I remembered a situation a short while ago when I was out with friends, two of them avid fans of different professional american football teams. They were talking in depth about the current season, making projections about who was going to ‘win it all”. I thought to myself ‘I know football, the rules, the game, etc, but this conversation takes it to a whole other level that I’m not equipped to be in’. And that was when it hit me.
You see, my football knowledge is equivalent to the UX knowledge of many non-UX people that speak up in meetings. Like them, I have a general knowledge about the topic, and may even provide high level insight, but I certainly can’t project who is going to “win it all”. Thus, these non-UX people can know about UX, and their interjections can actually prove helpful to us.
Therefore, as the people practicing UX, our job becomes first, not to prove these people wrong, but instead, to facilitate the sharing of their insight in a way that provides us with more ideas. And second, to use these moments as educational opportunities to explain in further detail our rationale. Be doing so we can teach the value of having a practicing UX person there, versus just having people that know high-level UX. From this, I guarantee that the next time they question our rationale, it will be with an air of respect, and an anxious-to-learn ear. And, how does that not make all of our jobs a little easier?