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Love In An Elevator - UX as business strategy


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My presentation from the Oz-IA 2007 conference ( The focus is that UX practitioners need to think about and deliver UX messages in terms of business and user strategy.
Touches on several social media topics including community building, collaboration, etc. Full speaker notes below. Audio to come.

Slide 1 - Today I’m actually not going to actually talk to you about IA or UX as such. I’m going to talk to you about frustration, about people, about business, about communities. I’m going to talk about how you can talk to the businesses you work with about UX, especially when they apparently don’t “get” what you’re on about when you speak with them about your work.
Slide 2 - So, why “Love in an Elevator” ( Well, I’m not talking about these guys, who certainly do deliver a user experience, but not the sort we’re talking about today. What I AM talking about is your elevator pitch for the strategy you’re bringing to your client or organisation from a UX point of view.
Slide 3 - So, who am I?
A little about me.
I’ve worked in the web industry for around 12 years.
I’ve done web apps development, business analysis, project management and even network security in the past.
These days I run acidlabs. It’s an independent consultancy that works with people and organisations on building collaborative communities around information and knowledge sharing, web strategy and social computing evangelism - particularly in a business context. And, relevant to today, I also does user experience and information architecture work.
Slide 4 - Now, before we get into this, a word of warning.
Slide 5 - I’ve got, what, 45 minutes to talk to you today? And there needs to be gossip time at the end. So by NO MEANS is my intention today to give you any ACTUAL ANSWERS as to what your UX strategic approach should be.
Slide 6 - That said, what I DO WANT TO DO is get you thinking. How many of you here are responsible for communicating UX strategy to clients - whether those clients are the organisation that employs you, or you’re contracting or consulting? I know there are a few of you here - Shane (, Matthew (, Andrew (, Stephen, Donna ( Me, when anyone will listen.
How many of you are NOT doing that work? Why not? Do you not care enough about what you do? “It’s not my job” is NOT AN EXCUSE OR A REASON for this.
I actually think it’s CRITICAL that no matter where you sit in the UX process or pecking order, you should be taking a BIGGER PICTURE look at your work and asking yourself what it’s really about. I don’t think you can really do the best job possible unless this is your mindset.
Slide 7 - So, what prompted me to pick this subject to speak on? Well, I was in a meeting not all that long ago - we were talking with a PM, a couple of platform techs, some BAs and I heard this...
Slide 8 - Take that in for a moment...
Slide 9 - Language warning here, but “What the fuck?”
Slide 10 - Now, here’s the thing. This isn’t a lightweight project. It’s a major effort that actually has a very significant budget and potentially affects the lives (in REAL, life and death terms) of people. Yet, the non-UX people on this project have no idea what we do nor how it fits into the work that they do.
Slide 11 - So, NO, UX is ABSOLUTELY NOT “here with UAT”. But that issue, or similar issues that I’ll discuss shortly, is something that in very many places forces UX into a place where it’s just unable to deliver real value.
Slide 12 - Of course, there is an alternative. UX can be done well, and it can be done strategically.
Slide 13 - In my ideal world, and I don’t think I’m talking pie in the sky, UX touches business (in a good way) across the board. It comes on to the project RIGHT AT THE

Published in: Business, Technology

Love In An Elevator - UX as business strategy

  1. Love in an elevator UX as business strategy Stephen Collins acidlabs
  2. Who am I?
  4. I’m not here to give you answers
  5. But I am here to get you to think
  6. Not long ago, I heard this in a key project meeting...
  7. “You guys are here. With UAT. Right?”
  8. This project is worth millions of dollars and governs things that happen in people’s lives!
  9. No. We’re bloody not!
  10. Done properly...
  11. UX should be a strategic discipline that touches all points and all layers of business
  12. I’m sure we’ve all seen this
  13. Largely, business doesn’t “get” what we do
  14. We’re “arty”
  15. Weird
  16. Right-brained
  17. We don’t fit in
  18. Things I’ve heard about UX
  19. “UX is no different to BA.”
  20. “You’re just a roadblock.”
  21. “You never have good news.”
  22. Is your UX strategy right?
  23. Does business understand what you want to do for them and why?
  24. We often don’t explain UX very well
  25. Um... Well... It’s like a... Y’know... Thing... About users. And it makes your stuff... Better!
  26. Strategy redux: UX should be a strategic discipline that touches all points and all layers of business
  27. User strategy
  28. What is the user expectation for your product?
  29. Are you credible?
  30. Or not?
  31. User needs considered?
  32. Do user needs drive the IA?
  33. Or is IA driven by something else?
  34. Do you even know?
  35. Business strategy
  36. What’s it supposed to do?
  37. Why?
  38. What problem are you trying to solve?
  39. Are features driven by user and business needs?
  40. Are business goals influencing “brand”?
  41. How do business goals influence design strategy?
  42. Truth and consequences
  43. Non-strategic business gets downsized or vanishes
  44. The almighty dollar
  45. Solve problems early and cheaply
  46. Measure. Measure. Measure.
  47. UX as change agent
  48. Relationships
  49. Business
  50. Community
  51. Karma
  52. Imagine
  53. Licensing
  54. Like the cool pictures?, and Flickr
  55. Stephen Collins skype: trib22 +61 410 680722 strategies, tools and processes to empower knowledge workers