UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation
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UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation

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Understanding systems behavior is an essential part of any UX strategist’s toolkit. In this talk, we'll introduce systems-thinking concepts that are of practical use to UX strategists in their ...

Understanding systems behavior is an essential part of any UX strategist’s toolkit. In this talk, we'll introduce systems-thinking concepts that are of practical use to UX strategists in their day-to-day planning, organizing, and influencing. We discuss businesses as systems, or holoarchies, and introduce some simple, yet powerful tools for analyzing organizational stakeholders and creating influencing strategies.

Finally, we present User Experience (UX) itself as a meme for driving organizational renewal through innovation. We'll use several examples to illustrate how UX is a systems-thinking paradigm.

Learn how to transition from being an impotent, passive, holon subordinate to a regime-altering butterfly.

Presented by Liam Friedland & Jon Innes to the Silicon Valley IXDA group on 28 May 2014

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  • Jon <br /> <br /> Since 2003, Liam & I have been thinking, discussing, and teaching about UX Strategy <br /> We have taken on a number of topics in that time including: <br /> <br /> -UX activity audits <br /> -Reinventing UX organizations internally <br /> -Dealing with the broader organizational and political ontexts of businesses <br /> -UX Strategy formulation <br /> -Innovation <br /> -Businesses and UX teams as systems <br /> <br /> Tonight we will be talking about strategies and tactics for innovation
  • Jon <br /> <br /> Liam and I have a diverse range of experience working within, and leading UX teams at companies of various sizes and in diverse industry segements <br /> <br /> We have both worked at small, mid-size, and large enterprise. Both of us also have consulting experience—and for the past 5 years, I have run UX Innovation (shameless self-promotion inserted here)…
  • Jon <br /> <br /> There are 3 key themes that we’ll be discussing during the remainder of our talk: <br /> <br /> Looking at your company as a system <br /> Considering innovation work as a process for organizational renovation <br /> A conceptual framework for the strategies & tactics of day-to-day UX innovation work <br /> <br /> I would like to invite the audience to make this a more interactive session. I encourage you to please ask questions during the presentation rather than waiting until the end. <br /> Liam & I have found the more interactive, real-time approach to questions to be more stimulating for the audience as well as ourselves
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Systems are everywhere <br /> Biological & man-made <br /> In a system, the behaviors are synergistically dependent on the component parts <br /> On the other hand, the parts of the system all influence and impact one another <br /> Cannot predict behavior of the whole by observing parts <br /> Cannot predict behavior of the whole when tinkering with the parts: <br /> -Unanticipated consequences of system tinkering <br /> -Unintended consequences of system tinkering <br /> <br /> Important to think about your UX team as part of a business system
  • Liam <br /> <br /> When trying to understand, analyze, and change system behaviors it important to consider system forces <br /> <br /> Think about how your UX organization operates from the inside outwards. <br /> Also consider how your organization is viewed & understood by other components in the system <br /> Look at the inputs and outputs between system components <br /> Understand the boundaries between components and how these may synergize or create friction <br /> Look for redundancy and overlaps <br /> Where are there dependencies? <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> All of these aspects of systems represent opportunities to hack, refine, eliminate, augment, etc.
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Different disciplines think differently <br /> If you ask different types of people to consider mountains, they will give you very different responses based on their perspectives: <br /> -A geologist will tell you how mountains form and erode, and the base rocks they are made from <br /> -A cartographer will tell you how to map out mountainous terrain <br /> -A military man can tell you what you need to survive and fight in mountain environments <br /> This is a bit like the old tail of the blind men and the elephant. However a multi-disciplinary perspective is essential to doing strategy with a systems persepctive <br />
  • Liam <br /> <br /> These “system components” of a business are very familiar to UX professionals <br /> It’s a sad, but sometimes accurate perspective on organizational stereotypes <br /> And we have all probably experienced times when these organizational lenses and disciplinary backgrounds derail UX strategy <br /> One thing to remember is that incentive models strongly effect behavioral outcomes <br /> So think about potential points of synergy <br /> <br /> Potential actions: Align, Energize, Warn, Publicize, Educate | Stop, Start, Continue <br /> <br /> <br />
  • Liam—transition into organizational <br /> <br /> So we’ve had some general background on what systems are <br /> Now we want to transition to talking about influencing or hacking systems <br /> I like to use this physical matter diagram to remind me about organizational behavior <br /> Sometimes the org can behave like a solid—frozen in a perpetual state of lockstep sameness and non-evolution <br /> At the other extreme, sometimes orgs behave like excited gas molecules, bouncing around and never taking any shape form <br /> Generally, I think that we want our companies to be like liquid. <br /> They have form, can flow quickly, and fill any space into which they introduced <br /> Energy needs to be introduced or taken away from matter in order to get it to change state <br /> If an organization is too excited (gaseous), then find ways to slow it down so that it can liquefy, e.g., implementing process, bringing data to the table, iterating design concepts before building <br /> If an organization is too stodgy (solid), find ways to speed it up, e.g., introducing innovation exercises, observing users in the wild, introducing lean startup techniques, incubator exercises, etc. <br />
  • Liam <br /> <br /> It’s often helpful to think of the organizations in your company as countries (this is not a common perspective, but it can be helpful) <br /> Each org has its own language, culture, and customs <br /> Consider how each country (or component) you interact with on a regular basis actually functions <br /> Try to get a detailed understanding of their operations before formulating your strategy or pushing your agenda <br /> Consider ways in which you can get things done formally and informally <br /> Develop an influencing strategy, which you should consider as your diplomatic policy <br /> What can you compromise on? <br /> What is non-negotiable? <br /> Who do you need to align with? <br /> Who do you need buy in from? <br /> Who is your enemy and how will you deal with them? <br />
  • Jon
  • Liam <br /> <br /> This slide is all about building an influencing roadmap for changing an organization <br /> IMO, this is one of the most important slides in the deck <br /> This is a preparatory exercise that not helps you to consider what you really need from others, but also what they might need from you <br /> This is a great exercise to do with your UX team members <br /> It’s usually best done in a spreadsheet or a tabular format <br /> First consider who are the stakeholders. List each one. It might not be an individual, but a group or committee <br /> Next consider why you are approaching them: Is it for resources, approval, something that needs to change on their team, opinion, reactions, etc. <br /> Then consider how they might react to the change proposal <br /> Consider their needs—both from us, but also with regards to the rest of the organization. Are they ready for change or support <br /> Share your team’s needs: Specifically what are you asking from them. Be very clear on what you want / need <br /> Talk about longer term plans (theirs & ours) <br /> Consider who influences them that we should also be talking to / influencing <br />
  • Jon <br /> <br /> There are 3 key themes that we’ll be discussing during the remainder of our talk: <br /> <br /> Looking at your company as a system <br /> Considering innovation work as a process for organizational renovation <br /> A conceptual framework for the strategies & tactics of day-to-day UX innovation work <br /> <br /> I would like to invite the audience to make this a more interactive session. I encourage you to please ask questions during the presentation rather than waiting until the end. <br /> Liam & I have found the more interactive, real-time approach to questions to be more stimulating for the audience as well as ourselves
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Why I like this chart—multi-disciplinary, lenses, systemic <br /> <br /> Making changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products <br /> Application of better solutions to meet unarticulated needs or requirements <br /> Breaking paradigms and creating new systems <br /> How are we doing business now? <br /> How should we do business in the future? <br /> <br /> Discuss traditional areas of UX innovation (product & product systems) <br /> Emerging areas for UX focus <br /> Other opportunities <br /> <br /> Question: Are we innovating in enough of these categories? <br />
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Why I like this chart—multi-disciplinary, lenses, systemic <br /> <br /> Making changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products <br /> Application of better solutions to meet unarticulated needs or requirements <br /> Breaking paradigms and creating new systems <br /> How are we doing business now? <br /> How should we do business in the future? <br /> <br /> Discuss traditional areas of UX innovation (product & product systems) <br /> Emerging areas for UX focus <br /> Other opportunities <br /> <br /> Question: Are we innovating in enough of these categories? <br />
  • Jon <br /> <br /> Dave McClure, Silicon Valley internet entrepreneur and investor has advised startups to think about 5 key types of metrics using his AARRR acronym. I’ve listed the first 4 here which are UX centric to give you a sense of why UX is not just the product or service design.
  • Liam <br /> <br /> 3 distinct types of innovation activities <br /> Great examples by Apple <br /> <br /> Core is typical for most product companies <br /> Many tech companies do adjacent by acquisition <br /> Most never get to transformational <br /> Hint: Companies that endure are doing transformational (IBM, HP, UPS, Amazon)
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Envision multiple future scenarios <br /> <br /> Inventory STEEP+C forces <br /> Envision multiple possible futures <br /> Optionality <br /> Diametrically opposed possibilities <br /> Likelihood & preparation <br /> Implications <br /> Pressure test <br /> <br /> Could give an entire day-long tutorial on scenario planning. It’s an involved topic <br /> <br /> The key point here is to envision multiple future possibile scenarios and be ready to pivot <br />
  • Liam <br /> <br /> Setup a process for innovation. <br /> This one works for us <br /> There are many others out there <br /> Create one that works for your company / culture
  • I would say yes. That brings us to Lean UX. This slide is from Janice Fraser. Jeff just talked about this earlier. The key message here is you don’t always need to build a product to test an idea. It’s not lean to do it that way. I say think Minimum Viable PROTOTYPE rather than Minimum Viable Product, products are good for testing business models. But they aren’t necessarily required for testing designs ideas.
  • Jon <br /> <br /> Innovation as part: internal/external, i.e., some inside and a bunch from outside <br /> Innovation at core: it is part of the way lifeblood of the company, everyone understands it and it is used frequently <br /> Innovation as integral means that it permeates everything the company does, the company is constantly renewing and refreshing
  • Jon <br />
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Jon <br /> <br /> There are 3 key themes that we’ll be discussing during the remainder of our talk: <br /> <br /> Looking at your company as a system <br /> Considering innovation work as a process for organizational renovation <br /> A conceptual framework for the strategies & tactics of day-to-day UX innovation work <br /> <br /> I would like to invite the audience to make this a more interactive session. I encourage you to please ask questions during the presentation rather than waiting until the end. <br /> Liam & I have found the more interactive, real-time approach to questions to be more stimulating for the audience as well as ourselves
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Jon
  • Liam
  • Liam
  • Liam <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> Combating biases (confirmation, groupthink, recency, overconfidence, framing) <br /> Hypothesis testing  Lean UX <br /> <br /> Treat everything your doing as a hypothesis: organization design, innovation projects, product design, etc. <br /> Start with small prototypes and then figure out ways to scale: centralized / de-centralized / synergized, etc. <br />
  • Jon

UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation Presentation Transcript

  • @liamfriedland | @innes_jon UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation I have yet to see any problem— however complicated—which when looked at in the right way did not become still more complicated. -Poul Anderson
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Liam Current: Informatica Large: Microsoft, Oracle Medium: Borland, Siebel, Small: Westbridge, Zaplet Consulting: UX Studio Jon Current: UX Innovation Recent Clients: Autodesk, Google, Walmart.com Large: Cisco, Oracle, IBM Medium: Siebel, Intuit, Vitria Small: Augmentum, startups…
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon 3 key themes Taking a systems perspective on your organizations Design as an innovation activity for organizational renewal Strategy + tactics for UX innovation 1 2 3
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon What are systems? Interrelated configuration of parts or components (structures) that cooperate in processes (behavior)
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Understanding systems Context is everything! Outside in Inside out System forces: Boundaries Inputs + Outputs Interactions Encapsulation Nesting Overlap Redundancy Similarity Synergy Friction Divergence Dependency
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Different perspectives act as lenses to focus strategy Strategy should be influenced by multiple perspectives
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Disciplinary lenses can derail strategy Developers As seen by Designers As seen by PM As seen by QA As seen by Developers Designers PM QA
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Understand phase transitions Energy Temperature In order to change states, systems require energy
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Work across boundaries Organizational dynamics Orgs as countries Policies: Internal / External Diplomacy Big picture perspective Influencing strategy Cultivate allies Right people, Right time Formal + informal Success of others Understand first Fight + compromise
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon UX Develop a systems perspective on UX activities Formative Research Summative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping Market Research Innovation Mgmt. Project Mgmt. SupportSubject Matter Experts Documentation Brand Quality Marketing Sales EngineeringProduct Mgmt.
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Map out your influencing policy • Group, individual, committee, partner, etc. • Resources, approval, change, react, judge, champion Stakeholder Role • Active/Passive Supporter/ResisterAnticipated Reaction • Needs & expectations from change • Involvement & preparedness, Red-flags Their Needs + Concerns • Approval, Resources, Access, Information • Flexibility, Behavior change, Task completion Our Needs • Preparation, Communication, Address concerns • Learning, Direct/Indirect involvement Plans • People whom they listen to / respectInfluencers
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon 3 key themes Taking a systems perspective on your organizations Design as an innovation activity for organizational renewal Strategy + tactics for UX innovation 1 2 3
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon make money join with others to create value align your talent and assets develop and create your offerings differentiate your products & services create complimentary products & services ensure and enhance the value of your offers connect offerings with customers represent your offerings and business foster distinctive experiences CONFIGURATION OFFERINGS EXPERIENCE Innovation: a systematic renewal process From: Keeley, Walters, Pikkel, R., & Quinn | Ten types of innovation: The discipline of building breakthroughs | 2013
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon make money join with others to create value align your talent and assets develop and create your offerings differentiate your products & services create complimentary products & services ensure and enhance the value of your offers connect offerings with customers represent your offerings and business foster distinctive experiences CONFIGURATION OFFERINGS EXPERIENCE UX + Innovation systems Based on Keeley, Walters, Pikkel, R., & Quinn | Ten types of innovation: The discipline of building breakthroughs | 2013 UX 2001-2014UX to 2000UX Futures
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Acquire Solve for the entire customer experience Get user to know offering exists Categories based on Dave McClure’s AARRR Startup Metrics for Pirates see: http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2007/06/internet-market.html Activate Retain Refer Get user to engage with product for initial 1st use Get user to integrate offering into their lives Get user to recommend to a friend Think about experiences not products
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Transformational Adjacent Core 3 types of innovation Make incremental improvements to existing products / services Expand existing business into new business Transform an existing market or create a new market Based on Nagji & Tuff | HBR | May 2012
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Designing future scenarios for innovation Prediction is very difficult. Especially about the future. -Niels Bohr Social Technological Economic Environmental Political Competitive
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Define an innovation process Jump-Start Innovate Finalize, or… Idea Generation • “Innovation days” ideas Observation in the “wild” • Generate new ideas / get the big picture Need finding • Jobs to be done Competitive Analysis • Assess competition Kickoff Workshops • Get people on same page • High-level planning • Roles & contributions, etc. Innovation Design • Develop conceptual designs • Build mockups & prototypes Requirements Validation • Gather feedback on mockups & prototypes Wrap-up • Iterate designs based on feedback • Design visual look & feel (as applicable) • Validate designs with intended user populations (if applicable) • Productize PHASE GATE: • Design brief to plan the detailed deliverables & timelines PHASE GATE: • Internal & external reviews • Socialize future designs with execs & broader product teams PHASE GATE: • Validation via objective metrics • Internal & external reviews
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Recognize design is an iterative experiment Based on image from Janice Fraser http://www.slideshare.net/clevergirl / Don’t build products when prototypes will do! Prototype & measure it
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Build an innovation culture Innovation as part of the organization Innovation at the core of the organization Innovation integral to all aspects of the organization Adapted from Design Management Institute
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Scale by creating semi-autonomous holons or teams FeedbackFeedbackFeedbackFeedbackFeedbackFeedback Users and Customers
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon To survive your company must adapt It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change. Charles Darwin
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Design = deus ex machina an agent of change a source of revitalization Become an agent of change
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon 3 key themes Taking a systems perspective on your organizations Design as an innovation activity for organizational renewal Strategy + tactics for UX innovation 1 2 3
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Questions defining UX strategy • Who is the user? • What is the problem? Formative Ideation Summative • What are the possible solutions? • How exactly might these solutions work? • Does the solution meet users expectations? • How do we measure success?
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Systems Thinking Defines UX Innovation Formative Research Summative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping UX Requirements
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Systems Thinking Defines UX Innovation Formative Research Summative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping UXDesign
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Systems Thinking Defines UX Innovation Formative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping UX Measure Summative Research
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Tactic: Pitch a concept to VC’s or Execs Formative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping Summative Research UX Work with entrepreneurs to develop new product or service Gather scenarios Identify key screens Define the key interactions Make ‘em look pretty Build a click-thru mockup
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Tactic: Design for adjacent markets Formative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping Summative Research UX Develop a product to address new or emerging needs in the existing customer base Master the domain Develop the IA Define interactions Build prototypes Visual design Design validation Test the prototype or product
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Tactic: Re-architect a product Formative Research Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping Summative Research UX Work with VP products to reinvent a product category Re-imagine product concepts Redefine the IA Redefine interaction design Build prototypes Test prototypes Define visual language
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Tactic: Explore new market potential Interaction Design Information Architecture Visual Design Concept Prototyping Summative Research UX Work with business leaders to analyze new markets and sales opportunities Surveys Ethnographic studies Collaboration workshops Needs finding Jobs & outcomes $100 tests Formative Research
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Feedback loops: Everything is an experiment Look at what is happening, not what you hope should happen 1) Observe 2) Design 4) Test 3) Prototype
  • UX Strategy: A Systems Design Approach to Innovation @liamfriedland | @innes_jon Final thoughts Take a systems perspective on your organization1 Develop influence maps as part of your “foreign policy”2 Focus on innovation as a driver of corporate renewal3 Use UX tactics within an overall UX strategy to innovate4 Course correct based on feedback loops5