The UX brigade, just like the rest of the brigades, is a self-managed space for training and investigation, aimed at everyone who might be interested in exploring user-centered design.
When we started setting and defining the goals that this brigade would pursue, we came up with our motto: Learning, sharing, exploring, that we use in every team meeting. Then we decided to define it in detail:
“Learning by doing”
Take action. Our aim is to do at least one activity per meeting.
“Loving is sharing”
Anyone who might want to join us is welcome. This is a multidisciplinary brigade: our aim is to share our knowledge.
“Exploring is growing”
We explore new methodologies and knowledge. The idea is to get insight and, then, test it.
With clear goals, we use a brainstorming technique to find out what our needs are and, then, define which activities to carry out and which working strategies to apply. This is what we’ve done so far.
Introducing Ourselves to intive
Firstly, we developed an “impact-effort” matrix, so as to establish our priorities and begin with our first task: giving people who didn’t know about UX/UI some context, so that they get to know what we do and how we do it.
“As a developer, participating in the UX brigade helps me think about apps from a different perspective. Sometimes, we tend to prioritize the opportunities technology offers us, we just get excited about its potential, and we lose sight of what the person who will use our product needs. When we focus on the user, we make better products, we save time and we are more competitive in the market.”Candela Buttigliero
“The brigade helped me understand the tasks performed by a UX designer, as well as how much they influence the quality of an app. It gave me the necessary tools to think about software as a whole and as a product for a specific user, not just as another app with a certain functionality. That happens sometimes when you’re focused on your everyday work.”
Agustín Renzi – Quality Analyst
Since intive offers us this space to investigate and learn, and not all of us have the same role, we thought it was vital to be in tune with one another and to speak the same language: even though we don’t code, we also have our own lingo. That’s how we started our first project: finding the common factors in the workflow of the rest of the intive teams, so as to foster team work and improve product quality.
Getting to Know Our “Users”
We use design thinking tools.
We start by empathizing with our users and getting to know them: Who are they? What do they do? What are they like? What do they feel? What hurts them? What are their difficulties and their expectations? With this information in mind, we built proto-people: a Developer, a QA, a PM and a UX designer.
Once those proto-people were established, we set out to find some common factors among them, analyzing their journeys or stages inside a project, creating the Customer Journey Map for each one of them. Our main idea was to find stages in which they could support one another, and the interesting thing about this process was to realize that not only could they support each other from a working perspective, but also emotionally while working. We understood that, in many stages, stress, the loneliness of the job and uncertainty become central. So, we asked ourselves: How can we manage that frustration? Then, we redefined our “problem” and we reformulated our challenge: How can we help improve workflows for every intive project?
Helping Improve Processes at intive
That’s where we’re at now: developing approaches that might help us improve time lapses or processes, and carry on fostering team work. And maybe, just maybe, this might help future intivers when the time comes to join a new project. Today, we are at the CREATION stage, in which the main premise is that EVERY IDEA IS VALID. We invite all members of our brigade to leave egos and fears aside and come up with as many ideas as possible, so that, in the future, we can make improvements that will enrich our job, reminding us that this is possible from a working perspective, but also from an emotional standpoint.
Because Don Norman is right: “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products,” which means that, if we improve our processes, we will also see an improvement in the final result.
And what about you? What ideas can you come up with?