I’ve had the same conversation with senior UX professionals over the past 15 years: “I want to progress in UX, but I’m not sure I really want to manage teams.” Many people believe that the management track is the only route to success, and in many companies, this is the only upward path available to UX professionals.
Let me tell you a story before I go into more detail about each of these roles. I used to be the Head of UX for a digital agency, reporting to the Head of Strategy. Our small UX team of three had just been awarded a sizable project for a telecommunications company. I expected to be the Head of UX—a UX Leadership position with more direction setting and less doing—having left the BBC to join the company. The position was actually more of a UX Principal role, where I was doing the work, leading the workshops, and serving as a liaison between the agency departments and our clients. It was less of a manager position, where I was developing the procedures and commercial offerings for the division and supervising the team.
I was unhappy and stretched thin. I was too busy managing UX projects and managing the more junior team members, who needed mentoring and got bogged down in the details, to find time to hire more people to do the work. I knew it was the wrong situation for me, but I didn’t know how to leave the company.
I don’t want senior UX professionals to find themselves in this situation. Instead, they should be aware of the various roles that could bear the title “UX Manager” so they can decide clearly which position to accept based on their skills, where they want to take their careers, and how they want to do it.
The Creative Director is the first position I want to discuss. This position should not be confused with ones related to visual design or branding. The person in charge of a project’s creative phase plays a UX role. This person generates ideas, considers options, establishes the direction for the design solution, collaborates creatively with the client or project team, and delegates the details to others.
The UX Principal, also known as a UX Strategist, is in charge of determining the UX strategy for a company, a product, a website, or an application. A UX Principal and UX Manager have different responsibilities within an organization. A UX principal prefers to be a thinker and doer rather than a manager or politician. In contrast, a UX Manager takes responsibility for team management.
The UX Manager is not expected to participate in detailed project work in this purely managerial role, but they may lead UX design reviews and evaluate deliverables from designers and researchers. This role may include developing UX strategy for the company or significant clients, as well as collaborating with peers in other disciplines to drive the organization’s vision.
The UX manager is in charge of training the team members, especially the junior and mid-level members, collaborating with the business to determine what the team’s needs are, and spotting opportunities or developing new products. For a program of UX work, he enjoys project planning and resource management.
The UX Project Lead, the last of these positions, oversees the direction of User Experience for a specific project. This person enjoys collaborating with clients and stakeholders to complete projects. The UX Project Lead oversees the UX team, but he does not conduct in-depth design or research. In contrast to the Creative Director, he ensures that the creative vision is carried out even though he may not have developed it.
Senior UX experts who want to advance their careers can use the descriptions of these five roles as a framework. They can choose which of these routes to become a UX leader by considering their strengths, what they like about their work, and their career goals. In.
When no one was familiar with the Internet in 1995, Mags began creating websites. She has developed and managed UX teams while working in Australia, the USA, and the UK. She has extensive experience working for clients like Debenhams, Santander, and the Bristol City Council as well as for institutions like the BBC and Time Out. Mags graduated with a Master of Arts in Librarianship from Australia’s Monash University. Read More.
Management vs. Specialization as UX Career Growth
Why is UX management important?
UX management is crucial for a number of reasons, including:
Maintaining a consistent UX strategy
The development and promotion of a positive user experience can involve other departments within the company, even though design teams may be primarily responsible for it. A company’s UX strategy should be supported by the research, engineering, sales, and marketing teams, as well as all levels of management. To ensure there is a consistent vision behind both the investment, development, and promotion of the product or service UX with the company, one of the duties of UX management is to align all the teams within the business to the same UX strategy.
Aligning UX with internal processes
The design side of user experience can be translated into concepts that the business side can understand, such as projects, costs, and processes, with the aid of UX management. Clicks, shares, and downloads, which are frequently associated with the user experience, may seem impersonal and unrelated to the rest of the business. A UX manager can collaborate with business teams to help them comprehend how these UX components relate to the work they do to further the company’s objectives.
Improving the companys products and performance
Products or services produced by effective UX management should draw customers and bring in revenue. A UX manager can assist a business in producing goods and services that customers like using by coordinating the company’s UX research and collaborating with the UX design team. Not only might this result in more customers buying the good or service, but it might also boost client retention and revenue for the business.
Encouraging innovation and achievement
The UX design team may need to reconsider the product or service in order to implement UX strategies. Solving problems in this way can result in innovation, which could improve the company’s reputation and the quality of its goods or services. By encouraging UX design teams to think creatively and advocating for UX strategies with upper management to ensure the design team has their support, UX management can help drive this innovation.
What is UX management?
The management of user experience-related activities within a company is known as UX, or user experience, management. A company’s UX manager is in charge of organizing the design, development, and testing of a product or service to ensure that it is as user-friendly as possible. UX management may also involve creating a UX culture within the organization, where UX influences every facet of operations, including finances and corporate strategy.
Characteristics of good UX management
Certain traits that UX managers possess contribute to their success at work The characteristics of good UX management include:
Thinking primarily about users
Good UX managers prioritize users’ perspectives when designing products and services. This holds true for a product’s design in the same way that it does for every other aspect of its development, such as costs, marketing, and distribution. The UX manager can collaborate with the various teams within the company to support their development of a user-centered perspective. Having someone with that level of user focus can motivate the company to develop the types of goods and services that appeal to its clients the most.
Nurturing UX design and development teams
The UX manager, like any other manager, needs to support and mentor the team to get the best work done. This frequently occurs with design and development teams when it comes to UX. Employees in creative positions typically require management that boosts their confidence and promotes collaboration. In order for each team member to focus on what they do best and collaborate with others as needed, a good UX manager may try to integrate a variety of skills within these teams.
Advocating for UX within the company
UX managers can promote UX within the company, assisting all levels of management in understanding and appreciating the value of UX for both the client and the business. For instance, a UX manager might propose budget changes to increase the size of the UX design team or allocate funds for better UX research. Alternately, the UX manager might recommend making changes to the product to enhance the user experience. The UX manager should be able to show how these modifications improve the product for the user and are beneficial to the company in each situation.
Hiring quality UX team members
UX managers frequently participate in the hiring of UX team members. This is due to the fact that UX is a very specialized field, necessitating the knowledge of a UX expert to determine what abilities and characteristics the UX team needs. To determine whether a candidate is a good fit for the team, the UX manager might create a special interview process. It’s crucial to create a cohesive UX team with complementary skills because not only are they simpler to manage, but they can also deliver results that are more beneficial to the business.
Setting goals and measuring results
A good UX manager is also skilled in analytics, able to define the team’s objectives and track their progress. The team’s goals provide them with a target to work toward, which motivates them to advance and can result in a sense of accomplishment once they reach the goal. The UX manager can report results in a way that makes sense to the rest of the organization by being able to quantify that progress.
Being a good manager
A good UX manager is also a good manager, responsible for managerial responsibilities that go beyond UX. This could entail making and maintaining a budget, conducting employee evaluations, and giving advice on each employee’s performance. Additionally, UX managers may need to be involved in the HR department of the company, including learning about company policies, becoming familiar with legal obligations, and handling employee conflicts.
Being an effective leader
A good UX manager is an effective leader. Instead of solving a problem, the UX manager aids in framing it for their team and mentors them as they come up with a solution. For instance, the UX manager might offer the necessary resources or provide various viewpoints on the issue. The UX manager can inspire the team to perform at a high level using effective leadership techniques, which could lead to outcomes that meet or exceed their expectations.
Types of UX management
There are two types of UX management: strategic and tactical. Both types of management styles are typically employed by UX managers, depending on the situation. The two styles differ in their focus:
What does a UX manager does?
The UX manager is in charge of training the team members, especially the junior and mid-level members, collaborating with the business to determine what the team’s needs are, and spotting opportunities or developing new products.
What is UX project management?
The management of User Experience projects is what is meant by UI/UX project management. The main goal is to increase user interaction with a platform generally. Such project managers require creativity, a fair amount of marketing knowledge, and both web and graphic design skills.
What is UX stand for?
User experience and user interface are two related but distinct terms. While UI typically focuses on how users interact with computer systems, software, and applications, UX is more broadly concerned with how a user feels about a particular company, item, or service.
What is a good UX manager?
Good UX managers direct and coach their team. So that product designers can concentrate on the enjoyable work of problem solving, they aid their team in understanding the appropriate context. They provide regular, timely, and helpful feedback. When necessary, they coordinate the appropriate internal and external resources.