MOTIVATION THROUGH USER EMPATHY
Michael Kronthal (@mkronthal)
Sr. Director, User Experience Research
U X PA 2 0 1 4
user experience research @ Yahoo
make our products useful,
usable, and delightful by connecting
our teams with our users
@...
@mkronthal
Companies prosper when they tap
into a power that every one of us
already has – the ability to reach
outside ourselves and...
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
empathy = direct
observation
emotional
response+
@mkronthal
“researcher” roles
IN EMPATHY BUILDING
influence decisions
project teammatesresearcher
best possible
decision
data
empathy
@mkronthal
users project teammatesresearcher
researcher as “broker”
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
users project teammatesresearcher
researcher as “diplomat”
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
users project teammates
researcher
researcher as “facilitator”
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
focus on the immediate project team
limited researcher resources/budget
remote observation/replay lacks emotional intensit...
motivating at scale
2013 annual goal: user focus
Every engineer observes users of
their product (users they are not
related to), for 1 hour of...
RESEARCH LOVE-FEST!!!
@mkronthal
OR …
@mkronthal
@mkronthal
Every engineer observes users
of their product (users they are
not related to), for 1 hour of active
use each quarter
“
”
...
Every engineer observes users
of their product (users they
are not related to), for 1 hour of
active use each quarter
“
”
...
Every engineer observes users of
their product (users they are not
related to), for 1 hour of active
use each quarter
“
”
...
Every engineer observes users of
their product (users they are not
related to), for 1 hour of active
use each quarter
“
”
...
“project moccasin”
Yuser NightsD.I.Y
designed for distributed and
employee facing engineer teams
tips, templates, training...
Yuser Nights - orientation
@mkronthal
Yuser Nights – building rapport
@mkronthal
Yuser Nights – listening session
@mkronthal
Yuser Nights – team debrief
@mkronthal
results
30 Yuser Nights worldwide
30% average engineer participation WW
80% consumer product engineer participation
Positi...
This is easily one of the best 2 hours spent in my job.
User night is the best way for gathering and interacting with real...
lessons learned
Dedicated Team
@mkronthal
thank you to the team
Wako Takayama
Debbie Krysiak
Jack Griffin
Samantha Shaver
Rosie Cabreros
HC Lai
Sukhada Jog
John Hu
...
lessons learned
Dedicated Team
Executive Sponsorship
User Recruiting Quality
Cross-functional Participation
Actioning Insi...
users project teammates
researcher
researcher as empathy designer
@mkronthal
We Are Hiring!
careers.yahoo.com
mkrontha@yahoo-inc.com
@mkronthal
Thank You!
careers.yahoo.com
mkrontha@yahoo-inc.com
@mkronthal
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Motivation Through User Empathy (Michael Kronthal)

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This session will describe a company-wide program to generate user empathy among one company's engineering workforce through direct user interaction. Attendees will learn about how the program was designed to address key challenges, the results achieved, and the lessons learned.

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  • Clearly define or reframe problems
    Inspire new ideas
    Common focus within a team, less arguing
    Improve interpretation of data and better decisions
    Make employee’s work more meaningful
  • Biological systems that create long-term memory can’t get fired up by spreadsheets of data
  • Logistics
    Rigor
    Relevance
    Participation
    Scalable
    Measure
  • Logistics
    Rigor
    Relevance
    Participation
    Scalable
    Measure
  • Logistics
    Rigor
    Relevance
    Participation
    Scalable
    Measure
  • Motivation Through User Empathy (Michael Kronthal)

    1. 1. MOTIVATION THROUGH USER EMPATHY Michael Kronthal (@mkronthal) Sr. Director, User Experience Research U X PA 2 0 1 4
    2. 2. user experience research @ Yahoo make our products useful, usable, and delightful by connecting our teams with our users @mkronthal
    3. 3. @mkronthal
    4. 4. Companies prosper when they tap into a power that every one of us already has – the ability to reach outside ourselves and connect with other people “ ” empathy is important Dev Patnaik Wired to Care, 2009 @mkronthal
    5. 5. @mkronthal
    6. 6. @mkronthal
    7. 7. empathy = direct observation emotional response+ @mkronthal
    8. 8. “researcher” roles IN EMPATHY BUILDING
    9. 9. influence decisions project teammatesresearcher best possible decision data empathy @mkronthal
    10. 10. users project teammatesresearcher researcher as “broker” @mkronthal
    11. 11. @mkronthal
    12. 12. @mkronthal
    13. 13. users project teammatesresearcher researcher as “diplomat” @mkronthal
    14. 14. @mkronthal
    15. 15. @mkronthal
    16. 16. users project teammates researcher researcher as “facilitator” @mkronthal
    17. 17. @mkronthal
    18. 18. @mkronthal
    19. 19. focus on the immediate project team limited researcher resources/budget remote observation/replay lacks emotional intensity limitations of scale
    20. 20. motivating at scale
    21. 21. 2013 annual goal: user focus Every engineer observes users of their product (users they are not related to), for 1 hour of active use each quarter “ ”@mkronthal
    22. 22. RESEARCH LOVE-FEST!!! @mkronthal
    23. 23. OR … @mkronthal
    24. 24. @mkronthal
    25. 25. Every engineer observes users of their product (users they are not related to), for 1 hour of active use each quarter “ ” 2013 annual goal: user focus @mkronthal
    26. 26. Every engineer observes users of their product (users they are not related to), for 1 hour of active use each quarter “ ” 2013 annual goal: user focus @mkronthal
    27. 27. Every engineer observes users of their product (users they are not related to), for 1 hour of active use each quarter “ ” 2013 annual goal: user focus @mkronthal
    28. 28. Every engineer observes users of their product (users they are not related to), for 1 hour of active use each quarter “ ” 2013 annual goal: user focus @mkronthal
    29. 29. “project moccasin” Yuser NightsD.I.Y designed for distributed and employee facing engineer teams tips, templates, training posted to intranet for engineers to use designed for co-located consumer facing engineer teams users visit Yahoo for engineer-led “listening” sessions every engineer observes users of their product for 1 hour of active use each quarter Learning Management System records completion @mkronthal
    30. 30. Yuser Nights - orientation @mkronthal
    31. 31. Yuser Nights – building rapport @mkronthal
    32. 32. Yuser Nights – listening session @mkronthal
    33. 33. Yuser Nights – team debrief @mkronthal
    34. 34. results 30 Yuser Nights worldwide 30% average engineer participation WW 80% consumer product engineer participation Positive engineer feedback (average 4/5): • Increased empathy with my users • Helped identify opportunities to improve my product • Was a good use of my time Extended and expanded in 2014 @mkronthal
    35. 35. This is easily one of the best 2 hours spent in my job. User night is the best way for gathering and interacting with real users and gather real unbiased feedback! It gave me a unique perspective into how users use Yahoo Mail and how difficult new things were for them to discover and some of the most common issues that impact them. Sometimes we know things about our products, but its not until we see our users struggle do we actually prioritize and act. It’s invaluable. “ results @mkronthal
    36. 36. lessons learned Dedicated Team @mkronthal
    37. 37. thank you to the team Wako Takayama Debbie Krysiak Jack Griffin Samantha Shaver Rosie Cabreros HC Lai Sukhada Jog John Hu Joanne Locascio Gary Moulton Sajid Reshamwala Sonja Yeh Jihye Kim Jennifer McNally Mike Shebanek Sarit Arora Kingman Yu Jose Villareal Maria Stone Shirin Sabahi executive sponsors Marissa Mayer David Filo Andrew Schulte @mkronthal
    38. 38. lessons learned Dedicated Team Executive Sponsorship User Recruiting Quality Cross-functional Participation Actioning Insights @mkronthal
    39. 39. users project teammates researcher researcher as empathy designer @mkronthal
    40. 40. We Are Hiring! careers.yahoo.com mkrontha@yahoo-inc.com @mkronthal
    41. 41. Thank You! careers.yahoo.com mkrontha@yahoo-inc.com @mkronthal
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