The Responsibility of User Experience


For people not intimately familiar with product design, it might seem a bit like alchemy.

From the outside looking in, it might appear mysterious – almost magical. However, we believe anyone can have a hand in creating amazing products. In fact, the more perspectives and roles you get involved in designing for your users, the better products turn out.

User Experience is a Holistic Effort

While it may seem that the Design teams carry the responsibility of crafting the experience, everyone involved has a unique level of responsibility and ownership over the end product. UX Designers definitely get the honor of using data and creating interfaces to advocate for the user. But people in all sorts of roles influence the process and end product with the work that they’re doing.

Who Holds Responsibility?

Developers, business and operations folks, customer support staff, and many others all have unique responsibilities that contribute to a successful alchemical process. There is a lot of planning, scoping, research, and analyzing that happens before wireframes or mockups begin. And all of that directly shapes the user’s future experience.

Operations teams are a great example of untapped UX contributors. The unique perspectives of project coordinators, managers and business analysts makes them privy to crucial high-level insights about what users value. For instance, they may have a better grasp on key KPIs that indicate customer’s satisfaction, or remember useful historical data about relevant service calls. Every unique perspective can reveal insights about the product that others might miss.

Fresh’s Development Process 

At Fresh Consulting, it’s common place to see everyone involved in the product development process. Each team member is thinking of their user’s experiences. Developers alert designers about inefficiencies in the scaling of responsive designs. Project managers participate in user research, allowing them to confidently make suggestions to clients on how to streamline their customer’s flow. Account managers will participate in brainstorming sessions and contribute exciting, outside-the-box solutions. Our Business Stakeholders contribute ideas for features to ensure that the value is there for the user, as well as for the business.

Own Your Unique Role

If you find yourself on any part of a product team, understand that every conversation, feature and decision plays a larger part of adding or subtracting value. By being human and being in the organization, you are an experience designer in your own way. We are all experience designers responsible for the impact our products have.

We can lean into this duty by challenging each other, being open to being challenged, approaching the process with humility, and acting with respect. We can all have reverence for the alchemy that product creation is. Simultaneously, we can understand the importance of our unique role. We’re more than capable of creating value if we step boldly into it. Diverse perspectives coming together for a better outcome is often the sign of great teams, leading to innovative products and experiences.

Ready to Challenge the Norm?

Here’s a challenge to put this awareness into practice. Next time you find yourself in a logistical, business-focused conversation, ask these questions (out loud or to yourself):

  • “Why, from a user perspective, does this matter?”
  • “What will be the impact on users/customers/the world?”
  • “What in this situation do I, in my unique role, have to offer our users?”

Asking these questions may reframe the conversation and even provide a solution. You will unlock new information that adds value and moves you towards your meaningful goal. Taking on your part of the responsibility for the user’s experience is actually an invitation — an invitation to see every touchpoint as a gateway to providing deeper value and creating something truly awesome! That’s a responsibility worth taking on.

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Taylor Collins

Taylor is a UX Designer experienced in scientific design for websites and applications, from research and planning stages through front-end development.

She got her start in visual design with an AA at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in San Francisco, then transitioned into web design and development. She completed the UX Design Immersion program at General Assembly, and has accumulated over five years’ combined experience in design and development.

When she’s not at work, Taylor enjoys spending time with her Boxer/American Staffordshire Terrier named Gaia, and planning for her next travel adventure.