Great UX Starts with Respect

As UXers, we are really great at researching and designing solutions for our users. The problem is that we are not always so great at convincing our teams and clients, that 1. research is needed, and 2. our design ideas are sound

The UX Athlete

From designing plays to designing experiences... Lis Hubert shares with us her insights on how to become better in what we do.

See all posts

Related posts:

In order to combat that I wanted to discuss a method gleaned from the wide world of sports that can help you to evangelize UX and your ideas both within your organization as well as with your clients.

That lesson? Learn to be a teammate. The first step in learning to be a great teammate is to earn your teams’ mutual respect and acceptance. To do that you need to being willing to swallow your pride, be the bigger person, and admit when something is and is not your responsibility. Sure, you can have opinions about anything, but to be honest, the marketing numbers or the coding, or other non-UX design focused things are not your responsibility. Might you be a better marketing representative that the person on your team? Sure. But you aren’t the marketing person responsible for this project, you are the UX designer. Respect the other person’s role. Offer up suggestions to them in a kind way, in a way that you want people to offer up design suggestions to you, and then… leave it alone. You are not the saving grace of this company, you are a part of the company team. By recognizing and taking control of your responsibilities and by letting your other team members do them same, you are showing that you have faith in your teammates, the overall team and the team philosophy.

The outcomes of taking this first step towards being a great teammate are mutual respect and acceptance on both parts (yours and your team’s). Having these makes it a lot easier for people to trust you as an expert, as well as, to respect your thoughts and comments. This, of course, gives you a greater ability to sell UX and your UX ideas. By letting your guard down you are inviting your teammates to do the same. And once they do, they will start to see you as a valued part of the team and will then be a lot more likely to help you to curate the best solutions possible for your users.



Front image NC-CC mhcseattle

Elisabeth Hubert

Lis is a UX & Strategy Consultant making her way around NYC and beyond. She also is the Chief Experience Officer at 8coupons. You can follow her on Twitter via @lishubert.

5 comments on this article

  1. James Mole McConnell on

    You know, I would have thought that this would be obvious to any UX professional. But perhaps not. I’d like to think that most UXers are great communicators and are empathic and understand how to be a team player. Thanks for the read.

  2. Pingback: What I've been reading lately (week 21), by Samuel Ericson

  3. Bill on

    5 years ago I would have agreed with the sentiment above, but as UX Design is slowly colonised by the role formerly known as web designer, those fundamental UX skills are not necessarily a given. This is probably why the UX community feels the need to constantly re-educate itself, it’s periodically absorbing (or being co-opted by) new professions and different skillsets.

    This is generally a very positive thing, as the different professions bring different skills, different perspectives and an often evangelical zeal (in much the same way as someone who has just found religion). They enrich the UX community.

    The problem arises when we encounter faux “UX”ers who have yet be welcomed into the community. They can do a lot of damage to the reputation of UX (take a look at the number of UX Design discussions on LinkedIn that contend that UX is just common sense if you want a flavour of the problem). Articles like this and great websites like this are fundamental to addressing this.

    We shouldn’t be elitist, we are not the guardians of some arcane knowledge, we are here to make things better for users. We can and will work together to do this.

  4. Pingback: From Heartache to Mastery: 5 Lessons for the UX Designer Seeking Agency Experience - UX Booth | UX Booth

  5. Pingback: Sacramento Design Network Blog » The 5 key elements to great user experience