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Discussion on: UX Engineering

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Ryan Kennedy

Great article! Late last year my job title was redefined as "UX Engineer", so I'm glad this is something that's happening in other companies as well!

Experiences will differ for everyone, of course, but being a UXE in a large organization surprised me in ways I didn't expect. Here are some of those surprises, in no particular order:

  • When we were building our app toolkit, I was spending more time writing instructions and documentation as writing code. We originally created a React toolkit when the React ecosystem was still quite young (2015), so our first version was a hard-to-use "technology first" series of scripts. Based on the pain points of trying to support our users through that, our second version was "developer first", focusing on what our devs want to do and going from there. We have to think of Developer Experience (DX) as a part of UX as well.
  • Sometimes it feels like I'm working for a company-within-a-company. We create these "products" (components, app templates, component publishing toolkit, etc) but other developers often choose not to use them. In that direction, we have to think about marketing and messaging -- almost like we're a sales team as well!
  • Since we're a small team, we have to think long and hard about anything we want to release. We're proficient at writing code, we just don't have the manpower/womanpower to support everything we write. This means we have to be cautious about announcements, so we don't get inundated with support requests and lose the ability to work on our longer-term projects.