Letter from a UXer
People think that I’m not on their team. They think I want to tell them no.
Or that I want to determine how much of that dreaded content gets on the page. Or remove those really cool graphics they’ve been working on. Or remove functionality because it gets in the way.
While I could tell a lot of people “no”, surprisingly—if you know me—I want to tell everyone yes.
See, they’re all correct in thinking that I’m not on their teams. I’m not aligning myself with art directors or copywriters or developers (although I’ve worked in all three of those roles). I’m aligning myself with the user.
And I’m sure the user wants to have a great experience.
And! I’m also sure that art directors and designers and copywriters and developers all want the same thing. I trust—also a surprise, if you know me—that they’re all creating with the intention of creating a user experience so amazing, the users never realizes they’re “experiencing” a thing.
My job as a UXer could be to be the usability police: detain all elements that are in the way. Instead, I want to bring all of those elements together and figure out the best way to make them work together. Throw your three thousand words of copy at me. Hit me with ridiculously detailed, hand-drawn illustrations. Yup. Lay some really awesome CSS animation on me.
Don’t expect me to say no before you’ve even started. Please don’t ask me to put limits on what you can create (I’m a creator, too—I’d hate for that to be done to me). I don’t want to make fill-in-the-blank boxes when I’m creating wireframes.
You (yes, you reading this) may never get the chance to work with me, but if you work with a UXer that you find to be a dream snatcher, consider what I’ve been saying.
The job of the UXer is to look out for the user. That will always be the main goal. However, I highly doubt that this means that your UXer wants to be a part of creating dry, boring user experiences. Yes, we want them to be efficient first, but the goal is usually not “boring as hell”.
Agree? Disagree? Tweet about it: @yeez #LetterFromUXer
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