On the projects we’ve worked on, it’s easy to get caught up in meeting deliverables—and the speed at which we need to deliver them—and the constant, internal meetings that are driven by people’s egos. With all of that, it’s sometimes all too easy to forget about the people we design for and the meaning of our work, if any, on a project.
This article describes our manifesto for making meaningful work, which comprises an integrated framework and core elements that can help you make your work meaningful. We’ll outline what you should consider to move from being stuck—what we call sleepwalking—to flow, or sparkle, in your project work. We’ll describe what you need to do to stage your project work and give it a better chance of being meaningful and successful for the people who are involved. Read More
We just presented at CanUX 2017, in Ottawa, Canada. Like all good conferences, Can UX created a place for community, conversations, learning, and connecting with local and global practitioners. The conference provided reminders of why we do what we do and opportunities to look at practice patterns that may connect to the practices we use in our own project work. This experience definitely prompted some reflections on our intention to make meaningful work. When asking how we can make meaningful work, we should consider the following core elements:
character—We must be aware of the dimensions of individuals and teams that contribute to identity, values, beliefs, intention, and impact.
perspectives—Our character forms our essential perspectives.
barriers—It is important to recognize the barriers that get in the way of our seeing all the dots we must connect.
intersections—These are the connections between the dots—whether those dots are people, disciplines, roles, or the conditions that are necessary to promote and harness meaningful conversations.
impacts—The impacts of our work include those on ourselves, our teams, our communities, and the entire planet. Read More
UX designers tend to be perfectionists—purpose-driven idealists, who are intent on creating experiences that users love. Many designers believe that Business and Engineering don’t care about the user experience at the same level they do. Sometimes, this is the reality. As a result, UX experts often take the full burden of creating great experiences on their own shoulders. After all, shouldn’t the user experience be left to the professionals? While a UX designer’s first instinct might be to command sole ownership over the user experience, the problem is that no isolated UX team can create a product without collaborating with other disciplines—particularly Product Management and Engineering.
The truth is that the best products result from product teams participating in integrative thinking—working together to solve problems than none could solve as well alone. As Roger Martin points out, “Integrative thinkers consider the problem as a whole rather than breaking it down and farming out the parts.” UX professionals must realize that we actually need the help of our Business and Engineering partners to create the best experiences.
In this article, I’ll consider the paradox of control. What are the implications when UX professionals seek control of the user experience? And, alternatively, what happens if User Experience relinquishes control? Read More