How we are building a larger UX-community

In Visma Software, we are increasing the focus on user experiences (UX) and design. The goal for our UX professionals is to ensure that our products and services:
  • are easy to learn
  • are easy to navigate
  • are efficient in use
  • are understandable
  • have the right (amount of) functionalities
  • evoke positive emotions
Within our R&D-department we have many interaction designers and graphic designers. However, in order to succeed in creating great user experiences, we cannot restrict the responsibility of creating great user interfaces to only these professions. We know that our developers, quality assurers (QAs), product manager, et al. have a lot of good input on how we can create the best possible products. Given the opportunity and the right tools, other professionals can cooperate with design and UX professionals to create better user experiences and better interfaces. Ok, all of that is fine. But how to do it in practice? These days we are launching 2 programs that we believe will help us:
  • Training centre. Our R&D department has started an internal training centre that will offer a variety of different courses to our employees. The courses are held by our own experts within different topics. The goal is to give our employees an opportunity to learn and specialize in new areas. The design team will hold many courses in design principles, guidelines and methodology. We want as many of our employees as possible to have at least some knowledge in these areas, to ensure we are making the best possible products for our users.
  • Mentor program. This fall we are starting a mentor program for developers and QAs who want to learn and get more responsibility for ensuring great user experiences. The participants will be given a wider training in design topics, to ensure focus on user experiences in their development teams. The design team train participants, give tasks and follow up.
These 2 initiatives will also help us build a larger UX-community within our organization. This will result in increased focus on user experiences in our product development process, especially in development teams with no current UX-resources. We also hope to give the community enough knowledge to teach others, to get a certain “pyramid-effect”. The result, we believe, will be that we will work more agile and efficiently. But primarily, we will deliver better products to you – our users out there!