“You are not the user.”

This is a common saying in the UX world — and it carries a lot of weight for being only 5 short words. What do UX practitioners mean when we say “You are not the user”?

You are the expert in what your business does, the product or services you offer, and the strategy on how to accomplish your business goals. 

However, even though you might know who your customers are or work with them directly, you are not the user. The business goals usually don’t line up 1:1 with a user’s goals, even though they may be inextricably linked. 

You can have a theory about what your customers need and how they feel, but you need to talk to them to truly understand their goals and experiences. You need to understand customers’ goals and experiences in order to have a truly customer-focused company.

Journey mapping is a useful exercise to get your team in the user experience mindset. We have a quick-read article that explains the what, why, and how of journey mapping.

Leading the UX Team at a Fortune 500 Company in integrating journey maps into their process

Recently, Clockwork completed a project with a Fortune 500 client that has an established UX Research team. They wanted our help leveling up their journey-mapping process and integrating the method into their UX practice. 

We led workshops to align the UX team on research objectives and collaborated on their research planning. They performed the research themselves, including interviewing users of their product.

Once they had completed their research, we reviewed the results, facilitated journey mapping workshops to bring the deliverable together, synthesized the workshop results, and made recommendations to inform their next steps. These steps were tailored to the team’s needs and the sticky points they were encountering within their organization. 

By conducting research and mapping out their user’s journey, our client embodied the UX mantra: “You are not the user.” Our hope is that through learning this lesson deeply, our clients will continue to apply customer-focused practices and see both their users and their business thrive because of it. We hope you are inspired to apply these practices too! 

Want us to research your users’ journey? Or teach your UX team how to run a journey map initiative? Get in touch.