Describing the elephant. - Moving beyond professional silos when defining UX


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Professional factions have made it impossible for the business community to make educated decisions - or even understand what UX is. Content strategists scream “Content is King.” The information architects yell “Structure the kingdom.” The SEO folks say, “There is no data without metadata.”

And the business community says, “WTF”

To which the advertising agencies say “We can solve your problem. Don’t ask how we do it, but we can. Just throw money in our direction.”

Guess who gets the money thrown at them?

I’d like to see these professional barriers broken down. We ALL bring something valuable to the table – if we’re ever allowed to sit at that table. And I’d like to share a model for UX that respects our differences, but provides an easy-to-understand framework on which businesses can build their UX strategies.

Published in: Design, Technology, Education

Describing the elephant. - Moving beyond professional silos when defining UX

  1. 1. Describing the elephant Moving beyond professional silos Eric Reiss @elreiss UX Camp Poland May 17, 2014 Gdánsk, Poland
  2. 2. What is “Gdansk”?
  3. 3. Putting Gdansk on the map…
  4. 4. And historically?
  5. 5. So, what IS “Gdansk”?
  6. 6. Clients know what they want But we know what they need
  7. 7. Clients know what they want But we know what they need This is the fatal disconnect
  8. 8. Content management Knowledge management Personas Scenaria Thesauri Sensemaking Accessibility Storytelling Usability Findability Information architecture Mental models Experience design
  9. 9. “Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.” Bernice Fitz-Gibbon 1967
  10. 10. Webmaster Webmaster Visual designer Copywriter Developer Visual designer Information architect Copywriter Front-end engineer Full-stack developer Visual designer UI designer Interaction designer Content strategist Information architect Content providers SEO consultant Social media guru Product manager Project manager Token baby boomer 1995 1998 2000 2014
  11. 11. It’s all Greek to me....
  12. 12. Goethe „Es hört jeder doch nur, was er versteht.“
  13. 13. “He hears only that which he understands” Goethe
  14. 14. “He hears only that which he understands” Goethe CSS
  15. 15. User Experience IA SD CS IxD GD PM KM DM SEO SM MKT IT
  16. 16. What does this mean for us as UX professionals? No single person can truly be a “UX Designer” No single discipline can truly take ownership of UX
  17. 17. Can we define UX in simple, understandable terms? Can we embrace all these disciplines without taking ownership?
  18. 18. Eric’s 1st Law of UX: If a solution does not solve your user’s problems, it will not solve your company’s either.
  19. 19. So, let’s start by looking at a “user”
  20. 20. us·er noun 1: a person who makes use of a thing; someone who uses or employs something 2: a person who uses something or someone selfishly or unethically 3: a person who takes drugs
  21. 21. When would you use (simultaneously): � An ergonomic seat designed for one person � Optical lenses invented by Benjamin Franklin � Alcoholic mixture invented by Dr. Iain Marshall � Incandescent device invented by Thomas Edison � Fabric made on a loom invented by JM Jacquard � Rouge Royale (marble) � Baskerville Light (typography) � Domesticated mammal (This is often how our clients look at their content)
  22. 22. When would you use (in simpler terms): � Armchair � Bifocal eyeglasses � Manhattan Cocktail � Lightbulb � Wool pullover � Tabletop � Book � Cat (This is an easier way to look at content)
  23. 23. Eyeglasses Wool pullover Lightbulb Marble tabletop Armchair Book Gus the Cat Manhattan Cocktail
  24. 24. Sensory assistance Warmth/comfort Sensory assistance Convenience/aethetics Convenience/comfort Education/information Companionship Chemical stimuli
  25. 25. The experience of a touchpoint will always situational
  26. 26. The touchpoints are cumulative
  27. 27. What do your users need? What are the scenarios? How many touchpoints are touched?
  28. 28. Perhaps UX design exists... ...just not UX designers. How can anyone truly be a “UX Designer” without controlling all the touchpoints?
  29. 29. We need a more useful definition of UX!
  30. 30. ex·per·i·ence noun 1: having been affected by or learned through observation or participation 2: the length of such participation
  31. 31. Eric’s 2nd Law of UX: User experience is the sum of a series of interactions between people, devices, and events.
  32. 32. Eric’s 3rd Law of UX: There are three types of interaction: active, passive and secondary
  33. 33. Eric’s 4th Law of UX: UX design represents the conscious act of coordinating interactions, acknowledging interactions, and reducing negative interactions.
  34. 34. Three types of interaction: � Active (things we control) � Passive (things we don’t control) � Secondary (things that have indirect influence)
  35. 35. Active interaction
  36. 36. Active interaction
  37. 37. Passive interaction (partly)
  38. 38. Passive interaction
  39. 39. Secondary interaction
  40. 40. Secondary interaction
  41. 41. UX design combines all three activites � Coordinating interactions that we can control � Acknowledging interactions beyond our control � Reducing negative interactions
  42. 42. Coordinating interactions
  43. 43. Coordinating interactions
  44. 44. Coordinating interactions
  45. 45. Reducing negative interactions
  46. 46. Reducing negative interactions
  47. 47. Reducing negative interactions
  48. 48. Reducing negative interactions
  49. 49. So, where does that leave us? Five things to consider if you want to succeed in UX
  50. 50. Don’t speak geek
  51. 51. Don’t attack other disciplines
  52. 52. Solve problems, don’t create them
  53. 53. Think beyond your own self-interest
  54. 54. And finally, our new mantra...
  55. 55. Think crackers, not crumbs!
  56. 56. Dziękuję!
  57. 57. Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss