Building your dream UX Team

As design has become a potential driver for business growth, many companies have begun to bring user experience (UX) design in-house, building their UX teams. Equally, as UX has grown in importance, many small businesses have responded to the opportunity by broadening and deepening their teams, thus enabling them to undertake more significant and more profitable projects.

According to Fortune, 90% of all startups fail, and the biggest reason they fail is a poor understanding of what the customer needs. In other words, they do a poor job of investigating users’ problems and behavior.

Why do you need a UX team?

As a result, most new products have low adoption because they don’t give a compelling case for why they’re helpful or meaningful. For that reason, every startup ought to be considering the UX design team from day one, analyzing the target market’s pain points, and crafting a product that resonates with potential users.

However, many new startups neglect to implement UX design from day one. Uber, Snapchat, Airbnb, and Netflix are successful not because of their technology. Instead, these companies have won on their user experience. They understand what customers want in terms of convenience, usability, and speed. Building your UX Design Team is now the essential aspect of creating a new startup.

Should you hire or outsource?

Deciding to hire an agency partner or build a user experience team of your own can be challenging; after all, there’s a huge list of pros and cons surrounding either choice. But since smooth and effective UX design is critical to putting together a website that converts, it’s a decision you need to make.

In our rapidly changing world, there is no right or wrong decision. How you address the topic of UX will change over time and with your company’s size and UX maturity.

It is crucial to involve an external UX team, as you should do with an in-house UX designer or team. A one-person UX design team usually cannot provide expertise in all required disciplines. Use outsourcing to supplement your UX designer’s capability with external excellence.

The symbiosis of in-house and external UX allows you to master the required and desired level of UX maturity for your company. Advanced UX consulting and UX design services can be included when needed and extend your company’s expertise.

What should you look for in your UX team?

After having a clear understanding of how imperative UX team has become for any organization to thrive, let’s outline how to go about building a UX team, identifying the attributes to look out for when hiring team members, defining some core disciplines to consider when making the team, and suggesting some avenues you can explore to find team members.

  1. The number of years of experience vs. the number of exposure: As UX has grown up, we’ve started to see an inevitable specialization of roles, reflecting the complexity and diversity of the UX industry. It’s a shift that is positioning carefully considered teams front and center. Now, it’s not just the number of years of experience that counts, but understanding the broad landscape of disciplines that now comprise UX. It also requires an awareness and understanding of the various fields that form the backbone of user experience design.

2. Attitude towards problem: With the shift toward collaborative teams comes to a change in the types of people we need to look for when building a team. To function effectively, team members need to:

be skilled in communication, able to express their thinking clearly to others;

  • have an appreciation of the importance of feedback, and be able to facilitate the feedback process;
  • be able to collaborate with others, working as part of a multidisciplinary team;
  • have an understanding of the broad landscape of disciplines that now comprise UX;
  • be able to articulate and present their thinking to others.
  • Put soft skills matter. To work in a collaborative environment requires empathy and an ability to work with others.

3. Aptitude: A UX designer certainly needs to demonstrate skill. Your knowledge of the various tools and methods in the UX design process allows you to produce the UX deliverables (e.g., wireframes, customer journey mapsusability reports). There must be concept clarity, process orientation, problem-solving skills, an eye for detail, imagination, and storytelling skills.
Hiring a T-Shaped profile UX designer… A perfect understanding of the horizontal design process and the ability to go deep into the specific domain to ask probing questions or valuable insights.

4. Craft: Along with the right attitude and aptitude for the role, the third important aspect of a skilled designer is tool proficiency, communication expertise, driving engagement with stakeholders, and execution efficiency. You need to be able to communicate the meaning of your UX deliverables to a variety of audiences (users, developers, stakeholders), which means that you need to be able to understand their language, listen to their concerns, respond to and address questions, and explain your ideas and views in the same manner. This is a critical part of your work.

Communication skills are also critical when undertaking user research. It’s next to impossible to build empathy and understand your users if you can’t communicate with them. Remember, communication is a two-way street. So, you must be a good listener, but you also have to fine-tune what you have to say to show your audience you are on the same page with zero ambiguity.

Conclusion

When building a UX team, it’s essential to focus on soft and hard skills. Look for T-shaped people with experience working in a collaborative environment. And remember, a great team is comprised of individuals who work well together, so don’t forget that personality goes a long way. Building a team takes time, but the effort you put in more than pays off. The more rounded your team is, the more opportunities are presented to you.