UX design is growing in popularity as more and more businesses understand the value of customer-centric design. However, the challenge that forward-looking companies come across is the need to integrate UX design into the existing software development pipeline. One such company is available at UI/UX design agency San Francisco. A UX designer often becomes a new member of the already functioning team. Therefore, it may be challenging to change processes smoothly so that they come with a UX design component.
This blog post shares valuable ideas on effect design team management, while here, we’ll talk about the UX design process’s integration into the design algorithm you already have.
Explain the Value of UX
The first step to incorporating UX into your processes is to get the team ready for the change. You need to explain its benefits for the company, such as:
- Tangible rise of conversion
- Greater customer retention
- Increased loyalty to your product and returning customers
Second, all team members must understand the UX designer’s practical duties and scope of responsibility. At this stage, you need to explain that a UX designer needs to focus on the users’ goals and find the best design to meet them. The areas of UX designer’s work include:
- the resource’s information architecture
- intuitive and easily navigable UI
- usability testing
Once the product meets these goals and delivers on its promise, customers stay with it. This outcome is beneficial for the company, yielding high revenue and ensuring business success.
Integrate UX in the Pipeline
Now that the team is ready for the change, it’s time to integrate the UX component into the work pipeline. Here are the stages you need to place smoothly within the entire development algorithm.
#1 UX Research
This activity usually takes place before all other product design stages. Thus, it should be the initial phase of any software project. It is meant to give the production team a clear idea of what users want, what alternatives are already available on the market, what customers have, and what they lack in the specific niche. Based on these findings, the initial business idea gets validated, and product design begins.
#2 UX Design
UX design for a product in the making usually occurs simultaneously with coding of the back-end but precedes the front-end development work. The UX designer needs to create the information architecture that presents the content hierarchy on the app’s page, focusing on the most important data bits. UX design also involves wireframing, a sketch of UI navigation with all user interactions explained. The prototyping process usually accompanies wireframing as it helps test the product’s design with users before investing a huge sum of money into full-scale development.
What UX Roles Should You Assign?
Small startups can deal with only one UX designer handling all UX-related tasks for one or two projects. However, having a UX team is a must if you’re a large web agency and have many projects. Here are the common UX-related roles you should have in it.
#1 UX Researcher
Research is a separate skill that not all talented designers possess. This specialist should have an in-depth knowledge of research methods, qualitative and quantitative approaches to research, and types of analytical tools. Thus, UX researchers often come with a solid academic background.
This specialist will do the following in your company:
- Research method selection.
- Participant selection and recruitment.
- Composition of suitable research tools (e.g., surveys, interview questions).
- Research project estimation.
- Data analysis and presentation to other team members and stakeholders.
#2 UX Designer
The primary task of a UX designer is to make software products enjoyable and usable. They conduct all practical work on the UX design and participate in project planning to contribute their vision. The UX designer’s duties include:
- Researching user needs and developing solutions to user problems.
- Developing and testing design prototypes to see how users accept them.
- Wireframing of UX design solutions.
- Improving the design of existing products based on user feedback.
#3 UI Designer
A UI designer also works on the front end of a digital product. Yet, this specialist’s scope of duties is a bit different. UI designers create specific user interface elements to ensure that clients can interact with the app. They work on:
- Interactivity of the interface.
- Design of the app’s screens simply and intuitively.
- Developing responsive designs for seamless cross-platform user experience.
- Animation and visual selection.
Thus, as you can see, the UI designer works on the visual esthetics and clarity of the user interface. In contrast, UX designers are concerned about an app’s impression on users.
#4 IT Architect
Every app has a specific amount of information presented in some form to users. The IT architect’s task is to organize it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the visitors. This work is done based on the understanding of user psychology and information hierarchy. Besides, an IT architect needs to prioritize data presentation to achieve key business outcomes. This expert works on:
- Data categorization.
- Sitemap development.
- Presentation of clear navigation.
- Wireframing for visual data hierarchy.
- Taxonomy development.
Tips for Successful UX Team Management
Now that a UX designer or a UX design team is integrated into your work processes and takes the logical place within the product development pipeline, you also need to develop an effective approach to managing this workforce. The key points to keep in mind are:
- Create an open and trustful atmosphere to inspire initiative and creativity in the team.
- Always determine clear-cut objectives and timelines for the team’s tasks.
- Share expectations you have for each milestone and each staff member.
- Dedicate enough time and effort to clarify what motivates your team the best.
- Foster lifelong learning and on-site training to nurture better specialists.
- Focus on the iterative structure of the design process, striving for the best solution.
- Set up effective communication channels and keep in touch with all staff members.
Listen to your team’s suggestions, track their progress, and address all friction in a timely manner. This way, you will easily add the UX dimension to the process. With these tips in mind, you won’t experience any trouble with UX integration into your company’s software development structure.