How I learnt to not tell clients the wrong thing...
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How I learnt to not tell clients the wrong thing...

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Things I learnt from my mistakes when dealing with clients

Things I learnt from my mistakes when dealing with clients

More in: Design , Business , Technology
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  • 1. I ❤ Clientsor, how I learnt to not tell clients the wrong thing at the wrong time @silverfoxyboy 1
  • 2. What are consultants for? What value can we bring as outsiders? Why should anyone listen to us? The experience of working with in-house UX teams and the things I’ve learnt from putting my foot in it with them prompted these questions. 2
  • 3. Boosting resource Telling you new stuffSaying unpalatable things Consultants only really do three simple things... How hard can it be? 3
  • 4. A story of design decisions that became taboo in the organisation that made them. ‘Taboo decisions’ 4
  • 5. Evaluate the holistic user experience of a new website. Up to that point the usability of the sites content, features and functionality had only been tested in isolation Would it work as a complete site? ‘Evaluate the UX’ 5
  • 6. Yes, the features were usable but the users didn’t need them and couldn’t have used them even if they’d wanted to. Unpalatable truths 6
  • 7. The site had taken 2.5 years to get to this point. The legacies of this development time were taboo decisions that couldn’t simply be undone. Key stakeholders positions would be severely undermined. Trouble 7
  • 8. For the stakeholders change was not an option despite the flaws in the sites UX. How can you talk about and achieve change when there is ambivalence to change? Flawed 8
  • 9. My wife’s a Doctor. She talks to people who’re ambivalent to change everyday. They’re addicts. They’re rarely open to change to start with. Addiction 9
  • 10. Motivational inter viewing techniques allow us to talk constructively to people about their ambivalence to change. 1. Engagement: open questions, reflective listening and summarising what you hear. Basic UX research techniques MI - Engagement 10
  • 11. MI - Selective guiding: Selectively eliciting questions Selectively reflecting what a client says Selectively elaborating what a client says Selectively summarising what a client says Selectively affirming what a client says 2. Selectively guiding a conversation: elicitation, reflecting, elaborating, summarising and affirmation 11
  • 12. 3. Evoking change talk. Move the clients conversation away from the satus quo toward change talk. MI - Evoking 12
  • 13. 4. Planning affirming the change by making plans for change. LInk to MI Article MI - Planning 13
  • 14. Design like change is theproduct of dialogue. Neithercan be done in isolation. Boosting resourceFor the client design anddevelopment in isolation hadresulted in taboo decisions Telling you new stuffthat couldn’t be questioned. Saying unpalatable things But never in isolation, only during dialogue 14
  • 15. A new story superficially about boosting resource. But really about how the uncomfortable politics that result when unpalatable comments are made Boosting the team 15
  • 16. What can go wrong if you’re talking about UX problems where an internal team is answerable to multiple stakeholders? Simple surely... Impartiality 16
  • 17. The result is tricky questions like these for the internal UX team: Why didn’t we think of that earlier? Didn’t we try that idea last year? What’s wrong with our UX team? Politics 17
  • 18. This is what i heard... ‘Walt... can you stop making recommendations.’ Facts not insights 18
  • 19. Just like the first story, isolation breaks the UX flow. No dialogue creates poor decisions Data and insights in isolation from the context will be ignored or have no meaning. Facts not insights 19
  • 20. Old fashioned management consulting shows how to avoid these problems. As consultants the contract Directive consulting has to be clear... what have qwe been asked to do and why You propose guidelines, persuade or direct in the problem solving process Non-directive consulting Raises questions for reflection 20
  • 21. Make sure you and the client are operating in the same space before you start. Directive consultant I was over here They were over here Non-directive consultant 21
  • 22. These are the types of questions I like to include in the opening conversations to avoid the skirmishes that can occur later on. What is it you need recommendations or observations for? Why do you need them? Who’ll see the report apart from you? Who’ll be watching the final presentation? What decisions are you going to be making based on this study? 22
  • 23. There’ll be more than oneagenda affected when youmention unpalatablethings. Make sure youunderstand the context Boosting resourceyou’re in. Telling you new stuff Saying unpalatable things But understand the context 23
  • 24. Two quick stories about organisational culture and why organisations ignore you’re research Culture 2 - Users 0 24
  • 25. In large organisations the cultures prioritises the delivery of a project over the ongoing success of the project. Don’t make life difficult for me 25
  • 26. In other cultures the emphasis is on being seen to be doing something. Activity is the priority even when the direction is fruitless We won’t do that 26
  • 27. What was I doing wrong? What could I do differently? I’d stuck my foot in it because I hadn’t grasped t wo things that in combination created problems. Was it something I said? 27
  • 28. 1. both sites were lead generating / mind-share sites. Not impossible to measure, but hard to measure in meaningful terms to commercial businesses. Difficult to measure success 28
  • 29. An organisational value matrix. The language the company uses can help you place them on the matrix Humans the language and gaugeAspirational Becoming Future Man is values Competitive dominate respond to them in needed to is best orientated born good a way that will be listened to nature them Humans in Man is bornStatic values “I Just being just Present be Collectivist has to harmony with neither good is best orientated finished on time” nature nor bad “We can only go Nature Being active Past Man isConservative values forward” Hierarchical dominates is best orientated born bad humans Activity Time orientation Social relations Human to Nature Human Nature 29
  • 30. Understand the agenda of the person who’s leading the project. What will make them look good. How can that be allied to UX. Introduce techniques that reflect the organisational values. if they find design hard introduce something like 6-up sketching to make it easier for them to be involved. Change of approach 30
  • 31. We must understand the culturewe’re working with. We musthave compassion for the culturewe’re working with. Boosting resource Telling you new stuff Saying unpalatable things Compassion for the culture 31
  • 32. ‘It’s a chance for them [clients] to work with sharp minds from outside their teams, who will forward their Are we any nearer agenda.’ - David Jarvis knowing what consultants are good for in a world full of internal UX teams? what-its-like-being-a-client Let’s ask a client... 32
  • 33. There’s something else we, as external consultants, should know... What about the UX teams? 33
  • 34. The lanscape of competitors has changed too. Who, now, is your biggest competitor? The guy down the road? Or, in the next city? Your biggest competitor ? 34
  • 35. Your biggest Your client faces threecompetitor is nowyour client. options: using your service, not doing it at all, or doing it themselves. In many cases, then, your biggest competitors are not your competitors. They are your clients. Harry Beckwith 35
  • 36. Thank youWalt Buchan @silverfoxyboy +44 (0) 7980 344 310 36