Starting or Improving a UX Practice


If your company develops software or systems, has not yet created a UX team or practice, or is having trouble with their UX team or practice, this workshop is for you.

User Experience (UX) is the more scientific, psychological, and problem-solving side of product, experience, and service design. UX is the tasks and processes that fit between an idea for a feature, software, or system and when the developers start building it.

Yet so many companies struggle with misunderstanding UX, conflicts with UX in cross-functional teams, and mistakenly thinking UX is “just wireframes” or “making something visually pleasing.” This workshop aims to fix these problems if you’re having them, or prevent them if you are just now adding UX to your company.

Our Starting or Improving a UX Practice course teaches attendees the basics of UX; how to interpret the documents, designs, and deliverables a UX practitioner creates, where UX fits in your company’s process, how to best collaborate with UX practitioners who may be employees, contractors, or outsourced, and how to hire UX talent.

Available Formats

Who Should Attend & Prerequisites

This course is aimed at managers, leadership, executives, and workers in non-UX roles such as business analysts, developers, QA engineers, product managers, project managers, Scrum Masters, Lean evangelists, graphic designers, and copywriters.

Prior experience with UX is not required or presumed.


  • Understand the approach UX takes to designing software and systems, the tasks and deliverables, and how UX truly is a unique specialty.
  • Examine how User-Centered Design fits into project timelines and development methodologies.
  • Create a culture of mutual respect.
  • Hiring UX talent. Recognizing and avoiding (hiring) UX impostors.
  • Work on a customized plan on how to best collaborate with UX practitioners. On-site training clients should require that UX leadership attend this part to include them in designing the Actionable Collaboration Plan.

This course does not teach you to be a UX practitioner or do UX work.

Included Topics

  • Defining UX and Practitioners
    • Definition of UX
    • How UX is different than other website designers, graphic designers, marketing, and CX
    • Where UX usually fits in the org
    • UX roles and who normally works on a UX team
    • What data UX uses for its tasks
  • UX Revolves Around Five Elements
    • Empathy
    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Possible Outcomes
    • Architecture
    • Problem Solving
  • Good UX vs Bad UX
    • Recognizing good and bad user experiences in real life and in digital interfaces.
  • Deliverables – how does UX make them, what tools do they use, and what do they mean?
    • Competitive analysis / audit of current experience
    • User Research
    • Personas
    • Scenarios
    • Content map and strategy
    • Customer journey map – identify pain and opportunity
    • Process flows
    • Information Architecture: Sitemap, hierarchy
    • Interaction Design: Wireframes and Prototypes
    • User testing report
    • Visual design comps and specs
  • Adding UX to the process
    • How UX tends to operate in Waterfall, Iterative Waterfall, Agile, and Lean environments
    • Mobile friendly vs adaptive vs responsive. Mobile first?
  • Collaboration
    • Where to expect UX to collaborate and where to expect them to work on their own.
    • Methods for collaboration.
    • Mutual respect for each team member’s expertise and experience.
  • When Things Go Wrong
    • Dealing with conflicts
    • Who makes the final decision?
  • Hiring UX Talent
    • Writing job descriptions
    • Recognizing talent in resumes and portfolios
    • Interview questions
    • Design challenges
    • Reviewing LinkedIn profiles
  • Recognizing and Avoiding Hiring UX Impostors
    • Recognizing impostors
    • Watching for flight risks or a UXodus
    • Date before you marry
  • Actionable Collaboration Plan
    • Exercise: How does your team develop? Draw up a plan or schedule of how UX could be involved. Your trainer will help attendees fine tune this so that they have an actionable plan they can really try out.
  • Wrapping Up
    • Resources and further reading.