The UX Façade: Five ways to overcome this collaboration blocker

Illustration of someone trying on different masks

"User experience" (UX) has become more than just a buzzword. It's a strategic game-changer that can make or break a company's success. But, there is a phenomenon that slows progress—the notorious UX Façade.

Let's unmask the UX façade.

Picture this: organizations that (sometimes) acknowledge the significance of UX, but treat it as a superficial layer rather than a fundamental mindset. This phenomenon, the UX Façade, often rears its head in organizations that have been around since before UX practices fully matured. They create UX teams, but struggle to integrate UX principles deeply into their processes, leading to disconnected collaboration across the organization (and more). 

In these setups, the UX team ends up being more of a symbolic figurehead than an integral contributor. UX is confined to a checkbox, or at best, a service function, detached from strategic decision-making. 

While the company's outward appearance seems aligned with modern trends and being customer-centric, the impact of the UX team on the final product is often minimal, if not negligible. This can be demoralizing for a lot of UX and product professionals who feel like they're constantly swimming against the current, which leads to burnout.

Breaking down the barriers: Overcoming the UX façade

Now for the good news—it's not mission impossible to defeat this. We can tear it down with a strategic approach centered on evangelism and education, and start creating a true culture of collaboration.  


Here are five ways to kick the UX Façade to the curb:

1. Scheduled cross-team meetings

Start by having regular cross-team meetings, especially with new team members. This is where you can share the best ways to collaborate, dive into UX and product thinking, and outline how teams can complement each other's efforts.

2. Educate about UX and product thinking

Use these meetings to educate your colleagues about the core of UX and product thinking.  Explain how it aligns with their department goals and how customer-centric strategies can harmonize with traditional metrics like revenue and sales.

3. Put the customer front & center

Encourage every team, not just UX and Product, to make decisions with the customer's perspective in mind. Share real-world examples of how putting customers first improves business outcomes.

4. Lead by example

Show your colleagues how UX principles can seamlessly integrate with other departments. Pull out even more real-world examples and success stories that highlight cross-team collaboration as a key factor in creating better products and experiences.

5. Incremental change

Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Transforming your company culture takes time, but every person inspired to embrace UX principles contributes to dismantling the façade bit by bit. So, stay at it. Keep encouraging and keep educating.

Unlocking True Collaboration

If you can recognize and work to address the UX Façade within your organization (if it exists at all), it can lead to game-changing results. By weaving UX principles throughout the business, you'll create a culture where collaboration isn't just a buzzword—it's a shared mindset that sparks innovation, delights customers, and fuels sustainable growth.

For more insights on the UX Façade and other pesky collaboration blockers, download our insights report here.

Let’s reshape collaboration and pave the way for a future where UX isn't just a façade, but a driving force that propels organizations to new heights.


What's next?

Have a project you’re working on and need some support? Reach out to us.

Do you just want to chat about product, UX, research, process, and methodologies? We’re down for that too. Let's chat.

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Eric Trimble

Eric Trimble

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