UX is like Justice League
Who doesn’t want to be a hero? What happens if you are working with a bunch of heroes?
Without the intention to promote the upcoming movie, 4 years ago I started to have this idea of working as Justice League to solve UX problem.
I have to start with my favorite character, no offense! Unlike most of the superheroes, Batman is just a man with a very determined mind and super analytical brain, but he can achieve similar level of success; and that fascinates me.
Knowing himself is just a regular man without superpower, Batman analyze his opponent, work with his team to develop gadgets and tools so that he can use to gain competitive edge in a combat and solve crime. Being a UX designer we are constantly put in different situations. Some client requires Lean UX style which involve lots of white boarding, some large clients request for very detail functional specifications, and while others ask for interactive prototypes. Just like Batman, we also need to develop different weapons in our toolbox in order to successfully deliver.
Unlike the way other superheroes fight, which is come in and storm the enemy, Batman first analyze the situation, and has the patience to be in the stealth mode, and taking out his enemy one by another. This reminds me of being a UX designer. When I am in a big project, it’s impossible to come up with meaningful solutions right away. Lots of planning is required, so that can figure out what the most urgent problems are to solve.
The best part I loved about Batman is put emotion aside and stay calm to analyze the problem at hand, and solve it quickly. No wonder people gave him the praise of “The Greatest Detective” in DC comics (in case you wonder, the word DC stands for detective comics).
You can’t mention Batman without Robin, or at least, I can’t.
Arguably the greatest sidekick in the world, Robin helped Batman solved countless crime. Sometimes the situation could be sticky because Robin thought he could solve the crime on his own. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. To me, it’s key to understand my role in a team. With the gain of seniority, most of the time I’m in the leadership team to help guiding projects to stay on the right track. However, I remind myself to still be supportive as a sidekick when needed, and stay fresh and open minded when generating new ideas.
With a bit of impulsive personality, Robin often unintentionally becomes a pain in the neck to Batman, but sometimes that part also helps Batman solves the problem from a different angle. Being a UX designers, we all have great ideas that we can’t wait to make it happen. However, I try to remind myself that the success of a product or service is not merely from a great user experience perspective. A reasonable price, fast to deliver to the customer before our main competitor does, in certain situation it could be even more important to the greater scheme. Working as a team is all about being honest to each other, and equally important, being respectful to each other’s value.
Unbiased, big heart, strongest man of the world. Even when he discovered that he’s an alien, he still choose to stay and protect people who he never heard or met.
Needless to say about his superpower as man of steel, his other powers includes. X-ray vision to see through walls, heat vision like a laser to cut rocks in half. As a UX designer, we can borrow Superman’s power to see through the situation and find out where the real problem is, also be able to dissect the bigger problem into smaller and solvable tasks.
Another aspect is that, it’s inspiring that how Superman can endure all kinds of pain and hardship, whether it’s from the enemies, or from his own folk. While dealing with these tough situations, he still reminds himself not to abuse his power. As a designer, we have to interact not just the users, but often time our stakeholders, tech team, even fellow designers. Situation could be tough, but as a great leader as superman, we’re expected to deal with all kinds of situations, whether it’s apocalypse or when Robin had a fight Batman and ran away from the Justice League.
Just being very honest, I didn’t have much exposure to the character setting of Wonder Woman, therefore I can only describe from my limited knowledge from 30 comics books and the movie about her.
With the great heart to help, Wonder Woman stepped out his comfort zone of Amazon, and fight alongside with human. It’s not easy to relate to people unlike you. When I work with stakeholders and tech team, I learned that I have to somehow speak their language in order to truly collaborate. I started my business training on Coursera, I got my Java programing certificate, just try to make sure I can empathize from their point of view.
With her powerful wrist wrap, she can defend herself from various attack. Working in various design project, although unlike the real battle field, sometimes you could vision various attacks from experience. Different types of opinion, mostly constructive, but could be mean and pointless. Before a client presentation, I try to picture what could go wrong, where the potential problems could be, and prepare myself before it happens. Lots of debates come from different value system, I try to understand why and how people think, and respond with empathy and reasoning.
I’m a fan of her Lasso of Truth, it’s a rope that force enemies to tell the truth when she wrap it around them. As a UX designer, it’s my belief that the more we know upfront about the users, the product, the industry, and the stakeholders, the higher chance we can ensure the project success. It could be hard to get what user really thinks if we don’t step out of our office and talk to real users, and that’s what I’ve been striving for: Upfront user research, prototype and user testing, and post production evaluations.
Last but no least, the most creative heroes who fights enemies with solidified illustrated objects (e.g. a rendered hammer in the air to smash his opponent)
Lantern has a lot of issues, just like some other superheroes. But what makes him great is that his young heart and wild imagination which helps him create fun and powerful weapons to fight crime. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to have some fun?
What I appreciate about Lantern is his relentless mind of creativity, and determined to his mission. Often times we face hard choices in our lives, but Lantern never has a second thought. Being brave, being creative, he’s undoubtedly one of the most valuable team members in the Justice League (and the one I most often borrow superpower from).
The Flash, who can act fast, and learn fast; Martian Manhunter, who has the power of shape shifting, to put himself in other people’s shoes (developing empathy); There are more than two dozens of heroes in the league that I won’t list them all out. But I’m curious who you like best? And why?