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User research challenges and solutions for the enterprise


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The most difficult environment in which to innovate is in a large enterprise. Once a company grows over a certain size, the internal politics and number of people involved in every decision increase so much that it becomes virtually impossible to stay focused on fulfilling user needs and business goals. Instead, the focus turns inward to the opinions and whims of individuals inside the company. When an abundance of stakeholders are involved in a product, user research is the only way to focus a whole team on the real needs and goals required for success. But it can be very difficult to get buy-in and conduct research in the enterprise environment—and even harder to get product recommendations on the roadmap.

In this talk I’ll discuss some practical tips to address these challenges. First I’ll talk about why it’s often so hard to get support for user research in enterprises. Then I’ll provide some advice on how to sell the value of user research. Finally, I’ll offer some tips for addressing the subtle differences of conducting research in larger organizations. You’ll learn:

- Why enterprises can’t afford to skip over user research
- How to show stakeholders that good research results in increased revenue, reduced cost, and faster development cycles
- How to plan, record, and analyze research to increase the changes of recommendations making it into the product

User research is an immensely valuable tool to improve an enterprise product’s user experience and business value. For some reason many enterprises have unfortunately lost sight of this fact, and research got a bad name. This talk will help my fellow frustrated designers and researchers make some headway in their organizations to prove the value of research and restore it to its rightful and important place in the product development lifecycle.

Published in: Design

User research challenges and solutions for the enterprise

  1. 1. Challenges and solutions for the Enterprise User research @RianVDM
  2. 2. Enterprise design is hard
  3. 3. User needs Biz goals
  4. 4. User needs Biz goals User research
  5. 5. Why it’s hard to get support for user research in enterprises
  6. 6. How to sell the value of user research in enterprises
  7. 7. How to improve insight generation of user research in enterprises
  8. 8. Why it’s hard to get support for user research in enterprises
  9. 9. It takes and it costs too long1
  10. 10. User research shrinks to fit
  11. 11. What could happen if we don’t do research
  12. 12. It’s expensive to build products without research. The time you “save” from skipping the research phase almost always comes back to haunt you.
  13. 13. We know what’s best2
  14. 14. Waterfalls Silos Bureaucracy
  15. 15. Discovery-based planning suggests that managers assume that forecasts are wrong, rather than right, and that the strategy they have chosen to pursue may likewise be wrong. — Clayton Christensen
  16. 16. We know about users enough3
  17. 17. The reason design projects that neglect research fail isn’t because of a lack of knowledge. It’s because of a lack of shared knowledge. — Erika Hall
  18. 18. How to sell the value of user research in enterprises
  19. 19. Increased revenue1
  20. 20. Source: Design Management Instititute
  21. 21. Reduced cost2
  22. 22. From Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach Costofmakingchanges 1x During
 Design 100x After Launch 6x During
  23. 23. This is why it typically takes so many companies three or more releases over one to two years to get something usable and useful. They are using the engineering organization to build a very, very expensive prototype, and they use their live customers as unwitting test subjects. — Marty Cagan
  24. 24. Faster develop mentcycles 3
  25. 25. If research slows down the development process, you’re doing it wrong
  26. 26. Things might appear to move faster, but…
  27. 27. It’s all about the right argument at the right time
  28. 28. IA & CS Prototyping Visual Design Development without research
  29. 29. IA & CS Prototyping Visual Design Development with research
  30. 30. Start with questions instead of answers —Jennifer Brook, earlier today
  31. 31. How to improve insight generation of user research in enterprises
  32. 32. Plan for non- buyers 1
  33. 33. Sold to Used by !=
  34. 34. Write a concise research plan 2
  35. 35. Background Methodology and Schedule Goals Outcomes
  36. 36. Focus on core methods 3
  37. 37. Exploratory Research Uncover unmet needs Field visits Concept testing Participatory design Design Research Refine product ideas Usability testing RITE testing Eye tracking Useful = Utility Usability+ Surveys Web analytics Assessment Research Measure success
  38. 38. and Record docume 4
  39. 39. your work Show5
  40. 40. Jive Internal Summary 3 biggest issues AAA Product forces diagram Forces applied to Jive Why Jive? Integrations Information organization Recommendations Better project management Built-in workflows Next steps Ideation and testing Training: usability testing Primary work tools Email Calendar Other 3rd party tools Sharepoint Lots of other repositories What Jive is used for Collaboration Communication Document repository Project managements Major work tool issues Organization Versioning General crappiness Jive issues Information organization My stuff Integrations Confusion Connection streams Notifications Task management Spaces Editor JiveX JiveX used for JiveX issues Communication Documentation Training Support Help with q’s Dream: community solves each other’s problems Employee engagement Gives a sense of purpose Engagement Newsletters link back Editorial calendar When people give fee What works Issues Need more help on what w Community management Moderator comments don’t g anywhere Console is overwhelming Not many people know ho up streams Integrations With CRM systems With other tools like Evernote Photos and events Big need for photo albums Event management needs to be improved Need to know who in the org issue is assigned to Want to do more things them not have to rely on tons of ma work or hiring a contractor Metrics So many things you can’t do Have to make own reports Create Exce CMR data Salesforce Email systems Jira
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Challenges and solutions for the Enterprise User research @RianVDM