Who’s the Boss?

15 Jan 2013

No, I am not referring to the quintessential ‘80s TV show of the same name — but rather the workplace conundrum of who has final say in questions of user experience, technology, and design. The obvious answer may be: “Well, d’uh — the person in charge of that department.” The UX boss is in charge of of UX, the technology boss is in charge of technology, and so forth. But — due to office politics and client demands relations, the roles tend to get blurred.

In an office that is driven by technology the limitations of that technology seemingly begin to limit the creativity of designers. I say seemingly because in order to be truly creative, one must design within the constraints of the medium. One culture with a very strong technological drive is Google. Google has made the conscious decision to let technology dictate design. Do more people click on the rounded corners vs. square corners? Then rounded it shall be.

While this works well for Google, it would seem extreme in a marketing setting where the idea is the crux of all that is pure and good. The question is however — should these creations be built at any cost? I dare say no, they shouldn’t. When designers fail to understand the technology they are designing for, it is the user that suffers. And if the user suffers so does the client with lowered conversion rates, traffic, and return visitors which results in lower overall profits.

Who’s the boss? The user is the boss. Design your websites for the user and success will follow.

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