No more UX Teams

Last 1st of April I gave a talk titled UX for Developers. Although I struggle with anything that sounds patronising with new insiders – UX is the same thing for everybody – I thought that approaching the User Experience in a developer fashion was an interesting topic.

Some days later, I’m still hesitating of any role demarcation of UX exclusively, and the thing that makes me doubt the most is what we refer as a UX Team.

What is a UX Team?

A UX Team, in theory, should be composed by all those people who have:

Do you know any other point? Please share 🙂

We are tribal beings and we love to have a feeling of belonging so we also impose to our pairs what means to be a UX person, so we exclude and we include based on our understanding of how we work. And here is where I start feeling an outsider.

If there’s a UX Team means that there’s a development team, meaning that UXers don’t develop. So we’re saying that in a SDLC we do everything except develop. Developing or coding? That’s the funny word game.

What it should be?

To be clear, you can be anything you want. Having said that I am as designer as developer – I’m actually and engineer but it’s worthless master degree. I don’t do coding, I do sketches. I design and develop, build, evaluate, conceptualise and create products which considers the person who will use it. I also make some research, and react on user testing. 

I believe UX is a set of disciplines which requires certain skills and design is one of them, coding too. If you care about the experience and you develop those skills you’re a UXer regardless what your role says. But not everyone with a UX title have same skills so assuming that a conversation between entitled UXers is gonna be more productive is as true as thinking that because I am Spanish I have to understand every single sentence of Spanish people.

Actually a skill which is common and a-must for any UX-oriented person is communication. And we do not make very well on communication all the time.

If I get stakeholders understand what I’m saying and I’m really capable of translating any of their words into a design problem I can analyse, then stakeholders are my tribe. If I don’t get it then I suck as a UXer. 

We’ve spent so much time looking for our people, our community, our pairs, we don’t want to feel alone or misunderstood, we don’t want to be undervalued, but if we keep saying that UX is such an important and holistic thing, it is driven the development, leading innovation and blah blah blah, then let’s be consequent, let’s include everybody, every role, and develop empathy. Do not use your team membership to justify what you are not, try to grow from inside to show off that UX is a shared responsibility and your super powers are additional points of strength for the product.

If you have read so far you deserve to discover this article: 

UX design: Manipulation or Communication


By Carmel Hassan Montero

Product Designer and Computer Engineering graduated from the University of Granada. I'm based in Málaga (Spain), working remotely designing at Honest. I'm also a proud founder of Yes We Tech, and support tech events that care about promoting diversity and equality among its members.