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The Search for UXtopia


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Utopia - An imagined community or society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. - Wikipedia

UXtopia- An imagined work environment that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for UX teams.

Based on input from UX professionals, we’ll explore the facets and qualities that lead to a satisfying work environment and positive experiences for customers/users, such as:
• Team Structure
• Process
• Strategy
• Market Position/Impact
• Community Contribution
• Career Development

We’ll also take a look at some steps that both UX leaders and individual contributors can take to create the work life they want.

Is it really possible or necessary to reach perfection? Maybe not. But if you can’t imagine it, you can’t even get close.

Published in: Design
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The Search for UXtopia

  2. 2. HELLO! I am Mandy Cornwell 15 years in UX 5 years in leadership @mandyco
  3. 3. startup large company large agency boutique agency mid-size agency large company large company
  4. 4. What is UXtopia? An imagined work environment that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for UX teams.
  5. 5. “ Perhaps the greatest utopia would be if we could all realize that no utopia is possible; no place to run, no place to hide, just take care of business here and now. Jack Carroll
  6. 6. If you can’t imagine it, you can’t even get close.
  7. 7. Team User Design Organization CommunityYou Career Development Structure Coverage Insights Journey Strategy & Vision Guidelines & Process Environment Impact & Value Strategy Involvement ContributionCulture
  8. 8. CAREER DEVELOPMENT ▫ Opportunities for growth and career development ▫ Organization focus on employee growth ▫ Ability to attend training/conferences ▫ Clearly defined career progression You Tips ▫ Take control ▫ Develop your own career plan/goals ▫ Share with your manager & ask for help ▫ Look for free training (i.e. local events, Coursera)
  9. 9. CULTURE ▫ People you enjoy working with ▫ Your work adds value to the business ▫ Aligns with your values ▫ Leadership you believe in ▫ Alignment with manager ▫ Stability Team Tips ▫ Do your research up front ▫ Ask a lot of questions ▫ If possible, don’t accept an offer you aren’t happy with
  10. 10. STRUCTURE ▫ Mix of disciplines, including core disciplines ▫ Range of skill levels Team Tips ▫ Lack research? Build skills ▫ Lack a content writer? Ask marketing or technical writing to help out. ▫ Pair/balance senior and junior
  11. 11. COVERAGE ▫ Appropriate size team for products/projects supported ▫ Support customer facing and internal tools ▫ Alignment across business Team Tips ▫ Prioritize work ▫ Communicate limitations clearly ▫ Make a case - get some stats ▫ Create a network with other teams across business
  12. 12. INSIGHTS ▫ Access to users and time to do research ▫ Organizational support ▫ Personas User Tips ▫ Test with coworkers/friends ▫ Invite partner teams to research ▫ Search for third party data (i.e. Pew) ▫ Check for company accounts with Forrester, eMarketer, etc.
  13. 13. JOURNEY ▫ Design end to end experience going beyond digital ▫ Contacts and influence throughout business ▫ Journey maps User Tips ▫ Create a simple journey map and get feedback from colleagues ▫ Talk to customer facing teams ▫ Ask to shadow calls, visit stores, talk to sales people ▫ Create a network of contacts ▫ Provide value back to those teams
  14. 14. STRATEGY & VISION ▫ Clearly defined UX strategy and vision ▫ Aligned with business and leadership ▫ Design roadmap Design Tips ▫ Conduct competitive reviews ▫ Gather metrics/analytics ▫ Understand stakeholder needs ▫ Align with business needs
  15. 15. GUIDELINES & PROCESS ▫ Consistency ▫ Style Guides ▫ Pattern library ▫ Clear UX and delivery process Design Tips ▫ Find out what is right for your environment ▫ Communicate/collaborate with partner teams ▫ Ask what is and isn’t working
  16. 16. ENVIRONMENT ▫ Physical environment conducive to design ▫ Design constraints are reasonable ▫ Supports collaboration ▫ What is built/launches matches design Design Tips ▫ Look for a space you can claim as the design area ▫ Set expectations ▫ Promote collaboration - show the benefits ▫ Test the build
  17. 17. IMPACT & VALUE ▫ Clear purpose ▫ Provides value in people’s lives ▫ Inspires passion ▫ Competitive advantage and strong market positionOrganization Tips ▫ What impact can UX make? ▫ Use the user insights, journey maps, competitive research, etc.
  18. 18. STRATEGY INVOLVEMENT ▫ Involvement and influence in defining business strategies ▫ UX representation in company’s leadership ▫ Leadership understands the value of UXOrganization Tips ▫ Ask to be involved ▫ Don’t be critical ▫ Get some wins, add value
  19. 19. UX CONTRIBUTION ▫ Attend local events ▫ Host events ▫ Contribute to blogs/host a blog ▫ Develop new techniques ▫ Share research findings Community Tips ▫ Share events with team members ▫ Write blog posts on Medium/LinkedIn ▫ Teach/Mentor
  20. 20. GET STARTED list revisit pick top 3 you can impact identify actions
  21. 21. “ Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. Vince Lombardi
  22. 22. THANKS! Any questions? You can find me at @mandyco