What’s PracticallyUX About?

I’ve been working in the UX field for a little over a decade. Everywhere I go, it seems that organizations have realized that they need someone to improve their product usability, but they haven’t a clue how that happens. In comes the newly hired UX Professional. Dum da da dah! In swoops the UX expert with her red cape. A few Visio diagrams and heuristic evaluations later, customers and stakeholders are delighted and bottom lines swell with profit! Or that’s the way it sounded in the article the VP read…

Reality goes a little more like this… I come into a new organization. Bright, hopeful faces show you existing applications, illustrate persistent pain points, and tell you how glad they are to finally have someone on-board who knows how to make things better. Then they ask you to explain your process and what you require to transform their organization into a user-focused center of excellence.

Then they tell you about:

…the project efforts that are already underway

… …previously the established deadline

… … …the lack of budget or time to do any user research

… … … …the existing (or new) project methodology that you’ll have to shoehorn your tasks into.

… … … … …and the visual designer or business analyst that has been doing all the design work until now and is not looking forward to collaborating with you.

Most of my career has been spent in situations like these. There have been plenty of tear my hair out days. But more and more, I find ways to have a positive impact despite the unfriendliest of circumstances.

I’ve been thinking about this blog for a long time, and I’m finally starting on this new adventure. I hope you’ll enjoy following along and chime in with your comments too.