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17 Principles I like to follow
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17 Principles I like to follow



These few slides summarise how it is like to work with me. Sometimes during those meetings, conversation centres around the projects I have worked on, and the process I follow. Apart from these, ...

These few slides summarise how it is like to work with me. Sometimes during those meetings, conversation centres around the projects I have worked on, and the process I follow. Apart from these, there's the whole aspect of managing the project and communicating internally or externally, which is crucial to the success of the project.



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17 Principles I like to follow Presentation Transcript

  • 1. 17 Principles i like to follow 2012 Anirban Basu Mallikrocket user experience consulting limited rocketux@gmail.com
  • 2. What is it like to work with you? What is your ideal ux process?Be it a pitch or an interview, someone from the interviewpanel always ends up asking these questions.I thought it would make sense to have a rule book to puttogether a few things or guiding principles which I follow orbelieve in, when I engage with a client.I’m always happy to talk about what my ideal process is, butsometimes it’s quite tough to touch upon all of these pointsin a 30-45 minute session.So here they are folks.
  • 3. 01. Customer is king There is no such thing as a stupid customer. It’s just that the system has been poorly designed or is catering to the wrong customer segment. The ‘Apostle’ Model + Source: “Why Satisfied Customers Defect” by Thomas O. Jones and W. Earl Sasser Jr. in Harvard Business Review Nov-Dec 1995 Loyalist Hostage Hostage - High loyalty, low to medium satisfaction. Unable to switch (Apostle) and are trapped.Loyalty Loyalist - High loyalty, high satisfaction. Will stay loyal and supportive. Defector - Low to medium loyalty, low to medium satisfaction. Defector Mercenary Leaving or having left and unhappy. (Terrorist) Mercenary - Low to medium loyalty, high satisfaction. Coming and - going and have low commitment. - Satisfaction +
  • 4. 02.The 5 basic things I knowwithout doing any researchAn average customer cannot visualise the possibilitiesThat’s why Ikea spends an awful amount of effort in creating spaces to showcase itsinventory in a room setting.An average customer prefers convenienceThat’s why Jamie is so popular. You don’t need an awful amount of time, expensive gadgetsor knife skills to cook up a healthy meal in just 15 minutes after a tiring day at work.An average customer gets influenced by stories (images and words)That’s why Coca-Cola equates happiness, a human emotion with opening a coke bottle. Sowhen we feel happy we drink coke.An average customer can’t do the mathThat’s why flights on budget airlines appear cheaper.An average customer is more forgiving towards a better looking productBut are not, when it comes to the overall user experience of the product.Image courtesy: CubaGallery (flickr)
  • 5. 03.Every business is differentEvery business is different and might have a different business model than itscompetitors.This sometimes gives us an opportunity to think about how we can increase revenues,along with improving the user experience like how Melissa Matross did. MX Conference 2012: Watch the video hereLink to the book "Business Model Generation"
  • 6. 04. Not every client has the budget for research It is a fact of life. Some clients, unlessthey are a FTSE 100 investment bank or have a game-changing product would not have the time or budget for user research. It’s fine. But I will still sneakin some user research by going guerilla. Image courtesy: una cierta mirada (flickr)
  • 7. 05.Every project has constraintsEvery project has constraints, be it technology, business model or resourcing. Thingsneed to be prioritised and scoped out. As a ux person, we need to know this as earlyas possible. A one-day visioning workshop with lots of sketching along with folksfrom the business and technology teams should get that sorted. Having said that,sometimes constraints lead to innovative solutions.It pays sometime to ask stupid questions. Assumptions are dangerous. A. B. C. Platform Business Resourcing Constraints Constraints Constraints
  • 8. 06. Success ultimatelydepends upon execution There might be some brilliant interaction design wizardry, but the end result depends on how the technology folks do their job. Personally, I prefer giving a foolproof back-up solution, in case the best one cannot be executed properly, rather than leaving room for a third solution which did not get any ux designer’s love. Transitions between ux and design and design and technology are important milestones in a project, as ux is the invisible glue which holds everything together. Baufritz prefab houses are engineered offsite and assembled onsite in a single day.
  • 9. 07.Every time youredesign, Godkills a kitten,not reallyThis works for software which has asteep learning curve.A redesign often refreshes / renewsthe brand engagement with thecustomer. As human beings we lovechange and that’s why we loveholidays and put up with Facebook.But the redesign definitely has to addvalue.
  • 10. Rube Goldberg Machines 08. Sometimes it’s not worth reinventing the wheel Sometimes it makes sense to cherry pick problems to solve, which will give a better return on investment. Often in the quest for innovation we are tempted to over complicate something which already works, which leads to customer misery.
  • 11. 09.Sometimes we are expected towrite copyThat’s actually fine. I’m working on this one. But it does help to get a content strategiston board from day one.Pret doesn’t have the best website in the world but gets their value proposition acrossmuch more effectively than a few other brands. Some of the problems which get uncovered during usability testing are related to copy, labelling on buttons, missing instructional text and so on.
  • 12. 10. Templates make life easier for everyoneEspecially true when working under tight deadlines and in a team. If you are working with the same client on multiple projects, then it makes sense to design a bespoke format which works for that particular client and get sign-off prior to starting work. This saves precious time later on. It also makes it easier to review work.
  • 13. 11.Too much documentation is hardto manageWith most ux projects going lean, it makes sense to document the bareminimum and spend the rest of the time exploring design options or usertesting which can be A/B tested.Personally, I would fire up Silverback and do a screen-cast of the Axureprototype, or a pdf of the wireframes on a per page or customer journey basis.
  • 14. 12. Spending some quality time upfront on patterns helpsThe most efficient way to work in a team of ux designers is to tackle patterns first, ideate, get approval and create a library and then start with the individual pages. This would ensure everyone is in sync and would do away with the frantic alignments later on, when time is precious.
  • 15. 13.Reviews should be doneincrementally and periodicallyThere is this myth that you need to involve the “guy at the top” from theclient only when the project looks polished (read visual designer hasdone his/her bit). Sometimes an early sense check with the “guy at thetop” saves embarrassment later on.Sometimes the political climate within the client justifies havingseparate meetings with individuals or teams and then having one bigmeeting to get sign-off from everyone at the same time.Image courtesy: andrea_daquino (flickr)
  • 16. 14. Communication is key This is cliched, but many a times escalations happen because emails get hidden in mailboxes. The best way to tackle this beast is to use basecamp or use a shared Google Docs spreadsheet.Post-its are for an entirely different purpose, but definitely not for noting down client feedback and then spending time typing it out in an excel or an email. Image courtesy: reka sara (flickr)
  • 17. 15.The ideal way to get consensusI like to follow a process. Sometimes the most opinionated person and not necessarilythe best solution in the room influences the outcome. I would rather follow a process,which spits out the best solution at the end of it. It works every single time. A B B D C D All Ideas/ The Sieve The survivors Solutions Alignment to constraints, (test both or edge case fulfilment, long combine best bits) term vs. short term fit, and so on
  • 18. 16. A little usability testing is better than nothing Sometimes clients don’t have budget for testing. It doesn’t cost time and money to, at least, do an internal round of testing.It’s also a good idea to include a few alternate solutions for A/B testing. Quick and easy ones are alternate options for messages and alerts, labels on CTAs.
  • 19. 17.My ideal processI like following IDEO’s HCD process,or Karen, Jessamyn and Shelley’sRapid Contextual Design.It’s good to be flexible on the processas it depends on the nature of theproject, the problems that need to besolved, existing research and moreimportantly how it integrates withthe client’s own process.Link to IDEO HCD ToolkitLink to Rapid Contextual Design
  • 20. Thank you.Anirban Basu Mallikrocket user experience consulting limitedrocketux@gmail.com