I’ve been a UX designer for about 7 years. I originally thought it was only the UX designer responsible for defining the experience as well as coming up with all of the ideas. It was about 2 years ago when I realized that these two things were important in the process, but not the most important trait a UX designer should possess.
If you are the smart creative on your project team it’s important to help define and supplement the team’s ideas, but not direct them entirely. Allow the conversation to take place with limited interruptions. Allow the team to discuss, argue, and kick around ideas on their own while making sure they stick to the topic at hand.
So, then, what is the UX designer doing? You should be listening! Actively listen to the conversation. Listen to what your team members are saying and keep a list of the best ideas. Allow the conversation to inform your design. Don’t get stuck in thinking your design must inform the conversation.
Try to keep everyone on the same page and to build a shared understanding of the conversation by providing visuals of the conversation along the way. Ultimately, try and ensure the conversation and the design match as the team progresses through the requirements of the project.
Think of the conversation as the first draft of your design and help the team share your understanding of the conversation by providing them with visuals that illustrate how you see the conversation.