Whose job is it?

I’ve been a sole UX Designer in a SaaS Product for Translation Project Management for the last 5 months when my superior decided to leave.

Since then my colleagues and I have been having trouble deciding who should be responsible for detailed design of how something should behave, when, what should trigger an action. Let me give you an example. There is a whole “app” which manages the translation projects, there are a lot of automations going on. The page structure includes such features as e.g. File management, workflow of the jobs, adding payables and receivables, managing people involved in the project and so on. And we need to add an automation when PM uploads a working file - the system should automatically read the file and populate Volume of the file which is the basis for calculating payables. So I’ve got user requirements: add volume automatically when file is uploaded, provided the User enables such an automation. And this is it. So I wrote down such a description and gave it to the developers. But they require a document which describes all of the actions systematically. Meaning, they need a list of actions which will trigger the automation and list of actions which don’t trigger the automation, what happens when, etc.

I must admit, since I don’t know the system so well, it causes a huge challenge for me. I spoke to some ux designer in other companies and they said they’re not responsible for such documentation.

What do you think? Whose job should it be? Or… whose job it is in your places of work?

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Wow, It’s a good challenge to pick up from someone who really owned the product.

Responsibilities usually grow organically, particularly in small design groups like yours. It’s probably more of a question of who can pick it up vs. who should be picking it up - available time, familiarity with the work etc. But it also sounds like there’s nobody with all of these.

I’ve been doing UX for a long time and have written specs myself, as well as passing off that work to a business analyst. I find writing specs dull, but I know I can do it much better than most developers. You probably can as well. I think UX folks tend to have a much stronger big picture.

If you have the capacity, I’d try and pick up this documentation work yourself. It’s going to take a substantial effort to fully engage, but it would be a really good thing for career advancement - to be able to say you picked up / saved a complex project after the person with all the knowledge left without any transition plan.


Agree with davyr, Good advice… although…

From what you’ve written here, it sounds like these actions should be defined by the business ie product owner/manager, business analyst as they sound like business rules.

Unless they are obvious/logical actions that alter the user flow, in which case, it makes sense for a UXr to spec out.

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The main problem is that I don’t know the system that well (it’s very specific, illogical at times) and there’s a shortage of people who know how it works to aid my work. That’s why I was hesitant to all this.

On the other hand… If there are two possible ways of solving a certain task, which one should I choose if I can’t ask users? Also, what areas of the system will be affected if we do this, and which if we do that.

I am seriously concerned if I should be the person to do this simply because of the amount of time I will need to complete it.

Hey mag,

I’ve no specific advice, just wanted to say I find myself in a similar position and wish you luck.

In my case, the product is a little sooner in the release process so there’s less pressure.
I do the best I can with my skills, from my position (UX Designer). I trust people will appreciate what’s been done, when there’s a replacement for the actual product manager. If I we don’t hire a new one soon, I’ll try to push a little outside my profession, to help the product get more attention from the higher ups.

Let us know how your case goes in the future.

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At least there is no one in your company to do it. I cooperate with Product Owner and I sense that he wants to delegate all his tasks to me.