Who you are. What you (now) need to know. And how to collaborate (well) with your peers.


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My portion of the IA Summit Beyond Findability pre-con workshop produced by Andrew Hinton. The presentation focuses on resolving the identity crisis many UX teams feel by first encouraging practitioners to look at who the are and what they (now) need to know, and the importance of collaborating (well) with peers of other disciplines. Other presenters include, Joe Lamatia, Erin Malone, Christian Crumlish and Joe Lamantia.

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Who you are. What you (now) need to know. And how to collaborate (well) with your peers.

  1. 1. Who you are. What you (now) need to know. And how to collaborate (well) with your peers. BEYOND FINDABILITY WORKSHOP IA Summit 10
  2. 2. about your speaker <ul><li>Industry Background: Consultant on the client-side, digital agency, traditional agency </li></ul><ul><li>Current position: Creative Director, RAPP </li></ul><ul><li>Formal training: filmmaking and screenwriting </li></ul><ul><li>More roles: Adjunct Professor, FIT Interaction design, Co-ordinator of UX Book Club NYC Cinematographer Screenwriter </li></ul><ul><li>Other: Likes to jabber on about storytelling and design Secretly wishes to try LARPing </li></ul><ul><li>Where to find me: @cchastain </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.linkedin.com/in/cindychastain </li></ul>
  3. 3. Problem <ul><li>UX teams are suffering an identity crisis and therefore need better strategies for internally/externally calibrating change to meet new demands. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Internal: What we do, what skills do we (now) need? </li></ul><ul><li>External How do we fit in with the team and organization? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Philosophy <ul><li>It’s not about titles; it’s about context and necessary skill sets for the role. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about place in an organization; it’s about position (of influence) on a project and how it’s played. </li></ul><ul><li>We are responsible for being educators as well as practitioners. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Today’s world = Multi-layered Digital Ecosystems <ul><li>It’s no longer just about websites; It’s about entire brands/systems spanning digital products, services and platforms, comprising a holistic customer experience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The related disciplines of UX design = potential skill sets Dan Saffer
  8. 8. What we (now) need to know… <ul><li>User Research </li></ul><ul><li>Design Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Content Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction Design </li></ul><ul><li>Information Design </li></ul><ul><li>Prototyping </li></ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul>Technology: APIs, Mashups, Mobile Business Strategy Brand Strategy Creative Concepting Storytelling Cognitive Science Psychology
  9. 9. Yowza !!
  10. 10. Primary identifier/skill set + Information Architect ? User Experience Designer ? Interaction Designer ? Related knowledge/skills = you
  11. 11. Literacy vs. Expertise <ul><li>primary identifier? </li></ul>prototyping content strategy information architecture areas of expertise (craft) areas of literacy (understanding) business analysis brand strategy storytelling interaction design T-shaped person revisited primary identifier?
  12. 12. Skill set + practice level = position on a project tactical production oriented strategic creative B A B D C D D strategic/ creative direction tactical support
  13. 13. So, where do you sit?
  14. 14. depth of craft + range of understanding + strategic/creative insight = innovation (by team) leadership (by individual)
  15. 15. Top 10 Reasons UX teams go wrong: <ul><li>Not seeing UX practice as creative – design oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Not appreciating/understanding the subtleties of the sub-disciplines and the need to know (or at least be literate) in them all </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners not having a deep enough sense of craft – what is it that you, as a designer, do really, really well. </li></ul><ul><li>Not having the collective skill set to meet demands of the full digital ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to collectively agree on ownership of areas of expertise </li></ul>
  16. 16. Top 10 Reasons IA/UX teams go wrong (cont’d): <ul><li>Failing to bring business/product/brand strategy or a literacy of these things to the client/business table </li></ul><ul><li>Not having a healthy respect for the marketing people (they can/need to be your friend) </li></ul><ul><li>Not knowing how to truly and successfully collaborate with peers and other disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to involve non-practitioners in creative process </li></ul><ul><li>Failing to expose process to the organization </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3 Primary Needs <ul><li>Understanding holistic requirements of your role/team’s role </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how to collaborate (well) with other disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how to become better integrated within an organization </li></ul>
  18. 18. Strategies for Change
  19. 19. Refine your role/ your team’s role
  20. 20. Widen reach, deepen craft, reinforce the creative <ul><li>Define necessary skill sets (for your context) </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out where you’re personally lacking/where you could go deeper </li></ul><ul><li>Ask what’s missing on the team </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out how to fill the gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Become well versed about business/brand objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate facility for creative leadership </li></ul>
  21. 21. Exercise What is it that you do? Where do you sit/want to sit? <ul><li>First, take a piece of paper. Draw a large T. </li></ul><ul><li>Annotate the T reflect your own areas of expertise and understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>Then, ask what you’d like to change/add to this T. Where can I go deeper? Make revisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Second, draw a quad graph. Label one axis: Strategic/Tactical. Label the other axis: Creative/Production oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw a circle in the place you’re in now. Draw an arrow to the place you’d like to go. </li></ul>1 2
  22. 22. Facilitate collaboration with other disciplines
  23. 23. <ul><li>About understanding the fridge as a metaphor for how we shop, stock, prepare, cook, eat and ultimately how we live. </li></ul>Case Study: Fridge Makeover Quiz
  24. 24. The Value <ul><li>By taking the quiz, customers will gain insight into the ways that shopping, stocking, preparing food impacts your weight loss journey. This insight will create change in the way one does things day to day, while pursuing a long-term goal. </li></ul><ul><li>Both practical and personal, the Fridge Makeover Quiz gives customers a new set of goals as they enter the premium BSP experience. </li></ul><ul><li>The quiz will be also be a driver for the premium subscription program. By encouraging customers to use it at least once a month, it will provide coaching and goals around key brand objectives. </li></ul>
  25. 25. THE FRIDGE IS THE OUTCOME OF MANY BEHAVIORS cooking/eating lifestyle knowledge time shopping habits planning
  26. 26. What users need for Food Readiness I need to stick to my plan I need to learn how to cook/shop I need to better manage my time I need to do more for myself focus knowledge balance self regard mindfulness
  27. 27. The Story of the Experience Setup Expectation Questions Discovery Result With just a little bit of that knowledge, we can provide a personal strategy for healthier eating/living. Given that, we see a weakness that you’re having right now. To help you improve the way you plan, shop, stock and eat, we recommend... We want to understand certain things about who you are, how you eat and what you do… Understand how you live, what your weaknesses are by examining your fridge.
  28. 28. How a Fridge Goes Wrong Health Challenge Brand Behavior Processed foods Help you transition to less and better processed food. Supermarket cues Help you be aware of supermarket shopping cues that distract you from your plan and how to manage them. Craving readiness While the BSP teaches you to manage your cravings, the Quiz will help you minimize their impact on your weight. Lack of planning and forethought Give you time and planning tips to make proactive rather than reactive in your shopping. Skewed definition of a balanced diet Help you shop and stock in support of a more balanced, nutritious and filling diet. False economy Help you put food choices and bargains in financial and health perspective. False sense of time-saving Help users see the true costs and benefits of ‘instants’ versus cooking and preparation. Ability/willingness to cook By demystifying cooking, we provide the incentive and tips to help you do more cooking than you are now.
  29. 29. What was involved… <ul><li>User Research/Domain understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Business Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Brand Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Design Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Content Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Concepting </li></ul><ul><li>Storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction Design </li></ul>
  30. 30. Who was involved… <ul><li>Planner/Strategy Lead </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Director, Experience Design </li></ul><ul><li>Content Strategist </li></ul><ul><li>Sr. Experience Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Jr. Experience Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Director, Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Art Director </li></ul><ul><li>Copy Writer </li></ul><ul><li>Tech Lead </li></ul><ul><li>Flash Developer </li></ul>
  31. 31. Big Takeaway <ul><li>It’s about self-awareness as well as an attention to and respect for other people’s skills. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Promote/practice concept of expertise vs. literacy <ul><li>Take the time to learn about other disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Take the time to figure out how your peers think about their work </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easier for others to collaborate with you: make your strengths, methods and craft transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Actively seek feedback/criticism from peers </li></ul><ul><li>Ask others to help you understand how they got to a place that’s different from where you got to </li></ul><ul><li>Know when to exercise your expertise and when to pull back (It’s all about the music, not about who wins. ) </li></ul>
  33. 33. Discussion… <ul><li>Collaboration: how to do it better </li></ul><ul><li>Take the T that you created in the last exercise. Draw circles for each role that you could/should/are collaborating with. </li></ul>art director tech lead marketing strategy lead Now, with each collaborator’s expertise in mind, ask yourself where the problems are. Is there enough overlapping literacy? Does everyone consider himself an expert? What are the challenges? What’s not working? Who ends up functioning as the creative lead? Discuss…
  34. 34. Create conditions for better integration within an organization
  35. 35. Don’t fight the perceived resistance (or lack of understanding)! Think about they way you’re thinking (meta-cognition) and…
  36. 36. Aim for small incremental ways to educate <ul><li>Find portable ways to visualize the role of UX </li></ul><ul><li>Expose process (esp the creative part) whenever/wherever possible </li></ul><ul><li>Involve non-practitioners in the design process </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a process toolkit that can be shared across stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Be able to discuss how product/brand strategy is reflected in the UX and vice versa </li></ul>
  37. 37. Exercise/Discussion/Therapy… <ul><li>Think of a major problem you, as an IA/UX designer, have in your organization or on your team. </li></ul><ul><li>Take five minutes to quickly sketch a model or concept that might help clarify or solve that problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Share with the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss! </li></ul>What do you most complain about when it comes to how your team functions within an organization?
  38. 38. Conclusion <ul><li>Know your own expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Dig deeper where you need to </li></ul><ul><li>Think and re-think how to better collaborate, and practice doing it </li></ul><ul><li>Expose your game in the work that you do </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to start/enter new conversations </li></ul>