Though the above image is a great example of programmer humor, the very nature of human existence is a tribal one. From time immemorial, humans have banded together in small groups for the purposes of protection, sharing of food resources, and camaraderie.
The modern workplace is a reflection of this, with a few twists. Instead of protecting against beasts and burdens, we now protect against rogue stakeholders. We share work resources like helpdesk professionals and software licenses instead of food. And our camaraderie is limited in most cases to the 8-5 workday hours.
So it’s no surprise that we get content cropping up like the above image, submitted to reddit today by /u/super_good_aim_guy. It couldn’t be more accurate.
I couldn’t agree more with this matrix, especially as someone who’s worked as a Front End Developer, UX Engineer, UI Designer, Project Manager, and done some moderate System Admin work.
From a Designer perspective, which is closest to my current role as a UX Engineer, I’m not surprised that the view of Designers in general is pretty childish. To Developers, we add seemingly random complexity without adding value. QAs and Sysadmins tend to have a knowledge of the requirements, but lack an understanding of the “why” behind the knowledge. Project Managers, who have a better overall view of a feature, tend to have a more favorable but practical view of our work.
So what can we do to increase our overall image and promote understanding of our design process among the other business tribes?
- Include as many relevant people as when running through our baseline UX process.
- Communicate our goals and and desires through whiteboarding and iterative designs involving our business partners.
- Provide consistent, engaging designs.
- Design with empathy for developers, QA pros, PM’s, and Sysadmins.
Taking these precautions should be a part of our everyday work, unless we want to be seen as childish monkeys. That’s bad.