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Institutionalisation and UX debt

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Emma Chittenden presents on Institutionalisation and UX debt at Interact London 2014.

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Institutionalisation and UX debt

  1. 1. Hi, I’m Emma from Nomensa. This is my presentation ‘Institutionalisation and UX debt’ from Interact London 2014. UX has become seen as the key to solving complex problems and increasing revenue for organisations. However, most organisations still use it because it's fashionable and don’t always understand when and where to use it – often resulting in long-term UX debt. I will be talking about how understanding what UX debt is at an institutional level can reduce cost and risk. INSTITUTIONALISATION AND UX DEBT Emma Chittenden
  2. 2. If you build it, they will come. Emma Chittenden
  3. 3. Emma Chittenden Yet if you build it inappropriately, no matter how beautiful it is, they will probably stay away.
  4. 4. Emma Chittenden JESSE JAMES GARRETT So in this, the age of technology, information and data, we have found a solution - User Experience
  5. 5. Emma Chittenden User experience has become so popular, everyone is doing it. Designers have suddenly become UX designers and the skills appear everywhere.
  6. 6. There is nothing new with this, 10 years ago, IT support went through the same kind of revolution. Emma Chittenden
  7. 7. Businesses went from seeing it as a necessary evil to identifying it as essential to their business as the utilities that serviced their buildings. It became the thing many built. Emma Chittenden
  8. 8. Emma Chittenden UX is something a little less tangible, yet businesses are seeing how important it is to their survival in a digital age.
  9. 9. Emma Chittenden It means businesses have the opportunity to go back to the old days, when the shop owner knew customers by name. A relationship was established and customers were treated accordingly.
  10. 10. Business leaders hear about UX or hear the results that it can “WE N E E D T O D O U X ! ” deliver and this is what they say. Emma Chittenden
  11. 11. Emma Chittenden The concept of UX becomes as fashionable as buying the latest must have gadget and it is seen as the saviour to a lot of problems.
  12. 12. In fact, this is where the businesses start to create a lot of their problems. Emma Chittenden
  13. 13. Emma Chittenden
  14. 14. Emma Chittenden They held a lot of government IT contracts. One in particular was a private finance initiative called Pathway.
  15. 15. Pathway was intended as a solution to replace department of work and pensions benefit cheques with a card that would give claimants access to their money via the Post Office. Emma Chittenden
  16. 16. It was a massive project, it consumed resources like a coal fired power station. Yet do we see the effect pathway had today? Emma Chittenden
  17. 17. No. It was yet another costly IT infrastructure project that failed to see the light of day. Emma Chittenden
  18. 18. Emma Chittenden But why did it fail? The problem to the government was the cost. But what about the problems the users faced? This is where the UX debt started
  19. 19. It took another 10 years for the debt to be repaid, with the help of banks and the introduction of non-status bank accounts. Emma Chittenden
  20. 20. SO WHAT EXACTLY IS UX DEBT? Emma Chittenden Why should it matter?
  21. 21. The current thinking is leveraged from technical debt. Your design decisions are being made at the expense of the user. The fai lure to understand what problem you are trying to solve and fai l ing to leverage your users to solve i t . Emma Chittenden
  22. 22. Or put more simply, everything gets pushed to the mythical ‘phase 2’. So let’s take a look at a couple of UX debt examples Emma Chittenden
  23. 23. Emma Chittenden Morrison’s are never very far from the press in the supermarket wars. Only recently they started offering online shopping.
  24. 24. But in an age when all their major competitors have been offering online shopping for around a decade - is it too late for them? Emma Chittenden
  25. 25. Faced with low budget supermarkets eating into their revenue, they have launched a loyalty card to help them try and compete. Sadly it’s ended in public embarrassment. Had they taken the time to talk to their customers a lot of this could have been avoided. Emma Chittenden
  26. 26. Like financial debt however, UX debt of this kind can end up resulting in a very serious problem. The kind that could cause a company to fail. Emma Chittenden
  27. 27. Emma Chittenden UX debt is always going to be there at some level throughout an organisation. Even the best don’t always get it right. When Apple launched iOS7, all anyone complained about where some of the little details weren’t quite perfect.
  28. 28. Emma Chittenden The fact that Apple had completely redesigned an operating system UI in around 12 months was overlooked. However, Apple are able to launch a product onto the market that’s 95% there. When their competitors try it however, they aren’t so lucky.
  29. 29. A USER INTERFACE IS LIKE A JOKE. IF YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT, I T ’ S NO T T H A T G O O D . Emma Chittenden Of course, this inevitably what happens.
  30. 30. Emma Chittenden The missing ingredient was of course re-added in an update. this was a little bit more embarrassing than what Apple faced. It hasn’t caused the company to fail, but it has put a dent in their reputation.
  31. 31. Emma Chittenden So when they announced Windows 10 last week… they had to swallow their pride and put it back. They’re repaying the UX debt.
  32. 32. Emma Chittenden So we’ve seen what happens when you make design decisions that impact on the experience of a product. These happen every day and nobody real thinks much of them, until something bad happens .
  33. 33. So I’ve talked a bit about what UX debt is, but how can we repay it, or better yet, avoid it? HOW DO WE AVOID IT? Emma Chittenden
  34. 34. 1% 100% Emma Chittenden We, at Nomensa work with the concept of UX maturity. We have come to understand that those businesses that lack a degree of UX maturity will often create a problem they need to solve.
  35. 35. The problem may have its roots in pleasing shareholders by increasing revenue for the business. Emma Chittenden
  36. 36. The problem may be about copying a competitor. Emma Chittenden
  37. 37. …or it may be about wanting their company to be like their competitors. Emma Chittenden
  38. 38. For the most part, they will lack the maturity to listen to their customers. To get to the root of what the actual problem is, and how they can solve it. Emma Chittenden
  39. 39. Emma Chittenden After all, listening to customers could identify flaws in infrastructure that could be costly to change, what happens if it fails? I’d like to counter that, what happens if it doesn’t fail…
  40. 40. Emma Chittenden What happens if it succeeds?
  41. 41. Emma Chittenden Of course, changing infrastructure or even culture in a business is costly and filled with challenges, but there are ways to make it work. Virgin recently hosted a Google hangout with Tim Brown from IDEO & Eric Reis, the author of the lean startup.
  42. 42. Emma Chittenden ERIC REIS In it, Reis said ‘I think that if you look that the way modern companies need to be built, we need a new blueprint to what a business needs to look like.’ All businesses follow the same structure even modern tech companies
  43. 43. Emma Chittenden “ L E T ’ S D O A G I L E ” , O R… “ L E T ’ S D O U X . ” I mean we’ve all seen this right, the guy at the top telling us we need to do something.
  44. 44. WHY HOLD ON TO Emma Chittenden THE PAST? So why are we clinging on so rigidly to the old ways of doing things, just because millions have done it before, doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
  45. 45. MARKETING SALES DIGITAL Emma Chittenden Let’s embrace a new way of thinking. Let’s stop seeing teams or business units as silo’s where they are responsible for their OPS own area. HR I .T.
  46. 46. Let’s think about the people that generate money for us, the end user. Investigating their needs, understanding their problems. Emma Chittenden
  47. 47. PROFIT LOYALTY Emma Chittenden HAPPY MONEY Happy customers mean loyal customers. Loyal customers mean spending customers. Spending customers mean better profits and better profits mean happy shareholders. Switching the traditional focus from ‘what should we do to make the shareholders happy’ will ironically, make them happy.
  48. 48. What I’m talking about requires change, to many seems big and scary. We work with the concept of micro and macro, but I’ll let my colleague HOW DO WE PAY BACK THE DEBT? Simon describe those in more detail later. Emma Chittenden
  49. 49. Emma Chittenden Instead, I want to look how a small change can make a big difference.
  50. 50. A surgeon and professor from Harvard, Atul Gawande was approached by the World Health Organisation and asked if he could help cut the mortality rates attributed to surgery. ATUL GWANDE Emma Chittenden
  51. 51. Emma Chittenden He quickly realised that they couldn’t solve the problem using traditional methods, so he looked how high risk industries reduce risk, like sky scraper builders & aviation industry.
  52. 52. He found the one thing that they had in common, was check lists. Emma Chittenden
  53. 53. Emma Chittenden This is the end result - a single piece of paper.
  54. 54. LONDON, UK IFAKARA, TANZANIA Emma Chittenden They introduced this document at nine hospitals globally, the USA, Canada, the UK, Africa, India, UAE, Philippines and New Zealand. After these hospitals adopted it, the complication rate fell by 35%. The death rates fell by 47%.
  55. 55. Emma Chittenden Let’s just take a moment to consider that. This piece of paper resulted in 47% less deaths either during or following a surgical procedure at the hospitals where it was trialed.
  56. 56. Emma Chittenden I think Atul Gawande sums it up very well, and in a way that we can all appreciate as UX practitioners, ‘As individual as we want to be, complexity requires group success’
  57. 57. “ L i f e mo v e s p r e t t y f a s t , i f y o u d o n ’ t s t o p a n d look around once in a whi le, you might miss Emma Chittenden i t…” Finally, I just want to add a thought from the late, great John Hughes (by way of Ferris Beuller), a mantra we can all appreciate, in stopping to look around, we can see that small changes can make a big difference.
  58. 58. THANK YOU Emma Chittenden
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Emma Chittenden presents on Institutionalisation and UX debt at Interact London 2014.

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