Good morning and welcome. User experience is both a field of study and a practice. Yet as a practice I have found it curious that it is primarily invested in as an approach in designing externally facing sites or apps. From the business’ perspective, the argument for doing so obviously being the proven customer reach a good experience can have, which inevitably is then related to financial return. Yet, surely by optimising the experience of our internal platforms the very same applies: widened user reach, improved adoption, better utilisation – all factors equating to leveraging the investment being made. Through reflecting on our own projects, we believe that approaching a project with UX principles in mind is so fundamental to the successful implementation of a SharePoint platform, that it has formed part of our project methodology. While there has long been an emphasis on what SharePoint can do, it’s my personal mission to encourage a turn of conversation: what do users need, and how do we design SharePoint to best serve those needs.
Instead, today we want to share with you techniques that we have employed, tools we have found to be useful, as well as our experiences in the field consulting day in, day out….and of course the concepts we operate by which has formed this approach to projects.
So that we are all working from the same understanding for the rest of the presentation, I thought it to be useful to re-visit where the term ‘user experience’ originated from. It was coined by Dr Don Norman in the early 90’s, and he says “……….”Within that quotation we can see that there are references to a number of skill sets, or professions.
Skill sets such as….of course the average project couldn’t afford an expert within each of these areas, and so there is more and more a call for people to incorporate a variety of these skill sets.
Each area of focus on a project though should be asking these fundamental UX questions…..Understanding the ‘Who’ helps us define our user profiles or personas – what are their motivations, frustrations, daily challenges, ‘Where’ they will interact with it sets the tone for the design principles – for example, are they interacting with it in a customer facing environment where speed of service needs to be the primary design principle?What they want to do with it is an area that most definitely is need of more focus within the organisations we see. Truly appreciating what people want to do is essential in creating thoughtful, smart and clever site designs.How they are naturally inclined to operate it will start to unveil how ‘pre-conditioned’ – or not, people are to standard web conventions, what their past experiences have been..etc
I recently attended a UX master class held in Chicago by Adaptive Path – one of the leaders of user experience and by extension service experience within the american and european markets, and this quotation was visited daily – almost in pray like fashion. It’s by a Finnish architect ‘Eliel Saarinen’ who said …….Although that relates to the physical world, it absolutely applies to the digital environments we work in.
And it is essentially saying that no experience is in a vaccuum. So often I speak to clients who want SharePoint to fix a problem they think is isolated, but as you begin to investigate the problem you quickly realise that it more often than not relates to a wider process issue, communication or collaboration issue.
So…. We have a litte bit of a fundamental understanding and historical background to frame the idea of ‘user experience’ – how do we then incorporate it into projects, or indeed into a way of working. Now, I’ve noticed that when talking of this field a lot of people make a connection that UX has something to do with visual design.
And while that is in part true, it is only one component of a good UX experience. IF we take visual design as a reference point, we can see where it fits into the overall approach.
For us, we think of it as comprised of 4 high level areas. And I must apologise – that given only 40 minutes to talk to this a lot of the concepts are forced to be high level. We start out with design strategy – either validating it if it’s already in place, or actually assisting in the creation and buy in of a strategy. That then leads us into developing a smart and considered IA – this is turn informs the Interaction design component, and finally we move through developing the visual design. Overarchign all of these is the research component, and a cyclical approach of evaluations – always returnign back to the users and ensuring that at each phase we are taking them along the design journey.
So if were sitting listening to myself, a question that I would have would be this. Of course the answer to this really does depend on what the goals we are trying to achieve and who we are trying to target. So the best way I thought to give an indication of likely effort, is by stepping through each of the 4 phases and talking about the kind of activities to achieve outcomes.
So firstly – design strategy – it could also be referred to as the digital strategy.
A well crafted strategy should have each person working on the project being able to articulate a very clear and unified response to these questions. Strategy is framed within goals, and it needs to identify who it is that the design is being created for, why there is a need to do something in the first place, what the high level requirements are – these obviously need to be revistied with detailed research and analyais, and the course of action to be undertaken in order to proceed and achieve the goals.
Answering those questions is the fundamental starting point for UX work – and to assist in framing where the design or digital strategy sits, keep in mind that it needs to work in faviour of the business strategy. All business has a strategy – all profitable business has a strategy, and there will be a vairety of other strategies which combine in order to realise the business purpose. So there may be operational strategies, marketing and sales – and digital/design strategy needs to be mindful of all of these.
Now what are the qualifiers for me that focus and definition is lacking in this area. Perhaps you have experienced that sinking feeling when on a project and realising that ….
At times like these, we have found this very simple exercise to be invaluable. It focusses on forced ranking where we have all of the major stakeholders occupy the same breathing space as each other and have them list individually all problems and goals they are expecting or wanting the intiative to deliver on. They then come together and are given the opportunity to employ their negotiation skills. As a group they have to rank all items in terms of importance and viabiliyt – where viability is a factor of resources committed and time to deliver. Those results are then plotted and you can begin to visualise what is to be delivered – and how realistic it is to deliver it given the resourcing. This makes people accountable for decisions.
User experience, user engagement, share point...oxymoronic
process SHAREPOINT CONSULTING INFORMATION MANAGEMENT BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION Considerations for useful experiencesUser Experience, User Engagement,SharePoint….Oxymoronic? http://www.nsynergy.com/pages/default.aspx Bujuanes Livermore | Principal Consultant | firstname.lastname@example.org @22vino
What we are talking about today Tools we haveTechniques which have found usefulworked for us Concepts we operate by Our experiences in the field
Where did the „UX‟ term come from?Don Norman – Co-Founder of the Nielsen Norman Group – used as early as 1993“I invented the term because I thought humaninterface and usability were too narrow. I wanted tocover all aspects of the person‟s experience with thesystem including industrial design, graphics, theinterface, the physical interaction, and themanual…”
Skill sets required to execute good UX Visual design Interface design Navigation design UX strategy Information architecture (IA) User research Information design Functional specs Interaction design (IxD)
What‟s the point?UX asks….. Where What How Who are they naturally are the users of the will they interact do the want to do with it inclined to product or system with it operate it ? ? ? ?
A holistic approach “Design a thing by considering it in its next largest context…..…a chair in a room, a room in a home, a housein an environment, environment in a city plan ” Keeping the great quotes of Eliel Saarinen alive
What‟s the effort? 1 Design Strategy Design IX Visual Strategy IA Design Design
The questions that help drive strategy WHO | WHY | WHAT | HOW What are the Who are we requirements creating for? Why is there How are we a need Going to proceed
Where the design strategy sits Business Strategy Design/Digital Marketing & Sales Operational „X‟ Strategy Strategy Strategy Strategy Projects & Projects & Projects & Projects & Initiatives Initiatives Initiatives Initiatives
Signs that strategy lacks focus & definition Focus is lacking if…… • Too many competing requirements • Ambitions or vision exceed allocated resources or allocated budget • Too many competing priorities • People have the perception that when delivered, EVERYTHING will be fixed Definition is lacking if….. • The project isn‟t aligned to the overall organisational vision or strategy • Stakeholders have different expectations of what will be delivered • Project boundaries aren‟t stated • Scope creep is occurring
Tools and Techniques for Strategy Forced ranking Plotting results 1. In a workshop, list all problems and goals identified Must & can do for 1st How critical is it to be implemented first 2. Match problems with potential opportunities phase 3. Force a ranking of each of the above based on importance and viability Plan for phase 2 Importance release 4. Plot results Not enough resources Viability A factor of resources committed & time to deliver
What‟s the effort? 2 IA – Information Architecture Design IX Visual Strategy IA Design Design
Tasks of IA work • Researching the content you have 1 • Organising what you want to access 2 and who should be able to access • Designing for how you want people to 3 work in the future • Designing the structure 4
SharePoint specific IA considerations Site Collections Sites Content types Lists & Structure Features Libraries & Metadata Term Sets Columns web parts COLLABORATION / SOCIAL NETWORKING
Smart IA design improves experiences DISCOVERING ORGANISING DESIGNING DESIGNING INFORMATION WHAT YOU WHAT YOU WITH FOR ARCHITECTURE HAVE HAVE METADATA FINDABILITY IN ACTION Kindly „borrowed‟ from Adaptive Path
Controversial…..“Spontaneous, unstructured knowledgetransfer is vital to a firm‟s success.Although the term „knowledge management‟implies formalised transfer, one of itsessential elements is developing specificstrategies to encourage such spontaneousexchanges” Working Knowledge Davenport & Prusak
The user experience relies on social networkingAs business unitsincreasinglyemploy tools thatlive on theoutside, knowledge leak exists onthe inside. Design by the talented Gerardo Obieta -gobieta.com
Meeting user needs through social technologiesHow our businessintegrates social withSharePoint via
A recent experience“A new UI – great!I can control what Iwatch on my own”
How research benefits…everything!OUTPUTS User requirements Articulating the issues users are facing, and identifying their needs.
How research benefits…everything!OUTPUTS Persona profiling Archetypes of target audiences identifying characteristics and goals
How research benefits…everything!OUTPUTS User scenarios A narrative of intended user interactions with a product or system
How nSynergy puts it all together Phases Technical UX IA Applications Vision Strategy workshops Strategic Vision presentation Planning Build Transition
Closing thoughts“The most a User Experience Designer, UIDesigner, or Interaction Designer can do is designinteractive systems that elicit statistically predictableresponses (the science) and influence people‟sbehaviour and level of enjoyment (the art)..” Fantastic words from the great Michael Cummings