Script for — How to ensure quality in the delivered experience #UCD2013


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This is the rough script I followed when sharing the talk today

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Script for — How to ensure quality in the delivered experience #UCD2013

  1. 1. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 # How to ensure quality in the delivered experience ## 1. Title ## 2. Hello Today I'll share some simple observations about delivering quality in experience design. - What is good design and quality? - What gets in the way of quality design? - Your context — applying them to typical work environments. ## 3. Hello from Dominic > I do customer experience design, interaction design & information architecture for online, mobile & multichannel commerce. > I've helped some big names across various industries improve on their customer experiences and services by applying good design practise with an inquisitive and playful approach. ## 4. Some inspiration These two quotations frame my work, and by extension these observations today. The first is from Eliel Saarinen, a Finnish Architect who was father to Eero Saarinen, another excellent designer! > Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan. — Eliel Saarinen (Finnish Architect 1873-1950) ## 5. Some inspiration The second is less of a quote and more of a sketched Venn diagram. It was made by Charles Eames as he explained his design process. - 1 If this area represents the interest and concern of the design office - 2 and this area the genuine interest to the client - 3 and this the concerns of society as a whole - 4 then it is in this area of overlapping interest and concern that the designer can work with conviction and enthusiasm ## 6. What is good design and quality? - Design can make or break a service or product - Design sells, it creates meaning. It is a differentiator. - Design literacy is increasing - To me, good design requires great understanding of the context in which we design. —1—
  2. 2. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 ## 7. What is good design and quality? - A simplistic example, because it is a familiar reminder. - This is the vision. Doesn't it look tasty? ## 8. What is good design and quality - What was delivered? The reality when you walk away from the fast food counter is often quite far from the lovely marketing photos. - However, we still want it, enjoy it, come back for more! ## 9. What is good design and quality? - We want to make something the best* it can be * well, 80/20, pragmatically ## 10. What is good design and quality? - We need to balance user needs with project realities * Time and money * Skills * Technical integration challenges ## 11. What is good design and quality? - We want to do good multichannel design > Tie up the experience between channels (personalisation) with consistent communication and brand experience across each channel whilst respecting the unique usability and style of each channel. ## 12. What is good design and quality? - Whatever it is, we want to answer the brief in a creative, meaningful, useful and usable way. ## 13. What gets in the way of quality design? - Here are a few observations that I've seen get in the way of the designer and design team from seeing their vision delivered, together with strategies for tackling them. ## 14. What gets in the way of quality design? "JUST-IN-TIME DESIGN" What is it? - Late requirements/briefings - Too little too late - Unrealistic deadlines —2—
  3. 3. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 What did I do about it? - Balance research and insight against experience and intuition. > Intuition: You know how to design stuff, there's plenty of patterns you've seen work well in other contexts so apply them. > Quick research! Identify potential users, ask them questions about their role, needs and context. But no analysis paralysis. ## 15. What gets in the way of quality design? "FRAGMENTATION" What is it? - Too many cooks (stakeholders) with too many voices/sign off points. - 'Silos' in the business. Design without access to the wider context of where the feature sits. "Nice product detail page, shame about the purchase experience" What did I do about it? - Identify how to manage the number of voices. Prioritise with a RACI. Find those responsible and communicate clearly. Find out when decisions need to be made - "Get in early with brand & comms" - Identify the responsible parties — the client wants to deliver a new support section to their website, but you can't touch search because that's not in scope for this release. ## 16. What gets in the way of quality design? "POLITICAL STUFF" What is it? - Example: When the project sponsor chooses to split the work between different teams/agencies - Example: conflicting agendas, between different aspects of the client's business What did I do about it? - This one comes back to establishing the bigger picture. - Why is the work being commissioned. Who owns the bigger picture, how will it all fit together for the intended audience? ## 17. What gets in the way of quality design? "POOR COMMUNICATION" What is it? - Ideally we work in a truly collaborative, co-creative, iterative way whilst maintaining our focus on the user needs. However, team dynamics aren't always like that! Sometimes I find teams where people want to hide behind laptops all —3—
  4. 4. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 day, headphones on.. That's not to say this is bad, but good collaboration is necessary. What did I do about it? > The design heavyweight. A story from when I had less experience/confidence in design as a process. - "I've worked in a big agency where occasionally a new design heavyweight would be paraded in front of the long-standing client. - These invariably were strong personalities with unusual dress sense who would do strange things like sit cross legged on the floor, whilst others sat in their chairs in a more conventional client site environment. - In my observation, they were good at promoting their own ideas, but bad for the project and client as a whole because their approach was not multidisciplinary, more egotistical! - A true design heavyweight will properly consider the context in which they work, and behave collaboratively with the stakeholders and co-creative designers from other disciplines." - "Although I was less confident of this at the time, I now recognise that I had been working with the client's brand for a long time, I'd taken the time to understand why they got out of bed in the morning, and the values they wanted to reflect with that. That's why I could see that the fancy new visual work would not fly — it was delivered with the wrong motives, and missed out on the essence of why that brand is what it is. I wish I had spoken up at the time — Especially so as the work was eventually rejected after much cost to the client!" - Speak up! Challenge! Get involved! ## 18. What gets in the way of quality design? "AGILE & LEAN" What is it? - Agile methods of delivery are fantastic! - But you may hear "That will go on the backlog!" regularly, or 'Is that appropriate for MVP' or "Great feature! Nicely researched and what a lovely prototype. However we've only got time for this small part of it. Will that still work?" What did I do about it? - Understand the core feature. Why is this thing important and what problem does it solve? - Consider how to reduce the feature in such a way that it delivers on that value. - Involve a mix of people to do this — Product owner, BA, Users, PM, Devs - Get involved early enough & collaborate — don't chuck your design over the wall and hope it will get built, to get an interesting surprise at the show & tell! —4—
  5. 5. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 # 19. In your context Some observations about where you can improve the quality of what is delivered # 20. Where is design represented? - Leadership can inspire a culture of design literacy, involvement and action. - Is there senior enough ownership of the design or experience > Delivering on brand values by enabling business transformation. > Ensuring that design is represented, funded, protected and delivered at the appropriate levels in the organisation. > So that you ship stuff that yields a measurable competitive advantage - At all levels > Do people care about delivering quality design? Have they bought in to The Why? > Inspiring action through effective communication and leadership. ## 21. In your context Rob's story — from inside a major DIY retailer. > Today's argument... Whether or not UX is a consideration for testing! The "Test Manager says UX is not important, she wants to test purely against tech design, whereas the Service Manager says it is! There is no point delivering an omnichannel retail experience if the customers find it unusable!" ## 22. In your context > "The Test Manager wants to test just the search function, but the Service Manager says that isn't enough as it doesn't account for the user's needs! He wants them to test *how* the user can use the function… Is it consistent from front page / product page / help pages etc… And is this consistent in terms of results and presentation across platforms? ## 23. My observation - Both managers are operating within their remit but to win the argument someone must own the user experience across those channels. - I would say that UX does not form part of a test manager's remit, but it is a consideration that can prevent a release going live so I would ensure that an appropriate member of the UX team is on hand to check the whole journey… >> at a multi-channel integration level — do all the pieces fit together as designed? >> at a per-channel level — does each journey make sense, and follow at least the UX heuristics if no formal measurable elements were defined up front —5—
  6. 6. Talk on UX quality — script - 07/11/2013 - 22:17 >> and at a per-page/control level — does each page and widget behave as expected, in the correct order, communicate its state appropriately, handle validation in the right manner, match the copy [words] and visual design ## 24. Who owns the experience - Those are considerations for someone who can evaluate that can also reject the release as inappropriate if it does not enable those things, which in my view are a serious consideration! - These are your touchpoints and they deliver on your brand promises. if they fail, or don't hang together in a joined up, sensible journey then your brand promise is compromised. ## 25. In summary I've shared some observations I've made about why we want to do good design, where we might find compromise in delivering it, and a few opportunities to be mindful of the wider context. Context is really important in design. It is especially important in delivering quality experiences. - Find any simple way to keep your users in mind in a vibrant and real way - about who they are, where they have come from and what they will do next in any given scenario - These are and simple ways to deliver on your promise though good design. To me, good design requires great understanding of the context in which we design. Not just those immediate needs of our users and their wider journey, but also that of our colleagues in the design studio as we form the thing, and an understanding of the context of our clients and stakeholders, the context of delivery and ongoing measurement. ## 26. Thank you —6—