Oscar Wilde once said, “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” Additionally, Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” We treat mistakes as a great source of learning. User experience is a relatively new undertaking in our clients’ typical foci of websites, apps, and Saas offerings. Thus, we learn a lot from early mistakes. My first experience with UX in this context was as an owner of a digital agency. I developed a user experience process that was our unique value proposition to clients. While other agencies in the early 2000s focused on design, we focused on strategy. Since then, I’ve helped Fortune 10 companies build user experience teams. I’ve also helped organizations hire their one and only UX professional. Here are two common mistakes we see in organizations attempting to implement user experience practices:
Mistake #1: Lack of support from the top
Organizations succeed when middle management steps up to “sell” innovative ideas. However, leadership sometimes approves building a UX practice without adequately funding the effort. They don’t fund the effort intellectually (taking time to understand its true value), financially (providing the funding necessary for a quality effort), or emotionally (cheerleading the effort through the organization). Avoid this mistake. Ensure that leadership funds UX efforts intellectually, financially, and emotionally.
Mistake #2: UX not at the head of the table
Mistake #2 relates to Mistake #1. If leadership doesn’t intellectually grasp the value of UX, then UX can be diminished and made ineffective. UX often isn’t given a seat at the head of the table in strategy conversations. In some organizations, UX can even sit downstream of design. Avoid this mistake. Give UX a seat at the table during strategy conversations.
In conclusion, take these two actions to avoid two of the most common UX mistakes. Firstly, ensure that leadership supports the efforts. Then, include UX in conversations about strategy.
If you’re a UX professional looking to land your next role, read about the four key questions to help you find a great fit here. If you’re a hiring manager looking for a great UX hire, read about the four questions you must consider when hiring a UX professional here. Plus, learn about the Three Skills that every UX Pro needs to develop here.