UX professionals who report to head of development or engineering?


I’m trying to document my thoughts about past experiences working in positions where I reported to the head of development. For me, this was problematic, as I was relegated to a tactical UI design role, and had to fight to get any insight or influence into the upstream, product development part of the process, where user-centered design truly begins.

I am interested in knowing how common of an experience this is among my peers, and whether it’s a worthy topic to write about if it negatively impacts a lot of professionals.


Curious - were you a UX team of one when you reported to the head of development? In a similar situation with me, I reported to the head of product development (slightly different role) as a solo UXer and ran into a lot of the same issues.


We were a team of two. You are actually in an ideal position in the product team (where I currently am) IF you can convert the product manager(s) to the user-centered approach–which is where they should be anyway since they’re designing products (which is shockingly not often where their head is at)–and convince them of the value you add as a user experience professional.


Hey Hollie,
I think it sounds like a super valuable thing to document. There are so many variations of this same kind of issue that you’ll be helping people by sharing your experiences.


I’d love to here more about your experience, @dougcollins.


Thanks! If you know want to know more, I suggest checking out this episdoe of @joenatoli’s “Making UX Work” podcast, where he was kind enough to have me as a guest. We talk about both my everyday work and my back story. Hopefully you find it well worth the time!


@dougcollins, WOW, very cool! I will definitely give it a listen. I’ve taken some of Joe’s classes on Udemy.


In my case is often justifying my work to trade teams which is painful sometimes. I also wanted to ask, do you guys find it more useful to get your designers to design on top of the wireframes you create, or do you think it’s better for them to replicate from a blank canvas?