TALK: Repositioning User Experience


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This is the shorter talk version of Repositioning User Experience. This version contains some updated content. It was used by Jon Innes in talks at eBig, CHIFOO, and User Friendly in 2007.

Published in: Design

TALK: Repositioning User Experience

  1. 1. operational Repositioning User Interaction Experience as a Strategic organizational Process Jon Innes Liam Friedland strategic TM
  2. 2. Why Is User Experience Strategic?  UX becomes a differentiating factor in a commodity market  Technologies mature and become mainstream  Competitors develop comparable offerings over time  Mainstream markets value UX more than early adopters  UX methods lower costs and reduce risks  Improved planning & decision making  More efficient development processes  UX methods help companies adapt to market shifts  Design research leads to systematic innovation  When properly executed it can inform business strategy © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  3. 3. The Experience Economy Stage Differentiated Experiences Deliver Services Competitive Position Make Goods Undifferentiated Extract Commodities Market Premium Pricing From ―Welcome to the Experience Economy‖ by Pine & Gilmore © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  4. 4. Product Maturity and UX Transition point where technology meets basic needs Product Performance Excess quality Most customers uninterested in this Level of region performance required by average users Technology is good enough and Unfilled need therefore irrelevant. User experience dominates High technology Consumer commodity Customers want more Consumers want technology, convenience, reliability, low better performance cost ... From ―The Innovator’s Dilemma‖ by Clayton Christensen © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  5. 5. Adoption of UX Strategic Thinking We are Here Early Early Late Innovators Laggards Adopters Majority Majority "The Chasm" User Experience Adoption Process Based on ―Crossing the Chasm‖ by Geoffrey Moore © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  6. 6. A Framework for Viewing UX Strategically The structured work processes which lead to a operations desired set of outputs (physical, knowledge, etc) Interaction Groupings of people that provide concentrations of organization specialized expertise, work experience, and skills A detailed plan for achieving success in situations strategy such as war, politics, business, industry or sport, or the skill of planning for such situations -Cambridge Dictionary Online TM From ―Repositioning User Experience as a Strategic Process‖ by Innes & Friedland © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  7. 7. Operational Processes  UX contributes unique skills to the development process  Leverage the ―sweet spot‖ to maximize impact and ROI  Analyze where you spend time and what tangible outputs you produce:  How UX work adds value to: • The company and its customers • Any internal groups that benefit from UX deliverables  Track things quantitatively whenever possible • Establish simple metrics that management at all levels can track • Embed metrics into organizational consciousness © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  8. 8. Organizational Processes  UX needs to serve as a ―change agent‖  Product designs reflect the organizations that create them  You need to change the culture and influence others to change the UI  Make influencing others a part of your job  Gajendar’s concept of the ―Heroic Designer‖* acting as a catalyst  Put together a plan and execute it  Don’t be afraid to share responsibility for UX  Engage others in your mission as team mates  You can accomplish much more as a team  Sharing your knowledge of UX makes other recognize it’s value and yours  Introducing new UX processes impact many existing people  Be proactive, talk to those impacted and partner with them  Consider other groups your customers—listen to them! * From ―Barbarians or Bureacrats‖ by Uday Gajendar © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  9. 9. Strategy—It’s Not Just for Marketing Anymore  What is strategy?  Defining long term goals and then using those goals to guide in the selection of the appropriate tactics to achieve those goals  Strategy example: Types of management  Operationally focused: • Row harder!  Tactically focused: • Why row, put up a sail…  Strategically focused • Are we rowing in the right direction? • Do we need to go there at all?  For too long, people in our profession have been focusing on rowing harder © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  10. 10. One External Worldview of UX Outdated View: Consulting / Service Organization  Design: Makes things look good  Usability: Tests to find bugs after the code Need to move is working from this…  Not a core business competency  Important but not essential  Practitioners don’t have a good sense of business issues © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  11. 11. Strategic Worldview of UX Proposed View: Strategic Function  User-centered product planning informs all aspects of product direction  Essential part of the development process …to this  Key contributions throughout the product or service lifecycle  Business value is large, wide-ranging, and demonstrable  Quantifiable, reproducible, high-quality processes © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  12. 12. Run UX Like a Business Optimize based on the following questions:  What do you produce?  How efficiently do you produce it?  Can you justify what you cost to your customers (ROI)?  Do you effectively leverage your value-network?  Do you market your products and services effectively?  Are you considering the market trends for UX? Could you sell your UX business plan to investors? © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  13. 13. Operational Expertise—User Research  Cataloging detailed information on users  Key activities  Goals & Tasks  Needs & Wants  Understanding human factors relating to product design  Cognitive  Physical  Focusing on contexts of product use  Communities  Interactions  Collaborations © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  14. 14. Deliverables—User Research  User research is only useful when the information it creates reaches others and impacts organizational behavior  The tangible deliverables are reports and presentations that capture:  User requirements and profile data (formative) • Surveys • Field studies • Formative usability tests  Design defects and enhancements (refining or summative) • Cognitive walkthroughs • Traditional usability tests • Field studies © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  15. 15. Operational Expertise—Design  Creates tangible artifacts by synthesizing data from multiple requirements streams:  Marketing  Technical  Legal  Usage  Aesthetics  Problem solving to guide planning and development  Exploring multiple solution spaces  Rapid, iterative prototyping processes  Visualizations to communicate and help inform decision making  Information, messaging, and branding materials  Structural, and behavioral diagrams  Descriptions of form associated with ergonomics © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  16. 16. Deliverables—Design  Design is only useful when it generates specifications from which products can be built  Prototypes & specifications serve as detailed plans for building products and normally cover:  Software • Information architecture, conceptual models • Interaction, and navigation • Screen layout, and UI terminology • Branding elements (product graphics & identity)  Hardware • Form • Materials • Branding elements (colors, finishes, product graphics) © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  17. 17. Designing is Synthesizing  Our future depends on synthesizing more than just design ideas but also:  Our outputs with other UX related disciplines • Highly collaborative multidisciplinary teams = innovation  The work of other functional teams • Engineering • Quality Assurance • Marketing • Sales • Professional Services • Others...  Most importantly with business leaders at all levels © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  18. 18. Symbiotic Functions Design User Experience Research TM © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  19. 19. Organizational Synergy Market Research Field Studies Subject Matter Experts Project Planning Information Interaction Architecture Design Product Technical Writing Management Market User User Research Experience Experience Brand Strategy Engineering Concept Visual Advertising Prototyping Sales Design Technical Support Quality Usability Assurance Testing TM © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  20. 20. Tactic—Product Differentiation Design / Implementation Alpha / Beta Release Field studies Design refinement Design refinement Analyze support calls Task analysis QA of the UI QA of the UI Site visits Use cases Formative testing Next cycle planning Usability testing Market analysis Develop visual identity Finalize visuals UI post-mortem Competitive evaluation UI Walkthrough Baseline studies Develop resource files Feature planning Beta site visits Project plans & dev Documentation review estimates UI Walkthrough Task diagramming Documentation plans Heuristic evaluations Info architecture Visualizations Concept prototypes Testing prototypes Design specs (flows & screens) TM Research Design Intensively Collaborative © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  21. 21. Tactic—Time Shifting Design / Implementation Alpha / Beta Release Other UX Opportunities: Highest UX Sweet Spot: ROI UI QA & Usability Validation TM Ability to influence product direction Cost to make changes to product © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  22. 22. Tactic—Resource Reallocation High Level of Effort Low Before After © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  23. 23. Consider Your Value Network What is a value network?  The context in which you produce your existing deliverables  It limits what you can do and defines how you are rewarded What should you consider?  Who benefits from your work?  What partners do you have in creating your value-add?  Who provides your necessary resources or materials? Listening to your value network has both pros and cons  Can help you determine how to improve existing offerings  May blind you to new opportunities and limit growth From ―The Innovator’s Dilemma‖ by Clayton Christensen © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  24. 24. Collaboration is Key  Step outside of your cube or office  Make sure you interact with people in other groups regularly  Take a big picture perspective of the organization  What groups are responsible for what?  What is your ―foreign policy‖?  Define your goals and strategies for influencing other groups  What have you done for them lately?  What can they do for you?  How do you interact with other groups in your company?  Take their viewpoints to understand how to influence them  Cultivate allies in other groups to help you:  Drive UX initiatives  Educate others and change the company culture © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  25. 25. No One Understands What We Do—Why? Does your  Is this mission clear to everyone in management? group have a  Can managers in the other groups articulate UX’s mission? clearly  Do those at the C-level know your mission? defined mission? Does your  Do you have a group website? group  Does it highlight what your group produces? communicate  Does it provide useful resources for those in other groups? to the rest of  Is it up to date and informative? the company?  Do other intranet pages link to it? Does your  Is your group’s work part of the project plans? group’s work  Do UX milestones/deliverables appear in the process fit into what documents? the company does? © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  26. 26. Collaborating with Product Management PM Myths UX Myths UXconfuses developers by PM doesn’t care about adding new requirements ―the user‖ or usability Design is about form only Marketing research and user (aesthetics) and not function research are not complementary Next generation UI previews PM only cares about feature lists might stall current sales Win-Win Improve requirements processes & documents Develop detailed use cases based on user research Better consideration of overall design & tradeoffs among new features Bring end user versus customer perspective into requirements Improve communication with engineering teams © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  27. 27. Tactics—PM & UX Initiatives Work together to  Specify UI designs to support new feature descriptions define UI related requirements  Help provide UI samples for presentations and collateral Do customer  Document what customers really do and need case studies  Add UX skills to ensure user profiles and tasks are captured together Develop a demo for a  Use as driving force behind UI prototype trade show or  Helps create a shared vision that can be used in for a sales customer presentations presentation Introduce ―use  Introduce user-centered approach to the requirements case‖ oriented analysis phase and planning efforts requirements process  Benefits both customers of PM and UX © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  28. 28. Collaborating with Engineering Engineering Myths UX Myths All this (UX) stuff is impractical Engineers are the enemy It takes too much time to study users They care more about technology and write specs than users We need to focus on coding All they want to do is meet the schedule UX is a threat. They want to take the creativity out of being a developer UX doesn’t need to understand  Process = Bureaucracy = Bad anything about technology & engineering All it takes to design a usable product is intelligence & common sense Win - Win Buildthe best product possible given the constraints Improve efficiency and focus – stop wasting time! Determine the design earlier so we can focus on building it Avoid iterating in code needlessly and discussing it in endless meetings © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  29. 29. Tactics—Engineering & UX Initiatives Develop a reusable code  Helps enforce UI consistency library for UI  Promotes reuse and reduces development time development Develop a style  Helps coordinate UI work across all staff & groups guide for a  Ensures UI is consistent and UX has voice in process product or product line  Design re-factoring = code re-factoring Collaborate on prototyping  Reduces project uncertainty and risks for dev and UX new product or  Helps build a sense of team ownership features Work together on  Help the development group specify the details related to UI development &  Get involved in review of functional specifications review of specifications  Ensures UX specification is feasible & improves planning © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  30. 30. Collaborating with QA QA Myths UX Myths UI bugs aren’t really bugs UX process is unrelated to quality Unimportant or a matter of opinion engineering approach Usability can’t be measured QA engineers can’t help improve UIbugs are unimportant or the UI or evaluate usability issues low priority Win - Win Improve the quality of the product as measured by the bug counts Improve the metrics by which the company tracks quality © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  31. 31. Tactics—QA & UX Initiatives Improve the bug process to better  Improve process of tracking of usability and UI issues capture UX  Integrate user research data into quality dashboards issues Organize UI walkthroughs  Decrease QA’s workload by finding defects early to catch UX bugs earlier in  Allows QA to concentrate on functional & stress the process testing Collaborate on testing and bug  Help ensure UI bugs get identified and addressed early prioritization with QA  Help QA better identify and classify UI bugs Leverage use  Facilitates the test planning process cases & UX specs for QA  Helps QA create better test plans testing  Facilitates automated testing © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  32. 32. Building Relationships for Success The following principles should guide your interactions:  Involving the right people at the right time  Does everyone in your team know who to contact and when?  Achieving results through formal & informal channels  Who owns things and who has the power to get things done?  Fostering effective give and take relationships  Build relationships through reciprocity  Understanding perspectives and agendas of others  Learn about your ―organizational neighbors‖  Knowing when to fight and when to compromise  It’s fine to be an idealist in theory, but you have to be a realist in practice Adapted from the ―Successful Managers Handbook‖ © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  33. 33. Long Term Strategic Planning  For an organization to endure it must adapt  All too often we neglect managing this change  Too busy with operational work  Fail to take the big picture/long term perspective  Drucker* talks about planning from the following perspectives  What will our business be  What should our business be  What new things should we go into  What existing product lines and businesses should we abandon  You need to consider these questions from a UX perspective * From ―Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices‖ by Peter Drucker © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  34. 34. Six Forces Impacting Businesses Power, vigor, and competence of Power, vigor, and competence of Power, vigor, and competence existing competitors complementors of customers The Business Power, vigor, and competence of Power, vigor, and competence of suppliers potential competitors Possibility that what your business is doing can be done in a different way From ―Only the Paranoid Survive‖ by Andy Grove © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  35. 35. Strategic Inflection Points The Inflection Curve Business goes on to new heights Inflection Point Business declines Requires a fundamental transformation from what you were to what you will be From ―Only the Paranoid Survive‖ by Andy Grove © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  36. 36. Inflection Points in Detail Home to academic Local to global Market Usability/design to User Experience Nuclear family to aging boomer Consumer to enterprise HTML to RIA/AJAX Pager to Blackberry Tech Disconnected PC to WWW Lab testing to remote usability testing CD to MP3 Brick & mortar to eCommerce iMac to iPod Database to applications Version 23 to vision project Concept sketch to design spec Product Software utilities to enterprise security Hardware to software Total quality management Balanced scorecard Process Total design management True UCD Data-based design Extreme programming Offshore development 6 Sigma © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  37. 37. Example: Vision Project Forces  Need to invent a new product or market to survive  Changes render old offerings obsolete or uncompetitive Inflection Point  Product, market, or technology focused change  Create a shared vision around new ways of doing business © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  38. 38. Example: Vision Project High Level of Effort Low Before After © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  39. 39. Example: iMac to iPod Forces  Computers become a low margin, high volume business  Internet & MP3s enable new distribution channel  Music industry lacks digital-age strategy  Existing MP3 players provide poor UX  Inflection Point  Focus: Market? Technology? Product? Process?  Advances in technology impact content distribution and creation to create a unique product & market opportunity  Designing with the ―Experience‖ mindset gave Apple the advantage over entrenched competitors (Sony)  Traditional value network ―blinded‖ competitors © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  40. 40. Think & Act Strategically Develop a UX Influence and drive strategic initiative corporate strategy Breadth of UX Vision that leverages from a UX perspective existing UX activities Analyze and improve Align and integrate UX current UX operations to reflect existing based on metrics strategic corporate initiatives Level of Difficulty © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  41. 41. Driving Strategy: Planning Plan Align Execute  Understand the corporate strategy by ―tapping-in‖ organizationally  Identify the thought leaders or their proxies and study what they are saying  Inventory your assets and core competencies to assess where they lie relative to the new strategic initiatives  Analyze the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of your team and others  Assess potential organizational alliances and blockages  Perform initial business-value benefits analysis © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  42. 42. Driving Strategy: Alignment Plan Align Execute  Meet with the organizational thought leaders or their proxies  Interview these individuals to determine opportunities  Explain your position, alignments, and key value add to other organizations and the business overall  Determine mutually beneficial points of collaboration  Ask for feedback and recommendations for additional points of synergy company-wide © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  43. 43. Driving Strategy: Execution Plan Align Execute  Adjust group’s priorities to align with the new initiatives  Develop value-benefit metrics based on new UX outputs  Always be on the lookout for new ways that UX can contribute  Collaborate with partners to ensure successful execution © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  44. 44. Fine-tuning Strategy  It’s all about creating a self adapting organization  Cybernetics  Kaizen  ―The Fifth Discipline‖  Organizations must adapt or they become extinct  Setup reliable feedback loops and evaluate your strategy continuously  How does the current strategy impact UX and its deliverables  Always be on the look out for unique ways UX can contribute  Be prepared for changes!  Long term plans are by nature dynamic  Make sure you get continual feedback on any strategy  Avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket  Always have a backup plan (or two) © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland
  45. 45. Final Thoughts Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. -Sun Tzu © Jon Innes & Liam Friedland