I've recently joined a smaller local software company. Our primary customer is the local government and we're beginning to develop a software to manage their meeting and event rooms. One reason for this is because employees kept complaining that the older software was difficult to use and required significant time investment before a new employee could use the software.
This basically screamed "We had a UX issue!" at me, and yet when I asked my project lead about UX design, he seemed rather bewildered. The gist of his response was "What for?". I got into a longer discussion with him, explaining why I believe that UX seems to be important to the customer, but he claimed that getting a working prototype out to the customer was more important, and if UX became an issue later, we could always fix it later. When I told him that we are that later fix for someone else's UX screw up, he didn't really give me a response.
I feel like this project is heading towards a disaster already. What can I do to convince my project lead that UX design should be taken seriously? Or am I possibly completely overreacting?
To give some clarification about "bad UX", both in the previous program and in the current prototype. The previous program, I've only used for a short time during a demonstration. It was basically "consistently inconsistent". Labels for the same actions are different, buttons appear in random locations, colors are used inconsistently and if something doesn't work as expected, the program gives no response and just expects you to know what to do. I've attempted to perform a simple task like book an appointment in a room, and failed horrendously. The amount of steps required is out of this world.
Our current prototype suffers from what I call "programmer UI". Programmers made some functions and then add in buttons to launch these functions. The entire UI is extremely barebones and basically requires knowledge of how the program works internally, just to be able to use it.