Day# 132: UX & software development, Interview with a software developer

Day# 132: UX & software development, Interview with a software developer

Hi there Uxers! So today is the second part in the two part series of interviewing a software developer, the software developer in question is my fiance Brandon. To set a bit of a background obviously he knows the UX industry because when I learn something new I love talking about it and discussing with him. Since our industries some what overlap we tend to share a lot of information on project management etc of late. Some of the answers below are a bit disheartening to hear, however discussing and bringing to light some of the honest issues companies face when it comes to dev and UX is crucial to work on solutions. Without further chit chat, check out the interview below!

 

  • Do software developers get tasked with structural concepts that should lie with UX
    • I think in a lot of companies they don’t even realize that certain areas lie with UX, they don’t even realize that it is required. So we get given an overall task and we then do what we think is best, and the UX comes from whatever spawned up at the moment nobody goes through the details of the project

 


  • In the companies that you have worked at, how many have had UX roles
    • Two out of five companies have had UX

 


  • Do UX and Dev work closely together at the current company where you work
    • No not at all, UX sits with creative and they part of deciding what colours to use. They have little to no impact on the structure. Part of our team is QA which constantly test the software, they are always complaining about the same things from a UX standpoint but it never gets addressed.

 


  • Does UX sit close to software and is there red tape to be able to discuss with them
    • Mentioned in question above, there is no communication with UX, it is not even a suggestion between software and UX. There is communication within creative and UX. We did have a case where the company hired a UX consultancy where we had an issue and the only solution they came up with was to change the colour. As a developer I felt they did not address the issues of functionality, and these consultants were more concerned about the look and feel which pushed them more to work closer with creative and less with us

 


  • Do you find other developers know what UX researchers and designers are and know how then can lean on them for certain functions
    • No not at all, they all think UX is the same as a designer.

 


  • When do you think UX needs to be included in a project, use a brief outline of a project you are working on as an example
    • So I feel there is not a step that they come in and then after that they are gone, they need to part of the whole agile process. They should be part of our design, our testing, and our release and then further iterations of that

 


  • Why do you think companies fail to see the need of UX and the importance of it in the business and development?
    • I think it is because you can task a developer and they will produce something, it may not be the best but it will still do something. I think UX is about taking it from just working to something that is great, because business sees that the product is working they don’t realize that it could be better

 


 

After going through the interview I realized some key points

  • Companies may not be sure where UX belongs in the grand scheme of the business, perhaps because UX relates to visuals they then see it as creative, however it needs to be through the tenacity and story telling abilities of the UX experts that companies become more knowledgeable of the expertise that UX brings to the table, and how it is crucial to have more communication with software dev
  • I also noticed how Brandon seemed to think that UX was more about making a product/service better instead of creating a product from the start, my inner Uxer was crying out wanting to explain the correct idea of the multifaceted industry that UX is however I think it gave a very honest answer to see where he thought UX slotted into the development process.
  • Brandon has actually told me on a number of occasions by the way that developers often complain about UX saying that they give no reason for changes and just simply demand that something be changed; for example a color of button. This is utterly and profusely NOT UX!. Firstly understanding the user experience of a platform is a long process where lots of variables need to be considered and tested, the findings then need to be shared in a constructive environment with all departments concerned with the project. UX should not hold their research as private and be willing to share it.

All in all I think the research and testing that helps shape and create final outputs for projects are to be thought of like parameters for a study conducted by a scientist, UX should not think of it as a magician sharing their secrets. In a world of logic, present your findings to developers and I can guarantee you they will appreciate it, I know Brandon for one loves the concept of UX after I have explained the value of it to him. We just need to do the same with others who are not so knowledgeable and walk them through not only our decisions but our thought processes too perhaps, happy researching until next time Uxers!

Bye for now

 

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