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Changing Minds, Removing Barriers: UX Practitioner as Strategist and Change Agent
 

Changing Minds, Removing Barriers: UX Practitioner as Strategist and Change Agent

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Latest update September 2013. Presented at UX Akron Meetup, September 2013.

Latest update September 2013. Presented at UX Akron Meetup, September 2013.
First presented at the Big (D)esign 2010 conference, May 2010.

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    Changing Minds, Removing Barriers: UX Practitioner as Strategist and Change Agent Changing Minds, Removing Barriers: UX Practitioner as Strategist and Change Agent Presentation Transcript

    • CHANGING MINDS AND REMOVING BARRIERS ! ! USER EXPERIENCE PRACTITIONER AS STRATEGIST AND CHANGE AGENT! Paul  Sherman   ShermanUX  
    • let’s cut to the chase!  Usability  testing  ≠  a  good  user  experience!      Strategic  user  experience  planning  can  yield   a  unified  and  consistent  user  experience.       And  strategic  design  leads  to  great  user   experiences.     2  
    • why isn’t testing enough?!  Usability  testing  is   almost  always   tactical  and  short-­‐ term  focused.      Even  when  done   across  releases…the   results  are  almost   always  used   tactically.   3  
    • so?!       But  the  method  is  not  well  suited  for:   §  Crafting  a  unified  user  experience   §  Planning  for  tomorrow’s  user  experience   §  Creating  delight,  loyalty,  stickiness   4   Usability  testing  can  find  problems  with  your   site  or  product.    
    • Delight   Loyalty   Stickiness     How  do  you  attain  these?      5  
    • By  designing  the  user   experience:     For  now.   For  next  year.   And  the  years  after  that.   6  
    • And  designing  the  entire   experience…       Not  just  your  product’s  user  interface.     Or  the  email  campaign’s  HTML  formatting.     Or  the  user  assistance  content.       7  
    • 8   STRATEGY VS. TACTICS!
    • yadda yadda definition…!  “[Strategy  is]  A  long  term  plan  of  action   designed  to  achieve  a  particular  goal.”    “Strategy  is  differentiated  from  tactics  or   immediate  actions  by  its  orientation  on   affecting  future,  not  immediate   conditions.”   9   <Lazy>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy</>  
    • here’s a good example: ! 10  
    • here’s a good example:! 11    Strategic  plan:   Go  from  airport   to  hotel    Tactics:      Make  some   turns  
    • “Find  and  fix”  usability  is  like   making  a  turn.       It’s  a  good  thing  to  do…     If  you  know  where  you’re  going.     Do  you?   12  
    • 13   A STORY ABOUT ALIGNMENT!
    • it’s about the organization!  At  many  companies,  various  groups  and   departments  are  not  aligned  around   creating  the  best  user  experience  possible.        In  fact,  some  groups  are  incented  to   create  a  bad  user  experience.        How  can  that  be?  Easy…unintended   consequences  of  incentive  structures.     14  
    • unintended consequences!  Example:  Imagine  an  [ahem]  “fictional”   company  where  a  marketing  department  is   responsible  for  shipping  and  fulfillment.        Imagine  they  charged  $15.95  USD  to  ship  a   box  of  software.  And  this  made  the  marketing   department  600K  yearly.        How  many  people  do  you  think  abandoned   their  shopping  carts  when  they  saw  that   price?   15  
    • unintended consequences!  …and  how  many  customers  do  you  think  were   lost  because  of  this  one  short-­‐sighted  decision?   16  
    • my point is…!  Usability  testing  and  user-­‐centered  design   can  only  do  so  much.      To  create  great  user  experiences,  you  have  to   take  a  holistic  -­‐  and  strategic  –  approach.   17  
    • i’m not the only one!  I’m  not  the  only  person  saying  this:        Steve  Baty  –  “Being  An  Experience-­‐Led  Organization”    http://bit.ly/40xrLP      Jared  Spool  –  UPA  2009  keynote          …and  many  others.     18  
    • 19   USABILITY AND ! USER EXPERIENCE!
    • some definitions…!  What  is  usability?      A  person  can  accomplish  what  they’re  trying   to  do  with  your  product  or  service.    What  is  user  experience?    A  person’s  positive  and  negative  attitudes   that  results  from  interacting  with  a  product  or     service.     20  
    • user experience honeycomb! 21   From  Peter  Morville:  http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000029.php  
    • Usability  is  a  part  of  it…     But  only  a  part.     22  
    • how do you quantify ux?!  Measure  it    There  are  many  ways  to  do  this…but  we  don’t   do  a  good  enough  job  today.    My  advice…    Use  multiple  methods,  multiple  measures,   and  look  at  multiple  customer  touchpoints...   not  just  the  product  experience.     23  
    • what can you do NOW?!  The  first  step  is  to   become  aware  of   the  problems!        How?        Walk  through  the   entire  customer   experience.     24  
    • walk the customer corridor!  From  sign-­‐up  to  initial   use…free  to  pay   conversion…calling   and  emailing  help,   tech  support,  and   billing…even  closing   the  account.   25  
    • the “customer corridor”!  If  you  don’t  know  about  this  concept,  talk  to   your  product  managers.  They  do.   26   A  typical  product  manager  drawing…  
    • and while you’re at it…! 27    Check  your  customer  service  line  UX!  Most   are  horrible!  (Because  the  IT  group  typically   designs  the  prompts  and  menus.)  
    • vui is a specialization!  Just  because  you  do  GUI  doesn’t  mean  you   can  do  VUI.      VUI  expert  Susan  Hura:    “Is  Your  Goal  To  Get  Rid  Of  Money?”    http://bit.ly/2yehF    “Are  You  Working  Hard  To  Suck  Less?”    http://bit.ly/18vVP1         28  
    • full disclosure…!  She’s  my  wife.      She’s  also  the  best   VUI  usability  expert   around.   29  
    • How  do  you  “do”  strategic  user   experience?       It  sometimes  means  big  changes.       It  often  drives  process  and  organizational   structure  changes.   30  
    • it takes big changes!  Remember,  in  many  organizations,   departments  and  teams  are  incented  to   create  bad  user  experiences.      Changing  organization  structures  and   incentives  to  refocus  on  the  customer  is  hard   work.       31  
    • some do it instinctively!  Offline:      Nordstrom’s.  Virgin  Air.      Online:    Zappos.  Amazon.  Land’s  End.  (Offline  too.)        Who  else?   32  
    • The  sad  truth:  most   organizations  don’t  align  on  the   user  experience.   33  
    • whose fault is it?!  Everybody’s.  And  nobody’s.        That’s  the  problem.     34  
    • How  do  you  take  a  strategic   approach  to  creating  a  great     user  experience?        Four  very  hard  easy  steps…     35  
    • a strategic approach to ux!  1.  Alignment    Find  the  disincentives  to  delivering  a  good   user  experience,  then  surface  them  to  your   leadership.  Eliminate  them.      Advocate  for  tweaking  the  business  model  if   you  need  to.          Don’t  take  “bad  profits.”  Bad  profits  are   unsustainable  profits.   36  
    • strategic user experience!  2.  Values    Be  open  to  learning  about  and  improving  the   user  experience.        Those  aphorisms  about  the  customer  always     being  right?  They’re  all  true.        Remember  the  guy  who  complained  about   the  food  on  Virgin  Air?  He’s  now  a  taster.   Stunt?  Yes.  But  effective  and  revealing!   37  
    • strategic user experience!  3.  Assess  the  user  experience  holistically    Traverse  the  customer  corridor.  Assess  the   total  experience  –  not  just  the  UI.      Find  the  sticky  points,  the  little  trapdoors.    Remember,  one  bad  touchpoint  affects  the   whole  brand.     38  
    • strategic user experience!  4.  Leverage  user  experience  design    Don’t  just  fix  the  little  user  experience   trapdoors  and  holes.          Assess  and  redesign  the  customer   touchpoints…  all  of  them.  Even  the  IVR.      And…document  what  you  do  and  how.  (More   on  this  in  a  few  minutes.)   39  
    • Yeah,  but…  how  do  I  get  my   organization  to  do  this?       “Initiative”   40  
    • Give  yourself  a  new  job:     “Change  agent”                 Easy  to  say…  harder  to  put  into  practice.   “Initiative”   41   UX
    • What is a change agent?! A  person  who  leads  a  business  initiative  by:   §  Defining  and  researching  the  problem   §  Planning  the  intervention   §  Building  business  support  for  the  intervention   §  Enlisting  others  to  help  drive  change   Six  Sigma  -­‐  http://Isixsigma.com   UXmatters  -­‐  The  User  Experience  Practitioner  As  Change  Agent   42  
    • “Change  agents  must  have  the   conviction  to  state  the  facts   based  on  data,  even  if  the   consequences  are  associated   with  unpleasantness.”     43   http://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/change-­‐agent/  
    • Successful  strategic  user   experience  is  not  just  about   delivering  a  design  or  testing   the  user  interface.     44  
    • It’s  about  aligning  the   organization  to  measure  and   improve  the  user  experience…     Using  the  tools  and  techniques  of  user  research,   interaction  design,  and  usability  assessment.     45  
    • If  you’re  doing  your  job  right,   you’re  changing  your   organization.     “Initiative”   46  
    • Here’s  something  I  created  to   help  me  build  a  strong  UX   presence  at  my  former   organization.     47  
    • 48   THE STORY OF ! THE UX KIT!
    • done!!  I  could  do  the  kit  spiel   in  less  than  5  minutes.        It’s  actually  quite   boring  taken  alone.           49    What’s  interesting  is  why  I  needed  one,  why  you   probably  need  one…  and  what  we  should  be   doing  about  this.  
    • here’s the story’s main point!  User  experience  practice   needs  to  be  embedded   more  securely  into   product  development   lifecycle  activities.     50  
    • a proposition: !  Despite  what  we  may  wish  or  think,  UX  is   still  poorly  integrated  into  product  ideation,   design,  and  development  activities.               51  
    • gaps!  Like  Jared  Spool  said   in  his  UPA  2009   keynote,  there  are   gaps  in  our  field.        I  believe  that  one  of   them  is  the  lack  of   organizational   structure  and  process   guidelines.         52  
    • why?!  Why  isn’t  there  good  stuff  out  there  on  how   to  integrate  UX  teams  into  organizations?        There  are  some  lists.  A  few  books.        But  there  doesn’t  seem  to  be  many  lively,   ongoing  discussions  about  UX  and   organizational  structures,  cultures,  etc.            53  
    • why?!  But  isn’t  setting  up  a  team  a  precondition  to   actually  DOING  effective  user  experience  work?         54  
    • my hypotheses! 1.  It’s  a  trivial  problem…  I’m  stupid  and   everyone  gets  this  stuff  but  me.          Note:  this  is  a  definite  possibility.         55  
    • my hypotheses! 2.  It’s  a  particularly  thorny  problem  or  a   problem  that  our  field  is  not  equipped  to   work  on.        But  we  have  so  many  research   psychologists  in  our  ranks!         56  
    • my hypotheses! 3.  It’s  just  not  as  interesting  or  sexy  as   other  problems  in  our  field.             57  
    • 1.  It’s  a  trivial  problem…  I’m  stupid  and  everyone   gets  this  stuff  but  me.     2.  It’s  a  particularly  thorny  problem  or  a  problem   that  our  field  is  not  equipped  to  work  on.     3.  It’s  just  not  as  interesting  or  sexy  as  other   problems  in  our  field.     I  choose  #3   58  
    • yup, that’s me…!  …always  working  on  the  unsexy  problems.     59  
    • 60   THE PROBLEM!
    • ux ino, or “cargo cult ux”!  I’ve  worked  in  several  organizations  that   claimed  to  do  UX.        Some  of  them  actually  did…   61  
    • ux ino, or “cargo cult ux”!  Some  orgs  *thought*  they  were  doing   UX.      But  what  they  were  really  doing  could  be   called  “UX  in  name  only.”     62  
    • cargo cult user experience!  “A  cargo  cult  is  a  type  of  religious   practice  that  may  appear  in  tribal   societies  in  the  wake  of  interaction  with   technologically  advanced,  non-­‐native   cultures.”      “The  cults  are  focused  on  obtaining   the  material  wealth  of  the  advanced   culture  through  magical  thinking,   religious  rituals  and  practices…”   63   <Lazy>Yes  I  took  this  from  Wikipedia  too.</>  
    • cargo cult ux!  “Cargo  cults  conduct  rituals  imitating   the  behavior  they  have  observed  among   the  holders  of  the  desired  wealth  in   order  to  receive  the  wealth  themselves.”   64  
    • pics or it didn’t happen!     65  
    • pics or it didn’t happen!     66  
    • can i hammer this point even more?! “The  term  ‘cargo  cult’  is   invoked  as  an  English   language  idiom   meaning  to  imitate  the   superficial  exterior  of  a   process  or  system   without  having  any   understanding  of  the   underlying  substance.”   67  
    • (not so) clever impersonation!  Some  orgs  do   something   resembling  UX…   but  it’s  not  really   UX.     68  
    • I  think  some  of  you  have  seen   this  too.     Yes?     69  
    • now you know my problem !  At  a  former  company  I  was  asked  to  help   put  together  UX  teams  in  other  product   groups.        It  took  me  one  failure  to  realize  that  I   needed  to  give  them  more  than  this:     “You  need  a  user  researcher  and  an  interaction   designer  and  a  usability  analyst.  And,  uh,  a   manager  too.”     70  
    • my solution!  I  did  what  PhD’s   do  best:  I  wrote   a  paper.      And  then  I   remembered   who  my   audience  was,     and  cut  it  by  2/3.     71  
    • who was it for?!  Senior  managers   and  directors  who   needed  advice  and   consultation  on   how  to  set  up  a  UX   team.           72    Most  had  no  idea  that  they  would  have  to  change   processes  and  procedures  to  benefit  from  UX.    
    • what did I cover?! 73  
    • damn! that’s a lot.!  I  know!   74  
    • what i said about process! 75  
    • roles and responsibilities ! Product Management Business & Requirements Analysts User-Centered Design Development Quality Assurance PMO Ideation Role: Approver/Driver Responsibility: Target audience definition, business model research, ID of value areas. Create customer use cases. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Review PM’s assumptions and high-level requirements. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Investigate target market needs at the level of individual users (workflow, success criteria). Role: Informed Role: Informed Role: Informed Design Role: Approver Responsibility: Contribute to design process. Validate adherence to customer business model and value. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Create and maintain business and functional requirements and specifications. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Design to meet market & user requirements, within constraints. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Manage feasibility and other technical considerations. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Create test cases and test plan from scenarios, requirements, use cases. Role: Driver Responsibility: Plan and manage plan for overall program of work. Development Role: Approver Role: Contributor Responsibility: Ensure that development meets requirements, elicit unknown/latent requirements. Role: Informed Role: Driver Responsibility: Implement the solution, meeting requirements within constraints. Role: Contributor Responsibility: Conduct iteration testing as modules are completed. Role: Informed Validation Role: Approver/ Contributor Responsibility: Ensure that solution meets use case requirements and delivers customer value. Role: Informed Role: Driver Responsibility: Conduct customer validation research to ensure solution viability. Role: Informed Role: Driver Responsibility: Assure quality – minimal defects, adherence to requirements. Role: Informed Release Role: Approver Responsibility: Approval authority for release signoff. Role: Informed Role: Contributor Responsibility: Approve enhancement from customer view. Role: Informed Role: Driver Responsibility: Release management. Role: Informed Discipline Phase
    • ux team services! Service Phase Description Provides: Contextual inquiry Ideation Investigation of users’ goals, objectives, tasks, and limitations/ constraints; at the users’ place of business (or other appropriate use context). Rich descriptions of users’ goals, motivations, environment. Task analysis Ideation Step-by-step, granular identification of users’ work tasks. Details of the users’ processes. User profiling Ideation Detailed reports of real users; what they do, how they do it, etc. A “library” of user profiles that can be used to guide design. Persona creation Ideation An abstracted description of users, based on the attributes of real users. A “design target” specifying who the design is aimed at. Role/task matrix Task/object matrix Task frequency & criticality ratings Design Additional details about who does what in a particular environment, as well as the importance of particular tasks. “Quasi”-quantitative information about users, roles, tasks, etc. Scenarios Use cases Process flows Design Designs describing the flow or transformation of information through a system, and how the system and user interact with each other. Information about how a design should work in the “real world” when implemented. Early-phase usability testing Design Testing the process flows and scenarios to ensure that they meet real users’ needs. Validation of the design and correction opportunities. Wireframes & prototypes Validation & documentation A lo- or medium-fidelity representation of the feature or product. A working system that can be tested in late-phase usability testing. UI / interaction spec Validation & documentation The formal, complete documentation of the feature or product’s user interface. A specification to code and inspect against. Visual design Validation & documentation Formal documentation of the visual design for the product or feature. A specification to code and inspect against. Late-phase usability testing Validation & documentation Usability testing using a working prototype or mockup. Validation of the design and correction opportunities. Summative usability testing End-of-cycle validation Usability testing of a finished version of the product, measuring key indicators such as average time-on-task, error rate, etc. Information to feed into the next lifecycle’s activities.
    • 78   ux team services (again)!
    • resources in the kit!  I  provided  crazy  amounts  of   templates,  data  sheets,   recruiting  forms,  report   formats,  etc.        None  of  this  is  brand  new;   most  of  the  content  has   been  around  in  various   forms.   79   When  you  steal  from  me,  you’re   stealing  (at  least)  twice!  
    • what did i tell the leaders?! 80  
    • what did i tell them?!  Hire  at  least  3  direct  contributors  –  user   researcher/usability  analyst,  interaction   designer,  visual  designer.          You  may  need  more  than  one  of  each,   depending  on  the  size  of  your  product.        Hiring  a  manager  or  a  director  is  also  highly   recommended.   81  
    • what did i tell them?!  Budget  for  between  $20,000  and  $60,000   USD  in  research  expenses,  depending  on  the   size  of  your  product  team  and  how  many   products  you  support.      But  if  you  can  only  get  10K  or  5K…  so  be  it.   82  
    • what did i tell them?!  You  can  spend  as  little  as  $5,000  or  upwards   of  $75,000  USD  on  usability  and  user  research   equipment.        (Update  for  2013:  you  don’t  really  even  need   much  equipment  today!)      In  any  case,  build  the  team  and  budget  the   research  dollars  first.   83  
    • and the big one…!  Be  aware  that  you  will  HAVE  to  change  your   ideation,  design  and  development  processes   in  order  to  successfully  implement  user   experience.        If  you  don’t  explicitly  make  room  for  design   research,  ideation  and  iteration  in  your   processes…  you  might  become  a  “cargo  cult”   UX  team.     84  
    • the results! 85  
    • so how did the kit go over?!  Meh.      At  first,  anyway.   86  
    • but after a while…! 87  
    • but after a while…!  It  took  more  than  a  year.  But  eventually  the   product  groups  started  making  the  transition   to  more  fully  incorporating  UX  activities.        They  didn’t  always  go  as  far  as  my  original   team.  But  they  went  further  than  they  had   ever  gone  before.     88  
    • things i wish i had covered! §  Agile  and  other   methods   §  How  to  deal  with   force  reductions   89  
    • caveats!  My  UX  kit  has  gaps.  It   doesn’t  cover  smaller  orgs   or  startups.          Use  at  your  own  risk!   90  
    • was it worth it?!  Absolutely.           91  
    • snappy conclusion!  Be  bold,  but  patient.        Organizations  resist   change.          But  they  need  change   to  grow  and  improve.     92    YOU  can  be  the  change  agent,  with  your  mad   UX  skillz.    
    • parting thoughts! You  might  not  get  to  focus  on  strategic  issues   yet.  But  start  thinking  about  it  now.       Start  talking  with  your  colleagues  about  the   long-­‐term  direction  of  the  products  and  services   you  support.     Find  the  problems  with  usability  testing  and   evaluation.  Fix  the  ugly  parts  now,  but  plan  to   overhaul  the  whole  experience.     93  
    • resources! The  UX  Kit:       http://shermanux.com/_files/UX_Kit_v2.pdf       This  deck  (updated  September  2013):     http://www.slideshare.net/PaulSherman       94  
    • some other takeaways!  Connecting  Cultures,  Changing  Organizations:  The  User   Experience  Practitioner  As  Change  Agent.  Paul  Sherman.   http://uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000162.php        Customer  Support  on  the  Web:  Don't  Call  Us,  We'll  Call  You.   Dan  Szuc.   http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2007/11/customer-­‐support-­‐on-­‐ the-­‐web-­‐dont-­‐call-­‐us-­‐well-­‐call-­‐you.php      The  Bizarre  Myth  of  Customer  Service:  An  Interview  With   David  Jaffe  http://www.infodesign.com.au/uxpod  (Look  for  #42…  see,  it   IS  the  answer  to  everything.  J)      95  
    • contact!  Paul  Sherman    http://www.shermanux.com    paul@shermanux.com    Twitter:  @pjsherman     96