Follow up to UX it’s time we STRIKE.
In a recent post, UX… it’s time we STRIKE, I wrote about the issues that we UXers are feeling in regards to working with and for companies with executives and cultures that don’t understand, nor are open to understanding the value of what we bring.
I mentioned that the biggest problems that stem for this scenario deal with the feelings of UX professionals feeling useless, hopeless, unfulfilled and under-appreciated. Without having a certain level of buy in from the company, we don’t get the chance to do the things we love and that we trained so hard to do in order to bring value.
The solution I propose is that, after we have tried all we can to convince those around us of our value, we just boycott these companies that can’t appreciate us and reward the companies that do appreciate us by bringing our talents there.
Imagine my surprise and joy when a few days later, Jared Spool wrote about the same exact topic. His post, Why I can’t convince executives to invest in UX (and neither can you), is one I just love. I like this post, not only because I enjoy Jared’s writing and his lessons, but because I felt that he was echoing my message. In reading this post several times, and thinking more about Jared and his company’s success one can see that in combination with their hard work and intelligence, they have been successful (and I’m guessing fulfilled) because they only take on work where success can be guaranteed. They aren’t in the business of trying to convince executive teams of the value of User Experience, but are instead, in the business of giving executives and their teams the value that they were promised when their hired UIE. In not so many words, UIE boycotts companies that don’t value UX, or whom aren’t open to valuing UX because they realize that there is no secret formula to convince people of UX’s value. Even Jared Spool himself is telling us that he can’t move mountains and performs magic by convincing these companies that UX is valuable… so then why should we think that we can do the impossible? Jared does mention that convincing executives or at least guiding them further is possible only if we work to understand their focus and make our UX value custom to that focus. However, this means that the executives and culture of the company have to be open to even thinking about understanding UX value, and we know that is not always the case. Mr. Spool goes on to ask us in the situations where you just can’t move forward through the executive and cultural wall, “Why bang your head against a wall when you can be doing those things you love?” In effect… why even work for these places if they don’t value what you bring? I couldn’t agree more… Thanks for the inspiration Jared… as always.