How engineering impacts UX and UX impacts engineering
User Experience (aka UX) is nowadays something that leads the entire process of software development, since it’s early moments of ideation, through it’s iterations of design and development until the phase of maintenance and continuous improvement.
However most of the times there seems to be an overwhelming massified idea that UX is the responsibility of those who have UX in the title: UX researchers, UX designers, UX engineers, etc… but actually User Experience is something that has to be present in all steps of the process and in the minds of all people involved in building whatever system or software.
On the engineering side we see this need to keep UX on top of our minds in many different moments:
- During the gathering and prioritization of the requirements
- During the definition of the development process and release strategies and protocols
- During the choice of the software architecture
- During the choice of the technology stack
- During the integration of multiple systems
- During the coding itself of the software
- During the documentation
- During the QA
In the upcoming series of posts I will try to dive a bit deeper into each of these moments to detail when is UX important to the decisions that are being made and how they can impact UX in one way or the other.
I feel too often that everyone that is involved in the development process of a specific digital product believes that they only need, or should, care about their own little part of the process and not really the previous or following nodes in the chain.
Unsurprisingly, most of the time we see that we can’t reach a world level quality of development if the perspective in which everyone in a team, or set of teams, takes is not more one of ownership over the matter of UX. The reason is quite simple why this is needed, we are all humans and nobody is always right, even if they are the experts in their area.
Our own experience as users might be very valuable insights at any given moment of the process, so we shouldn’t underestimate what our user intuition has to say.
The only thing that everyone knows by now is that teams that work well together, align and support each other usually outperform others that don’t do the same, the sense of ownership you get when making decisions as a team is a very powerful motivator to have the best possible outcome. You can see this in more liberal environments of the modern digital companies to the more conservative and strict environments like the army or pharmaceutical labs.
So if your goal is to help a specific user of your product to use it, you must have the experience he is having while using it at the top of your mind, no matter what role you have in the process.
This is a reflection from an engineering perspective and is only intended to make others think about this intimit relationship between Engineering and UX.
Bellow you can follow each of these reflections on all named situations above:
UX and the requirements gathering phase
How requirements gathering and UX seem like the same first steps to building a new software
UX and the development process and release strategy
The choice about the way we go about the development process is impactful on UX, this process dictates how efficient…
UX and the software architecture
The way we organize and structure code might seem like magic for most non developers or programmers, but it’s not.
UX and the art of coding
When a developer is coding, there’s something very individual and unique going on in that task, it’s like an artisan…
UX and the technology stacks
In the context I’m referring here, a technology stacks are the languages, frameworks or tools that are used to build…
UX and integration of systems
Integrating different systems is as deep as you can possibly go when it comes to software development. There’s a lot of…
UX and documentation
Documentation is of extreme importance to end users and not what developers like the most to do.