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The idea of 'designing for users’ is most appealing until business reality hits home: what the users want is work to discover, not what the Product Owner had in mind, what the competition is doing, too hard to build, and so much more. UX is often called at the last minute, in the hope that miracles can happen, “can you add some ux there, it’s not doing terribly well” being an oft-heard preamble to a conversation that’s likely to tumble down and capsize hopes and dreams. The practice of UX requires to support business reality whilst catering for, and sometimes defending users. I will share with you how I've ported my UX knowledge in the teams I've worked with to ensure UX doesn't become the costly harbinger of bad news, enemy of design, arch-enemy of tech and general spanner in the works. I’ll explain what worked and didn't work, the appropriate pace to grow UX in any environment and why HCI academics are the best card in my pocket.