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Starting and Running a Customer Design Advisory Board

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A customer design advisory board is a group of customers/users who agree to provide early feedback on your UX designs. This talk explains the benefits of forming a board compared to other customer groups like user groups or beta testers. It covers how to recruit participants, level of commitment to ask for from your partners, how to get past legal and confidentiality hurdles, and types of feedback sessions to organize. It also provides some techniques for running and maintaining such a program.

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Starting and Running a Customer Design Advisory Board

  1. 1. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Starting and Running a Customer Design Advisory Board MARY BETH RAVEN, Ph. D. Oracle Corporation UXPA Boston 2017 Confidential – Oracle Internal/Restricted/Highly Restricted
  2. 2. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Design Advisory Board • A form of participatory design to actively involve users in the design process to help ensure the results meets their needs and is usable • Dedicated set of users who provide feedback on a product on a regular basis • Most effective with NON-consumer products • Early involvement! Can include feature prioritization • Consistent legal/confidentiality agreement
  3. 3. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Example Design Advisory Boards Technical Product Collaboration Product Participants ~20 companies, ~35 people ~300 companies, 500+ people Recruiting Existing User Group Existing user group, support community, blog, Twitter Commitment •90 min every ~ 3 months •Meet once a month, one company at a time, 5-7 companies each month •Meet 1 hr every week, everyone invited • Additional usability testing 1x1 monthly 5-7 customers/month Session types •Persona validation •Remote usability testing •Persona validation •Product demos •Show alternate designs, discuss, vote Legal NDA for each session Yearly blanket NDA for all sessions Maintenance UX team tracked NDAs, participation and reward (3 iPad minis) Product management maintained
  4. 4. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Design Advisory Board provides feedback on the features and UI design of upcoming versions of the software Participate in Usability Tests, Focus Groups, and Feedback Sessions Prioritize Features and Participate in Surveys Host Site Visits
  5. 5. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | BETA TEST Even fewer people, but they start later in the design process and have deep participation including installing and using the product over a period of time Design Advisory Board Compared to Other Programs DESIGN PARTNERS Fewer people, start early in the design process, regular participation USER GROUPS Many people, small participation
  6. 6. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Recruiting Get them • Invite user group members, Customer Advisory Board Members • Post invitations in support communities • Post invitations on social media – Blog, tweet, Facebook • Incentives: several give-aways at the end of each product release (iPad minis, Starbuck’s gift certificates Keep them • Demonstrate that you listen! • Improve the product based on their feedback • Explain why you did NOT make some of the requested changes (technical, business etc.) Incentives
  7. 7. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Work with Your Company’s Legal Team Different companies have different legal requirements Company A Company B Company C Participants sign a Non- disclosure (NDA) for every session Participants sign a yearly NDA The participant’s COMPANY signs a “Customer Participation Confidentiality Agreement” (CPCA) NDA was an online survey they went to, checked a box and typed their name and date If they signed and NDA as part of a user group or Customer advisory group, then they were already covered for the Design Partner Program This agreement broader than an NDA. If a participant has a good idea and you implement it, the participant cannot expect any revenue recognition.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. | Maintenance • Have an official “Design Advisory Board” administrator • Can be part of other jobs – User Research – Product management • Foster Community – Arrange in-person meetings – Appreciation events ( at yearly conference or user group meetings) – Tie to “Champion” or “Elect” programs • Have a set begin and end – Yearly – Per release

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