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Engage Clients Meaningfully in the Process Of Design

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Great digital experience happen when we engage clients, not just users, meaningfully in the process of design. ...

Great digital experience happen when we engage clients, not just users, meaningfully in the process of design.

This presentation shows how focusing less on 'tad-dah' and flat images of web pages, and more on the inevitable outcome, which happens when a client is engaged in the process of design, is the key to great digital experiences.

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  • \n
  • Great digital experience happen when we engage clients, not just users, meaningfully in the process of design.\n We’ve learned a lot about how people use our designs.\nWhat’s our common method of engaging clients? \nWhat model do you have in your head? DO you think it’s very different from the person next to you?\n
  • I don’t think the model for engaging clients is clear.\nIn fact, the way we engage clients in the process of design it’s much messier than we’d admit.\nWe require client to learn our ways, understand our skills and interpret what we deliver. \nThe story we tell clients tends to focus much more on process and deliverables. \nRather than why what we do matters to the client, and will make a difference to their customers.\n
  • There’s an imbalance that needs to be addressed here.\n Lets be clear on what mean by engaging clients. I don’t mean contractually. \n I mean them actually being involved in the process of design, not just signing off at the end.\n Now is a good time to pause, take a breath and ask ourselves honestly, how meaningfully are we engaging clients in the process of design? What are we doing well, where can we improve.\n As with all good UX, I think it starts with empathy.\n\n \n \n\n
  • Most clients have a horror story of working with a designer. Typically to do with attitude, communication and understanding of goals. \nClients come to us to us looking for someone that they can work with. What they often get is a fanatic.\nIn the face of this fanaticism, they just want someone who they can work with to get the job done without any headaches.\nWe could blame communication, but we probably communicate regularly. Perhaps it’s the words we use?\n\n\n\n\n
  • At it’s worse, we leave clients and designers isolated through poor communication and a loss of control away from designers to the client. \n It’s human nature to try and control what we do not understand.\n The less the client knows, the more they’ll want to control.\n Perhaps you can think of a controlling client on a project?\n I’d suggest that it’s this lack of understanding and perhaps confidence on the clients part, which can cause real relationship issues.\n
  • For the last decade, we’ve though clients to value flat images of webpages.\nI think we undersell massively the value we add by producing home page design as part of pitches. \nThe homepage design has become the red herring of digital, being an isolated and less relevant page now.\nWe need to change the conversation with clients away from flat images, to a deeper understanding of why a user will engage with the clients site and brand. \nIf the client understands that people use, not look at website, they’ll see that the real value isn’t in a homepage design. \nThis change is happening, but there’s still some way to go.\n\n
  • So, in the face of these issues, perhaps you’re thinking of joining the increasing number of designers abandoning client work altogether to build their own apps?\nI was lucky enough to have the opportunity as part of Analog Cooperative to work on our own ideas, without a client.\nIt was different, but not how you’d expect.\nWorking in a start up, the focus is on delivery, not deliverables. \nThe things you do for yourself are different to those you do to show value to a client.\n\nSurprisingly, even in a start-up, you need a product owner.\nThey almost take the role of the client. Regardless of whether you’re a freelancer, in-house UX designer, or in an agency or start-up, all design processes need a product owner. Now that I’m back consulting, I find it useful to see the client as the product owner/designer relationship, rather than the client/supplier.\n\n
  • I see it is like a holy trinity, made up of users, designers and product owners. All working togethers a shared vision.\n\nThis model helps me much more than any other I’ve seen.\nI’ve also seen it work elsewhere.\nThere will always be tension in design. \nThe push and pull of different perspectives can reveal beautiful designs.\n\nCertain tension can be bad. Like when we try to differentiate ourselves as designers through our designs, pulling the relationship apart.\nI try to remember that we don’t own the designs. We’re not the ones who’ll have to live with it for years after we’ve finished on the project.\n\n\n\n
  • I was impressed by the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic site, where users coming in via search links or PPC ads will find the carousel set up to feature content related to their search, such as pictures of New York, Orlando etc. They also removed complexity and multiple forms fields of the previous design.\nI heard Pat Odey, the Virgin Product Manager for this project talk about this project. He described a product owner / designer relationship, where Pat spent approximately 70% of the project time at the agency, LBi’s offices. This was a partnership. Pat described himself as being extremely engaged in the design process. Chris Ball of LBi describes Pat as one of the team.\n\n\n
  • \n
  • Now that we’ve started to put ourselves in the shoes of the client, lets take a look at how we must appear to the client.\nIt starts when we first meet the client . . . \nToo often, communication is strained from the start because a client fears you will speak to them in terms they do not understand. \nNo one wants to appear uninformed.\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • Today, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.\nBut what we do is closely related to many other words.\nClients find this confusing. This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.\nA pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.\nBut even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?\n\n\n
  • New business meeting\nRealise how hard it is for clients to understand the true value of what we do.\nLists activities from our perspective\nRelationship between activities\nFail to show the value to the client - How and What, devoid of Why.\n
  • Information Architecture is a core part of what we do.\nHowever, there are aspects of IA that really bother me.\nCurrently, Information Architecture is presented as pieces of a jigsaw to the client. \nThis necessitates a large degree of mental processing to put the pieces together. \nThis issue is exacerbated by the fact it’s seldom in plain English.\n\nWe only understand them because we’ve created them. \nEven then, we can still struggle to hold it all in out heads.\n\nWe need to stop asking so much of clients. If they’ve not been meaningfully engaged in the IA phase, it’s unfair to expect them to meaningfully sign off on what we deliver, particularly when the relationship between components is not clear. \nProviding a unified view of IA is an unresolved issue in our work.\n\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Here are some steps I take, which I find really engage clients meaningfully in the process of design.\nBefore I introduce these techniques, I have to highlight the importance of preparation for any and all techniques where the clients is involved.\nSimply, if you don’t set it up right, you’re setting yourself up for a fall.\nAlso, not all clients will get involved. You may have to work harder with some.\n\n
  • Importance of explanation & preparation\nSimply, if you don’t set it up right, you’re setting yourself up to fail.\nNot for all clients. Work harder with some.\nUnderstand the value, makes it easier.\nMake it human. \nApply learnings about human behaviour\nUse techniques that we’re hard wired to understand. \nBe Mr. / Miss empathetic\n\n
  • Last year at UX Bristol I ran a workshop on creating a shared experience vision.\nI’m not going to repeat this, but for those of you who missed it, you can find a complete guide to creating a shared vision that works on UX Magazine. There are also links from my own site, alancolville.org.\nJust to say, a vision is:\nSimply a sentence or group of works expressing the core of the experience people will have with the site. It’s created collaboratively by the project team, including the client.\nExperience Visions work because:\n- Bring the project team together\n- Puts the client at ease\n- Keeps people focused on who’s important\n- Creates a culture of shared ownership\n- Empowers people\nThey’re surprisingly easy to create and have a lasting effect on the project.\n\n\n\n\n
  • The act of sketching engages the brain in visual sense-making, which people have practiced for over 30,000 years.\nSketching is a power technique. Sketching helps you generate concepts quickly, exploring alternatives rapidly and is not costly. \nThe looseness of a sketch, compared to a wireframes, for instance removes inhibitions and granting clients permission to challenge ideas.\nI’ll be honest, if you’re not collaboratively sketching with the client, your not doing it right.\n\nRemember, the clients doesn’t have to put pen to paper to be involved in collaborative sketching.\nPeople often ask when do you stop sketching?\nFor me, when it stops being about ideas, then it’s time to stop.\n\n\n
  • The objective is to quickly develop with the client a customer or user profile. It only takes 10 - 15 minutes per profile.\nThe goal is to create a degree of empathy for the end users of the site, Empathy mapping does this in an engaging way, which is immediate and intuitive. \nYou can add colour by asking the client to give the persona a name.\nThen ask them to describe, from this persona’s point of view, what the person’s experience is, moving through the categories from seeing through feeling.\nAgain, the looseness of this sketched person removes inhibitions, allowing clients to imagine, and input easily.\n
  • Stories are a power technique for engaging people.\nThey're built on a framework that we know. They have the right cues and tap into our collective psyche. Stories also work incredibly well to engage clients by: \n\n- Putting a human face on data\n- Making complex things simple\n- Are memorable\n- Motivating, persuading and inspiring\n- Connecting and creating emotional impact\n- Leave it open for the client to fill in the gaps - Engaging their imagination\n- Bringing consistent narrative across device, channel and models of interaction\n\nIf any of this sounds complex, it's not. We tell stories everyday. But it's the ones that understand the basic formula for a good story, who have control and mastery.\nI encourage you to learn the formula of a good story. Apply it to explain, engage, spark ideas, create shared understanding or persuade. The formula can be as simple as this:\n1. Character\n2. Ambition\n2. Tension\n4. Outcome \n\nRant: I'm annoyed when I see people overly complicate this technique. The cynical side of me thinks, it's just some UXers trying to find a voice and specialism. \nFor me, stories have always been at the heart of good UX. \nWhat's a persona, if it's not the story of a typical user.\nNot to talk of scenarios, which are a great tool for threading together an entire story about our design. \n\nRemember, stories have a basic framework, but they don't have to be text based.\nThey take whatever shape necessary to communicate clearly. This could be a comic strip for example.\n\nImportantly, one small story can be the start of the whole narrative for the site. This narrative is an essential part of a content strategy for a site.\nStories also fill the gaps where personas fail.\nI’d liked to have covered the importance of decision architecture, were there time. \nJust to say, if you’ve not heard of Stephen Anderson’s Mental Note Cards, which if you’re interested in applying the principles of psychology to the design of products or services, these are great fun and clients love them.\n\n\n\n
  • There are things that we’re good at, like visualisation, which can help clients bring to life that which is otherwise unseen. \nSeeing how well their product is supporting the needs of the business and of its customers, is just one of these opportunities. \nUnsurprisingly, clients struggle to capture and hold this view.\n\nEnter the Experience Maps, which help:\nSee the process of the service through the eye of the customer\nDescribe the customer experience over time\nMark positive and negative points in the experience\nLay the grounds for cross channel analysis\nIdentify opportunities for service improvements and service innovation\n\nWe build the user layer, based on research, then together with the client, you build the business layer.\nThe key is to do this collaboratively with the client. \nThis engaging their imagination in a technique that they used to thinking about, but probably haven't found a way to visualise.\n\n\n\n
  • Remember, we don’t own our designs, just as an architect doesn’t own the building. \nIt’s the client who’ll have to live with the site, day in day out for years to come. \nThis helps me view the relationship as a partnership.\n
  • A good client / designer relationship is one that has an inevitable outcome. \nOne where the client has been involved, knows what's coming and the outcome seems inevitable. \nInevitability is a much undervalued term in design. It comes from having a shared vision of the future. \nOne where both of you can see the steps to take you towards or away from the vision. \nIt can feel far better than the big tad-dah, which can go wrong. \n
  • See any of these information devices and intend putting them in front of a client, pause and consider how to move beyond these patterns. \nThey may seem good at first, but they soon hold us back.\nTheir structure calls attention to itself. \n‘design bling’. Shallow and distracting from the real value UX brings.\n
  • \n

Engage Clients Meaningfully in the Process Of Design Engage Clients Meaningfully in the Process Of Design Document Transcript

  • Banksy - ElephantGreat digital experience happen when we engage clients, not just users, meaningfully in the process of design.We’ve learned a lot about how people use our designs.What’s our common method of engaging clients?What model do you have in your head? DO you think it’s very different from the person next to you?
  • LEARN OUR WAYS UNDERSTAND OUR TECHNIQUES LESS CLEAR THAN WE’D ADMIT INTERPRET WHAT WE DELIVERI don’t think the model for engaging clients is clear.In fact, the way we engage clients in the process of design it’s much messier than we’d admit.We require client to learn our ways, understand our skills and interpret what we deliver.The story we tell clients tends to focus much more on process and deliverables.Rather than why what we do matters to the client, and will make a difference to their customers.
  • There’s an imbalance that needs to be addressed here.Lets be clear on what mean by engaging clients. I don’t mean contractually.I mean them actually being involved in the process of design, not just signing off at the end.Now is a good time to pause, take a breath and ask ourselves honestly, how meaningfully are we engaging clients in theprocess of design? What are we doing well, where can we improve.As with all good UX, I think it starts with empathy.
  • I WANTED SOMEONE I COULD WORK WITH I GOT A FANATICMost clients have a horror story of working with a designer. Typically to do with attitude, communication and understanding of goals.Clients come to us to us looking for someone that they can work with, without any headaches. What they often get is a fanatic.We could blame communication, but we probably communicate regularly. Perhaps it’s the words we use?
  • Design in isolationAt itʼs worse, we leave designers isolated by a loss of control away from designers to the client.Itʼs human nature to try and control what we do not understand.The less the client knows, the more theyʼll want to control.Perhaps you can think of a controlling client on a project?Iʼd suggest that itʼs this lack of understanding and perhaps confidence on the clients part, which can cause real relationship issues.
  • FLAT People don’t just look at websites, they use them! IMAGESFor the last decade, we’ve though clients to value flat images of webpages.I think we undersell massively the value we add by producing home page design as part of pitches.The homepage design has become the red herring of web design, being an isolated and less relevant page now.We need to change the conversation with clients away from flat images, to a deeper understanding of why a user will engage with the clientssite and brand.If the client understands that people use, not look at website, they’ll see that the real value isn’t in a homepage design.This change is happening, but there’s still some way to go.
  • IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT CLIENTS . . .So, in the face of these issues, perhaps youʼre thinking of joining the increasing number of designers abandoning client work altogether to build theirown apps?I was lucky enough to have the opportunity as part of Analog Cooperative to work on our own ideas, without a client.It was different, but not how you’d expect.Working in a start up, the focus is on delivery, not deliverables.The things you do for yourself are different to those you do to show value to a client.Surprisingly, even in a start-up, you need a product owner.They almost take the role of the client. Regardless of whether you’re a freelancer, in-house UX designer, or in an agency or start-up, all designprocesses need a product owner. Now that I’m back consulting, I find it useful to see the client as the product owner/designer relationship, rather thanthe client/supplier.
  • THE HOLY TRINITY OF DESIGNI see it is like a holy trinity, made up of users, designers and product owners. All working togethers a shared vision.This model helps me much more than any other I’ve seen.There will always be tension in design.The push and pull of different perspectives can reveal beautiful designs.Certain tension can be bad. Like when we try to differentiate ourselves as designers through our designs, pulling the relationship apart.I try to remember that we don’t own the designs. We’re not the ones who’ll have to live with it for years after we’ve finished on the project.
  • Your Flying Club account Why join? United Kingdom Search this site Ideas & low fares Manage flights Book your travel Travel information The Virgin experience Flying Club Virgin.com Home Register for the offer by 13 May 2012. Fly before 15 June 2012. A PARTNER Online check-in Manage your booking From London (All Airports), London, UK, To (LON) GB Where do you want to go? Flight status ENGAGED MEANINGFULLY Love being rewarded Join Flying Club and arrive miles sooner at your favourite destinations worldwide. Join Flying Club Virgin Holidays Late Deals from Virgin Holidays. Hurry, book your late deal with Virgin Holidays now Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Make everyday seriously rewarding with the Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Account. Virgin Atlantic Credit Card Account Where we fly Changes are coming FAQs With over 35 destinations Our homepage is just one to choose from, you really of many brilliant changes The system says seats are unavailable. are spoilt for choice. weve made to our Why cant I request my seat? website. What does Virgin Atlantic charge extra for? View our destination guides Read more about our redesign Search FAQs for Enter a term here Go Helpful links Corporate Information More of Virgin Atlantic About us Press Virgin Atlantic Cargo Training Rate thisI was impressed by the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic site, where users coming in via search links or PPC ads will find the carousel set up to Want a career? Sitemap Customer service Accessibility Corporate sales Travel trade Engineering Conferences and events pagefeature content related to their search, such as pictures of New York, Orlando etc. They also removed complexity and multiple forms fields ofthe previous design. © Copyright 2012 Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. All rights reserved Terms & conditions Privacy Cookies Mobile siteI heard Pat Odey, the Virgin Product Manager for this project talk about this project. He described a product owner / designer relationship,where Pat spent approximately 70% of the project time at the agency, LBi’s offices. This was a partnership. Pat described himself as beingextremely engaged in the design process. Chris Ball of LBi describes Pat as one of the team.
  • ACTIVITY 1 { Imagine what it must be like for a client to hire a designer? } 1 Goals 2 Needs 3 Hopes 4 FearsIn your groups, I want you to imaging what it must be like for a client to hire a designer.If you could think specifically about their goals, needs, hopes and fears. At least one for each.Remember, Let the ideas flow. There are no bad ideas.Post up - 3 minsBrainstorm as a group. One idea per post it.After 3 minutes, ask users to combine similar ideas.Prioritise the most important onesOne member presents . . .Make note of the most important on flip chart
  • START HERE >Now that we’ve started to put ourselves in the shoes of the client, lets take a look at how we must appear to the client.Too often, communication is strained from the start because a client fears you will speak to them in terms they do not understand.No one wants to appear uninformed.We need to make ourselves and what we do more approachable by what we say and the things we do.
  • USABILITY INFORMATION EXPERIENCE ARCHITECT UX ARCHITECT EXPERIENCE USER ? ARCHITECT EXPERIENCE USER CENTRED INTERACTION DESIGN DESIGNToday, I tell my clients that I’m a Product Experience Designer.But what we do is synonymous, or at least closely related to many other words.This schizophrenia does not instil confidence in what we do.A pretty poor start for the guardians of simplicity.But even if titles are come and go, we’ve got beautifully visualised process diagram to wow clients and explain what we do, right?
  • UNLEASH THE LEXICONNew business meetingRealise how hard it is for clients to understand the true value of what we do.Lists activities from our perspectiveRelationship between activitiesFail to show the value to the client - How and What, devoid of Why.
  • PL AI N A process is simply a series of steps to get things done ENGLISHThis is a series of steps to get things done.One of the steps is Task Analysis.You, the client, need this because . . . and here’s a real world example . . . and what it provides input to.If we changed the conversation away from what we do and how we do it, to why they need it.It’s a story I feel more comfortable telling.
  • Sitemap + User Testing + = Task Analysis + Wireframes CONFUSED CLIENT!Information Architecture is a core part of what we do.However, there are aspects of IA that really bother me.Currently, Information Architecture is presented as pieces of a jigsaw to the client.This necessitates a large degree of mental processing to put the pieces together.This issue is exacerbated by the fact it’s seldom in plain English.As designers, we reluctant to change our ideas, once time has been invested in developing them.As a client, they’re almost afraid to break what the designer has done.We only understand them because we’ve created them.Even then, we can still struggle to hold it all in out heads.We need to stop asking so much of clients. If they’ve not been meaningfully engaged in the IA phase, it’s unfair to expect them to meaningfullysign off on what we deliver, particularly when the relationship between components is not clear.Providing a unified view of IA is an unresolved issue in our work.
  • WIREFRAMES ARE NOT DEVIL’S WORK Helen Boucher - The Waterboy’s mumI’m not vilifying wireframes, which still have their place.I’m advocating engaging clients more in the ideation that informs our wireframes.There are points in the design process, which are perfect for involving clients.When the designer first puts pen to paper is one. Sketching these ideas collaboratively with the client can get you to the right answer quicker, with the clients buyin.When sketching stops being about ideas, then it’s time to wireframe.
  • ACTIVITY 2 { Thinking about the process of design as a series of steps, list the steps you took on a recent project? } What steps was the client most engaged? 1 Easily 2 Well 3 Involved 4 Empowered Explained Received ClientOn your own,One idea per post it,3 mins.In groups of two, can you discuss the steps where the client was most engaged?In pairsCompare steps which most engaged client3 minsWhen comparing steps, I find it useful to measure engagement based on these.
  • 5 ENGAGING TECHNIQUESHere are some steps I take, which I find really engage clients meaningfully in the process of design.Importance of explanation & preparation.Simply, if you donʼt set it up right, youʼre setting yourself up to fail.Not for all clients. Work harder with some.Understand the value, makes it easier.Make it human.Apply learnings about human behaviour to engage clients.Use techniques that weʼre hard wired to understand.Be Mr. / Miss empatheticMake you and the technique as approachable as possible.
  • SIMPLE STABLE VISION & FASTLast year at UX Bristol I ran a workshop on creating a shared experience vision.I’m not going to repeat this, but for those of you who missed it, you can find a complete guide to creating a shared vision that works on UX Magazine. There arealso links from my own site, alancolville.org.Just to say, a vision is:Simply a sentence or group of works expressing the core of the experience people will have with the site. It’s created collaboratively by the project team, includingthe client.Experience Visions work because:- Bring the project team together- Puts the client at ease- Keeps people focused on who’s important- Creates a culture of shared ownership- Empowers peopleThey’re surprisingly easy to create and have a lasting effect on the project.
  • SKETCHINGThe act of sketching engages the brain in visual sense-making, which people have practiced for over 30,000 years.Sketching is a power technique. Sketching helps you generate concepts quickly, exploring alternatives rapidly and is not costly.The looseness of a sketch, compared to a wireframes, for instance removes inhibitions and granting clients permission to challenge ideas.I’ll be honest, if you’re not collaboratively sketching with the client, your not doing it right.Remember, the clients doesn’t have to put pen to paper to be involved in collaborative sketching.Sketching should be all about ideas, quick, throwaway and cost effective.When it stops being about ideas, then it’s time to stop.
  • FAT HEAD DIAGRAM} { EMPATHY MAPPINGThe objective is to quickly develop with the client a customer or user profile. It only takes 10 - 15 minutes per profile.The goal is to create a degree of empathy for the end users of the site,Empathy mapping does this in an engaging way, which is immediate and intuitive.You can add colour by asking the client to give the persona a name.Then ask them to describe, from this persona’s point of view, what the person’s experience is, moving through the categories from seeing throughfeeling.Again, the looseness of this sketched person removes inhibitions, allowing clients to imagine, and input easily.
  • The Forest Holiday website is intuitive & clear. Inviting exploration, it feels tailored to my needs, in a friendly way, that leaves me full of excitement. STORY TELLING "Design is communicating clearly by whatever means you can control and master" Milton GlaserStories are a power technique for engaging people.Theyre built on a framework that we know. They have the right cues and tap into our collective psyche. Stories also work incredibly well to engage clients by: - Putting a human face on data- Making complex things simple- Are memorable- Motivating, persuading and inspiring- Leave it open for the client to fill in the gaps - engaging their imagination- Bringing consistent narrative across device, channel and models of interactionIf any of this sounds complex, its not. We tell stories everyday. But its the ones that understand the basic formula for a good story, who have control and mastery.I encourage you to learn the formula of a good story. Apply it to explain, engage, spark ideas, create shared understanding or persuade. The formula can be as simple as this:1. Character2. Ambition2. Tension4. OutcomeRant: Im annoyed when I see people overly complicate this technique. The cynical side of me thinks, its just some UXers trying to find a voice and specialism.For me, stories have always been at the heart of good UX.Whats a persona, if its not the story of a typical user.Not to talk of scenarios, which are a great tool for threading together an entire story about our design.Remember, stories have a basic framework, but they dont have to be text based.They take whatever shape necessary to communicate clearly.Stories can come in many formats. They really donʼt need to be as finished as this comic strip. This would take a lot of time and cost.They can be as simple as this Experience Vision for Forest Holidays, where in a single sentence, it captures the core of the experience users will have with a site.Importantly, one small story can be the start of the whole narrative for the site. This narrative is an essential part of a content strategy for a site.
  • EXPERIENCE MAPPING Improving the Starbucks Experience Little Spring DesignThere are things that we’re good at, like visualisation, which can help clients bring to life that which is otherwise unseen.Seeing how well their product is supporting the needs of the business and of its customers, is just one of these opportunities.Unsurprisingly, clients struggle to capture and hold this view.Enter the Experience Maps, which help: • See the process of the service through the eye of the customer • Describe the customer experience over time • Mark positive and negative points in the experience • Lay the grounds for cross channel analysis • Identify opportunities for service improvements and service innovationWe build the user layer, based on research, then together with the client, you build the business layer.The key is to do this collaboratively with the client.This engaging their imagination in a technique that they used to thinking about, but probably havent found a way to visualise.
  • Shared ownership Collaborative THE Engage imagination Psychologically true Remove inhibitions Grant permission You don’t have to be a designer to have an idea THE TEST Are all about ideas Focused on deliveryRemember, we don’t own our designs, just as an architect doesn’t own the building.It’s the client who’ll have to live with the site, day in day out for years to come.This helps me view the relationship as a partnership.
  • MAKE IT HUMAN SOFT SKILLS NOT SOFTWARETry to understand your client, not just from a business, but from a personal perspective also.Be Mr. / Miss empathetic.They want the best for their company. But it doesnʼt end there. Ask what is their personal motivation?What are their goals, needs, hopes and fears?Apply principles of behavioural economics to better understand and engage clients.Use techniques that weʼre hard wired to understand, like stories to explain, engage, spark ideas, create shared understanding and persuade.Make yourself and the technique you use as approachable as possible - in plain English, not a dark art.Remember, itʼs not just about software, itʼs about your soft-skills.
  • SHARED COMMON GOALS + VISIONThe best relationship, like a marriage, is based upon shared goals and a common vision of the world and the future.You want the same thing. Creating this vision with the project team and articulating it ensures that things pan out the way you planned them. Leaving nothing tochance.
  • INEVITABLE NOT TA-DAHA good client / designer relationship is one that has an inevitable outcome.One where the client has been involved, knows whats coming and the outcome seems inevitable.Inevitability is a much undervalued term in design. It starts with a shared vision of the future.One where both of you can see the steps to take you towards or away from the vision.It can feel far better than the big tad-dah, which can go wrong.
  • CHALLENGE 1See any of these information devices and intend putting them in front of a client, pause and consider how to move beyond these patterns.They may seem good at first, but they soon hold us back.Their structure calls attention to itself.‘design bling’. Shallow and distracting from the real value of what we do.
  • LEARN FROM OTHERS Hamlet ad - 1989Finally, in learning from other professions, I thought this video would best demonstrate the depth of understanding advertisers had back in the 80‘s.Interestingly, this engaging story plays out with the camera in a fixed position, similar to the web.They could teach us a thing or two about how to get people engaged.
  • THANKS! alan@alancolville.org @alancolville INSPIRED BY Giles Colborne Richard Caddick Jon Waring Chris BallIf you’d like me to work on your project, write or speak for you, or even to just say hi, please get in touch via email.Please note, that I’m currently accepting client work.