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Fists with Your Toes - Learning to relax as a UX / BA crossbreed


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A talk I recently gave at UX Camp Brighton (25th March 2017) discussing my role as a User Experience Designer and Business Analyst.

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Fists with Your Toes - Learning to relax as a UX / BA crossbreed

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  2. 2. • Hello • General introduction • I’m a Business Analyst and User Experience consultant at Amido • SECOND year at UX CAMP • This time last year, I wouldn’t have included the ‘UX Designer’ part in the DESCRIPTION... • For those here last year, there are PROBABLY no STORMTROOPERS this year… 2
  3. 3. • So here I wasn’t a UXD or a BA • But it was when I did most of my MOVIE watching • Hence the THEME DESIGN of this talk 3
  4. 4. ’Fists with your toes’ Learning to relax as a UX / BA crossbreed As a Business Analyst / Product Manager I was always ANXIOUS about INCORPORATING UX into my DAY-TO-DAY work. ... • As a NEW YORK COP… • John McClaine is ANXIOUS about to FLYING • This guy tells him how to relax by making ‘fists with your toes’ 4
  5. 5. THE STORY Ok, so I have STORY for you (LUCKILY it does have an END!) Before working for a CONSULTANCY, worked in many LARGE organisations • At AMAZON - I used BASIC SKETCHES to illustrate concepts • TOLD don’t step on the toes of UXD • “It’s not your place” • “Stick to user stories!!” • This STARTED my anxiety However… • At the TIME I wasn't TRYING to be a UXD • I used them to help me DEFINE FEATURES • And to visually explain CONCEPTS to stakeholders So, I’m here to… • Talk about my JOURNEY to incorporate UXD more FORMALLY 5
  6. 6. • How I became a CROSSBREED • The benefits of a COMBINED role • TIPS for you to take away • FIRST LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ROLES 5
  7. 7. EVERY PROJECT HAS A TEAM • DON”T READ à Criminal, athlete, basket case, business analyst, user experience designer. • Or something CLOSE to this • DIFFERENT in different companies and projects. • Sometimes don’t have the LUXURY of UX and BA on one project. • In that case (as with a MEDIUM sized consultancy) often there is a UX BA role. LETS START BY LOOKING AT THE TWO ROLES INDIVIDUALLY 6
  8. 8. WHAT DOES A BA DO? (ALSO coincidentally, like John McClaine…. DOESN’T LIKE TO FLY) • Provides the LINK between the stakeholder (who knows what they want) • And the DEVELOPER… who can make that a REALITY How? • INTERVIEWING stakeholders (and ongoing discussion) • Gathering REQUIREMENTS • Writing USER STORIES • What is a requirement? • A set of THINGS that they want the property TO DO • What is a user story? • A way of DESCRIBING that and trying to eliminate SURPRISES Overall • Concerned with GENERATING VALUE to the business 7
  9. 9. • by understanding how the USER can ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS 7
  10. 10. WHAT DOES A USER EXPERIENCE DESIGNER DO? • Well, they are SUAVE, sophisticated people… we know that (wink) • Understands the BUSINESS GOALS • Understands user BEHAVIOUR • Creates a FUNCTIONAL framework for the digital property How? • WORKSHOPS to understand business OBJECTIVES • RESEARCH to understand user goals • WIREFRAMES to create a visual understanding of how it might work Overall • Concerned with generating VALUE to the business • by understanding how the USER can achieve their GOALS SEE where I’m going here……? 8
  11. 11. WHY TOGETHER? You can see the parallels… • These disciplines work together well because… • They like to REACH OUT • Generally PERSONABLE people (with a lot of patience!) • EMPATHY for the user (and business needs) • Concerned with the WHAT more than HOW • Skillset can FLEX – BA at start, UX in the middle, BA / UX at the end • and don’t need TWO BRAINS to achieve this 9
  12. 12. IS IT FEASIBLE TO COMBINE THE TWO IN THE REAL WORLD? • Short answer is yes • I have done this at AMIDO • But depends on WHERE YOU WORK and the other team members • Or members of the COMPANY • To start with I felt a bit like an IMPOSTER • I was QUALIFIED as a BA • But doing UX work • Who was I to comment on matters of UX….? • It’s OK • (pause) • You can only gain EXPERIENCE by DOING • So that’s what I did • I used UXD PRACTICES as much as possible 10
  14. 14. HOW DOES IT WORK? • As a BA..."Is this merely a SHORTCUT?" • Can I stop writing USER STORIES? • No. • Still need to go through ALL THE STEPS • Gathering REQUIREMENTS • WIREFRAMING • Writing USER STORIES • Re-wireframing • Re-writing user stories • There’s still a lot of BACK AND FORTH • BUT you can link the UX up with the STORIES much quicker • One INTERLINKED flow 11
  15. 15. WHERE DOES RESEARCH FIT IN? • Research is still SUPER-IMPORTANT • Doesn’t exist in THE SAME WAY in the PURE BA world • But we all know how important it is • DEPENDS on project • But most should use research • From SMALL DECISIONS about default states • To larger decisions around BEHAVIOUR and flow • Sometimes the CLIENT WILL PAY for this • Sometimes you need to do it GORILLA style • COFFEE SHOPS ETC. • SAME research, but instantly feeds into the TWO DISCIPLINES 12
  16. 16. IS IT AN EXACT SCIENCE? • No • Assess the PROJECT • Assess the TEAM SIZE • Assess the CLIENT • Sometimes you can (and will have to) defer to a MORE EXPERIENCED UXD • That is really HELPFUL as you then have a resource to LEARN from 13
  17. 17. TIPS AND TAKE AWAYS • Gain EXPERIENCE through doing • FEED it into your daily work • It’s a FLUCTUATING role (you don't get PAID twice!) • UX is not a SHORTCUT • Go to EVENTS like this 14
  18. 18. WHAT UXD CAN LEARN FROM BA FIRST of all… not implying that the BA is some kind of GRANDMASTER! • Consider BEST and WORST CASE scenarios • Work TOGETHER to prototype with MVP in mind • Prototype ELEMENTS with individual, deliverable features • Try not to create something that is IMPOSSIBLE to DESCRIBE.... please ;) • In this picture ROB is my Mr Myagi 15
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