In an enterprise setting, very few decisions ever get made unilaterally. This is especially true when it comes to building applications, designing a website, portal or intranet. C-level executives will certainly want to put their seal of approval on the project. So will your marketing department. Your sales force will likely have an opinion, in addition to the hundreds or thousands of other employees that will have to utilize it too.
Ideally, every piece of advice you receive would help you build a perfect system. But the reality is that any large design or development project can quickly become a crucible for internal political squabbles, ego satiation, ignorance to the constraints of the job and a host of other problems that can challenge the efficient completion of the task at hand. Even individuals with no intention of malice or ill-will may end up derailing progress accidentally.
Some debates might be as benign as selecting a color palette. But even minor quarrels can disrupt the flow of work, delaying the deployment of your project and sending you over budget.
If your organization encounters this problem, the best thing that you can do is to let a UX team act as the arbiter. Here are three reasons why UX researchers and designers are uniquely qualified to help alleviate the differences of opinion that are prone to arise when the time comes to design and develop a new system.
- UX Acts as the Neutral Third Party
For starters, a dedicated UX team can, as a neutral third party, take a step back from a debate and pull the constructive criticism from unproductive criticism, focusing instead on the business and user goals set forth at the start of the project.
- UX Can Educate Stakeholders
A dedicated UX team can also help to educate stakeholders, users and any other party involved in the planning process. This can mitigate potential conflicts that may arise when decision makers have unattainable expectations. A proper step-by-step education, in which a UX team can explain their processes, can help keep expectations within reason and avoid potential conflagrations down the road.
- UX Trusts Data and Testing to Resolve Debate
Ultimately, the most significant reason to let a user experience team have the final say is simple: nobody else can understand the needs of users—including the users themselves—quite as well.
Before a new system is designed or developed, a UX team will conduct an extensive discovery process during which they will interview anyone that will be impacted by the project, from the top to bottom of an enterprise. In terms of usability, every opinion is held in equal regard by a UX team if it lends itself to a better end product.
A UX team can even uncover the unconscious needs of users through testing. They can see how and why an individual interacts with a given interface and quantify the changes that must occur. By addressing subjective concerns through tangible evidence, UX researchers can nip debate in the bud.
While it is the primary role of a UX team to help create a gratifying user experience, they can also help to resolve the internal conflicts your personnel may encounter at the onset of a big project.