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Selling Usability In Organizations


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Imagine we need to promote usability to an organization. Not all organizations have the same level of interest and receptiveness to the concept of usability – to the usability “story”. Some just don’t care.

What should we know about an organization that will help us sell usability more effectively? What sort of questions should we ask about the organization, its people and its culture? What can we learn from organizations where usability has become part of the corporate DNA? What factors can increase our chances of promoting usability successfully to an organization now and in the future?

This presentation will tap into more than 20 years of combined experience in selling usability into different markets and organizations. We will share the successes, pitfalls and failures.

Published in: Business, Technology

Selling Usability In Organizations

  1. 1. Selling Usability in (to) Organizations
  2. 2. Grazie Turin & UPA Europe
  3. 3. Lucky Draw
  4. 4. How did I get here? Daniel Szuc
  5. 5. Start Your Engines!
  6. 6. Who uses?
  7. 11. Why?
  8. 12. UX culture
  9. 13. What just happened?
  10. 14. Persuasion “ These aren’t the usability specialists you’re looking for…” <ul><li>Entertaining </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting </li></ul><ul><li>Touching on UX themes </li></ul><ul><li>Google example </li></ul><ul><li>… and then usability </li></ul>
  11. 15. Good News
  12. 16. Usability is Sold <ul><li>Key market trends in 2006 (e-consultancy) </li></ul><ul><li>Market grew by 28% in 2005 to £115m. Likely to grow by around 25% to £144m by the end of 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Growing marketplace understanding of commercial benefits of usability , and the business case for accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Growing shortage of experience , particular cross-platform expertise, at a time of rising demand for holistic customer experience irrespective of channel </li></ul>It will no longer be about us selling Usability to Management but showing where its adding value Too much demand, not enough supply
  13. 17. Usability/User experience specialist
  14. 18.
  15. 19. Business of design
  16. 20. Lifestyle integration
  17. 21. I just want to have a shower
  18. 24. Part of something bigger right?
  19. 30. Barriers
  20. 31. Yikes!
  21. 32. Truth: UX Language is Ugly Thank you John Rhodes
  22. 33. UX Speed Bumps <ul><li>Our definitions of UX force us to justify UX </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We talk ourselves into a defensive position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does it matter what you call it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t let your ego get in the way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let them choose the language to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Usability” vs.. “UX”  What’s the value is explaining the difference? </li></ul></ul>Thank you John Rhodes
  23. 34. Barriers <ul><li>No management support </li></ul><ul><li>Developers see UX as an obstacle </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise solutions dictating UX </li></ul><ul><li>Selling more advanced methods when people expect usability to be fast and cheap </li></ul><ul><li>Too late in the development process </li></ul>
  24. 35. Know Your Target
  25. 36. Organization Types Thank you Paul Sherman <ul><li>Engineer-centric </li></ul><ul><li>Might never have had a UX team. </li></ul><ul><li>Products created from interesting technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial about UI. </li></ul><ul><li>Design-centric </li></ul><ul><li>View building applications and websites as a creative endeavor. </li></ul><ul><li>Primary focus may be creating designs that other designers will like and respect. </li></ul><ul><li>Sales & marketing centric </li></ul><ul><li>Represented by powerful people who “know” their customers...but don’t know “all” the customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency to deem a product usable if it is possible to do the task. </li></ul><ul><li>They rely heavily on their own experience in UI design. </li></ul><ul><li>They feel they are doing the right thing for the customer, even if they don’t have evidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Define the user experience in terms of aesthetics rather than ease of use. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on visuals rather than workflows. </li></ul><ul><li>Rely heavily on their own instincts about users. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus only on data that confirms their viewpoints. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Rely heavily on customers' self-report and customer suggestions to assess usability. </li></ul><ul><li>Disproportionately weight their “biggest” or “loudest” customers . </li></ul><ul><li>Often overconfident in their ability to “know” what the customer needs. </li></ul>
  26. 37. Know your target <ul><li>Usability Maturity </li></ul><ul><li>Who is buying & budget allocation </li></ul><ul><li>Business vision </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in research and Development </li></ul><ul><li>Customer care or just “lip service”? </li></ul>
  27. 38. Ripe Organizations
  28. 39. Ripe Organizations <ul><li>“ Culture Patterns” that indicate UX growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Management is using the lingo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hired a Director/VP of UX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability testing of products is a given </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money is flowing to bring in new UX’ers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A usability lab is in place or being discussed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product managers claim that UX is strategic advantage </li></ul></ul>This is how you know people have “bought” UX
  29. 40. What Sells?
  30. 41. What Sells <ul><li>Passion and enthusiasm for UX </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing the right project & meeting like minded people </li></ul><ul><li>Simple entry level tools </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies & Stories </li></ul><ul><li>Business domain knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Clear communication & listening </li></ul>
  31. 42. What Sells Technology Marketing Business UX Change Agent
  32. 43. Be a Change Agent
  33. 44. Be a Change Agent <ul><li>Gulf between Project Mgt, Engineering and User Experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liaisons between these disciplines—that is, across cultures (“the glue”) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Founders, Design Process, Belief, Management buy in </li></ul></ul>
  34. 45. UX Sales Kit <ul><li>&quot;Minimum standards&quot; that all UX'ers should meet: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is usability, user-centered design, UX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case study - tell a story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share a delightful product experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell the team services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What else? </li></ul></ul>
  35. 46. Sales Goal?
  36. 47. Product Success
  37. 48. Where or what do you want to be in 2,5,10 years time?
  38. 49. ? <ul><li>User Tester v Designer </li></ul><ul><li>Closer (issues) v Opener (innovations) </li></ul><ul><li>Loner v Collaborator </li></ul><ul><li>Critic v Creator </li></ul><ul><li>Silo v holistic </li></ul><ul><li>“ Be more open, more creative, take risks, challenge our assumptions, listen to each other” </li></ul>
  39. 50. Learn more …
  40. 51. Thank You