirements and I try to incorporate user needs/frustrations as much as possible.

So to answer your question: when it comes to doing major features, our BSA is the owner of those deliverables and my statement above, just referred to a few times where we did not have shared understanding of what is expected.

Is that more clear to you?


#10

@brendin
yes it is, thx!

To me sounds more a research/planning phase rather than an execution phase where you have a clear vision of the scope of the task.
Anyway, I don’t want to start another topic let’s be focused on your first question.

According to your description, it looks like, is the BSA the one that has to approve the deliverable.


#11

It helps to have a clear business owner of the project. Business owner can be BSA, or a separate person, but regardless, that person has to be the final approver when it comes to any changes, because as far as the business is concerned he/she is responsible for the property. In your case, I’d suggest bringing you BSA in to other meetings, and have everyone be on the same page when it comes to what, why, and when.