When I’m not working for our clients I teach at the TBA Academy and during our last class on “Wireframing for Business Analysts” we tried an orientation exercise. Where on the crossroads of UX (User Experience) do analysts fit in?
User Experience (UX) design is a fascinating intersection of technology, business, design, and—most importantly—the users themselves. It’s like a four-way stop where everyone’s got the right of way, but someone’s got to take the lead.
The discussion started with a graphic we saw in the course “The UX Landscape” on The Master Channel. At the TBA academy this is one of the resources we suggest as a preparation for our wireframing class.
After some time we cocreated this piece of art in the image below. Although it’s incomplete, just a short brainstorm by a random group of professional business analysts, I think there are some great insights here.
The Role of a Business Analyst in UX
While good UX is a team sport, the business analyst plays a crucial role as the “quarterback” of the project. They’re not just crunching numbers; they’re finding the optimal routes for the product to succeed. By advocating for an iterative process, they ensure that the project is flexible enough to adapt and improve. It’s like they’re the GPS of the project, recalculating the route whenever you hit a roadblock.
Analysts: The Unsung Heroes of User Understanding
Analysts aren’t just user story wizards; they’re also part-time psychologists. They need to get into the users’ heads, understand their needs, and translate that into clear, actionable requirements. It’s not enough to know what the user wants; they need to know why they want it. It’s like being a detective, but instead of solving crimes, you’re solving design puzzles.
The Fine Line Between Helping and Hindering
Sometimes, analysts get a bit too enthusiastic and venture into the realms of development or design. While it’s great to be a jack-of-all-trades, taking on these tasks can unintentionally strip front-end developers of their responsibilities. It’s like cooking a meal and then also trying to eat it for everyone—leave some room for others to contribute!
Business analysts can truly shine by helping the team understand the users, creating opportunities for experimentation, and supporting developers and designers without stepping on their toes. In the grand scheme of UX, they’re the conductors of the orchestra, ensuring everyone plays their part to create harmony. And remember, a good business analyst is like a bartender—always there to lend an ear, but knows better than to drink all the cocktails themselves!