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Ego vs. Empathy - the challenges of a UX designer

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A presentation that I gave at London IA Mini meetup on Tuesday 16th June at the Sense Loft

A presentation that I gave at London IA Mini meetup on Tuesday 16th June at the Sense Loft


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  • 1. Ego vs. Empathy Challenges of a UX designer Ego vs. Empathy
  • 2. My battle
  • 3. My battle Industrial Interaction Management UX UX Experience designer Designer / UX Consultant Architect Director consultant University In-house Management User-Centred Europe’s Multi- consultancy Design biggest disciplinary consultancy digital brand and agency comms agency
  • 4. My battle Industrial Interaction Management UX UX Experience designer Designer / UX Consultant Architect Director consultant University In-house Management User-Centred Europe’s Multi- consultancy Design biggest disciplinary consultancy digital brand and agency comms agency My Internal Evangelising Evangelisin Fighting a Evangelisin inabilities politics design and g design marketing g user to make user and and experience things with experience business creative to the my hands uprising brand and marketing old school
  • 5. My battle Industrial Interaction Management UX UX Experience designer Designer / UX Consultant Architect Director consultant University In-house Management User-Centred Europe’s Multi- consultancy Design biggest disciplinary consultancy digital brand and agency comms agency My Internal Evangelising Evangelisin Fighting a Evangelisin inabilities politics design and g design marketing g user to make user and and experience things with experience business creative to the my hands uprising brand and marketing old school But what makes the best designs?
  • 6. My battle Industrial Interaction Management UX UX Experience designer Designer / UX Consultant Architect Director consultant University In-house Management User-Centred Europe’s Multi- consultancy Design biggest disciplinary consultancy digital brand and agency comms agency My Internal Evangelising Evangelisin Fighting a Evangelisin inabilities politics design and g design marketing g user to make user and and experience things with experience business creative to the my hands uprising brand and marketing old school But what makes the best designs? Ego or Empathy?
  • 7. Ego Empathy
  • 8. Confident Decisive Convincing Visionary Pride Ego Empathy
  • 9. Confident Reassured Decisive Safe Convincing Team Visionary Altruism Pride Mediating Ego Empathy
  • 10. Confident Reassured Decisive Safe Convincing Team Visionary Altruism Pride Mediating Ego Empathy Disruptive Difficult Arrogant Selfish
  • 11. Confident Reassured Decisive Safe Convincing Team Visionary Altruism Pride Mediating Ego Empathy Disruptive Indecisive Difficult Soft Arrogant Weak Selfish Slow
  • 12. Confident Reassured Decisive Safe Convincing Team Visionary Altruism Pride Mediating Experience Self-confidence Ego Empathy Expertise Disruptive Indecisive Difficult Soft Arrogant Weak Selfish Slow
  • 13. Confident Reassured Decisive Safe Convincing Team Visionary Altruism Pride Mediating Experience Consultation Self-confidence Ego Empathy Wanting to be liked Expertise Disruptive Indecisive Care factor Difficult Soft Arrogant Weak Selfish Slow
  • 14. Ego Empathy
  • 15. Genius Advertising Product Open Co-design User design design source Research Ego Empathy
  • 16. Ross Norman Steve Dieter James Jakob Lovegrove Foster Jobs Rams Dyson Nielsen Genius Advertising Product Open Co-design User design design source Research Ego Empathy
  • 17. Ross Norman Steve Dieter James Jakob Lovegrove Foster Jobs Rams Dyson Nielsen Genius Advertising Product Open Co-design User design design source Research Ego Empathy House Izzie
  • 18. Ross Norman Steve Dieter James Jakob Lovegrove Foster Jobs Rams Dyson Nielsen Genius Advertising Product Open Co-design User design design source Research Ego Empathy House Izzie R2D2 Darth Vader Hans Solo
  • 19. Ross Norman Steve Dieter James Jakob Lovegrove Foster Jobs Rams Dyson Nielsen Genius Advertising Product Open Co-design User design design source Research Ego Empathy House Izzie R2D2 Darth Vader Hans Solo Lex Luther Superman
  • 20. A typical UCD approach? Understand Model and Prototype Design + spec current state Prototype Detail Detail, QA build Concepts A B Expert review Personas Interactive prototypes Wireframe Usability review Scenarios Visual design Specification Competitor/comparator Sketches and scamps QA build review Wireframes User needs Sitemap Paper prototypes Co-design Concept test
  • 21. Grow some balls Get from A-to-B via Z Take risks Put your neck on the line Stand your ground Think beyond current capabilities Do something that makes you proud
  • 22. A B
  • 23. AB
  • 24. AB ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  • 25. AB ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  • 26. AB ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  • 27. AB ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  • 28. Ego Empathy
  • 29. Feed and follow your gut
  • 30. Feed and follow your gut Build up your experience, expertise and confidence Get into design research Read up on others’ research Test different design approaches Find our what works for you Understand the problem as much as possible
  • 31. Feed and follow your gut Make quick decisions based on your gut instinct Be prepared to make mistakes Bounce back from failure Speak with conviction
  • 32. Balance your empathy
  • 33. Balance your empathy Business Good design Users Technology
  • 34. Career Fun Cost- effectivenes s Keeping job Profits Learning Control Good cv Understand business people
  • 35. Challenges .Net or Open Java - source or rarely not both Getting a good day rate Peer respec Learning t something new Understand developers
  • 36. Fun Awards Aesthetics Peer respect Craft Pride Portfolio Understand visual designers
  • 37. Fun Craft Community Career Work/ life Self- worth ?? Understand yourself
  • 38. Grow some balls Feed and follow your gut Balance your empathy
  • 39. But above all...
  • 40. But above all... Balance your ego and your empathy
  • 41. But above all... Balance your ego and your empathy I believe
  • 42. But above all... Balance your ego and your empathy I believe