Starting or Improving a UX Practice


UX (user experience) is the science and art of precisely designing an interactive website, app, or other product. Our Starting or Improving a UX Practice class teaches attendees the basics of UX; how to interpret the documents, designs, and deliverables a UX practitioner delivers, where UX fits in your company’s process, and how to best collaborate with UX practitioners who may be employees, contractors, or outsourced.

This differs from our workshop in that being aimed at managers and executives, this workshop assumes the attendees are overseeing people and processes rather than being part of those lower-level teams. Topics unique to this course include detailed lessons on hiring UX practitioners, a deeper look at establishing and improving processes, and how to handle conflicts and decisions.

Who Should Attend

This course is aimed at managers, team leaders, and company executives who are/will be part of the UX team as well as non-UX teams. Non-UX teams include developers, QA, business analysts, product managers, visual designers, engineering architects, marketing, and customer experience.


Prior experience with UX is not required or presumed.


  • Understand the approach UX takes to product design.
  • Become familiar with the many types of tasks and documents a UX practitioner produces.
  • Design UX’s place in your company’s or team’s organization and processes.
  • Work on a customized plan on the best practices and processes for combining UX with your other teams and roles.

Available Formats

Training Outline

  • Defining UX and Practitioners
    • Definition of UX.
    • How UX is different than other roles.
    • Where UX usually fits in the org.
  • UX Thinking and Approaches
    • UCD (user-centered design).
    • How UX is different than marketing research and marketing.
    • Ideas vs their execution.
    • Poor execution/bad UX but good idea.
  • 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 (find out ahead of time if company has personas they can share)
    • Scenarios
    • Content map and strategy
    • Customer journey map – identify pain and opportunity
    • Process flows
    • Sitemap, hierarchy – we can even get customer involvement with card sorting, tree testing
    • Wireframes
    • Prototypes
    • Visual design comps and specs
    • User testing report
  • Hiring UX talent
    • Specialists vs hybrids
    • Understanding UX specialties.
    • Best interview questions, how to review a portfolio and spot talent.
    • The environment a worker needs vs the environment you offer.
  • 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 and tools for collaboration.
    • Mutual respect for each team member’s expertise and experience.
  • When things go wrong
    • Managing conflict and disagreement.
    • Escalating decisions.
    • Who makes the final decision?
  • 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
    • Exercises relating to User-Centered Design that will help non-UX roles see a bit of what it’s like to do UX work.
    • Resources and further reading.