• anna singer

The one person UX team. It's not impossible

Just because you’re a team of one doesn’t mean that you can’t work effectively and efficiently. It also doesn’t mean you’re a Jack of all trades and master of none.

Here are a few tips that I’ve picked up from NN/g Usability Week, and from a great book by Rosenfeld Media called The User Experience Team of One.


  • Identify a clear work process and ensure the rest of the business understands where this fits into the product lifecycle.Identify and agree upon a specific measurable outcome for your project.

  • The audience and goals must be defined at the start of the project.

  • Confirm that deadline!

  • Task analysis is your BFF. Which tasks are critical to the users’ success? Which tasks are critical to the organisation’s success? Prioritise accordingly.

  • Focus your time and energy on what you do best. If it’s IA, then focus on that. Your expertise will shine!

  • Reuse! Recycle! It’s really helpful to have some basic wireframes/templates that can be called upon as and when you need them. The more prototyping you do, the more widgets you’ll build. Save them in your own widget library so that you can use them over again rather than starting from scratch every time.

  • You’re not alone! Get help from your online community. Axureland is a great resource of templates and widgets. Usability.gov has a bunch of really useful templates for user testing, displaying results, writing reports and creating personas.

  • Educate your colleagues. You’re not the only one who can organise user testing or update personas. Just make sure you establish a workflow so that you’re all singing from the same sheet! Then delegate!

  • Don’t gather data that’s already been gathered. Use other areas of your company to mine data. Speak to Marketing, Sales, Customer Service.

  • Online services can be your friend! Surveys are a great way to get a quick bit of feedback from users. Try Survey Monkey. There are also plenty of services that will conduct user testing for you. Try WhatUsersDo.

  • Build UX into the company styleguide. This will help iron out all the minor inconsistencies that can create a confusing experience. An example of this would be to have all states of buttons defined with the CSS ready to be copied and pasted when needed.

  • Learn how to say “NO”. Push back on less important work. Make colleagues aware that if something comes in sideways, something’s gotta go out the other way!


  • So to summarise:

  • Confirm measurables before the project starts

  • Delegate where you can

  • Use online resources

  • Don’t gather data that’s already been gathered

  • Reuse templates & make new templates reusable

  • Be involved with the styleguide

  • Learn how to push back & say “No”

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My folks are the ultimate UX practitioners. They made parenting look so darned simple (which, for the record, it's really not).

Behind my carefree upbringing was a complex structure that I couldn't see; a constantly evolving architecture of morality, ethics, education and boundaries. My folks had some pretty stern error messages too, but, I'll not lie, they were necessary. Their project is ongoing, but requires fewer updates these days.

I'm a London based practitioner bringing UX into real life, and real life into UX.