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Want to Sell UX? Stop Talking UX!



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Want to Sell UX? Stop Talking UX!

  1. 1. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Want to Sell UX? Stop Talking UX! UX Cambridge 2013 - Who do we have here today? UXers? Business people? Devs? Designers? Of you UXers how many of you are: Consultants? In house? Agency? - UXers... how many of you, by a show of hands, have a hard time proving the value of UX whether on your own as a consultant or in an agency or in house? Can I get one person to provide me of a recent example? - Non UXers - how many of you are weary of having UX on a project or team? so let’s jump in...
  2. 2. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Who I am Lis Hubert @lishubert First let me tell you a bit about who I am, and why I’m here. My name is Lis, and I’m an IA and UX consultant based in NYC. As a consultant I’m always thinking about ways to bring clients the services that I know they need, that I know I can provide. I’m wanting to open them up to the possibilities of UX. However, what I was finding was that
  3. 3. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Why I am here My UX Sales my sales numbers weren’t reflecting of my customer’s “need” for my product. I all too often saw people not wanting to buy what I had to offer even though it would help their company tenfold! At first I just assumed I was bad at sales all together. I then reflected on my past as an in house UXer and realized it wasn’t easy to sell my services there either. No one wanted what I knew they needed. I realized then that this whole selling UX thing was a bigger problem than just my inability to sell. As we saw at the beginning, it seems like many of you are having the same issues whether you work for yourselves or your work in house or at an agency. And to clarify, those issues are the inability to convince people that what you have is truly what they need. That your skillset is of huge value to them, and they should see that. This is what has brought me here in front of you. So for the next 35 minutes we are going to discuss 1. The current state 2. The problem 3. The solution 4. the outcome of implementing the solution
  4. 4. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 This is Dave Dave is an executive at ABC Financial Services Corp. He is in charge of the lead “money making” product, annuities. Dave has recently come up with a new product idea. He wants to create an annuities app. He KNOWS people will love it, and people def need it. Annuities are the best way to save for retirement afterall. He puts together a project that will execute on the app, and walks away happy. The project manager gathers together the project team and tells them what they need to build. The UXer on the team says “does anyone really need this, how will it bring the user value?”, and the project manager tells the UXer that this is what Dave wants, and so it shall be. The UXer goes to Dave and explains the uselessness of his new product, but it shot down. And the company spends thousands of dollars to build the annuity app. It has tons of information about annuities, talks about how you get triple compounded savings, and all the other features. Of course none of this language makes sense to the user, it is basically Dave shouting out the features of annuities and not tying them to any real value. Needless to say the app fails horribly, after several redesigns to “fix the UX”, and Dave gets frustrated that no one sees the immense value his product idea can bring to users. “They simply won’t be able to save as much without it!”, Dave cries. Let me ask this audience... How many of you have worked with Dave? Same old story right? Well I’d like to break down where Dave went wrong on this one, even though it’s obvious to us all.
  5. 5. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Where Dave went wrong ★ No Empathy ★ Talking at them, not with them ★ Placed his product out of context • First off Dave doesn’t have any empathy for his users. He is doing this app completely for himself. Even though he wants the best for his users, he doesn’t consider that maybe, just maybe his way is the wrong way. • Because Dave doesn’t have empathy for his users he isn’t talk to them, he is talking at them, and this provides even less interest . • This is UX 101... an iphone app for annuities? You really thought that was going to work?? This is why we HATE working with Daves, they just don’t get what user experience is really about! Ok, so enough about Dave for now, we’ll come back to him later... We are here to talk about the current state of selling UX afterall.
  6. 6. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 How we sell UX How many of you have done this. You get in front of a project manager, team or executive and you listen to the problem the team is having. You say “well this could all be solved if we did some user interviews, put together personas, maybe even did customer journeys? How many times did that come back with blank faces, stories about scope, cost, timeline? Eventually your ideas get crushed. • This is the current state of selling UX. We come to them with solutions and we are encountered with blank faces, stories about budget and scope and schedule. Let me ask you this in the case I just provided....
  7. 7. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 How are we different from Dave? Think about it... • We know that people need our product • But we sell it to them in our language not theirs, using all of our jargon and terms • Many times we even sell UX out of context, we try to sell it once the project is already put together and the purse strings already tied. • Then we get frustrated when people don’t buy what we’re selling! • AND we blame them because they are the business or tech or creative people that just don’t understand! It’s insanity! Oh and to make things even better we have leaders or our profession saying things like this recent quote that a friend of mine tweeted...
  8. 8. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Here’s the tweet How many of you saw this? How many of you agree with this? How many of you are proud of this? I’m horrified by it! If nobody knows how to work with us, we haven’t won. In fact we’ve put ourselves on the outside even more, instead of seeing outside of UX and integrating ourselves with other teams we are regressing even further into an isolated abyss! WORSE we’ve disobeyed our own rules of understanding users and having empathy, because the people that work with us ARE OUR USERS. Thus, We ARE like Dave because we have a great product... it’s called UX, but we sell it assuming people should know what it is because they need it so badly. Then we get frustrated when they don’t see how much they need us, but in reality we’ve never explained to them, in their language, why they need us. In fact we’ve just pushed our knowledge at them, just like Dave did in his annuity app when he assumed people would just flock to this amazing product. This! is why UX doesn’t sell, because we aren’t selling it using the principles we preach, and this current state of us selling UX this way causes us some major problems.
  9. 9. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 I’m a UX person which means I create personas and customer journeys! Before jumping into the problems that talking UX causes let me explain a bit more clearly what I mean by that term “talking UX”. We the UX community have our own language. We describe what we do by our deliverables, and this does us a great dis-service (but that is for another talk). As we talked about before we’ll listen to a business partner tell us their requirements or issues, and we’ll respond by talking UX and saying something like “ok we’ll start by doing some user interviews, then we’ll create personas, and scenarios… which will allow us to move into information architecture, and then visual design and whammo problem solved” And when we talk like this, this is what our business partners, tech partners and clients think about that.
  10. 10. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 <read statement> The operative word here
  11. 11. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Cost Cost. Whether it’s money, project budget, Time, how does this affect someone else’s job. There is always a cost. And we don’t always have empathy towards this fact especially when we talk like this....
  12. 12. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 “It sounds like you just need user interviews.” When we talk UX... we ignore our teammates around us (hell no wonder they don’t “get how to work with us”) As I mentioned using this language to describe our value brings up several issues. First when we talk UX
  13. 13. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 We sound worthless and expensive! We spend a lot of time talking about what we can deliver without touching on how we deliver real value. and this reflects on our industry as a whole, and discredits us a great deal. Second
  14. 14. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 “You are the one that does all those wireframes right?” How many times have you heard this? Well that’s because we talk about ourselves as deliverables and not as value. The second problem we see is that UX isn’t seen for as we can do, we are seen as what we can deliver and what we deliver in and of itself isn’t the real value... it’s how we think, it’s our process. UX thus is not seen as a value add and that causes problem number 3...
  15. 15. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Our Market It screws up our market. What do I mean by screwing up a market. Here is an example... Recently I have been searching for a new apartment in NYC. I’m sure it’s similar to London, maybe even here/ But the process is insane. When I would tell friends that I was looking for an apartment, they would ask me when I was moving. I would tell them September first. Every single person would wince when I would say this. ⁃ “What is it?” I’d ask ⁃ “That’s the worst time to look.”, They’d say ⁃ “Why?” I’d ask ⁃ “Because that is when all the NYU students come back for school, and because they aren’t paying for their housing, and their parents are, it screws up the entire apartment market.” ⁃ You see it is simply much harder to find a somewhat affordable place during this time, because brokers and landlords KNOW they can sell their apartment, they don’t see you as a needed tenet, there are tons of tenants this time of year afterall. If UX is seen as a deliverable, instead of a true value add, it isn’t seen as a need. It’s just seen as a wireframe or a usability test, no one gets why they should spend all the time and money to go through the actual process. They can just create the deliverable without meaning. Therefore instead of getting buyers who want what we actually are trying to sell, i.e. a better user experience for their customers and more money for their company in return, we get buyers who just
  16. 16. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 * Enokson via Compfight cc We don’t show empathy for our teams, and therefore we don’t let them know how UX helps them specifically WHICH IS TOTALLY AGAINST WHAT WE DO. We are in essence hypocrites! Gogo story. People wanted to know how this effects their jobs, but we can’t even tell them how it helps the company as a whole. We aren’t showing people that we can work with them, but understanding them. So, quite frankly, they don’t want to work with us UNLESS we are producing something that makes the project go faster. How then do we solve these problems. - Well to do that let’s do like Hollywood, and look at an alternate ending to our story about Dave.
  17. 17. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 This is Dave... again Pretend that instead of blowing off the UX Designer who raised concerns for his annuity app, Dave actually listened, because the UXer was talking about how much money he’d be wasting by not really meeting user needs. This caused Dave to He took a step back and realized that people didn’t understand the value of annuities, nor did they understand the need to save for a rainy day. He learned about his users and he realized that what they really needed was a program that explained to them what type of savings that should be accumulating for the lifestyle they want to live, what type of savings they could actually afford, and how annuities fit these needs for them. After putting together this program, and instead of creating an app Dave’s team would talk to customers who would either call in or visit the site. Their first question to users was always simple “do you want to save more and still stay within your budget”. Users loved this and would adopt the program shortly after. Needless to say the product and the company overall saw a great deal of success. So what did Dave do differently? <Ask the audience>
  18. 18. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 ★ Understood what was valuable to users ★ Stopped using ‘Dave’ speak ★ Positioned product contextually ★ Practiced good UX principles! Where Dave went right • He took the time to understand what was valuable to his users • He stopped talking in his language and started talking in the users language • He positioned his product (annuities) in the right context at the right time by not using an app and instead a program that intersected with the right users at the right time. • Basically, he practiced good UX principles. So how do we sell more UX? Well first we
  19. 19. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Teach them to want what we know they need I got this quote from a book entitled “how to become a rainmaker” by Jeffrey J. Fox. He talks about the way to become a great consultant is to teach your customer to want to desire what you know will help them. We know they need us to be successful, THEY know they need us to be successful. * workshop “I know my projects work better when there is a UX person on them, but I don’t know why.” To teach them to want what we know they need, we first have to understand
  20. 20. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013* They Don’t Know by Ed Mitchell via Flickr Understand from their point of view, what it is they need. We need to really get what is valuable to them. In her closing keynote at the 2010 IA Summit, Whitney Hess spoke to us about transcending our tribe. About going outside of our tiny group here to stop feeling so disenfranchised and misunderstood, to stop isolating ourselves and strive for the influence to bring about the change that drives us to do what we do. Transcending our tribe is an important way to build empathy and understanding for our business partners. You see we have to know what will appeal to them in order to know how to sell our value to them. Our next step in getting them to want what we know they need, is telling them about what we provide in a way that matches their needs... i.e. we
  21. 21. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Stop talking UX! * Harbor Way by Davide Cassanello via Flickr Stop talking UX! We need to talk to them in ways that show the clear advantage to them of having us involved. Use terms like • Time saved from having to do rework • Money saved • More revenue • Better customer satisfaction So we stop talking UX and THEN we have to
  22. 22. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 * beruhrung by westpark via Flickr Intersect with the right customers at the right time... and to be honest with you, I’m not sure who this is for everyone. For me what I have found is that many of my customers are businesses that lack process, that need direction, not just a resource to pump out deliverables. So I will go out and find these people by networking, etc. I think that UX as a whole has to take a step back and determine who the right customers are for us... perhaps an idea for another talk. Once we intersect with the right people we finally...
  23. 23. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013* Harbor Way by Davide Cassanello via Flickr* Via Empower them. By Informing the customer in their own language we have empowered our them to make an informed decision about what we do and how UX is important outside of just a deliverable space. We no longer expect them to rely on moral good or faith that what we are saying is correct, but give them the information they need to feel confident that UX is the answer. Once our customers can make an empowered decision based on us showing them that 1. we know what the need, and 2. we can provide what they need, we have made them want what we know they need. and THAT is how you sell UX! Once the customer is empowered and decided THEN you can bring the UX jargon, because you’ve already sold them. UX jargon is for explanation mode, not sales mode. How do I know this will work? Because I have been watching a secret experiment play out over the last decade which proves my point to a tee. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let this secret out, but I trust you guys not to tell anyone outside of this room. The secret experiment that proves my point?? I”m not sure if you guys have heard of it...
  24. 24. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 How do you think these people sold all of this jargon and hoopla? Well not by saying we need to have a backlog and a discover sessions and bla bla. • They understood their user - business that were being overrun with tech costs and timelines and wanted and needed to save time and money. • Used language to make the user want what they knew they needed - they said “we are gonna build software that is better, cheaper and takes less time to create”. They sold money, time, cost... they know that’s what business people want to hear about and that’s what they put out there. • They found the right user at the right time (big money companies with huge over operationalized technology departments) THEN doing all this they Empowered the customer to make the decision to “go agile” • THEN said oh and we have all this other stuff we do to make this work... is that OK? and of course the customer said yes!! By doing these things: 1. Understanding what our business customer’s need and what helps make their jobs/lives easier... i.e. knowing what is valuable to them. 2. Presenting options to them to meet that value without talking UX 3. Empowering them to make what we know is the right decision we in effect 4. Teaching them to want what we know they need
  25. 25. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Tell story of new client approaching me Tell story of how I would try to sell this in the past Tell story of how I stopped talking UX this time The outcome of me using this approach?
  26. 26. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 UX Sales Success! I was able to sell UX as a strategic platform and not a deliverable based exercise. My team’s deliverables? An MVP… you may be thinking what does that look like? - The greatest part: we were the ones to define that… we weren’t tied to deliverables, we were tied to deliver meaning and strategy By talking to the value of what UX provides, as opposed to talking UX, I made UX a necessity to starting this guy’s business.
  27. 27. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Let’s Review - We talked about a lot today. We talked about Dave and how he tried to sell annuities by pushing his views onto his customers - We likened this to us selling UX today as consultants, agencies and in-housers - We defined the term talking UX " - We saw that doing so has caused our field a great deal of angst - We reviewed how we use UX thinking to stop talking UX and start selling our value, - And we saw how this results in bringing UX to a level we all have been waiting for. - But when you leave here today, if you remember one thing and one thing only, I want you to remember this:
  28. 28. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 UX is not sellable " - UX is not a deliverable, it’s not something that we Sell to our clients " - UX itself is not what we sell, no you see "
  29. 29. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 " - What we sell is customer value, and the way we bring customers value is through our process and through deliverables, but the way that we sell that value is in the language of our customer. " - So the next time you are in a meeting with Dave, don’t talk to him about what deliverables you create, about how UX can make things easier for his users and he should morally want to do that. " " - You tell Dave how your process brings him more value, how working with you and your field gets him to his goals. " " - Then, and only then UX will we...
  30. 30. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 * Untitled by Andres Musta via Flickr stop building these damn annuities apps. and start doing real UX work.
  31. 31. UX Cambridge 2013 @lishubert September 5, 2013 Thanks! @lishubert