It’s always a user problem (a slight ramble)

I don’t even know where to start on this one.

I recently had a pretty big presenation. It was a magnificent disaster. I’ve decided to regard it as a very successful dada event (Dada on Wikipedia).

From that event, one thing really bugs me. The phrases “We’ll make it look nice later.” and “Well, that group does the user experience when you’re done.”

I’m employed by a technology company. I’ve done all sorts of work, from very straightforward MarCom stuff though all manner of digital marketing. But currently, I am, as my Parisian friend Julien put it “working in the basement.”

As the king of all UX at this place, I’ve been working very hard to get a single, simple point across : Everything we do, is done for the user.

Now, this is ripe for argument from all manner of code geek, account lizard, and those strange animated business suits that wander around.

They will say things like “it’s all about cost reduction for the client” or “the collaboration software enables rapid deployment of robust technologies” or some other bullshit.

Here’s the gist tho.. if all these things are so convoluted and require all manner of help from outside groups, then the client is going about the business wrong and should really just close up the majority of their online presence. It’s obviously too difficult to manage.

But we all know that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that ultimately, we want to keep on communicating with users, we want them to love us and our products, we want new and shiny things on our sites.

So it always ends up back at the user. What we do is for them.

Now, back to my original thought….

In the past few years, I’ve helped develop a few key products for my company. I’ve stressed that all the work we do towards technology is useless unless it results in something amazing when it’s seen by a user.

So I start at the user and work backwards. “What I want to do” is the basis for “How will this work”

Luckily, I have a team of very smart technologists who have similar views of changing the world, or at least having some monument erected in their name at a later date.

So… NO! it doesn’t get pretty after the fact. It gets developed from the lowest point of origin into something that was always designed to be seen, touched, smelled, felt, and used by someone.

One group is not responsible for UX, everyone is. You clients of freakish nature may have forgotten how to think about your users, but I have not.


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