I’m tired of having to explain the importance of UX to senior people in tech.
Buckle in friends, we’re going ranting.
Earlier, I saw one of those LinkedIn infographics where someone working in UX shared a breakdown of how they spend their time at work. The chart showed 76% of their time was spent explaining what they do to try and get stakeholder buy-in.
I laughed, and if you work in UX, I’m sure you know I wasn’t laughing because it’s an example of humourous hyperbole. It’s because it’s true.
We’ve all had those discussions, haven’t we, where we discuss how best to advocate for ourselves and place ourselves within organisations and workflows to do our thing and deliver value. Whether I’m a Product Manager explaining UX exploration topics on a proposed roadmap, or I’ve been explicitly hired as a UX professional, I’ve found myself in this situation a lot.
The thing is: I’m tired of needing to do this, and I’m tired of speaking with others in the field about how we can explain the value we can bring and get buy-in to be allowed to do whatever it is we are paid to do in the first place.
It’s 2023 and there’s a plethora of people, information, resources, and evidence as to why UX is essential. This begs the question: why does the burden of explaining what we do fall on us, and why do we not instead ask why it’s 2023 and there are senior people in tech who continually need this explaining to them?
Good UX is hard to achieve, but not hard to understand.
I’ve noticed that a lot of times when someone asks someone working in UX to explain what it is, they’re given the same answer: that it’s difficult to explain. Then they might be given some analogy, which may or may not involve buying ice cream or deciding between chocolate bars.
I’ve been this person too. Especially with UX Writing. It’s hard to succinctly give an explanation that encapsulates the whole multifaceted process of all things UX.
The problem is, I think we do ourselves a disservice when we say that UX is…