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New Frontiers: UX Professional as Business Consultant

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We talk a lot about cross-channel experiences and how to address these new challenges as designers, but what about using our design skills, our hard won knowledge and empathy for customers to help companies decide what products and services will help grow their business? While companies are coming round to the value of customer experience, they're struggling to acquire the skills needed for creating and managing touch points as well as understanding and prioritizing needs. And when we're talking multi-channel ecosystems, who's better equipped to address this complexity than those who have the skill set to not only understand it, but to design it and guide how it's built.

From optimizing the cross-channel customer experience, to creating new product and service extensions, we're heading into a prime moment for bringing our toolkit into the business arena. This talk is meant to be both a thought starter a around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company's digital strategy. Using examples from my own experiences and input from a variety of seasoned practitioners, we'll examine the challenges and map the opportunities across our own journey as UX professionals who are starting to think about what's next.

Published in: Design
  • Hey guys! Who wants to chat with me? More photos with me here 👉 http://www.bit.ly/katekoxx
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  • seems ux folks need to work on the 'business table'..as well.. as domain is evolving...
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  • Great job Cindy.

    Having sat on the front row through this next to a nodding and verbally approving Alan Cooper, I enjoyed the talk a lot. Reviewing again I have to respect the insight, and elegant slide delivery here - it was top notch. Any criticism i referred to at the Redux was purely based on the need for our industry to take this discussion further, beyond the rhetoric, into more actionable steps. Otherwise, these sorts of talks can set the expectation far too high for a talented and passionate industry that just isn't universally equipped to be considered appropriate competition for business/management consultants. The thing is, i truly believe we have a lot to offer. But having worked at a management consultancy, seeing great talent, similar methods, but wholly different value systems, and professional ethics, I think there is more to be aware of. I would love to chat in more detail some time, or have the chance to provide a more refined comment.
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  • Cindy, thanks for sharing at Interaction13! You made a significant impression on this discussion of the evolving role.

    The slides are packed with great conversation and debate pieces...looking forward to participating in the broader dialog of how we continue to evolve the role, and carry influence further upstream.

    I believe Service Design is an interesting space to investigate the value this multidisciplinary role can bring to opportunity creation and solution design.
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  • Solid. Great presentation!
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New Frontiers: UX Professional as Business Consultant

  1. NEW FRONTIERS: THE UX PROFESSIONAL AS BUSINESS CONSULTANT TITLE SUBTITLE Cindy Chastain @cchastain #uxconsultantInteraction 13 | January 30, 2013 1
  2. Business (management) consultant:Someone who engages in the practice of helpingorganizations grow and improve their performance,primarily through the analysis of existingorganizational problems and development of plansfor improvement. 2
  3. UX Professional:Someone who engages in user-centered designpractices to generate cohesive, predictive anddesirable designs based on holistic consideration ofa users’ experience. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. Customer experience and technologyis becoming an essentialbusiness strategy 7
  8. 8
  9. The PanelJESSE JAMES KAREN MATTHEW STEVE WHITNEY GENE SAMANTHA DAVEGARRET MCGRANE MILAN BATY HESS SMITH STARMER GRAYCXO, Independent CEO, Principal, Independent President, VP, Ecommerce IndependentAdaptive Path Consultant Normative Meld Consultant nForm Razorfish ManagementSan Francisco New York Toronto Sydney Miami/NY Edmonton Chicago Consultant St. Louis 9
  10. Understand their customersIdentify market opportunitiesRethink business modelsArticulate a visionDefine their UX strategyPlan for organizational change 10
  11. For companies that have been aroundfor a long time, its often the case thatthey can see the looming threat onthe horizon, that their business modelisno longer working.- Dave Gray 11
  12. Companies think: were struggling inthis market. We need to reinvent andreinvigorate.- Steve Baty 12
  13. Companies are seeing that theirproducts have to support theircustomers in a very different waythan theyve been doing it in the past.- Whitney Hess 13
  14. we have arrived 14
  15. sort of 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. Any UX work that weve done hasinvolved guiding a client through adecision-making process. Thats thecore of what strategic managementconsulting is.-Jesse James Garret 18
  19. Im fond of saying that all the work we do is change management. -Karen McGraneInteraction 13/ January 2013 19
  20. picture WIP 20
  21. What Impactful UX Requires Experience Customer UX Measurement Governance Culture Strategy Understanding DesignSetting a clear vision Clear, consistent, A set of activities An ongoing set of A clear, proactively- Cultivating a cultureof the type of and accurate and disciplines practices to measure minded set of in which delivering aexperience you seek picture of your required to define user experience practices for great userto deliver customers. the characteristics quality enables the monitoring quality experience is of a person’s company to enhance and execution. embedded in the interaction with your and optimize over organization’s DNA. company. time. 21
  22. 22
  23. The more things are brokered through digital products and services, the more important it is to look into how these companies operate. -Gene SmithInteraction 13/ January 2013 23
  24. Some common threads… 24
  25. pictureIt’s about facilitating insight(supported by a design process) 25
  26. What needs to be done is already known by the company.  Its just not consciously known. What I can do is to help facilitate that knowledge into consciousness.   -Dave GrayInteraction 13/ January 2013 26
  27. It’s about the people and the relationships. 27
  28. You could have the bestrecommendation in the world and thesmartest person in the room, but its achange management problem. Have tounderstand the subtle dynamics of howpeople feel and how they work togetherand you have to be able to influencethat.  -Karen McGrane 28
  29. It’s about teaching a company to fish. 29
  30. We ask: what are the processes andcapabilities we need to have in placeinternally in order to continue to deliverthis experience on an ongoing basis?-Jesse James Garret 30
  31. The solution is not the service.The service is the path we can provide. 31
  32. Understand the Figure out Create a plan forproblem and identify how to make implementationthe opportunity. change happen. and sustainability. research, prototype, test, refine 32
  33. We have come prepared… 33
  34. Interaction 13/ January 2013 34
  35. Ability to listen to customersSystems level problem solvingFacilitating consensusInquiry based processesAbility to go deepPatience around finding solutionsSeeing multiple facets of a problem 35
  36. A lot of business problems that fail in analytic approaches are much better served with a design approach. - Steve BatyInteraction 13/ January 2013 36
  37. The UX field benefits because all of us have a ground in making things. That is incredibly powerful. Were starting from being the builders. And moving upstream into the strategy world. -Karen McGraneInteraction 13/ January 2013 37
  38. But we’ve had to learn new things… 38
  39. Picture 39
  40. How to use and understand their language  How business models workBeing really good at translationUnderstanding how organizations workBasic sales stuffBudget and numbersEvangelizing and persuasionIntellectual honesty and strength 40
  41. So what does the future look like? 41
  42. Ecosystem maps will be the new journey mapsCustomer experience professionals andbusiness process pros will become best friendsCustomer experience pros will chase employeeengagementFirms will pay a premium for scarce talentForrester, January 2013 42
  43. Picture 43
  44. There’s way more clients who dont get it than those who do. Its the forward edge of the market that recognizes the value of an experience driven approach at the strategic level. -Jesse James GarrettInteraction 13/ January 2013 44
  45. Theres a step that a designer needs to take where they abstract out from their particular type of design and recognize that at an abstract level theres a design process that has common principles. Once you can take the step you can start to appreciate the intent of the design process and then apply it in other ways. -Steve BatyInteraction 13/ January 2013 45
  46. So much opportunity if people want to be leaders. But theyre going to need to know how businesses run. -Samantha StarmerInteraction 13/ January 2013 46
  47. I would be interested to see the field to stop acting like we are impostors and to start embracing this more fully. -Karen McGraneInteraction 13/ January 2013 47
  48. THANKS! 48

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