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UX as a Facilitator, not just a Designer

July 12, 2011

What is Agile UX? As I spend more time trying to explain what Agile UX involves, I’m starting to find the term ‘Agile UX’ becoming less significant to me. At the end of the day my skill-set hasn’t changed. I still bring the same research/analysis/design skills to the table. What I see as having changed is my role and responsibilities within a project team.

The way I’ve been starting to think about the role of UX within a project is that of a Facilitator in the creation of a user experience, rather than just a Designer of it. While there is still a large chunk of design work involved it’s only one part of working with the team to create a great UX.

What this means is that a UXer’s role within the project becomes one of using their research skills to take the team on a journey of understanding and empathising with the user. This then combines with design thinking and collaborative design approaches to lead the team in creating innovative product solutions, which balance the user needs, business requirements and technical feasibility.

When it comes to understanding the user, they aren’t the sole source of knowledge, but instead ‘radiate’ insights and understanding to the rest of the team.

A UXer still needs to bring a liberal dose of design skills to the project, but the emphasis becomes less on designing every little detail themselves, and more about providing the necessary insights and elements to the team to empower them to build a great product that meets the needs of the target audience.

This builds on the idea that UX design isn’t a stage in the process; it’s an ongoing activity throughout the entire product lifecycle, from discovery, to envisioning, delivery, and evolving the product.

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