One-person UX team: How to carve a spot in a company where UX is a novelty


#1

Hello!
I am relatively junior UX designer, with barely 3 years experience. I started working for this company in Aril 2018, brimming with enthusiasm to take on the challenge of carving out a spot for UX in this company.
I was interviewed by the owner and CEO of the company himself, since we don’t have any HR professionals.
It all seemed great, he asked good questions, and I was confident in my answers, and the design challenges also seemed to me to signal that this company understands that they need UX to move forward.

This is an IT company that does hosting, emails, web-applications, high-compliance medical projects, etc etc. A lot of everything.

I am now 8 months in, and very frustrated. Not a single usability test has been done, I feel like a wireframe factory. Developers openly say that my “wireframes were shit” during project evaluation meetings.
Worst part is, I agree- the wireframes are indeed shit. Crap in, crap out. Trying to crank out screen after screen with no real data but general heuristics to base it on, I don’t even want to call myself a UX designer anymore.

Today was the first time I got some screen recordings from HotJar for a project that is already built and we just need the customers acceptance to launch it. So- wayyy too late.

I read today that no sane person would recommend a junior UX designer to take up such a challenge. And I still haven’t given up completely.

If anyone has suggestions on how I could improve the relationship and collaboration with backend developers, and how to go about making a systematic design process, that would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Hey Igna!

I face the same challenges at work as well. It seems the tech industry have trouble understanding UX and its value and process. Maybe you can find some time to conduct user research/usability tests with your stakeholders and developers in the room, so they can see the product from the user’s perspective and how valuable user data can be.

As per the collaborations with the developers, that sounds like they need to work on their teamwork skills. Maybe bring it up with HR or your manager?

Or maybe you can invite them to do an wireframe ideation session and let them see that the design process is not as simple as they think it is. & hopefully they’ll start to empathize with you more.

But tbh, I think if a designer is in an environment where design is not valued, then it is best to find a place that will.

Best of luck!


#3

I actually wrote an article about this for UXMastery. I think it may have some good pointers for you!


#4

Thank you, I read it, and it really is useful. In my original comment, when I mentioned that “no sane person would recommend…” I was actually referring to your articles comments :slight_smile:

Our company has 2 offices in different countries, and most of the developers are in the other country. We also don’t work by agile, and the overall mturity of the Company is not very high, to say the least.

How does one generally establish a systematic design process?


#5

Collaboration with backend devs doesn’t seem to be a main problem in your situation. Especially, if you

I think you should appeal to the owner and CEO. They seem to value UX, but maybe they don’t influence design processes much. If you try to tell them all these things you wrote here, they could initiate changes on the higher level and help you set up right procedures. When you have bosses’ support, devs won’t be a problem, if you have respect and understanding for their technologies features and restrictions.


#7

That’s a fair point, thank you.
Understanding their restrictions and technology is definitely something I should get a better grip on.
I also asked to participate in a new kind of technical workshops where all the devs will be, hopefully that will be a step in the right direction.


#8

Great! I hope all settles in for you!