– User Interface design
– Code semantics
– Sound knowledge of web standards, best practices and strategies
– Wireframing and prototyping
– User testing
The UX developer with strong design skills is hired after an interview on which developers are not invited, and in a few days the devs receive the first work of the new UX expert – in most of the cases a bulky graphic file with absurd, strange and unusual design, a living hell for the front-end developer, who is responsible to port this Web 2.0 beauty into a beautiful, accessible and usable code.
The first conflict – if the front-end developer is a really experienced professional, he or she asks for a meeting with the UX guru where he talks to him or her and politely advises them to reconsider the design, as it has nothing to do with the good UX practices. The UX person feels offended and tries to defend, and points out exactly those unusual characteristics of his design, which makes it a real piece of Web 2.0 art. Afer a few attemtps, the front-end guy gives up, codes the design, gives the templates to the back-end developers, and finally the application, along with its state-of-the art design and UX is online.
And then come the support tickets from angry customers. Users complain about the unusual layout, complain that they get lost in the sloppy (pardon – Web 2.0) navigation, etc. And guess whom are such support tickets assigned to? To the back-end developers? No, their server code works like a charm. To the UX engineer? Of course, not – he or she is responsible for the design only, and that particular design has been approved for coding from his or her team leader or boss. To the frontend developer? Exactly, right to the point. And everything starts over. The frontend person tries to explain to the UX person the most common web-design strategies, mentions of Jacob Nielsen (I am sure that 70% of those who call themselves UX engineers have never heard of him) and finally, after the usual verbal battle the front-end developer gives up, the back-end guys give up as well, and the compaining customers are assured that the UX issues have been logged in the bug tracking system and will be fixed soon (i.e. never, or close to never).
Next, there comes the moment, when the UX guru, having acquired enough confidence in their misunderstood UX skills decides that the company he or she works for, and especially the evil developers are against him or her and quits. The UX specialist knows that UX is a fashionable occupation and he or she will not remain unoccupied for long.
But the legacy of that UX work remains, and the support tickets keep coming, and soon the team, responsible for the development of the product with the killer Web 2.0 features finds themselves just before a total redesign and reconsideration of the code, its semantics, accessibility, usability, etc. But this time without alleged UX developers and other Web 2.0 gurus.
UX is not an occupation or job description at all. Once more – UX is a collective term for skills that are not studied at school or at university, but acquired at work, the very result of the experience on the web.
© 2006 - 2024 Martin Ivanov