Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Design Strategy: Aligning Business Goals and User Needs


Published on

Slides from my presentation at the UPA-DC's User Focus 2010 conference. A few sensitive examples have been removed.

Published in: Technology, Business

Design Strategy: Aligning Business Goals and User Needs

  1. 1. DESIGN STRATEGY: ALIGNING BUSINESS GOALS AND USER NEEDS Chris Avore UPA-DC UserFocus: October 15 2010 @erova Monday, October 18, 2010
  2. 2. agenda 1. brief introduction 2. define the damn thing: design strategy 3. design strategy in practice a. collaborative design strategy b. design strategy as a deliverable c. examples 4. questions Monday, October 18, 2010
  3. 3. brief introduction 1 brief introduction Monday, October 18, 2010
  4. 4. let’s set expectations Adaptive Path has an 8 hour design strategy workshop led by 2 people Nathan Shedroff leads an entire MBA program in Design Strategy You have me for 40 minutes, including Q/A. Monday, October 18, 2010
  5. 5. let’s set expectations NO Criticism of your current approach Empty promises Discussing software or platforms Venn diagrams, Chart PR0N YES Definitions of Design Strategy A buzzword or two (but hear me out) A useful and implementable approach How to use what you already know Monday, October 18, 2010
  6. 6. define the damn thing 2 defining design strategy Monday, October 18, 2010
  7. 7. conventional strategy executives make the key business decisions transpose into business strategy bring in design team to implement the strategy Monday, October 18, 2010
  8. 8. defining design strategy (part 1 of 3) design strategy: the process of carefully framing a project of what to design before you figure out how it should be designed Brandon Schauer Adaptive Path Monday, October 18, 2010
  9. 9. defining design strategy (part 2 of 3) design strategy: the use of design processes, perspectives, and tools to create truly meaningful, sustainable, and successful innovation across a variety of design disciplines Nathan Shedroff chairperson, MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts Monday, October 18, 2010
  10. 10. defining design strategy (part 3 of 3) design strategy: [defines the design activities] within the constraints of time and help the designer select the best mix of creative and rational methods. Richard Branham, Alp Tiritoglu CHI 97: Design Strategies and Methods in Interaction Design Monday, October 18, 2010
  11. 11. defining design strategy tangible design strategy: baseline analysis & current state of where you’re at roadmap & vision research-based personas decision, process or task flows rough prototypes or sketches competitive & market analysis balanced scorecard feature/value analysis measuring results: what, when, how to define success Monday, October 18, 2010 so that’s a theoretical definition. What about a tangible design strategy? What’s it actually made of?
  12. 12. defining design strategy Monday, October 18, 2010 Strategy isn’t following an instruction manual.
  13. 13. defining design strategy design strategy is fluid Monday, October 18, 2010 You keep you eyes open to see what’s missing, where opportunities exist, and where pursuing
  14. 14. defining design strategy not a rigid process Monday, October 18, 2010
  15. 15. defining design strategy expect new insights & opportunities in unlikely places Monday, October 18, 2010
  16. 16. defining design strategy but be prepared to align it with your roadmap and vision, so you’re not chasing features and functionality Monday, October 18, 2010
  17. 17. defining design strategy and measure progress & success if you pursue the new path Monday, October 18, 2010
  18. 18. recap (1 of 2) goals of design strategy: clarify a feasible, viable vision discover threats, insights & opportunities via research determine how to measure success over time articulate how your product fits within the ecosystem a plan to make it happen over time and how to complement and enhance product strategy, business strategy, and other corporate goals Monday, October 18, 2010
  19. 19. recap (2 of 2) design strategy is: a collaborative process to understand what to design before you design it a plan to align business objectives with design goals documentation to align stakeholders, colleagues & investors with your plan of attack Monday, October 18, 2010
  20. 20. design strategy in practice 3 design strategy in practice Monday, October 18, 2010
  21. 21. risks: lack of design strategy is design strategy necessary for success? Monday, October 18, 2010
  22. 22. risks: lack of design strategy incremental innovation feature-creep, feature-chasing, useless features little differentiation from competitors or your own offerings functionality that may threaten the service/product’s ecosystem within your organization Monday, October 18, 2010 Many of us work in environments that don’t have a formal design strategy system in place. As UX designers, usability specialists, and information architects, we can spot a lot of these problems early, and recommend a better way.
  23. 23. design strategy in practice how do you bring design strategy into your organization? or now what? Monday, October 18, 2010
  24. 24. where to start knowns, assumptions, unknowns Monday, October 18, 2010 By identifying what you know, what you think you know, and what you don’t know can go a long way to understanding how you can create your strategic plan.
  25. 25. where to start potential important unknowns: product vision, roadmap, plans origin of features definition of success customer (& user), CoP perception concrete strategic business objectives key performance indicators, targets Monday, October 18, 2010 In some cases you’ll have this documentation elsewhere; in others it simply won’t exist, and you have to determine the level of effort to create it. Even the business objectives may need to be clarified, particularly if you work in larger organizations that will likely have people exclusively creating strategy. Use their work to anchor your own, both for validity and consistency.
  26. 26. where to start determine what you need now to avoid disaster or follow a hunch Monday, October 18, 2010
  27. 27. where to start Don’t wait for project kickoff or sprint zero Monday, October 18, 2010 You don’t need to wait for the start of a project to begin assessing it strategically. Beginning strategy work now will inform future decisions. Every design strategy needs a benchmark or a current state, and you can do that tomorrow.
  28. 28. where to start and don’t do it alone if you can help it. Monday, October 18, 2010 Design strategy should be a collaborative process. Isolating yourself and hoping to come up with all the answers yourself doesn’t work. In many cases those decisions have put your product or service in the position you’re in today.
  29. 29. collaborative design strategy Which stakeholders or business units might have an opinion here? Which ones are we assuming might not be affected? How can we confirm? Who’s left out of this discussion? Where do we anticipate conflict? The New How, Nilofer Merchant Monday, October 18, 2010 Plus this also signals to your clients, partners, account stakeholders, or leadership that you’re not trying to do it alone, or reinvent another take on strategy. Talk to product & project managers, other designers, the customer service team, the sales force, and ask them to contribute to the discussion.
  30. 30. collaborative design strategy not lockstep; alignment Monday, October 18, 2010 You’re not looking to get everyone to agree, but everyone should have an idea how and why decisions were made. Think consensus, not concession.
  31. 31. collaborative design strategy collaborative strategy helps avoid: the air sandwich overly ambitious ideas choosing certainty over clarity individual status over team results saving, preserving personal ideas The New How, Nilofer Merchant Monday, October 18, 2010 air sandwich: high level decisions at the top, poor communication from strategists to implementers.
  32. 32. design strategy in practice And then decide what fits the job. baseline analysis & current state of where you’re at roadmap & vision research-based personas decision, process or task flows rough prototypes or sketches competitive & market analysis balanced scorecard feature/value analysis measuring results: what, when, how to define success Monday, October 18, 2010 Remember these? Now decide what to use.
  33. 33. tools of the UXer strategic experience diagrams concept models observation process flows interviews personas prototypes usability testing wireframes mockups tactical kickoff project duration Monday, October 18, 2010 These are the usual deliverables we provide, in some form or another.
  34. 34. tools of the UXer as design strategist strategic roadmap balanced scorecard (strat maps) competitive analysis functionality/process/experience gap analysis feature value analysis experience diagrams concept models observation process flows interviews personas prototypes Monday, October 18, 2010 But to address how the design will reconcile business objectives and user needs, we need a few unique ways to think about, and visualize, the factors the make up the design strategy. The roadmap provides the direction the product or service will progress through, the balanced scorecard weighs criteria when prioritizing strategic objectives, competitive analysis allows you to understand the environment your product or service will or already competes in, the gap analysis examines where earlier versions, or your current state, differs from where you want to be, and the feature value analysis provides a line by line examination of how features and functionality measure against feasibility, desirability, and viability.
  35. 35. questions a few examples Monday, October 18, 2010
  36. 36. design strategy lifecycle Redesign and Implementation Roadmap Strategy and Design Implementation Post Launch Visual Style User Research IA Design Valida- URL Redirects Visual Guide Presentation Test / Test / Misc & Sundry IT Discovery tion Input Templates Scripting Design Templates QA QA Tasks Interaction Testing Search Content Analysis CSS & HTML competitive Design Reindexing analysis* Content Strategy primary feature/ URL Finish Controlled baseline metrics of Design Vocabularies Fine-level IA compare metrics/KPIs to design value baseline and evaluate current state objectives analysis FInish Metadata Search Engine against success criteria Content Inventory Metatagging Q A Strategy Optimization & L a u n c h T e s t i n g Step-by-Step Content Guides Create New Content Migration Editorial identify any unexpected/ identify key business needs define success criteria CMS Training Clean- Voice Style abnormal analytics, feedback Up ROT Removal Rewrite Existing Content Guide Freeze Content Freeze 1 Freeze 3 2 continue marching toward define product/service roadmap/vision Create Visual Assets product/service roadmap Address New Fine-Level Visual Photographic Design Needs Update Visual Assets User Testing Design Updates updates should still be tied to overall design strategy Legend remarks in Techno- User blue are by adaptive path Editorial IA & IxD Visual Strategy logy Research Chris Avore Monday, October 18, 2010 Design strategy within the full lifecycle of a release
  37. 37. examples: Feature/Value Analysis Feature/Value Analysis bridges strategic brainstorming into tactical, tangible ideas Monday, October 18, 2010
  38. 38. examples: Feature/Value Analysis Feature/Value Analysis feature description business priority (1-3) design level of effort (1-3) technical level of effort (1-3) strategic objectives Monday, October 18, 2010 A simple spreadsheet that aligns each piece of functionality to weighted business priority, a strategic objective, the design and technical level of effort. This can act as the lynchpin to a design strategy simply because it encourages the designer to understand exactly why something should or should not be included in future design phases. Sometimes this can start to look like a standard requirements document.
  39. 39. examples: Feature/Value Analysis What persona is Is this feature in most likely to benefit the roadmap? from this feature? Feature/Value Analysis Can we What competitors prototype this feature? currently provide this or a similar feature? Have we seen evidence of how our customers already try to do this with the current offering? Monday, October 18, 2010 But the FVA can continue to mature into a lynchpin of design strategy. It can act as the center of the design strategy ecosystem, reflecting numerous other design activities and deliverables, ranging from observation exercises, competitor analyses, personas, prototypes, and more.
  40. 40. tools of the UXer as design strategist Reference the documentation you use today to reflect strategic objectives. Monday, October 18, 2010 Not everything even has to be new documentation. You can frame existing work to reference your design strategy.
  41. 41. tools of the UXer as design strategist Reference the documentation you use today to reflect strategic objectives: How does this wireframe align with the roadmap? What could the next version look like? How are this persona’s needs reconciled with the strategic business objectives? Where can the process flow reveal gaps from our current state to future ideas? Or our competitors? Monday, October 18, 2010
  42. 42. other tips to documenting design strategy Begin annotating wireframes, mockups, with business goals or referencing the FVA Convert process flows to experience flows Beef up competitor research to include business process (what they’re doing), not just functionality Identify triggers, metrics to substantiate a hunch Map primary business objectives to the customer lifecycle: reinforce the customer/user experience Monday, October 18, 2010
  43. 43. design strategy in practice differentiate the tactical problems Monday, October 18, 2010 Remember to differentiate the tactical problems...
  44. 44. design strategy in practice and see the big picture Monday, October 18, 2010 As practitioners, we frequently test our products and services to make sure the ideas we’re designing are usable. But design strategy attempts to confirm we’re designing USEFUL products and services too. Don’t get bogged down in tactical details if the fundamental approach is off. And while it’s easier said than done, the evidence and supporting research you’ve uncovered throughout the design strategy process will give additional credibility to your arguments.
  45. 45. common useful resources Design Management Institute Harvard Business Review strategy+business (booz allen) BusinessWeek Core77 MIT Sloan Management Review Monday, October 18, 2010
  46. 46. questions 4 questions Monday, October 18, 2010
  47. 47. collaborative strategy in practice Big thanks to: @dpan @lishubert Monday, October 18, 2010 Design strategy isn’t meant to be a one person exercise. Neither are presentations about design strategy.
  48. 48. Thank you. Chris Avore UPA-DC UserFocus: October 15 2010 @erova Monday, October 18, 2010