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Should The Marketing Team Or The Project Team Be Responsible For UX?

UX, or user experience, is such a crucial part of any product and quite often there is a bit of an inter-office battle around who is in charge. So, let’s dive in and answer the question; Should the marketing team or the project team be responsible for UX?

What Is UX?

The very deep and philosophical description by the ISO is “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service.”

If it helps, you can say that in a Yoda voice to make it resonate more.

Basically, it means how the user feels about every interaction with whatever they are using exactly as they experience them.

Sometimes people get this confused with getting the required goal or end result.

For example, let’s say a team at Netflix have been tasked with uploading a new show to Netflix called ‘GrowTraffic Is The New Black.’

The goal is for people to start watching this strange-sounding show, but the UX feedback may tell Netflix that users spent half an hour searching through the different sections looking for something more cultured and highbrow, then having been defeated by the ‘unique’ Netflix algorithms, gave up and watched GrowTraffic Is The New Black.

(Editors note: if you want to know how Netflix algorithms *actually* work then this article by is a good read)

Peter Morville’s Honeycomb

No, I haven’t changed the subject and started to talk about a recipe idea on Saturday Kitchen. Peter Morville is one of the leading names in the world of UX and he created a honeycomb graphic that perfectly illustrates the 7 different factors used in UX.

This is a screenshot of a tweet by Peter Morville illustrating his UX honeycomb

I would definitely recommend giving him a follow on twitter and have a look at his work.

Project Team vs Marketing Team

The main difference between the Project and Marketing Teams is that the Project Team looks after all aspects of a project from management to planning to budgets and everything in between.

To put it simply, they will see everything in a project from the point of view of the business.

Whereas, from a UX point of view, just like the 7 factors in the UX honeycomb above, for a marketing team Everything. Is. About. The. User.

Like any component of the project management cycle, UX should have dedicated staff but should always be part of the chain that links back to the Project Team.

As with everything, *yoda voice* “communication, key it is.”

A good project team needs to keep all the various plates spinning. If the marketing team tell them that UX needs more money for a better experience for the user, this has to be balanced against the project’s budget and resources.

Regular project progress meetings with all the different teams involved will ensure that everyone is heading in the same direction.

If not, then you could easily find that the UX is almost perfect, but there is no money left for other marketing costs.

Or vice versa, too much of the budget could be given to programmers and I.T staff but ending up with a poor UX for the user.

The Project Team will break down the product life cycle into three main parts, discovery, solution and development.

Every different component of a project fits under these three categories.

One of the most important parts of a project is at the very beginning, roles need to be clearly defined, and UX is no exception to this.

People often think that the project team is doing the hard work and completely separate from the marketing team who sit on beanbags, throwing ideas at a word cloud shaped like an elephant.

But, for successful projects and companies, the marketing team and project team will work with each other and actually will both overlap at some points.

Particularly at the early research stage (under the discovery part of the project cycle) and the testing prototype stage (The solution part).

If you need to be inspired just remember that one of the most successful companies that are a perfect example of project and marketing teams working together is Apple…

So, Have You Answered The Question At The Top Of The Page Then?

I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote a GrowTraffic blog I answered the question with a yes and no.

It’s the same here.

Yes, the project team should ultimately be responsible for UX.

Yes, the marketing should be day to day responsible for UX.

Projects often come unstuck when teams are isolated or siloed away. If all the teams work together, under a good project management team then who knows, maybe you could end up with your company becoming the new Apple.

Further Reading

One last thing before I go, it’s always a good idea to keep up to date with developments in our field of work.

So, here is a fascinating read on the state of ux in 2019 by trends.uxdesign and these 13 Handy UI/UX Tips For New App Designers by Forbes may be of use to you.

Anyway, that’s all for today because I’m going to go and try to find something to watch on Netflix.

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