Chapter 17: Using storytelling to get buy-in for UX
Intro: When UX wasn’t part of the process
When I started working at the digital agency Dare in London back in 2007, Information Architecture (IA), as we called our department and UX back then, wasn’t part of the project process from start to finish. Back then we worked in a waterfall approach and the creative teams were the ones coming up with the idea. After the idea and concepts were identified it was handed over to our IA department. We’d define the information architecture, content, layout and how everything would fit together. Once the wireframes were complete and signed off by the client we’d hand them over to the creatives to bring them to life. The creatives would do their visual design magic and then hand over the psds to the developers to build them.
As we now know this approach isn’t what produces the best kind of work, or makes the best use of budgets, people and their skills. Rather the contrary. Our head of department at Dare and us, the IA team, worked hard to ensure that IA was involved right from the beginning to the very end of a project. It meant some blunt conversations at times, us sticking our heads into meetings that we weren’t on the invite for and a lot of winning people over. Both through educating them about the benefits of including us, but also by demonstrating the value that our team would bring to individuals, the project and the company overall.
Over time we changed the name of our department ...