We recently published our UX Techniques Bank, and have had some lovely feedback via Twitter and email.
Our reason for creating the Techniques Bank was to communicate the breadth of what is available. However, we’re aware that it’s a pretty overwhelming list—no one project would ever utilise every single technique.
In which case, which techniques should you use on your project, and in what order?
- Jesmond Allen and James Chudley touch on this topic in their excellent article Effectively Planning UX Design Projects, an excerpt from their book, Smashing UX Design.
- Jodie Moule also shared some insight into how she chooses between techniques in her UXmas article, A Primer On User Research.
My own experience mirrors that described in these articles—that every project is different. However, telling a client, “Sorry, I can’t give you a detailed plan because this project is different from the last 5 projects I’ve worked on—let’s work it out as we go along!” simply isn’t going to cut it.
UX Designers need to become Project Managers.
To ensure that User Experience is given the focus that we all agree it deserves, UX Designers need to be sitting in the driver’s seat. Jon Kolko touched on this in his talk at Web Directions South 2012. We need to be the one who is creating the project plan, so we can be sure that it incorporates appropriate UX activities. It’s tempting to want to say to yourself, “No, I’m a designer and I just want to do user research and analysis and design stuff.” However, by abdicating yourself from project management responsibility, you’re empowering somebody else with the influence to make decisions on what UX activities should be included in a project plan.
There’s another reason why project management is an important skill for UX designers—the ability to be involved throughout the design and production phases. If you’ve ever handed over deliverables to an development team, only to discover later that the final product is a pale imitation of your vision, you’ll know why being involved during development is important. One way to guarantee that your vision is maintained is to project manage the build.
Where do you see the line between UX Designer and Project Manager being drawn? I’d love to hear your experiences and thoughts.