TOWARDS CORPORATE UXMATURITY24/02/2011CHRISTOPHER KHALIL,DIRECTOR OF USER EXPERIENCENEWS DIGITAL MEDIA
INTRO… A framework for determining your organisational maturity Neilsen 2006 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/maturity.html Goal is to become a User Driven Organisation – User data helps determines projects that are funded – User research helps determines company direction – Experience design extended beyond IxD into Customer Experience
STAGES OF MATURITY Stage 1: Hostility toward UX. This stage can last decades. Stage 2: Developer-centred UX. Two to three years. Stage 3: Skunkworks UX. Two to three years. Stage 4: Dedicated UX budget. Two to three years. Stage 5: Managed UX. Six to seven years. Stage 6: A Systematic UX process. Six to seven years. Stage 7: Integrated user-centred design. Insufficient data. Stage 8: User-driven corporation.
STAGE 1: HOSTILITY TOWARD UX In this mindset, humans are irrelevant—theyre told to use the system, regardless of whether doing so is easy or pleasant. Throwback to early days of computing where hardware costs etc meant it made sense to subjugate people to computers needs. Hard to change behaviour. Timescale: This stage can last decades.
STAGE 2: DEVELOPER-CENTRED UX Team relies on its own intuition about what constitutes good UX Works ok if mental model matches audience – i.e. developing tools such as IDE’s etc For every other case this is a bad idea We know too much about the problem space BUT executives generally responsive to the idea of UX Logic, flattery, persuasion, analytics Timescale: Two to three years.
STAGE 3: SKUNKWORKS UX. No official recognition of UX, nor is there an approved budget Organization realises need to be customer focused Guerrilla testing prevalent Activities are ad hoc and driven by UX advocates Primitive but effective skunkwork techniques employed Rely on results to progress: analytics, AB test, survey To prevent being overlooked, save the initial design ideas, clumsy as they may seem, and show before/after comparisons to document the UX advances. Timescale: Two to three years.
STAGE 4: DEDICATED UX BUDGET Someone higher up makes the UX aspects of product quality a higher priority. A dedicated budget for UX allows UX activities to be planned There are dedicated UX staff Main UX method is User Testing (but usually happens late in process) A budget to recruit participants The team spends most of its time fixing individual design mistakes, and no time at increasing organisational maturity. To move to next stage: Collect ammunition, higher conversion rates, fewer calls to call centre, increasedproductivty - involve senior stakeholders in sessions Timescale: Two to three years.
STAGE 5: MANAGED UX. Official UX group, led by Manager Studies are conducted more consistently as the UX group refines its methodology The group archives and compiles the findings of UX reports. The company has a person whose job it is to think about UX across the organization, in order to increase organisational maturity and leverage existing UX staff for more strategic purposes To move to next stage: Use budget on high profile projects aim for spectacular wins, evangelise, participatory design, involve senior stakeholders in sessions Timescale: Six to seven years
STAGE 6: A SYSTEMATIC UX PROCESS. The company has recognized the need for an actual user-centred design process, with multiple activities and milestones Iterative design is more common because the company realizes that the best UI quality requires several rounds of UX Projects are prioritized according to the business value of their user experience. Even projects that dont get a lot of UX resources go through at least some form of UX review before theyre approved for release The UX budget large enough that key projects receive sufficient resources The company starts doing field studies To move to the next stage Use participatory & iterative design to bring stakeholders on the journey. Lobby for Field Studies Timescale: Six to seven years
STAGE 7: INTEGRATED USER-CENTRED DESIGN. Field studies, as a form of very early user research is in the DNA. Each step in the development process is infused with user data, including the project definition and the requirements phase. Beyond simply estimating user experience quality, the company tracks quality through quantitative UX metrics. Each project has defined UX goals that these measurements must surpass for the design to be greenlighted for release. The company begins to employ UX data to determine what it should build.
STAGE 8: USER-DRIVEN CORPORATION. User data now determines the type of projects that are funded. User research determines the company’s overall direction and priorities. The concept of total user experience is extended beyond the screen to other customer-company interaction. The company uses the same UX methods, but these now affect corporate strategy & activities beyond interaction design. Corporate decision-making takes a mixed methody approach including data from behavioural observation of real users—data about what customers do.
CONCLUSION The timing obviously differs among organizations Start-ups are lucky and can begin the maturity process at stage 3 or stage 4 Steps must be addressed in order, hard to skip a stage Too many simultaneous changes are likely to result in failure Find the best ‘buttons’ in your organisation to press and keep punching them.