How Business Analysts & UX Designers make for killer teams

The discussion surrounding the roles of business analysts (BAs) and UX designers within software development teams is not new. Recently, this topic arose within our team at Qubiz, prompting Darius, our Head of Design, to jot down some reflections.

How Business Analysts and UX Designers Are Apparently Similar

These two roles are similar in that both seek to gather information and project requirements. They are problem solvers and effective communicators, facilitating communication between stakeholders and development teams.

How Business Analysts and UX Designers Are Completely Different

In short, business analysts and UX designers focus on different things.

Business analysts focus primarily on understanding business processes and finding solutions for business problems. They ensure the software solution aligns with the client's strategic objectives and functional requirements.

Meanwhile, UX designers concentrate on user needs and finding solutions for user problems. They prioritise creating a seamless and intuitive user experience that enhances usability and satisfaction.

Now, of course, the differences don't end here: their tooling and deliverables can look quite unalike. 

For instance, business analysts will usually study whatever documentation is initially available and then use specific techniques to elicit requirements from the client, and then "translate" those requirements into a backlog of epics, user stories, acceptance criteria and more. 

On the other hand, UX designers will start with the initial requirements but also employ user personas, user interviews, and user journey maps to gain extra insights and deliver wireframes, interactive prototypes, and finished designs.

4 Ways in Which the Two Roles Are Definitely Complementary

As the title suggests, business analysts and UX designers are indispensable to any successful project, and their effective collaboration leads to happier clients, happier users, and happier teams.

  1. During the initial analysis workshops with the clients, they can help clarify requirements by looking at them from two differing perspectives: what needs to be done (BA), and how it should be done (UX). In my experience, during these workshops, UX designers would pose slightly different questions than BAs, but this often leads to a better understanding of the requirements for everybody involved.
  2. As the business analyst usually has a deeper understanding of the business rules, processes and limitations, they are the go-to person when the UX designer has questions or needs more information about a feature or flow.
  3. Conversely, the wireframes – or indeed the finished designs – delivered by UX designers help BAs better define user stories and especially acceptance criteria. Very often, teams would rather have designers create the prototypes for a flow before estimating the effort needed for implementation because designs help clarify requirements.
  4. Agile teams are very client-oriented, but more often than not, the client is not the typical application’s end-user, so having a UX designer on board ensures that users are not overlooked in the development process.

The Big Caveat

Because there's a certain overlap in what they do, BAs and UX designers must avoid stepping on each other's toes. For instance, that could happen when the BA tends to impose their views on usability or UI matters.

Another unhelpful situation may occur when the UX designer disregards the business requirements and rules drafted by the business analysts. Open discussions between the two (and with the whole team, for that matter) on any subject should be fair game as long as both teams respect each other's specialisation and leave subjectivity to the side.

Should you have both a Business Analyst and a UX Designer?

Business analysts & UX designers have complementary, partially overlapping roles.  Having them both in a development team ensures a holistic approach to product development, in which both business and user needs are met.

Their collaboration results in timely, cost-effective, feasible products that users want to adopt and use.

Read more articles

Shielding patient data: Top strategies for data privacy in health tech

Published on:
March 21, 2024
Read article

What are the most important Cyber Security trends in 2024?

Published on:
February 22, 2024
Read article

Qubiz at the AHK New Year's Reception 2024

Published on:
February 6, 2024
Read article

Qubiz Internships: From Software Development intern to team member

Published on:
January 9, 2024
Read article

6 Major differences between Enterprise UX and Consumer UX

Published on:
December 14, 2023
Read article

Is your logistics company ready to adopt IoT?

Published on:
December 5, 2023
Read article