Continuing the rant from where I left, there is more corrective action needed to make user experience designers and departments effective or valuable to a business or a brand. Two more shortfalls:

Context is king

There is a rather strange breed of user experience designers who are enamored by the glamour than the effectiveness of a design solution. While most do deep observation, interaction and immersion within the context to derive actionable user insights, the glam lot want to look good on their Instagram. They forget that good graphic design and fancy micro-interactions are tools to enhance the effectiveness of their solution and not an express ticket to the Best of Behance.

UX designers need to walk away from the warm light of their screens in their hipster cubes and get neck deep in user environment with the users. The solution can never be appropriate or effective if they dream of it from their cocoons of creativity without context. Most often these are the solutions that become products that are rejected by the users.

Get beyond surveys and canned data to understand user context as the prime information and user insight as the north star for all UX projects.

UX starts outside the product

Users have started their journeys way before your product was a glint in your founders’ eyes. So if you are a user experience designer you should worry about how to make your users know the existence of your product to start with. 

If your user research is robust you will know where to find the users and what to tell them about your solution. Now that you have got your users’ attention you need to engage them till they find value in your product – lead them through discovery, choice to fulfilment.

What will make them come back again and how will you retain them as active users? This is also a part of the user journey that needs to be thought about.

Awareness > Acquisition > Engagement > Fulfilment > Retention are the phases that we should consider in the product user journey and not within the product alone. You as a UX designer are the user advocate and you should guide the business with your strength in user insights.

This is not over yet. Watch this space for Part Three in this series. You can also catch my talk on this in a pre-event for DesignUp in Chennai (to be announced soon).

You can read Part Three here.

Also published on Medium.