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The Business Analyst Versus The User Experience Analyst

If you have followed my blog or twitter updates of recent, you would notice my frequent (and maybe enthusiastic) mentions about my role as User Experience Designer. I am a lot excited about this new career path. After taking multiple courses, I have been able to practice on one or two clients. There are a few challenges I am facing at the moment. One is the scope of projects in relation to UX and the other is its adaptability. User Experience Design is something new around here. I am trying to tread carefully in educating clients on the immerse benefits of User Centered Design.

The first thing I have had to deal with are misconceptions about the role of the UX analyst. There’s an article on Mashable which talks on the various misconceptions. I guess I will write future articles on each of them in relation to my own personal experience.

The second thing I have had to contend with is overlapping roles between me, the User Experience Analyst and the Business Analysts.

At work, part of our presales and after sales procedures for web development is getting the Business Analyst to analyse the business needs and requirements. Before the introduction of UX processes, we had graciously adapted more modern techniques like AGILE development methodology and then we had introduced the creation of user stories and personas. This seemed interesting at first. But now that I have gotten good knowledge of UX design and the practice, its easy for me to see where we could adjust processes to produce more successful products.

In the past I have had countless arguments with one of our closest business analysts, @adunholler about how our individual processes have overlapped. For instance, in creating user stories and work flow, I later found out that this is a part where the web leaning Business Analyst should not touch. And here are a few highlights:

  • User Stories and Persona Creation should be created AFTER RESEARCH ON USERS.
  • Wireframes are not just created as a pre-skeletal form of the end product just so the client can have a ‘pre-view’. Wireframes are supposed to highlight with details, the functionality of the web page/site as well as have reasons why a particular design decision had been taken
  • The Business Analyst and the User Experience Analyst should be the best of friends. While the UX Analyst should interface directly with both users and stakeholders, the Business Analyst is also the liaison officer between the stakeholders and the UX analyst and also the project manager.
  • Process flows drawn by the UX Analyst should be validated with the BA.

All in all, I enjoy UX work. It avails me the opportunity to listen to users. And then to look for creative ways to tackle design problems.






1 comment

  • As the involvement web or solution development becomes a common necessity of many business, more and more IT projects spring up. This has made the IT industry on of the faster growing industries in terms of role creations and job titles. There was a time when the only role we knew was that of a software engineer which is the new fancy name for programmers. There are no formal course of study for being a BA or UX analyst but this roles seem bathed out of necessity and have now become a formal necessity in the software development life cycle. As a Business Analyst I my comments might be biased but my understanding is a business analyst in a agile environment represent the presence of the customer in the SDLC. Should I project require the need of a more specialised BA which is what I see the role of a UX analyst as, that should be done within the context of the requirements and business flow as gathered by the BA and within a requirement gathering phase. Just like a BA might request the help of a more technical colleague in expressing concepts to the customer such I believe should be the role of a UX designer, Allowing a continuous unrestricted contact between the UX designer and the client invalidates the role of the BA. Biased right?

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