Business Analysis and UX/UI Design Collaboration
Imagine the work done to publish a newspaper. The ideas are written by the writer, to be edited by an editor, and published by a publisher. The three work in harmony to deliver a product to an intended audience and each is paid due diligence. The publisher decides whether the project fits the criteria of the brand but also appeals to consumers. The editor deals with the nuance of the text, utilizing research and knowledge of language to cut and shape the text the readers can digest. The writer uses their creativity and language to deliver a message in a meaningful way.
The process between an idea to a product is long and arduous but methodical. The idea of wanting, and then needing something doesn’t come from thin air. A trifecta of a Business Analyst, User Experience Designer, and User Interface Designer weave the perfect combination of consumer needs and business needs. They are the people who are responsible for bringing you the best product or service, They make people want things. But what do they do exactly?
Short Differences Between UX and UI Designer
User Experience, or UX designer, focus on the consumer’s journey. How does the user feel about their experience? Imagine the audience’s accessibility to a product, from seeing it on an advertisement, to buying it in a store, to opening the box, to using it, and even troubleshooting problems. The responsibility of look and feel of a product lands in the hands of the User Interface design, or UI. Between UX and UI, their work overlaps at some stages of the cycle. Think of the editor and the writer, they work closely together to make the writing more effective, fine-tuning and editing as the process moves along. The design also utilizes an editing process through each phase of the project.
What is a Business Analyst?
The BA works through all phases of the life cycle of a product, making sure information and feedback flow between business and user. Information gathered from testing and feedbacks go to UX so that they may revise and enhance the product or service. The Business Analyst in a software company serves the same function to carry out various testing and surveys and processing that information as a resource for UX and UI designers. Through the design lifecycle, the BA is present and active in the success of the project. Though their skills overlap with UI and UX, they generate business-oriented solutions to the project. So how do business analysis and UX design work together?
BA and UX/UI roles and responsibilities in projects
Business Analysis and user experience design work together very closely. The relationship between the UX and BA is similar to the relationship between an editor and a publisher. The publisher determines if the work is marketable and if it will reach the intended target. If not, they address the issues and revisit steps until it is ready to deliver. The editor checks the work making sure the language is appropriate, themes and plot devices are cohesive and coherent, and the reader not only understands the text but also responds positively. This mirrors the same process in designing a product and an experience.
The BA’s responsibilities also overlap with UI and UX, but with a focus on the business needs like marketability longevity of a product to the intended target. They are not only business-minded, but they are also solution-driven and are the liaison between the business stakeholders and the design team and the rest of the employees working on a particular project. The business analyst’s role in the design phase is essential to all moving parts involved. A business analyst role in the IT industry is essential for the cohesion of a team. Because the BA has their hand in so many jars, they have to understand a bit of everything to better translate and bridge the gaps between each design team. Communication is vital for BA, they listen to the UX to understand problems with the product, they listen to UI to understand how they can cater to the audience, and they listen to the needs of the user so they can give those needs to the teams to solve.
The role of BA at each step of UI/UX design life cycle
1. Initiation and Analysis
During the initiation of a project, several questions are addressed to identify an objective or need that can be fulfilled. This is where the BA conducts research and presents a business case and decides how to reach the objective effectively. How is the project filling a need? UI and UX teams can address potential problems at this stage so that the business heads can understand the limitations of their objective.
2. Development and Design
The solution is then developed into achievable milestones so progress can be monitored by UX and UI. The role of business analyst in design phase creates cohesion.The BA bridges these teams together to estimate costs and assess the risks to better measure the progress of the project.
Implementation of the plan is executed; all teams begin to carry out tasks. At this point, the BA actively participates with each team to understand the project on all levels. The business analyst in designing in UI UX prototypes is directly involved so when it’s time to present, they are able to explain how the work reflects the business goals. They update and check-in with everyone until the project is almost ready.
4. Testing and Feedback
Once all the necessary work is completed, all loose ends are tied up, between suppliers and designers and project resources. The project is handed to the business stakeholders, and the BA is able to explain the project at length, emphasizing how the project achieves the business goals. The project goes through testing and feedback and analysis, which the BA acts as a support role for these steps.
5. Evolution and Innovation
With the feedback, the teams upgrade and create new iterations of the project to enhance or make it more efficient on both the business and user side. The Busines Analyst starts the cycle over with initiation and analysis of these new iterations.
Reasons for this collaboration and the benefits you get
Responsibilities are delegated to different disciplines for a reason. Each team has specialties that they handle, for example, you wouldn’t expect a business-oriented person to know how to create and adapt a project for desktop or mobile, just as you wouldn’t expect a UX designer to create business solutions for a project. They work in tandem so that the flow from phase to phase is seamless and all bases are covered with efficiency and accuracy. If teams were to work strictly individually, communication would become a problem as the languages of each discipline differ.
How to improve BA and UI/UX designer collaboration
Each role is just as vital as each other during the process, so it is essential that each team understands its importance in the scope of the project. There is no “I” team, so collaboration needs to be exactly that; working together harmoniously.
- Having open communication lines among all three disciplines creates a network for workers to ask and answer questions about how, what, and why things work. A better understanding of what another team does provides background with the project and also build rapport and solidarity.
- Cohesion between teams helps not only with a particular project but also within your company. If your colleagues get along well, the work won’t seem so difficult as they are working together as friends rather than co-workers.
- Set hard deadlines and remind them often. Time is money so if you run out of time, you also run out of money. Make sure that teams understand that other teams are depending on another team’s work to be finished on time.
- Gather feedback from all points so that teams can get another point of view of a problem or solution. This creates better work and a collaborative setting.
From idea to drawing board to production and execution, a project relies on all parties involved, each pulling their own weight so the project becomes a success. The importance of a Business Analyst is on the same level as having a great UX and UI design team. Effective collaboration creates a product worth investing time and energy into, and the Business Analyst is vital to this collaboration.