You are never NOT ‘doing’ User Experience

Cindy Pae-Moebius / Monday, February 02, 2015

Whether you’re a developer, designer, project manager, or exec, if you have any part of any project that your customer will see or consume, you are creating something they will experience. Your customers – your users – can’t NOT ‘experience’ your site/app/product. You are ‘doing’ User Experience. If at NO point during the execution of that project did you even consider those people, chances are you created a crappy experience. Congrats.

bad user experience

Being a User Experience professional, it would be easy for me to say ‘leave UX up to us’.  But, it’s simply not that easy. Every single person involved should have an understanding of the user and their motivations. We all need to understand the scenarios our users go through so we can prioritize and determine what’s important to concentrate on in order for us to provide a good user experience for them.

For instance, if users don’t know exactly what they’re looking for on your site, they may need a filtered browse system that can narrow down choices. If your database doesn’t have the proper metadata or structure, there’s not much a good UI design can do to improve that. 

If they know what they’re looking for and search, is your search engine fast enough? If they navigate, are your pages structured to load quickly?

If you know your users are likely to be on mobile devices, is your site or product responsive? Have you had the conversation about native v. hybrid?

If you know that your  users need to perform certain tasks in the course of their day to get their jobs done, do you know if your backend systems talk to each other to pass that information across? CAN the user do all the tasks in a seamless manner?

Do you know all of your customer touch points? Are you sending the same messaging to them on your site, in your product, and through direct communications via sales and marketing? If not, you could be confusing and confounding them.

None of these examples necessarily involve UI/UX as we think of it, but they ALL impact the experience the user has. I’m sure there are plenty more I could cite because I’ve run into these and plenty more in the course of my career. The point is, that even if you don’t directly touch the design or the UI, you are impacting the experience the user has. If you know your users’ needs, motivations, and scenarios in which they use your site or product, you’ll think through your choices in the back end as well as on the UI and chances are you’ll create a GOOD user experience. Congrats!