🫂How Can You Build a Customer-Focused and Empathetic (UX) Team?

January 8, 2024

By trying your best, setting an example and helping anyone who needs a bit of mentoring in a team.

Dear business owner, hire for diversity and curiosity

Curiosity 🕵🏽‍♀️ is indeed one of the most valuable qualities you can look for in any team member. Having multiple curious professionals from different backgrounds will help you get a unique mixture of perspectives and expertise. Having in mind that curious people don’t only skim the information they are presented with, they most certainly will be diving deeper into it looking for more connections and insights, that might end up quite useful in the final product. Connecting the dots between smaller chunks of knowledge is also one of the benefits you can expect in such a diverse team.

Being seen and heard is all we want as humans. — Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Encourage empathy and collaboration

One thing I have found helpful is to bring my teammates on the same level as the user and make sure that my examples are relevant when it comes to encouraging empathy. In freelance projects I often face pushback from different team members and stakeholders when it comes to design decisions, that’s why I make sure to address obvious biases and suggest to my colleagues to put themselves in other’s shoes. 🥿Which ultimately, creates a better environment for collaboration and transparent communication. When empathy is promoted from the client sets a great example for other team members.

Involve users throughout the process

Can’t stress this enough! Users are the wells full of information and answers for us the designers, your product, business and even for the developers.  Not including users in your development process is as good as a calculated guess and shooting in the dark. Also, an important aspect to consider when involving the users throughout the process will minimise the inclusion of biases from team members and second-guessing decisions, because the user data will act as a source of truth.

Explaining the agenda to the users so they don’t feel like they are being tested 😄 — Source giphy.com

Measure and communicate the impact

To keep the loop going, it's a great idea to share research results with your team members. Such results might be qualitative (user interviews) or quantitative metrics (surveys), feedback, satisfaction, testimonials, analytics like retention, conversion and so on. So next time you receive any data from your users don't forget to share it with others to bring more light and context to your ongoing project.

Celebrate and reward empathy

The biggest reward and way you can celebrate someone's progress (not only in increased empathy) is to see it and acknowledge it. All we want as service providers is to feel helpful and seen. If you as a business owner or a team member want to go the extra mile, you reward your team members with incentives like mentoring, education, course discount codes or similar.

Here’s what else to consider

Empathetic exercise: If you can reach your target user group try at least conducting small user interviews with potential users in your circles. Then observe, listen actively, ask open-ended questions and try to see what makes sense for each particular user. This way you will at least get out of the bubble of familiarity with the product and get a fresher perspective and output.


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P.S. If you want to be part of my curious journey, you can find me on also on Instagram @angelova.nikoleta.design and LinkedIn (Nikoleta Angelova). Don’t forget to include a note on LinkedIn. 😉

Are you struggling with productivity or understanding design decisions? Join me on my YouTube where I explain web design and stream sometimes. 🤓

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