Which UX deliverables add the most value in your organisation?


#1

I work at a large corporate that is somewhere between stage 2 and 3 of UX maturity.

I’m the only person trying to integrate UX in all the development we do. It’s slow progress but I’m starting to gain some momentum. I work closely with BAs (Business Analysts) on my projects and I’m finding there is a lot of overlap between what BAs and UX Designers do. They gather business requirements, interview stakeholders and users, create wireframes and process flows. They tend to be more business focussed while UXers are user focussed.

I’m looking to show the value of UX by producing artefacts that are not currently delivered by BAs, and add huge value to the development process. I have already found that outputs of usability testing, card sorting and prototyping have added value.

My question is, what UX deliverables not currently being created by BAs have you found to add the most value? I’m looking to really wow stakeholders, Devs, BAs, users with deliverables that both add value and set the UX discipline apart so that it is recognised in my organisation.


#2

The role of a Business Analyst is to understand and document business requirements. They will also document business processes and business rules.

Wireframes are an important UX outcome, they effectively synthesise a lot… they are a conceptual representation of user needs, the information architecture, content structure and hierarchy, the interaction design, and UI design patterns. A good UX designer should be able to explain the “why” behind every single thing in a wireframe, directly relating it to user insight that’s been gained from research and testing.

So the first and most important thing; BA’s should not be creating wireframes! Historically though, BA’s often created wireframes because there were no UX people and, well someone had to tell the developers what to build.

BA’s should be working with a UX designer to validate that the wireframes meet business requirements, that business rules are accommodated and that the solution will work with business processes in place. But to answer your question - get the BA’s away from the wireframes! That is your artefact! You can demonstrate value to the organisation by being able to explain how the wireframes solve a user problem and why.

Conducting user testing with the wireframes (by creating a clickable prototype) adds enormous value because you can communicate what’s working well, what’s bad, and what needs to be improved - and then you iterate and do it all again.

What sets the UX discipline apart is that you’re focussed on human needs. You’re designing something in a human-centred way by engaging with users through research and testing. This means that you’re reducing risk for the business, ensuring that what gets built is actually going to be useful and usable to the people that need to use it. That you’re solving a problem worth solving!
The insights that come from user research should set UX apart because you’ll gain lots of interesting things to communicate around what people really want, how they really behave and what challenges they really face. You can prove or disprove business assumptions and validate ideas.

A solution may meet business requirements, every single one of them. But meeting business requirements does not mean a solution is what users want.

Wow your organisation through your deep understanding of the user and your ability to communicate that. The best UX designers are great at storytelling. Bring all your user insight and understanding together to tell a story that gets everyone in the organisation to understand and appreciate who the user is.

Specific deliverables that you can use as part of this storytelling could include; empathy maps, personas, journey maps, storyboards, user flows and of course, the wireframes. All of that should trump a spreadsheet of business requirements.


#3

I’m a design team of one and I found that clickable, interactive, (or at least tangible) prototypes have been the most beneficial to promote user driven improvements in my company. Data gathered from recoded user sessions, analytics, A/B testing, etc., for example. Taking that info I can storyboard, create scenarios, create wireframes and sketch ideas to develop a prototype that I present. That quickly engages stakeholders and shot callers and then it seamlessly transitions into correcting ux for a particular feature.

This will usually give you a pretty good idea the weight of a task and obtaining a good idea on the ROI. Just my 2¢ Hope it helps.


#4

Tangible Stories, Put User in Context with needs & desires for a specific task and make it tangible. E.G. Video´s of users interaction with the system showing behavioral insights…


#5

Some great points @benrenegar. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

Historically and currently our BAs do create wireframes but in the form of static Balsamiq images on Excel worksheets. You hit the nail on the head in that the wireframes that BAs create only take business requirements into account, not the user. It’s going to be very difficult to convince managers that BAs should not be creating wireframes but what I can do is produce clickable prototypes, based on research and tested with users to set UX apart…as you suggested. The current static BA wireframes will not be able to stand up against these.


#6

Helps a lot - thanks. Curious as to what tool you use for clickable prototypes?


#7

Analog prototypes simply paper, & sharpies. I like to storify my sketches so I’ll use color highlighters as well to help facilitate. If I want to create a bit more fidelity, I use construction paper (this is where a white crayon is useful)

Lately, for digital prototypes I’ve been using Adobe Xd since I subscribe to CC. Fast, shareable, works great on mobile and you can collaborate with your team. Before Xd I had always used InVision for clickable prototypes that give you all the same features as Xd. Just export your screens from Sketch or Ps. I also really enjoy Marvel’s POP which is amazing because it allows you to sketch your screens, take pictures of the screen with the app and immediately make them interactive. So very useful to ideate and generate feedback quickly.