We have had a self-proclaimed UX Expert foisted upon our development team recently and it's been nothing but headaches ever since. I am not sure what his background is but he does not know anything about HTML or CSS or browser compatibility, etc. There is no indication that he has ever worked in a development team environment and it has become painfully obvious that his design recommendations are based on his "artistic opinions" which really have no bearing on our application or what we need to accomplish. He doesn't conduct user interviews or testing nor does he do any kind of research from that angle (or any other angle). He does work with BA's and other SME's but he tends to talk at them without really paying attention to the big picture.
I understand there is a place for UX professionals out there, but we are not developing a commercial website or application, rather an internal back-office application that will be used by a limited number of people. The quick description is an application for checking account reconciliations and searching for documents and moving documents through workflows, etc. We need something that is fast and easy to use, it doesn't need to be flashy or entertaining, it needs to be solid and dependable and simple and intuitive. The end users will be trained on how to use the application, it's part of their job, and we don't need to dazzle them with intricate page controls or widgets and the simpler it is the better. That's not his mindset or approach at all.
Firing the guy is not an option, as he has connections much higher up the food chain. One thing we have tried is putting him with some junior level developers so that he feels like he is in charge of something but that has not worked out for a number of reasons, with a primary reason being that we need them for other tasks. The senior level developers have started ignoring him though because he doesn't understand or care about what they have tried to tell him about his recommendations. As the Team Lead I have expressed to him our concerns but it is not getting through - he thinks that since he is the UX Expert that whatever he recommends should be the final word.
We have tried following his recommendations to the letter in browser mock-ups to demonstrate the point we want to make. He gets frustrated and confused because it never seems to work like he expected it to... we didn't even want to take the time to do this but we thought it would help.
What should we do in this situation? Is there any way to break through? Due to resource constraints we are not in a position to offer any sort of training and I'm not sure that it would take anyway.
So he interviewed for a Director level job. It was down to him and some lady from outside the company. He had the connections but she had the education. She is a PhD I think. It turns out this guy doesn't even have a bachelor's degree. Not that he would need it to do what he was doing before but this is a blue chip type company and typically to advance to a Director level position there are standards and requirements that have to be met. So she got the job and the kicker is, after he found out he resigned... someone else said they thought he had a lead at a different company. I don't know and I don't care, he's out of our misery now. :)