Building a Practice as a UX Team of One

A session at UX Lx: User Experience Lisbon 2011

Wednesday 11th May, 2011

9:00am to 12:30pm (LMT)

UX teams of one have unique challenges. Fewer resources. Creative isolation. Organizational ignorance. Sometimes even hostility. This workshop will explore the real life organizational situations that teams of one work in, and show what you can do about them.

Teams of one arguably have the furthest reach and impact, precisely because they mostly work with people who don't yet know the value of user experience. But when UX teams of one are embattled, frustrated, territorial, and defensive, the discipline of UX seems that way too. And when UX teams of one are relevant and effective, confidence and interest in UX spreads.

The goal of this workshop is to give every attendee the tools to be relevant and effective by creating a personalized plan for their UX practice. Your plan will include the methods, soft skills, and strategies that will help you build support for UX and do your best work in a resource constrained environment.

We'll start the day by looking at what kind of team of one you are. A newcomer? A cross-over? A freelancer? While being a UX team of one can feel isolating at times, we actually have more in common than we think. Organizational models, team makeup, and product development approach all combine to create some fairly predictable challenges and opportunities. In this workshop we'll create a personalized assessment of which ones apply to you.

From there, this workshop will guide you in making an 18-month plan for your UX practice, and help you identify specific tactics and strategies to get you there. Whether you want to cross over into user experience or you're a seasoned practitioner, this workshop will give you a game plan for doing more with less.


  • User experience professionals working in-house embedded within marketing teams, development teams, etc.
  • People with non-UX job titles who are crossing over—doing increasingly more UX work.
  • UX freelancers and contractors who work with clients who don't have large UX teams.
  • People who are interested in starting out in the field of user experience.


By the end of this workshop, you will have learned:

  • Challenges and Opportunities - A typology of situations that you might be facing as a UX team of one.
  • Lean Methods - How to adapt the standard lineup of UX deliverables to be, self-documenting, lower fidelity, and more focused on answering concrete questions.
  • Soft Skills - How to use negotiation, storytelling, networking, and listening to resolve conflict, communicate the value of your work, and build support for UX.
  • Growth Paths - Common next steps that UX teams of one have taken in their career, and which one might eventually be right for you.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Leah Buley

Design Strategist at Intuit

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Time 9:00am12:30pm LMT

Date Wed 11th May 2011

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