Although UX is the newest buzz term, and everyone in our organizations thinks they need us, I still believe that we, as designers, lack a good amount of organizational clout. For instance, many of the people that we work with still have not granted us enough respect to really understand what we do. And, who in the world things that being “needed” on a team in order to draw the picture in omnigraffle is respect? Therefore, perhaps we should try a different route in order to earn the clout and respect we deserve.
That tactic? Become a motivator. In sports motivating means supporting your teammates and players no matter how bad of a day they are having. You can do this by cheering them on and just keeping a positive attitude in stressful situations. Turning our discussion towards UX, think about the last time you saw a developer on a tight deadline stressed out and said to them “Hey, you know what? You got this. You’re doing a great job and I know you can do this.”. Have you ever done that? Imagine the trust and respect you would receive if you did.
Earning this respect and clout means you are no longer the creative who sits in the corner and does the fun work… you are a part of the team! You are showing that you understand how everyone else feels and thus you can be trusted. And once you earn this clout and respect the sky is the limit for how far you can take your role and the role of this profession. By letting down your guard, and pushing your team to be better, you become the one they want around more, and not just for your wireframing skills either.
Thumb image CC by Seattle Municipal Archives