The UX Mindset
A way of thinking and a set of principles that will help your team become more user-centred and approach project challenges in the right way.
Adopt a UX Mindset and thrive in this new world
What is the UX Mindset?
- Listen to others, try new things, get out of your comfort zone.
- Accept and embrace new methods of working.
Empathetic, active, reflective listener
- Work hard to put yourself in your users' shoes.
- Active listening takes practice and you have to really take interest.
- Clarify, probe, observe, reflect.
- Look for more than one solution, don't be afraid to break things.
- The world and technology are constantly changing, be open to this change.
- Shit happens! Clients will change things mid-project, external factors will appear that are unavoidable - adopt methods that allow for change.
Excellent communicator, negotiator, collaborator
- You’re often the translator and bridge between the whole team and the client - learn the language, speak in simple terms everyone understands.
- You have to make things make sense between a developer and the client, this is where a lot can be lost in translation.
- Learn to facilitate - to get the best out of people, to keep your bias and ideas to yourself initially.
- Do a good job, deliver something great.
- Passion, interest and dedication will make this work for the user, the team and the client.
- Fight your corner to create the best user experience.
- It’s OK to ask stupid questions - it's your role, you have permission and are expected to ask them.
- It’s not your job to have all the answers - it's your job to ask the right questions, to make sure you solve the right problem!
- Leave your ego at the door - Assumption is dangerous, you could end up answering the wrong problem, building the wrong solution - this costs money, time and users.
“Assumption is the mother of all f*ck-ups”
Penn, Under Siege 2
- Embrace the chaos - at the start of a project no one knows what to do, what to prioritise, what to solve - embrace this.
- Get the right people involved - Give everyone a voice and responsibility. You need senior stakeholders and people who are on the ground in the room.
- Have difficult conversations now, because they will be harder later.
“If I only had 1 hour, I’d spend 55 minutes defining the problem…”
- Park solutions - It’s human nature to want to solve things, but we need to make sure we understand the right problem first.
- Ask stupid questions - It’s very common to come with a solution to the wrong problem, this can lead to expensive mistakes. Keep asking 'why' to find the real problem.
- Focus on the real pain or challenge - keep coming back to the business challenges and users' problems.
“The only stupid question is the question never asked”
- You are NOT your user - Don’t assume you know what your users want. They have a very different perspective to you.
- Do your research - Talk to the users, find out who they are, what are their needs, pains and nirvana.
- Balance the needs - Your client is also a user - what are their needs and business goals? Marry these with the customer needs and you’ll get better results.
“When the customer comes first, the customer will last”
- Stop, listen and go last
- Remove things blocking the team
- Be the change the team needs
- Be bold and brave when you make decisions
- Protect the team members from each other
Oracle of all things product, you have visions of the future
- Keep the current product version in mind
- Think beyond the current product features
- Bring ideas to the table from other products
- Challenge the team to be brave about product features
- Keep an eye on the design and technical experts, challenge and champion as needed
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