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UX in SA: Any second now… 
Phil Barrett • Flow Interactive • UX South Africa 2014 
flickr.com/photos/djwtwo
UX design, research and 
strategy 
London & Cape Town 
! 
Since 1998 
!
UX in South Africa 2014
That is fine with me. Nice job, guys.
You speak my language!
You speak my language!
I came here to pay my plumber.
Why indeed? Do you have the tent I want?
Cats love the multiple carousels.
Cats love the multiple carousels.
Move the mouse across the mega menu. 
And your target item disappears.
I came came here to find the best price plan.
I came came here to find the best price plan.
You don’t ALWAYS win.
UXSA: The state of the union 
Some pockets of excellence. 
Lots of organisations who don’t know: 
• What their target user...
“Companies that use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins 
than their competitors. 
Apple, Coca-Cola, F...
“Companies that use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins 
than their competitors. 
Apple, Coca-Cola, F...
And we could do with some growth
“Software is 
eating the world. 
Mark Andreessen 
Founder Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz 
Many large companies are 
find...
684 people who care
How will the 648 people 
bring more positive change? 
• Understanding what UX is, now and next 
• Understanding what needs...
“UX” means…
UX is not UI, ok?
The craft
The craft 
Hang out with people 
! 
Prototype and iterate to discover 
breakthroughs that work for people 
! 
Polish to pe...
Vision 
The nature and value of your future digital product/service/ 
experience 
Strategy 
How we will use our resources ...
Strategic direction 
Getting the right Design 
Getting the design right 
Shipped product
Strategic direction 
Getting the right Design 
Shipped product 
Research, 
Measure, 
learn, 
REASSESS 
Getting the design ...
So pretty 
Must be true. 
Front end 
Appearance 
Interaction 
Structure 
Proposition 
Concept 
Information 
Strategy Visio...
“You are not a user experience designer. 
David Perel 
CEO of OBox 
Unless… 
There is such a massive difference between cr...
The impact on traditional product offerings 
Just take our existing business online. Nope.
The impact on behaviour 
Photo: Kalamita: flickr.com/photos/kalamita/ 
All this amazing digital technology will make us ha...
The impact on brand 
Make the logo shinier? Nope. Brand experience trumps brand promise.
The impact on society 
Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring 
education to all.
The impact on society 
Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring 
education to all.
The impact on society 
Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring 
education to all.
The impact on business models 
It’s ok. Our business is far too big to be disrupted. Nope.
The organisation 
behind the experience
Most CEOs have heard that UX, design and 
customer centricity are important
Sophisticated digital organisations 
are perfecting how it’s done 
Steve Blank’s 
Investment readiness level
Not so many large organisations are 
demonstrating mastery yet 
What’s stopping them?
Near Asterix’s village, the Romans have 
been digging up trees in the forest
Most managers from non-software 
businesses have never seen an oak tree grow. 
software being made.
Most managers from non-software 
businesses have never seen an oak tree grow. 
software being made. 
Which means they have...
20 iterations, just on the home screen 
“The team spent 20 iterations or 
more on the home view, trying to 
figure out how...
A designer was invited into the boardroom. 
You’ll never guess what they found…
! 
Confusion 
Smart people trying to wrangle too 
many counter-intuitive truths.
Handle 
Head 
Bristles 
Giuseppe Colarusso 
We‘ve ticked all the boxes. 
Why isn’t it working?
Questions like… 
• How did my competitors get so far 
ahead so fast? 
• Why can’t we organise and focus our 
business on d...
How did my competitors get 
so far ahead so fast? 
Because they started work two years ago. 
So our team needs to work wit...
Why can’t we organise and focus our 
business on doing the right thing in digital? 
Your website and apps are key to the c...
UX + product management 
• Understanding user needs + market opportunities and strategy 
• Envisioning how the software co...
Why is my website 
permanently in need of a re-design? 
Because you view digital in terms of projects. They 
ship and then...
Digital products are soap operas not movies 
• Keep releasing new versions, listen to audience feedback and enhance. 
• Th...
Why do we keep shipping things 
that have no impact? 
No-one (especially managers) can really predict 
whether a digital d...
“Prototyping is a cheaper way to learn 
Instead of using one prototyper for a few weeks, almost every 
company uses the fu...
Seek out opportunities to observe 
No opinion Tentative opinion Strong opinion 
Evangelist/Beta group 
User 
Casual user 
...
Seek out opportunities to observe 
Feedback 
Silence 
No opinion Tentative opinion Strong opinion 
Evangelist/Beta group 
...
DESIGN AND 
RESEARCH DELIVER 
CONCEPT 
Traditional UCD: 
Innovate before launch 
MEASURE 
TEST CUSTOMER 
RESPONSES USING P...
The most important thing you can’t find out in a usability test 
Would you use this?
DESIGN AND 
RESEARCH DELIVER 
CONCEPT 
MEASURE 
TEST CUSTOMER 
RESPONSES USING PROTOYPES 
OBSERVE AND MEAUSRE 
CUSTOMERS I...
Change requirements into 
assumptions and hypotheses 
We believe that 
building this feature 
for these people 
will achie...
Control risk with small experiments 
Risk
Control risk with small experiments 
Risk
Control risk with small experiments 
Risk
A unified product management model 
Optimise and extend 
Learn 
Design 
Plan 
Build 
Discover Ship first release 
Establis...
You
Enormous 
organisation 
One little designer
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! 
(Ninety eight and three quarters percent guaranteed). 
Dr Seuss 
Oh! the pl...
Time to master this lot, then?
Become a design unicorn
T S H P E 
A D 
E 
O 
P 
L 
E
To become a design unicorn 
Step one: Train yourself 
Step two: Practice your new skills 
Step three: Deconstruct as many ...
5 things good UX designers do 
• Storytelling 
• Sketching 
• Presenting 
• Critique 
• Facilitating 
Jared Spool 
Founder...
“A prototype is worth a 
thousand meetings. 
Todd Wilkens 
Design Principal at IBM Design
Knowledge Navigator (1987) Apple Computer 
Tell stories
Ask “stupid” questions 
“ 
What is a stupid question? It is one which 
questions the obvious to redefine existing 
solutio...
What the organisation 
thought users should do. 
What users 
wanted to do.
Work your way to the far side of complexity 
“Any idiot can simplify by ignoring the complications. 
But it takes real gen...
Ride the curve past complexity 
Time 
Complexity 
Release here “before it 
gets any worse?” 
Not a good idea. 
Keep going ...
And it all comes from working with users 
“There is a direct correlation between the number 
of hours each team member is ...
CEOs want design thinking. 
UX designers have got heaps of experience. 
• Empathy: Hang out with target users and see 
the...
“You're off to Great Places! 
Today is your day! 
Your mountain is waiting, 
So... get on your way!”
Flickr: Lars ploughman 
Thanks! 
Phil Barrett • phil@userexperience.co.za • @philbuktoo 
flickr.com/photos/lestaylorphoto
UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote
UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote
UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote
UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote
UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote
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UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote

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My keynote from the UX South Africa 2014 conference in Cape Town, South Africa
It's a look at the state of play including:
- It's still easy to find poor website UX in South Africa
- Informing digital strategy by making and launching things
- Problems that executives of traditionally non-digital companies face as software slowly eats the word - and some solutions: Proactive research, digital product management, agile...
- Some of the skills and talents that unicorn UX designers need to have

Published in: Design
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UX South Africa 2014 - Keynote

  1. 1. UX in SA: Any second now… Phil Barrett • Flow Interactive • UX South Africa 2014 flickr.com/photos/djwtwo
  2. 2. UX design, research and strategy London & Cape Town ! Since 1998 !
  3. 3. UX in South Africa 2014
  4. 4. That is fine with me. Nice job, guys.
  5. 5. You speak my language!
  6. 6. You speak my language!
  7. 7. I came here to pay my plumber.
  8. 8. Why indeed? Do you have the tent I want?
  9. 9. Cats love the multiple carousels.
  10. 10. Cats love the multiple carousels.
  11. 11. Move the mouse across the mega menu. And your target item disappears.
  12. 12. I came came here to find the best price plan.
  13. 13. I came came here to find the best price plan.
  14. 14. You don’t ALWAYS win.
  15. 15. UXSA: The state of the union Some pockets of excellence. Lots of organisations who don’t know: • What their target users want to do online • How to help them do it ! • How to handle their own size and complexity !
  16. 16. “Companies that use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins than their competitors. Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Herman-Miller, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Starwood, Steelcase, Target, Walt Disney, Whirlpool, and Nike… Jeneanne Rae, Writing in HBR UX design = growth
  17. 17. “Companies that use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins than their competitors. Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Herman-Miller, IBM, Intuit, Newell-Rubbermaid, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Starwood, Steelcase, Target, Walt Disney, Whirlpool, and Nike… Jeneanne Rae, Writing in HBR UX design = growth
  18. 18. And we could do with some growth
  19. 19. “Software is eating the world. Mark Andreessen Founder Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz Many large companies are finding that they’re in the software business. And they don’t know much about it. We’re ever more surrounded by it. It had better be good.
  20. 20. 684 people who care
  21. 21. How will the 648 people bring more positive change? • Understanding what UX is, now and next • Understanding what needs to change • Becoming the people who change it
  22. 22. “UX” means…
  23. 23. UX is not UI, ok?
  24. 24. The craft
  25. 25. The craft Hang out with people ! Prototype and iterate to discover breakthroughs that work for people ! Polish to perfection ! Maximise reach and access
  26. 26. Vision The nature and value of your future digital product/service/ experience Strategy How we will use our resources to reach the vision. Proposition Something that lets me doing new things well, or old things better. Concept A compelling shape, style and vision. Information Conveys the information you need in a form you can take in. Structure Organised in a way that makes sense. Interaction Easy to learn and use. Efficient, quick, powerful. Appearance Effective, affective Front end Accessible, responsive, standards compliant, lightweight
  27. 27. Strategic direction Getting the right Design Getting the design right Shipped product
  28. 28. Strategic direction Getting the right Design Shipped product Research, Measure, learn, REASSESS Getting the design right
  29. 29. So pretty Must be true. Front end Appearance Interaction Structure Proposition Concept Information Strategy Vision
  30. 30. “You are not a user experience designer. David Perel CEO of OBox Unless… There is such a massive difference between creating interfaces which look beautiful, and creating interfaces which your target market can/will actually use. Until you have observed someone (in silence) using the product you’ve created, you could not possibly understand how mind altering it is to see your work torn apart.
  31. 31. The impact on traditional product offerings Just take our existing business online. Nope.
  32. 32. The impact on behaviour Photo: Kalamita: flickr.com/photos/kalamita/ All this amazing digital technology will make us happier. Nope.
  33. 33. The impact on brand Make the logo shinier? Nope. Brand experience trumps brand promise.
  34. 34. The impact on society Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring education to all.
  35. 35. The impact on society Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring education to all.
  36. 36. The impact on society Wonderful, easy, cheap devices loaded with great materials can bring education to all.
  37. 37. The impact on business models It’s ok. Our business is far too big to be disrupted. Nope.
  38. 38. The organisation behind the experience
  39. 39. Most CEOs have heard that UX, design and customer centricity are important
  40. 40. Sophisticated digital organisations are perfecting how it’s done Steve Blank’s Investment readiness level
  41. 41. Not so many large organisations are demonstrating mastery yet What’s stopping them?
  42. 42. Near Asterix’s village, the Romans have been digging up trees in the forest
  43. 43. Most managers from non-software businesses have never seen an oak tree grow. software being made.
  44. 44. Most managers from non-software businesses have never seen an oak tree grow. software being made. Which means they have unrealistic expectations about how its done, or how much time and money it takes.
  45. 45. 20 iterations, just on the home screen “The team spent 20 iterations or more on the home view, trying to figure out how to fit everything in without cluttering it. ! venturebeat.com
  46. 46. A designer was invited into the boardroom. You’ll never guess what they found…
  47. 47. ! Confusion Smart people trying to wrangle too many counter-intuitive truths.
  48. 48. Handle Head Bristles Giuseppe Colarusso We‘ve ticked all the boxes. Why isn’t it working?
  49. 49. Questions like… • How did my competitors get so far ahead so fast? • Why can’t we organise and focus our business on doing the right thing in digital? • Why is my digital presence so stale, and permanently in need of a re-design? • Why do we keep shipping things that our customers ignore or dislike?
  50. 50. How did my competitors get so far ahead so fast? Because they started work two years ago. So our team needs to work with customers to start discovering now what will matter in two years time. Then build enough belief to ship it.
  51. 51. Why can’t we organise and focus our business on doing the right thing in digital? Your website and apps are key to the customer experience. The whole organisation is riding on them. Manage them as carefully as your core product. ! Get a digital product manager. !
  52. 52. UX + product management • Understanding user needs + market opportunities and strategy • Envisioning how the software could be + building consensus • Working with developers to create deliverable + planning how • Evaluating outcomes + and choosing next steps
  53. 53. Why is my website permanently in need of a re-design? Because you view digital in terms of projects. They ship and then you leave them to go stale. ! Understand that software projects never have an end. Your product manager needs a continuous budget.
  54. 54. Digital products are soap operas not movies • Keep releasing new versions, listen to audience feedback and enhance. • The first episode is the beginning of the project, not the end.
  55. 55. Why do we keep shipping things that have no impact? No-one (especially managers) can really predict whether a digital design will be successful. ! Accelerate trial and error with prototypes and rapid software releases. Managers should define desired outcomes, not list of features.
  56. 56. “Prototyping is a cheaper way to learn Instead of using one prototyper for a few weeks, almost every company uses the full engineering team to build the software that is then deployed. That is why it takes so many companies one to two years to get something usable and useful. They are using the engineering organisation to build a very, very expensive prototype, and they use their live customers as unwitting test subjects. Marty Cagan, Partner SVPG and author of “Inspired”
  57. 57. Seek out opportunities to observe No opinion Tentative opinion Strong opinion Evangelist/Beta group User Casual user Trying out Not using
  58. 58. Seek out opportunities to observe Feedback Silence No opinion Tentative opinion Strong opinion Evangelist/Beta group User Casual user Trying out Not using
  59. 59. DESIGN AND RESEARCH DELIVER CONCEPT Traditional UCD: Innovate before launch MEASURE TEST CUSTOMER RESPONSES USING PROTOYPES
  60. 60. The most important thing you can’t find out in a usability test Would you use this?
  61. 61. DESIGN AND RESEARCH DELIVER CONCEPT MEASURE TEST CUSTOMER RESPONSES USING PROTOYPES OBSERVE AND MEAUSRE CUSTOMERS IN THE MARKET Agile: Innovate in the market
  62. 62. Change requirements into assumptions and hypotheses We believe that building this feature for these people will achieve this outcome. ! We will know this is true when we see this quantitative measure AND this qualitative response.
  63. 63. Control risk with small experiments Risk
  64. 64. Control risk with small experiments Risk
  65. 65. Control risk with small experiments Risk
  66. 66. A unified product management model Optimise and extend Learn Design Plan Build Discover Ship first release Establish product market fit Release a small but valuable product Build and learn towards a great product • Establish product market fit with research and iterative testing. • Get into the market with a small, but useful feature set. • Re-prioritise the backlog as the business and the product moves and learns. • Keep the releases coming.
  67. 67. You
  68. 68. Enormous organisation One little designer
  69. 69. “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (Ninety eight and three quarters percent guaranteed). Dr Seuss Oh! the places you’ll go!
  70. 70. Time to master this lot, then?
  71. 71. Become a design unicorn
  72. 72. T S H P E A D E O P L E
  73. 73. To become a design unicorn Step one: Train yourself Step two: Practice your new skills Step three: Deconstruct as many designs as you can Step four: Seek out feedback (and listen to it) Step five: Teach others Jared Spool Founder, UIE
  74. 74. 5 things good UX designers do • Storytelling • Sketching • Presenting • Critique • Facilitating Jared Spool Founder, UIE
  75. 75. “A prototype is worth a thousand meetings. Todd Wilkens Design Principal at IBM Design
  76. 76. Knowledge Navigator (1987) Apple Computer Tell stories
  77. 77. Ask “stupid” questions “ What is a stupid question? It is one which questions the obvious to redefine existing solutions, approaches, and beliefs. This is where breakthroughs come from. Donald Norman Donald Norman
  78. 78. What the organisation thought users should do. What users wanted to do.
  79. 79. Work your way to the far side of complexity “Any idiot can simplify by ignoring the complications. But it takes real genius to simplify by including the complications.
  80. 80. Ride the curve past complexity Time Complexity Release here “before it gets any worse?” Not a good idea. Keep going and find a new way to reach simplicity
  81. 81. And it all comes from working with users “There is a direct correlation between the number of hours each team member is exposed directly to real users and the improvements we see in the designs. ! It's the closest thing we've found to a silver bullet. Jared Spool UIE
  82. 82. CEOs want design thinking. UX designers have got heaps of experience. • Empathy: Hang out with target users and see the world through their eyes • Creativity: Synthesise new ideas from what you learn and the ideas you see and hear around you • Rationality: Measure your results, and use that to drive the changes your organisation needs Tim Brown CEO of IDEO
  83. 83. “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!”
  84. 84. Flickr: Lars ploughman Thanks! Phil Barrett • phil@userexperience.co.za • @philbuktoo flickr.com/photos/lestaylorphoto

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