How might the UX team contribute to speed of value delivery?

It’s common for non-design folks to assume that research and design rigor will slow the overall process down. (I’ve heard epithets such as “constipate” – unpleasant and rude.) How might the UX team contribute to speed of value delivery?

  • Improving our understanding of our customers (and especially of our users) so that we can make better decisions about direction, scope, interactive details, etc. and especially things not to build. The fastest feature is one you don’t build.
  • Ensuring that every design intervention is a response to a user or customer problem or a benefit that we are sure our customers will value. This is a subset of the above, but deserves special mention because a cool idea is not actually cool unless the person we hope to serve will appreciate the benefit it delivers enough to pay for it.
  • Answering business questions through small doses (in pharmacology the minimum effective dose) of research, concept evaluation, and usability testing.
  • Helping to manage scope by offering simpler alternatives that users can use to possibly meet seemingly more complicated needs. This is sometimes the opposite of what UX is tempted to do.
  • Uncovering opportunities to improve usefulness and usability to improve adoption, retention, and time-to-value, which make the business itself faster and more efficient.
  • Delivering detailed designs, business roles, states, labels, etc. at an appropriate level of fidelity and no fancier, incorporating many elements only by reference to the design system.
  • Continuously improving the design system so interfaces can be built faster and with greater consistency, and to steadily improve the usability, familiarity, and accessibility of capabilities delivered on the front-end.

And everyone should practice active self-management within the project.