The characteristics of a great UX team (for me).

There are several elements I appreciate in my current team. These benchmark what I’ll expect in the future, because I’ve seen them bring out the best in the people around us and the work they do.

Outwards looking

Being outwards looking drives true relevance. One example of this is being able to proactively strike up a dialogue with people in different teams who hold different insights and perspectives. This usually strengthens the business case behind a research study, as more perspectives lead to better overall understanding of the quality of a journey, as we explore it.

Another example is when you have the humility to realise and accept that you need inspiration, before you seek support from a reliable source. This could be a mentor or a colleague.

Life long learning

Being on top of the latest conversations, books and best practices around UX ensures that we’re continually aware of how vast and fascinating our landscape it. It gives us grit, when we’re sat waiting for guerrilla test participants to show up. It keeps us interested, empathetic and humble when we speak to them.

Collaboration

The points above mean that things can happen quite fast. Therefore bringing as many people on the journey, in tandem, is critical. Mindful planning ensures that we make time to understand a problem. This then gives us space to mindfully frame design challenges using words that inspire people. Having clear objectives also means that we actually have a good time whilst we’re exploring solutions.

Culture of critique

A culture of structured design critique helps us avoid painful group think situations – where you have a group of stakeholders thinking abstract thoughts aloud and no one really has the guts to say they don’t understand what’s going on.

This involves recapping on a challenge, walking through concepts which address them and relating feedback to objectives. It requires people to keep their egos in check and encourages them to politely, constructively challenge each other in way that most politicians couldn’t even fathom.

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