MIMA: Cultivating a User-Centered Culture


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Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker of Clockwork Active Media Systems and Geek Girls Guide share their insights on creating a user-centered culture. Starting with the big things (what management can do) to the tactical things (what individual team members can do), they'll also answer questions like "How does work culture impact the success of a project?" and "What can you do to create a support system that empowers people to influence change within an organization?" They'll also share stories from their years of exploring and creating user-centered cultures in the workplace.

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MIMA: Cultivating a User-Centered Culture

  1. MIMA:Cultivating a User-Centered Culture January 19, 2011
  2. # mima
  3. Meghan (@irishgirl) Nancy (@nylons) Who are the Geek Girls?
  4. Follow. Friend. Stalk.Work: clockwork.netBlog & Podcast: geekgirlsguide.comFacebook: facebook.com/geekgirlsguideTwitter: @geekgirlsguide
  5. User-centered DesignA philosophy in which the needs, wants,and limitations of end users of aninterface or document are givenextensive attention at each stage ofthe design process. - Wikipedia
  6. User-centered CultureA philosophy in which the needs, wants,and limitations of end users of aproduct or service are givenextensive attention at every level ofthe organization. - Geek Girls
  7. A Few Truths Divides exist between:• Leadership & Employees• Agencies & Clients• Web Developers & End Users
  8. Leadership &Employees
  9. Corporate structures haven’tchanged (much) since the 1800s.
  10. But there were damn good reasons for charts like these.
  11. 1999 “Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy. In both markets and among employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way. These conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.”
  12. 2009
  13. Agencies &Clients
  14. Agencies haven’t changed (much) since the 1960s.
  15. “They need me and my big ideas.”
  16. Old-school creativesare used to controlling the deliverable. Old-school managers are used to controlling...everything.
  17. Developers & Users
  18. Typical Developer Typical User Male Female 19 - 29 35 - 54 White White College Educated High School Education Doing job for 3 yrs or less Sources: http://aneventapart.com/alasurvey2009/ http://www.istrategylabs.com/2010/01/facebook-demographics-and-statistics-report-2010-145-growth-in-1-year/ http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/education/data/cps/2009/tables.html
  19. Mini-jackass 5priceless.
  20. Embracing users meansembracing chaos. It’s not easy.
  21. You (mostly) don’t matter. Users do.
  22. A note on nomenclature: Everyone is a user.
  23. PART I:Company culture is a product.Employees are users.
  24. Happy people do good work. It’s not about kegs and foosball. Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/2618698358/
  25. What makes us happy? Autonomy: control time, technique, team, or task. Mastery: make progress and get better. Purpose: be part of something bigger.
  26. 1Define your values.It begins with leadership,but involves everyone.
  27. 2Align hiring decisionswith your values.Job skills are table stakes.
  28. Emotional Intelligence The ability to identify, assess, and manage the emotions of self, others, and groups. Necessary for leadership, client management and end-user sensitivity.
  29. 3 Communicate openly. When resources are scarce, the way you communicate can either inspire panic or collaboration. Resources are always scarce.
  30. 4Cultivate a sense of ownership.Everybody owns the promises made,the method of delivery, and the finalproduct.
  31. PART II:Companies are products.Clients are users.
  32. 1Find clients that alignwith your values.Don’t be afraid to say no.
  33. 2Communicate openly.Speak their language,don’t expect them to speak yours.Be honest about what’s realistic.
  34. 3Listen.Don’t just listen to what they say,try to understand what they mean.
  35. 4Treat the client as the expert.You’re the idiot in the room.
  36. PART III:Web apps are products.Users are users.
  37. 1Extend your valuesto your end product.Be who you say you areand it will be reflected in your work.
  38. 2Don’t allow“us vs. them”attitudes.To be user-centered,you have to care.
  39. 3Listen.Ask the right questions,find the real story.
  40. 4 Communicate. Error messages show how much you care. Image source: http://blog.braintraffic.com/2009/01/error-error-on-the-wall/
  41. 5Push your boundaries.Remember what being a userfeels like.
  42. Recommended Reading• The Cluetrain Manifesto• Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky• Drive, Daniel Pink• Happy Hour is From 9 to 5, Alexander Kjerulf• Peak, Chip Conley• Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work, Jason Fried
  43. Thank you. If you hated us, tell us.If you loved us, tell the Internet.