Let me start with a quote that gets to heart of why User Experience (UX) is difficult for many people to understand in an organizational context:
“UX is an emergent outcome of cross-functional work. It is not what some department does.” —Peter Merholz
Most organizations in modern companies are staffed with teams of people who do the thing described by the name of their organization.
The Accounting department has teams of people who do accounting. The Design department has teams of people who do design. The Engineering department has teams of people who do engineering. The Marketing department has teams of people who do marketing. …and so on.
The difference with UX is that the User Experience department is not a bunch of people who do UX. There is no such thing as a UX practitioner.
The User Experience department has teams of people focused on:
- Customer Service
- Product & Service Design
- Research & User Testing
- UX Writing & Content Strategy
Further complicating the issue is that in mature companies, those teams of people are likely organized around different phases of the user journey, such as:
Pre-Membership → Onboarding → Membership → Evolving Use & Exit
So, when you think of UX in your company, think of cross-functional teams of people, working to deliver the best possible experience for users, around a particular phase of their journey with the company’s products and services.