It's an exciting time at Habanero! We're making great headway with creating much closer ties between our UE team and the Engineering folks as we strive to knock down those silos that can threaten to isolate one department from another. 

One of our developers, Daniel, asked if I'd like to write up a blog posting on some of the work going on between the teams, and then, because he's such a good guy he volunteered that he'd already written something up that I might like to use. Sounded great to me! 

However, rather than take the credit for his efforts, I'll just paste in what he gave me. :) So without further ado, here are Daniel's thoughts...

Integrating User Experience with Engineering

At Habanero, we've created Centres of Excellence, or teams of people focused on key areas of our business. In my role as Senior Technical Specialist, I'm accountable for our newest focus area: the User Experience Integration Technical Centre of Excellence (or the less wordy UE TCoE).

Our reason for being

In a nutshell, the purpose of the UE TCoE is to smooth and super-charge the relationship and interaction between our designers, information architects, UE developers, and engineers. In business-speak that includes researching and providing guidance on technology, tools, and processes and promoting dialogue and up-take of subject matter. (At Habanero, UE developers work heavily with technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Flash, and Flex, and engineers work on low-level coding, databases, and technical architecture.) The UE TCoE is also responsible for researching and sharing knowledge of all things related to UE integration and answering common questions such as, "How much can I do with AJAX, while still working across many browsers?" and "What is the most usable way to arrange this information on Windows Forms?"

Addressing common problems

Our industry typically experiences UE problems when engineers perform too much of the UE work on custom-developed applications, or when UE work is hard or too expensive to implement on web / portal applications. To address these issues, the UE TCoE will focus partly on ensuring we build an appropriate level of user-experience into all of our projects, from static websites and collaborative web portals to highly complex custom applications. Each type of project requires differing levels of input from UE and engineering team members, but all require strong collaboration between team members in order to create a natural and intuitive user experience.

Ensuring highly usable solutions for clients

The UE TCoE is here to ensure we plan, learn, and implement projects with the appropriate level of team involvement, so we deliver highly usable applications and services to our clients every time. We'll let you know how we get on!