Anne: What are the differences in practices between the low and high UX maturity organizations?
Torben: My impression is, that according to the maturity scale from Jacob Nielsen, the classification of a high UX maturity organization is much more complicated in practice. This is especially true for companies that are divided into different departments that work more or less independently.
But I can see that industry partners, which now apply a user experience design, have already lost money in the past due to building software with a poor usability on their own. These industry partners are also those ones, where most A/B testing takes place. But we also met companies which do not believe in the effect at all and are still hostile towards usability. Also, these companies often do not care much about the software and see it only as a pure cost factor.
Anne: What skills and practices are needed in both - academia and industry - environments?
Torben: Well, the user experience engineer or the developer has to perform independent work and needs a good self-organization. Before anything else, we need interviews with the domain experts, as part of the requirement analysis. Here we define the target groups and create an awareness of the sales funnel. Afterwards we create clickable mockups, usually with Adobe Experience Designer and discuss them with the customer as well as pick up some first feedback from real users.
Just as the last part, we start the implementation of a production ready software and apply a scalable software architecture. We always work in short sprints and deliver working versions early. This helps us to validate the design early and ensures that we did not miss a thing.
And one should not forget the psychological competence. When optimizing internal processes, actors quickly feel threatened. These people must be picked up and get integrated in time. But sometimes there is simply nothing you can do.
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