Business Analysis And User Experience Design: How Are They Similar?

Imagine customers being saddled with an application that is difficult to use and takes significant time to learn. What do you think would happen to it? They would most likely abandon it as soon as they can, leading to a loss in sales for the business. Smart organizations place a high priority on user experience to ensure that their products are accepted in the market.

Usability specialists are hired to increase the rate of system adoption by ensuring that products are easy and pleasurable to use. The only way they can understand or even know what makes a product easy to use is by conducting research aimed at eliciting users' requirements and answering the ultimate question, "What makes customers tick?". In this regard, one can argue that UX specialists also work as business analysts.

Usability specialists use prototypes and wireframes to capture the vision of their products, interview potential users and suggest ways in which the product can be improved to serve customers. While usability specialists have unique methods and techniques targeted at arriving at user-centred designs, the business analyst is expected to engage more directly with the business to determine what the needs are. You will agree that there are certainly areas of convergence.

UX is about delivering superior user experiences through the study and application of user behaviour principles and theories to system design. To do so, UX professionals have to understand what users need and design solutions to facilitate optimal use. That being said, there are many opportunities to apply user-centred principles in business analysis. When business analysts elicit non-functional requirements, they consider the usability of the proposed system. They define users’ needs with respect to ease of use, simplicity, etc.

Though these roles often intersect in practice, it is clear that business analysts place a higher focus on identifying business needs while UX professionals focus on how these needs can be implemented in a user-friendly manner. They both however, have the overarching objective of fulfilling users’ requirements.