MinneWebCon: Cultivating a User-Centered Culture


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From design to production to project management to customer service and support, this session aims to help web development teams view work product as a direct outcome of a work culture that includes and respects users at every level.

Beginning with the "big" things that management does to set the tone of a company like hiring policies, vision and values, and moving into discussion around how individual team members affect work culture and product through everyday user advocacy, we'll prove the hard business value of soft, squishy terms like emotional intelligence, intellectual curiosity, collaboration, and vulnerability. But no hugging, we promise.

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  • Why we started geekgirlsguide
    - Lack of women in our field and at Web 2.0
    - A safe place to ask “dumb” questions
  • Why we started geekgirlsguide
    - Lack of women in our field and at Web 2.0
    - A safe place to ask “dumb” questions

  • MinneWebCon: Cultivating a User-Centered Culture

    1. 1. MinneWebCon: Cultivating a User-Centered Culture
    2. 2. Who are the Geek Girls? Nancy (@nylons) Meghan (@irishgirl)
    3. 3. Blog: www.geekgirlsguide.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/geekgirlsguide Twitter: @geekgirlsguide
    4. 4. User-centered design is a philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of an interface or document are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process. - Wikipedia
    5. 5. A user-centered culture is one in which the needs, wants, and limitations of users are given extensive attention at every level of the organization.
    6. 6. Corporate structures haven’t changed since the 1800s.
    7. 7. “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. In both markets and among employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way. These conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.”
    8. 8. Agencies haven’t changed (much) since the 1950s.
    9. 9. “They need me and my big ideas.”
    10. 10. Old-school creatives are used to controlling the deliverable. Old-school managers are used to controlling...everything.
    11. 11. Embracing users means embracing chaos. It’s not easy.
    12. 12. You (mostly) don’t matter. Users do.
    13. 13. Everyone is a user.
    14. 14. PART I: Company culture is a product. Employees are users.
    15. 15. Happy people do good work. It’s not about kegs and foosball. Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/2618698358/
    16. 16. 1. Define your values. It begins with leadership, but involves everyone.
    17. 17. 2. Align hiring decisions with your values. empathic observant positive analytical creative curious focused adventurous steady communicative open respectful
    18. 18. Emotional Intelligence The ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of self, others, and groups. Necessary for leadership, client management and end-user sensitivity.
    19. 19. 3. Communicate openly. When resources are scarce, the way you communicate can either inspire panic or collaboration. Resources are always scarce.
    20. 20. 4. Cultivate a sense of ownership. Everybody owns the promises made, the method of delivery, and the final product.
    21. 21. PART II: Companies are products. Clients are users.
    22. 22. 1. Find clients that align with your values. Don’t be afraid to say no.
    23. 23. 2. Communication. Speak their language, don’t expect them to speak yours.
    24. 24. 3. Listen. Don’t just listen to what they say, try to understand what they mean.
    25. 25. 4. Treat the client as the expert. You’re the idiot in the room.
    26. 26. PART III: Web apps are products. Users are users.
    27. 27. 1. Extend your values to your end product. Be who you say you are and it will be reflected in your work.
    28. 28. 2. Don’t allow “us vs. them” attitudes. To be user-centered, you have to care.
    29. 29. 3. Listen. Ask the right questions, find the real story.
    30. 30. 4. Communicate. Error messages show how much you care. Image source: http://blog.braintraffic.com/2009/01/error-error-on-the-wall/
    31. 31. 5. Push your boundaries. Learn how it feels to be a user.
    32. 32. Recommended Reading The Cluetrain Manifesto Drive, Daniel Pink Happy Hour is From 9 to 5, Alexander Kjerulf Peak, Chip Conley
    33. 33. Thank you. If you hated us, tell us. If you loved us, tell the Internet.