Sun Tzu & The Art of UX Influence


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Doing your job isn't easy when most of the world does not even know your profession exists, much less sees its value. Some suggest that the best way to build UX influence is by giving talks about "the value of user experience." Others advocate ROI analysis. Others still claim that without executive level support, you are dead in the water, and should just look for a new job. Forget all that. What you really need is the will to fight, a plan, and some well-proven strategic advice from an ancient general. In this presentation, I'll use Sun Tzu's advice to take a good hard look at UX, its friends and its enemies, and help you plan for fighting a winning war for UX influence within your company.

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Sun Tzu & The Art of UX Influence

  1. 1. Sun Tzu<br />and the Art of UX Influence<br />By Eva Kaniasty<br />@kaniasty<br />INTJ (The Mastermind)<br />
  2. 2. You have to fight to win. <br />All is fair in love and war.<br />- Definitely not Sun Tzu<br />
  3. 3. <ul><li> Ancient Chinese General
  4. 4. 722–481 BC
  5. 5. Wrote Sun Tzu’s Art of War</li></ul>Sun Tzu<br />
  6. 6. Winning<br />Strategy<br />Tactics<br />Human Behavior<br />You<br />Enemies<br />Friends<br />Opportunity<br />
  7. 7. Strategy<br />
  8. 8. Be calculating.<br />Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. (I-26)<br />
  9. 9. What do you want?<br />I want UX to move to another department<br />I want a promotion<br />I want <X> to stop sabotaging my projects<br />I want time for research built into the release schedule<br />
  10. 10. When do you want it?<br />I want it now<br />2 months<br />6 months<br />1 year<br />Good luck.<br />
  11. 11. Have a plan.<br />All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. (VI-27)<br />
  12. 12. Pick your battles.<br />Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory. (IV-15)<br />
  13. 13. Tactics<br />
  14. 14. In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory. (V-5) <br />Play politics.<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  15. 15. Play politics.<br />Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, unending as the flow of rivers and streams; like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more. (V-6)<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  16. 16. Human Behavior<br />
  17. 17. Bring candy.<br />If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless. (IX-42)<br />Expect something in return. <br />
  18. 18. Remember Maslow<br />
  19. 19. Be flexible. <br />Bestow rewards without regard to rule, issue orders without regard to previous arrangements; and you will be able to handle a whole army as though you had to do with but a single man. (XI-56)<br />Be objective. <br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  20. 20. You<br />
  21. 21. If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. (III-18) <br />Predict. <br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  22. 22. Check your attitude<br />Are you an optimist?<br />
  23. 23. Evaluate your position<br />
  24. 24. Your Image<br />
  25. 25. Project confidence. <br />Be stern in the council-chamber, so that you may control the situation. (XI-64)<br />
  26. 26. Control yourself. <br />Do not swallow bait offered by the enemy. (VII-35)<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  27. 27. Enemies<br />
  28. 28. Win some, lose some. <br />To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence. (IX-37)<br />
  29. 29. Enemy:<br />Code-Centric Developer<br />
  30. 30. Enemy:<br />Genius Designer<br />
  31. 31. Enemy:<br />Clueless Executive<br />
  32. 32. Enemy:<br />Insecure < ><br />
  33. 33. How strong is your enemy?<br />So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak. (VI-30)<br />
  34. 34. Friends<br />
  35. 35. Figure out others’ agendas. <br />We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors. (VII-12)<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  36. 36. Other People’s Goals<br />
  37. 37. Hidden Agendas<br />
  38. 38. Turn enemies into friends. <br />The enemy's spies who have come to spy on us must be sought out, tempted with bribes, led away and comfortably housed. Thus they will become converted spies and available for our service. <br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  39. 39. The friendly developer<br />
  40. 40. The collaborative designer<br />
  41. 41. The project/product manager<br />
  42. 42. Other assorted allies<br />
  43. 43. Final Advice on Fighting<br />
  44. 44. The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim. (V-13) <br />Timing matters.<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  45. 45. Luck matters.<br />While heeding the profit of my counsel, avail yourself also of any helpful circumstances over and beyond the ordinary rules. (I-16)<br />- Sun Tzu<br />
  46. 46. Sometimes you can’t win.<br />To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. Thus the good fighter is able to secure himself against defeat, but cannot make certain of defeating the enemy. (IV-2) <br />- Sun Tzu<br />