What are UX people getting into?

Daniel Engelberg
2 min readSep 16, 2021


Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

A lot of UX people don’t realize what they’re getting into. They just want to do UX. But they quickly discover half the battle is being allowed to do it.

Organizations don’t realize they need to change to support UX. And UX people don’t realize they’re stepping into a change management role.

Early in my career I realized I would need to change the organizations I worked for, so I could do the UX they hired me to do. I didn’t know anything about change management and no-one told me it was hard, so I just did it.

But I didn’t try to change organizations. I didn’t have a mandate for that. I just changed processes that connected with UX, and that worked.

Organizational resistance to UX doesn’t just come from resistance to change. Organizational processes and structures often reflect underlying values. But values are extremely hard to change, because they’re anchored by strong unconscious beliefs and neurotypes.

It’s worth sensitizing other employees to UX, but you’re not going to change their values with a few informational brown-bag lunches. If you try to challenge values and power structures, you’re more likely to entrench resistance than you are to succeed.

So the best policy is to slowly change the things you have access to: organizational processes and information structures. Once those changes are in place, values might change gradually on their own, without resistance.