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UX Strategy


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How to enjoy your work more by thinking strategically about UX/CX activities and planning.

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UX Strategy

  1. 1. CX / UX Strategy Driving Innovation & Making our Work Meaningful Cassandra Moore, PhD UXPA DC July 21, 2016
  2. 2. Agenda • What makes work meaningful? • Strategic thinking is unnatural • How to think strategically • Business strategy • Experience strategy
  3. 3. Satisfying Work • Sense of agency, influence • Involvement in something aspirational • Finding meaning • Flow? @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  5. 5. Defining Terms (for this talk) • Goals – what you want to achieve • Strategy – plan for achieving goals • Tactics – specific activities • Organizations have purpose, goals – Business – Govt agency – Association – Non-profit @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  6. 6. Descriptive of Strategy? Yes • Rationality • Logic • Goals • Intentionality • Reasoning Not so much • Intuition • Emotion • Bias • Good enough • Quick @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  7. 7. Myth of the Rational Agent Choices based on • All available information • Probabilities of events • Potential costs & benefits Always maximizes utility in his own interest @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  8. 8. Strategic Thought is not Natural • Conclusions on few facts • Certain we’re right • Dismiss inconsistent evidence • Use heuristics • Overgeneralize, exhibit bias @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  9. 9. Who we think we are Who we really are @Seymour188cassandramoorephd It’s Counterintuitive…
  10. 10. • Automatic, effortless, quick • Largely unconscious, difficult/impossible to control • Intuition, expertise, skill • Does most of the work of thinking • Controlled, effortful, slow • Usually conscious • Logically coherent, rule-governed • Lazy • Easily overwhelmed Two Systems of Thinking @Seymour188 System 1 System 2 cassandramoorephd
  11. 11. Thinking is Hard • Persuasion, sales, voting, even behavior change, appeals to emotions and values • It works because our everyday thought is based on heuristics, intuitions, emotions @Seymour188
  13. 13. Algorithms Engage System 2 • Use algorithms • Explicit consideration of each component of a decision • Leads to more rational choices • Important to choose the right criteria @Seymour188
  14. 14. Surgical Checklist • Surgery has become so complicated, expert surgeons can forget a step • Expertise is not enough. It relies on System 1 • Checklists reduce medical errors dramatically • Slows the team, engages System 2 @Seymour188
  15. 15. Checklist for Regulatory Impact Analysis • Changing Federal Regulations has broad impact, huge cost if incorrect or incomplete • Instituted by Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law faculty) in the Obama administration • Requires evidentiary support, explicit reflection, and reason- giving • Provides criteria for deciding what to do, what NOT to do RIA (Sample of Questions) Does the RIA include a reasonably detailed description of the need for the regulatory action? Does the RIA include an explanation of how the regulatory action will meet that need? Does the RIA use an appropriate baseline? Is the information in the RIA based on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, and economic information and is it presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner? Does the RIA explain and support a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify)? @Seymour188
  16. 16. Strategy Before creating an Experience Strategy, we need the right criteria for deciding what to do. Criteria are supplied by business goals. @Seymour188
  18. 18. Seek to Understand the Organization • Approach with curiosity – What are their goals? Challenges? – What do they offer to customers? – What is the value proposition? – How do they want the customer to interact with them? – How do they differentiate themselves from organizations with similar offerings? @Seymour188
  19. 19. Business Strategy ala Michael Porter A collection of activities that an organization chooses to undertake to deliver a series of (positive, exceptional) interactions which, when taken together, constitute an (product or service) offering that is superior in some meaningful, hard-to- replicate way; that is unique, distinct & distinguishable from that available from a competitor. • Replace “is” with “the customer believes”. Knowing what the customer thinks is the critical support for the whole strategy • Many products, e.g., Internet service, cable, are essentially the same. The differentiator can be customer experience @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  20. 20. The Elusive Business Strategy • Most organizations don’t have an explicit strategy (please write if you find one!) • Org strategies are very difficult to write and to agree upon. Efforts are often abandoned mid-stream • Usually, you will be hunting for clues about the implicit goals of the organization @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  21. 21. Hunting for Org (Business) Strategy • At the organizational level look for – Vision or mission statements – ‘About Us’ description – C-level newsletters, speeches, blogs – Articles about the organization or their mandate • At the department level look for – Department goals, KPIs, success measures – RFP, proposals for the project – Vision & scope of project – Business requirements @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  22. 22. Make Straw Man Goals • Evaluate the evidence gathered • Get input from team members with different perspectives – Developers, designers, project managers • Make a prioritized list of organizational goals • Think about which problem or opportunity each goal addresses • Be willing to be wrong @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  23. 23. Verify the List with Stakeholders • Ask stakeholders to evaluate the straw man – Do they agree with the goals? – Do they agree with the prioritization? – Have we left anything out? – Are there constrains or challenges we haven’t considered? • Simply asking “what are your goals?” invites use of the Homer system. @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  24. 24. Listen with Empathy • Try to understand stakeholder’s perspective • Take note of any challenges or dismissals (we can’t do that because…) • Remember who is concerned about what • Note assumptions and opinions about customer behavior (and test them later) • Consider making a list of stakeholders with notes about their concerns @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  25. 25. Revise the Goals List • Review stakeholder input, note agreement level • Have problems or opportunities been overlooked? • Which are short-term vs. long-term goals? • Consider the broader technology landscape – Are they missing anything, e.g., a CMS or CRM? – Are the solutions they’re considering future friendly? • Goals provide criteria for selecting UX activities @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  27. 27. Thinking about an Experience Strategy • How can UX help achieve the business goals? • What activities will provide data/evidence? • Which goal does each UX activity address? • How does the activity contribute to the goal? • Is the activity the most efficient way of reaching the goal? • If it doesn’t contribute in a meaningful way, don’t do it @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  28. 28. Planning for the Future @Seymour188 • Strategic plans should look to the future • Some problems can be solved now, but others must wait (equipment, time, budget, etc.) • What are the future challenges likely to be? • Are today’s solutions readying the organization to meet future challenges? cassandramoorephd
  29. 29. Formulating the Experience Strategy • A plan of activities on a timeline • What each activity will accomplish – data, evidence • Why the accomplishment is important – reason-giving • How you will measure outcomes – Contribution to the customer experience – Contribution to achieving business goals @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  30. 30. Communicating the Strategy • Talk to Homer, not Spock – Keep it simple – Connect on an emotional level – Reference values – Make it fun – Tell a story • Assume people skim text and look at pictures @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  31. 31. Communication Tools • Discuss the plan with your team – Dev, PM, content strategists, product owners, etc. – Be flexible. Remember, it’s a team effort! • Make a poster, put it on the wall – Stakeholders see what you’re doing and when – Promotes a user-centric mindset – Provides a context for the customer story you’ll tell with personas, journey maps, sketches @Seymour188cassandramoorephd
  32. 32. Circling Back to Business Strategy @Seymour188 • User research provides the foundation for an evidence-based strategy • User research can legitimize the value proposition • Communication of the findings is crucial cassandramoorephd
  33. 33. What can you do right now? @Seymour188 • Understand the organization, its goals and challenges • Look for problems, pain points • Offer solutions that align with business goals and make the connection explicit cassandramoorephd
  34. 34. THANK YOU! FIN @Seymour188 Presentation at cassandramoorephd on LinkedIn @Seymour188 on Twitter cassandramoorephd