How do you define User Experience (UX)?
User Experience entails focusing on the user and the steps they take when interacting with a product or service.
How does UX benefit products and consumers?
Good User Experience design can differentiate a merely functional product from a great product. With good UX and User-Centered Design, you’ll ensure that users are able to use the product and have a connection with the product, translating to more adoption.
Does UX have to be performed at a certain stage of the project?
User Experience and/ or User-Centered Design should be present throughout the entire project. I would say, it is particularly important to have good upfront research so you can understand your users’ environments and challenges in order to translate those into good requirements.
Does the UX process typically change how a project is being designed or engineered?
The input of User Experience will often feed directly into requirements and changes needed for the design of a product. For this reason, it further underlines the need to do it early and often so you can avoid major redesigns or scope creep.
What is different about a traditional UX project and a complex interdisciplinary project?
I would say a traditional UX project, to most people, is on the software side, where you have a researcher, designer, and a software team. Whereas a complex interdisciplinary project, you have many more stakeholders, more interfaces, and more complex workflows and journeys for the user. There are a lot more variables and more coordination needed for these projects.
How do you work with Project Managers, Engineers, and Designers?
We all work collaboratively. The Project Managers are like the quarterbacks of a project. Sometimes I am also the Project Manager on projects as well. So, this is about ensuring we’re staying within the scope of a project, that we’re meeting the budget, and timeline, and that everyone is focused and running together. The Engineers help us understand the technical constraints of what we are trying to design. They are the ones ultimately building the functional, technical side. The designers are focused on the conceptual bridge between the user and the goal of the product.
What are the fears companies typically have about UX?
Companies will often feel like they know everything about their users and the environment, and that they already understand all of the problems. So, they see User Experience, and even the research, as unnecessary.
What kinds of projects are ideal for the firm or most enjoyed by the staff?
At Nectar, I think our ideal project is one that challenges us to be innovative and are products or services that really bring value to the end user and stakeholder beyond monetary value. When you must work collaboratively as a team and reach that goal, it is very satisfying and a great learning experience as well.