UX Vocab Club


master tricky workplace scenarios


navigate your workplace with confidence

Picture this, you're the Senior UX Designer on an Agile team, and the product owner hands you design solutions to prototype and refine. Surprisingly, you weren't involved in the creation process with product management and engineering teams.

What's your move?

1. Avoid three unprofessional mistakes

  • don't confront anyone aggressively

  • don't disregard anyone else's work

  • don't complain publicly

2. Master tricky workplace scenarios with three professional strategies

  • DO initiate a conversation

  • DO request an inclusive process

  • DO offer to lead a design workshop


steer clear of these three common mistakes

Avoid mishandling tricky workplace scenarios easily by ensuring you never do these three things.

Don't confront anyone aggressively or disregard their work. And never complain publicly.

1. aggressive confrontation

Do not directly confront the product owner and other stakeholders aggressively, accusing them of excluding you from the design process and undermining your role as a Senior UX Designer.

Avoid aggressive confrontation, refrain from accusations and maintain professionalism.

  • Avoid Aggressive Confrontation: Instead of confronting stakeholders aggressively, seek a constructive and respectful approach to address concerns or issues related to the design process or your role as a Senior UX Designer.

  • Refrain from Accusations: Rather than accusing stakeholders of excluding you, strive to have open and honest conversations to understand their perspectives and find common ground for collaboration.

  • Maintain Professionalism: Uphold professionalism in all interactions, maintaining a calm demeanour when discussing design-related matters with the product owner and other stakeholders.

2. disregarding someone's work

Do not dismiss the design solutions handed to you by the product owner without giving them any consideration or feedback. Create your designs without consulting or collaborating with the product management and engineering teams.

Show respect for others' work, foster collaboration and value feedback and input.

  • Show Respect for Others' Work: Instead of disregarding the design solutions provided by the product owner, approach them with an open mind, offering constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement. Respect the efforts and perspectives of others in the team.

  • Foster Collaboration: Avoid creating designs in isolation. Engage in regular communication and collaboration with the product management and engineering teams. By involving them in the design process, you can leverage their expertise and ensure a more comprehensive and effective result.

  • Value Feedback and Input: Recognize the importance of gathering feedback from different team members. Embrace a collaborative mindset that values input from stakeholders, enabling you to refine and enhance your designs based on diverse perspectives and insights.

3. complaining publicly

Do not vent your frustrations about being excluded from the design process on public platforms, such as social media or company forums, creating a negative image for the team and potentially damaging relationships with colleagues.

Maintain professionalism in communication, seek constructive dialogue, and nurture positive relationships.

  • Maintain Professionalism in Communication: Instead of complaining publicly about being excluded from the design process, address your concerns through appropriate channels, such as private conversations or team meetings. Maintain a professional and constructive tone when discussing issues, focusing on finding solutions rather than venting frustrations.

  • Seek Constructive Dialogue: Engage in open and honest conversations with relevant stakeholders to express your feelings of exclusion. Approach the conversation with a mindset of seeking understanding and resolution, fostering a collaborative environment where concerns can be addressed and resolved.

  • Nurture Positive Relationships: Avoid damaging colleague relationships by refraining from public complaints. Instead, focus on building positive and constructive relationships by fostering open communication, seeking common ground, and working towards shared goals. Maintaining a professional and respectful approach helps to preserve relationships and foster a harmonious team environment.


master tricky workplace scenarios

Use these three professional strategies to handle any challenge with confidence!

Initiate a conversation, request an inclusive process and offer to lead a design workshop.

1. initiating a conversation

Reach out to the product owner and relevant stakeholders to discuss the importance of involving the UX Designer in the design process. Emphasize the value of a collaborative approach for creating user-centric and effective design solutions.

Three benefits of having a UX Designer in the design process are user-centric designs, empowering creativity and innovation, and mitigating potential issues.

  • User-Centric Design: UX designers are critical in ensuring the end product or service is user-centric. Understanding user needs, behaviours, and preferences involves UX designers in the design process to leverage their expertise. And helps to create intuitive, usable, and enjoyable experiences that align with user expectations.

  • Empowering Creativity and Innovation: UX designers bring a creative perspective to the design process. Their knowledge of design principles, interaction patterns, and emerging trends allows them to explore innovative solutions. By involving UX designers, organizations can tap into their creativity, pushing the boundaries of design and fostering innovation within the team.

  • Mitigating Potential Issues: Early involvement of UX designers can help identify and address potential usability and user experience issues. Their expertise in conducting user research, usability testing, and information architecture allows them to identify pain points and make informed design decisions. Organizations can proactively address potential issues by involving UX designers, reducing the risk of costly redesigns or negative user experiences later in development.

2. requesting an inclusive process

Propose a more inclusive design process by requesting to be part of the meetings where they're making design decisions. The inclusive process will help ensure that your expertise is utilized and contribute to a more efficient and informed design process.

Here are three ways to start the conversation to propose a more inclusive design process.

Frame the Conversation around User Empathy

  • Start by highlighting the importance of considering diverse user perspectives and the value of inclusivity in the design process.

  • Emphasize how a more inclusive approach can lead to better user experiences, increased customer satisfaction, and broader market reach.

  • Frame the conversation as an opportunity to improve the overall quality and impact of the product or service.

For Example

"I believe we can enhance our design process by adopting a more inclusive approach. By considering a wider range of user perspectives and experiences, we can create products that truly meet the needs of our diverse user base. It will improve user satisfaction and positions us as a company that values inclusivity and social responsibility."

Share Case Studies and Success Stories

  • Provide examples of successful projects or industry case studies where an inclusive design process has yielded positive outcomes.

  • Highlight the tangible benefits, such as improved usability, increased engagement, and positive user feedback.

  • Use these examples to illustrate how an inclusive design process can contribute to the project's and the organization's overall success.

For Example

"I recently encountered a case study where a company implemented an inclusive design process. By involving users from different backgrounds and abilities throughout the design process, they were able to identify and address usability issues that they would have overlooked otherwise. As a result, their product gained wider adoption, received positive reviews, and attracted a more diverse user base. Adopting a similar approach could also greatly benefit our projects."

Propose Collaboration and Cross-Functional Involvement

  • Highlight the value of collaboration and the benefits of involving different stakeholders in the design process.

  • Emphasize that an inclusive design process goes beyond just the UX team and involves input from individuals across departments, including product managers, developers, marketers, and customer support.

  • Position the proposal as an opportunity to foster a more collaborative and integrated team approach.

For Example

"We can strengthen our design process by fostering a more collaborative and inclusive environment. By involving team members from various departments and backgrounds, we can tap into diverse expertise and perspectives. This collaborative approach will ensure we make more informed design decisions and deliver products that truly resonate with our users. Let's explore ways to involve different stakeholders in the design process and leverage their unique insights for a more inclusive and successful outcome."

3. offering to lead a design workshop

Suggest conducting a design workshop with the product management and engineering teams to collaboratively explore and refine existing design solutions. Leading a workshop will allow you to share your expertise and foster a more robust team dynamic and better understanding of each other's roles.

Try a collaborative exploration, a workshop for sharing expertise, or perhaps one for strengthening team dynamics.

  • Collaborative Exploration: Propose leading a design workshop to engage the product management and engineering teams to explore existing design solutions collaboratively. The workshop creates a space for collective brainstorming, idea generation, and refining design concepts by bringing everyone together. It encourages a collaborative approach where different perspectives and expertise contribute to better solutions.

  • Sharing Expertise: Taking the lead in a design workshop allows you to share your expertise as a UX designer. By facilitating discussions and exercises, you can provide valuable insights into user-centred design principles, usability considerations, and best practices. Sharing your knowledge helps educate the team about the importance of user experience. It enhances their understanding of how design decisions impact the overall product.

  • Strengthening Team Dynamics: Conducting a design workshop fosters a more robust team dynamic by promoting collaboration, open communication, and mutual understanding of roles. The workshop creates shared ownership of the design process by involving the product management and engineering teams, leading to better alignment, improved decision-making, and more powerful cross-functional collaboration.