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  • Under: User Experience | Project Management | Content Strategy

As we work through the evolving landscape of digital products, we are constantly reevaluating how we approach problem solving and how UX integrates into projects. While the term “user experience” has become a buzzword, it’s encouraging that its prevalence has put the field top of mind and has become part of the vocabulary for all project team members—and clients, too.

At CHIEF, every team member approaches projects from a user-first perspective. Whether Design or Development, Strategy or Project Management, we believe there’s a shared responsibility of ensuring our work is not just fulfilling our client’s objectives, but serving the needs of their users. In other words, we don’t just build website for clients, but also for people.

How does CHIEF’s integrated approach to user experience ensure that UX is an integral part of the decision-making process, and that all stakeholders feel a shared responsibility in creating fluid, streamlined and accessible digital experiences? Let’s find out.

The UX Professional

We are here to plan, educate and incorporate the UX design process into everything we do. Through UX research activities like surveys, focus groups, card sorting and journey mapping, we focus on human experiences and how our designs will be used in an ecosystem of touchpoints. It’s our job to question design, strategy and development directions and ask if what we’re doing aligns with our users’ expectations.

Project team

While the overall user experience should be lead by the UXer, all team members should be keeping it in mind. It’s not always possible to have a UX team member in the room. Designers, strategists and developers should all be empowered to ask the question, “What would the user expect?”

Whether it's what a user should find on each page, or that the design of a site is intuitive and doesn't need explanation, we all need to look through the lens of the end user—it should be second nature and part of everyone’s process. We polled a couple of our non-UX teammates to find out what types of questions they ask themselves. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Designer: “Does this image treatment distract from the page’s main objective?”
  • Content Strategist: “Is this content written in a way that users can understand? Is it scannable? Is there an appropriate call to action?”
  • Project Manager: “Will the client understand why we made this decision? Remind the point of contact that we make websites for end users, not clients.”

While we’re on the subject of clients …

Clients

It’s imperative that clients always think about the user experience. At first, they may not know the technical aspects or far-reaching implications for good and bad UX decisions—but it’s our job to educate them.

In the same respect, we lean on clients to share internal information about who their target audiences are and what types of tasks they want these users to complete on site. Often, getting clients to think about UX turns into an exercise of change management and business strategy. That’s because it forces an evaluation of products, services and customers—and the way that information is structured on a website tells a lot about where an organization is going and what they see as their unique value proposition. We want clients to understand that user experience has an effect on brand, revenue and retention, and attention to UX can often give clients the competitive edge they’re looking for.

The success of our projects comes from a unified vision crafted by user experience professionals, project teams and clients. Without constant collaboration and communication among all parties, our users will suffer. When your clients and teammates bring up user experience implications, encourage them and explore the challenges together.

Ready to get more involved in the UX community in DC? Join us Thursday, February 22, for UXPA DC’s first event of the year, right here at CHIEF.