Five Ways To Attract Great User Experience Designers To Design Enterprise Applications

I posted this as an answer of Quora, but I thought it would be very appropriate here. This could go for any company, but some of us actually enjoy designing large applications.

They have to be solving a real world problem.

Too often, I get the “It’s like Twitter, except we’ll charge people” response. There has to be a very  definite  need for the product that’s fairly obvious. We don’t want to work on products that are going to get killed because there’s no market for them.

Most enterprise apps have that.

I like designing enterprise apps, because a) it’s not a microsite (I don’t know where to start), and b) you get to talk to the users directly, most of the time. Users will same the damnest things, and some of those things make great products, especially if they solve a real world problem.

They have to have great management.

There’s nothing worse than walking into the door and realizing the person that’s going to manage you doesn’t have the slightest idea what user experience is, other than what they read in a book.

User experience types have a jaded view of the world because of the environments we work in, and get frustrated in environments where we want to have an impact. I could go on and on about a friend of mine that hates her environment, but puts up with it. Great UX people want to work in great environments where they can flourish and learn.

Good managers attract good people — as simple as that. If you’re working at a company that develops enterprise applications, and you can’t attract good UX types, you should take a long, hard look at who’s managing them.

They want to let them do their job.

Let them define the process, but hold them to it. Don’t let seagull management (come in, shit on it, leave) creep into User Experience.

Show that it’s a team concept, but that user experience will drive requirements with product management. Let them gather data to back up their assertions. Let them perform usability tests. Let them see how the work translates into better sales.

They want to take pride in their jobs, nothing more.

They want to do things the right way.

That means following some sort of process. That doesn’t mean going all the way to doing a card sort, but if they think user experience is about delivering wireframes and mockups, and that’s all, something’s wrong. We’ve all worked in environments like this, and it gets tiresome.

We want to learn if the process works as much as the company does.

They want to pay a good wage.

Most enterprise apps have multimillion dollar implementations. This means that the developers of these applications should get paid a decent wage, because a good design means saving thousands of dollars for the clients.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a conversation with a recruiter, and the recruiter says, “well, this is what the budget is.” That’s not something you tell to someone that can help saving thousands and millions of dollars.

The average implementation is over a million dollars, and they don’t want to spend a little extra on someone that can have a great impact only only on implementation, but on potential sales?