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Workshop #7: Get Strategic: Learn To Embed UX More Deeply Into Your Organization’s Processes by Paul Sherman

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As UX practitioners, managers and leaders, we all know how hard it is to stop, think about and plan a strategy for embedding user experience processes more firmly in your organization.

Good user experience research and design are no longer “nice to have”… they are essential. But most organizations don’t know how to effectively integrate UX practices into existing practices and processes. This workshop will equip you with the knowledge and tools to create, advocate for, and guide UX practices aligned to a strategic plan.

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Workshop #7: Get Strategic: Learn To Embed UX More Deeply Into Your Organization’s Processes by Paul Sherman

  1. 1. Get Strategic: A Hands-On, Collabora8ve Workshop For Crea8ng A UX Strategic Plan Paul Sherman ShermanUX Kent State University
  2. 2. The Problem Good user experience research and design are no longer “nice to have”…they are essential. But most organizations don’t know how to effectively integrate UX practices into existing practices and processes. 2
  3. 3. They’re Looking To You For UX Leadership! 3 And if they’re not, you need to start acting like they are.
  4. 4. Goals Of This Workshop We’ll be learning about and discussing these topics together: How to identify and cultivate UX champions. How to leverage small tactical UX wins to drive toward a strategic UX approach. How to get the right UX activities embedded into the right places in your organization’s product life cycle. 4 UX
  5. 5. Agenda 5 Topic Format Timing Introductions - - 05 - 15 Setting context Presentation 15 - 45 Small group breakout - - 45 –50 Assignment 1 Group work 50 - 80 Selling UX Presentation 80 - 90 Stretch & bio break - - 90 - 100 Assignment 2 Group work 100 - 120 Discussion Interaction 120 – 170 Wrap-up & going forward Discussion 170 – 180
  6. 6. Introduc8ons Name Role Organization (optional) UX challenge you’re facing 30 seconds max! “I’m Paul Sherman. I’m a user experience manager at BigSoft. My UX challenge is that BigSoft wants ‘Apple-like’ user experiences for our products, but won’t give me budget or headcount to achieve this.” 6
  7. 7. Who Am I? PhD in Human Factors Psychology Practicing user experience for 18 years Internal: External: Teaching since 2001 7 + a few defunct agencies…
  8. 8. Who Am I? I’ve built small UX teams and large multi- location teams. Today, I… Provide user experience research and design consulting. Teach, mentor students and develop courses for Kent State’s UXD program. 8
  9. 9. Before All That… I worked in aviation human factors. I studied how pilots’ communication and behavior affected flight safety. Why? Because 2/3 of aviation accidents involved perfectly functioning aircraft. “Pilot error” was usually the given cause. But what did that actually mean? 9
  10. 10. The Human Factor My advisor and his collaborators learned that certain behaviors were associated with safer flight: Verbalizing one’s own actions and assumptions about flight status. Cross-checking each other’s actions. Be willing to question each other’s decisions, even the captain’s decisions, without judgment. So they began working with airline training organizations to incorporate these “soft” skills into regular flight training. 10
  11. 11. Obstacles To Implemen8ng Safety Processes They encountered resistance from all sides: Airlines’ upper management “Check pilots” – trainee evaluators Air traffic control The FAA International agencies 11
  12. 12. What Was Happening? They had bumped up against culture-based impediments: Organizational culture Training and evaluation processes Cultures in different fleets (aircraft types) Regulatory culture 12
  13. 13. Some Defini8ons Culture: The set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people, but different for each individual, communicated from one generation to the next. Organizational culture: “The way we work around here.” 13Matsumoto, D. (1996) Culture and Psychology. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole. https://hbr.org/2013/05/what-is-organizational-culture
  14. 14. Cultures Overlap, Influence And Affect Each Other 14 National Culture Organizational Culture Professional Culture Formal Processes Informal Processes Training Regional Culture Organizational Subcultures Organizational Subcultures
  15. 15. A Systems Approach The researchers realized that in order to make progress, they needed to adopt a systems approach and act as change agents in each part of an organization. 15 Professional Culture Teach pilots the safety value of communication, coordination, cross-checking, and questioning. Formal Processes Informal Processes Training Organizational Subcultures Train the trainers. Modify the curricula. Standardize soft skill training across fleets. Ensure safety behaviors are part of standard operating procedures. Reinforce safety behaviors through behavioral norms and values.
  16. 16. Results? It worked. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. It Wasn’t Easy It required change at many levels in each organization. 18
  19. 19. What’s A Product Organiza8onal Culture Like? Here’s one model. Do you recognize your organization? 19
  20. 20. 20 Might never have had a UX team or a designer on staff. Products are created from interesting technology. Territorial about the UI. Confident that they can anticipate what users will want in the future. View design as a creative, not functional endeavor. May focus on designs that other designers like and respect. Represented by powerful people who know the loudest buyers... but who don’t know the actual users or their workflows and processes. Collect lots of survey-based and market-level data. Tendency to deem a product usable if it is merely possible to do the task. Rely heavily on their own experience when designing. Feel they are doing the right thing for the customer, even if they don’t have evidence. Often define the user experience in terms of aesthetics rather than satisfying workflow needs. Rely heavily on their own instincts about users. Focus only on data that confirms their viewpoints. Rely heavily on buyers’ feedback and random customer suggestions to drive feature prioritization. Often overconfident in their ability to know what the customer needs. Challenges Characteristics Engineer Centric Design Centric Sales & Marketing Centric
  21. 21. 21 Might never have had a UX team or a designer on staff. Products are created from interesting technology. Territorial about the UI. Confident that they can anticipate what users will want in the future. View design as a creative, not functional endeavor. May focus on designs that other designers like and respect. Represented by powerful people who know the loudest buyers... but who don’t know the actual users or their workflows and processes. Collect lots of survey-based and market-level data. Tendency to deem a product usable if it is merely possible to do the task. Rely heavily on their own experience when designing. Feel they are doing the right thing for the customer, even if they don’t have evidence. Often define the user experience in terms of aesthetics rather than satisfying workflow needs. Rely heavily on their own instincts about users. Focus only on data that confirms their viewpoints. Rely heavily on buyers’ feedback and random customer suggestions to drive feature prioritization. Often overconfident in their ability to know what the customer needs. Challenges Characteristics Engineer Centric Design Centric Sales & Marketing Centric
  22. 22. 22 Might never have had a UX team or a designer on staff. Products are created from interesting technology. Territorial about the UI. Confident that they can anticipate what users will want in the future. View design as a creative, not functional endeavor. May focus on designs that other designers like and respect. Represented by powerful people who know the loudest buyers... but who don’t know the actual users or their workflows and processes. Collect lots of survey-based and market-level data. Tendency to deem a product usable if it is merely possible to do the task. Rely heavily on their own experience when designing. Feel they are doing the right thing for the customer, even if they don’t have evidence. Often define the user experience in terms of aesthetics rather than satisfying workflow needs. Rely heavily on their own instincts about users. Focus only on data that confirms their viewpoints. Rely heavily on buyers’ feedback and random customer suggestions to drive feature prioritization. Often overconfident in their ability to know what the customer needs. Challenges Characteristics Engineer Centric Design Centric Sales & Marketing Centric Hanson, K. & Castleman, W. (2006). Tracking Ease-of-Use Metrics: A Tried and True Method for Driving Adoption of UCD in Different Corporate Cultures. Usability Success Stories, Ashgate/Gower.
  23. 23. And That’s Only A Uni-Dimensional Characteriza8on! There’s also… Pre-existing individual relationships Traditional power bases Incentive structures Can you think of other aspects? 23
  24. 24. Key Point Doing UX happens in a multi-layered environment. 24
  25. 25. So how do you do strategic UX? 25
  26. 26. Strategy “A long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.” “Strategy is differentiated from tactics or immediate actions by its orientation on affecting future, not immediate conditions.” 26<Lazy>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy</>
  27. 27. Strategy vs. Tac8cs 27
  28. 28. Strategy vs. Tac8cs 28 Strategic plan: Go from airport to hotel Tactics: Accelerate Make some turns Slow down Stop
  29. 29. Tactics are good practice… But only if you know where you’re going. Do you? 29
  30. 30. How Do You Do Strategic UX? Give yourself a new job: change agent. 30 UX UX
  31. 31. Change Agent A person who leads a business initiative by: Defining and researching the problem Planning the intervention Building business support for the intervention Enlisting others to help drive change “Change agents must have the conviction to state the facts based on data, even if the consequences are associated with unpleasantness.” 31 Six Sigma - http://Isixsigma.com/dictionary/change-agent/ UXmatters - The User Experience Practitioner As Change Agent – http://bit.ly/a2Xwux
  32. 32. UX Prac88oner As Change Agent To be a change agent, you must focus on strategic goals. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for short-term wins. But they should be in the service of a long-term strategy. 32 UX
  33. 33. So how do you do strategic UX? 33
  34. 34. Strategic Planning It sounds mysterious. It’s not. You first need to identify: 34 Your current state Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points
  35. 35. Strategic Planning 35 Your current state What services do you currently provide? What areas of UX do you currently cover? At what stages of product processes is UX work being done? How much of the overall product experience does UX own? Where does UX report to now? [Anything else to characterize UX?) Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points
  36. 36. Strategic Planning 36 Your current state What services do you currently provide? What areas of UX do you currently cover? At what stages of product processes is UX work being done? How much of the overall product experience does UX own? How is UX performance measured? Where does UX report to now? (Anything else to characterize UX?) Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points What services do you want to provide? What areas of UX do you want to cover? At what stages do you want more (or less) UX representation? How much of the product experience do you want UX to own? How do you want UX to be measured? Do you want UX to stay where it is or move? To where? (Anything else?)
  37. 37. Strategic Planning 37 Your current state What services do you currently provide? What areas of UX do you currently cover? At what stages of product processes is UX work being done? How much of the overall product experience does UX own? How is UX performance measured? Where does UX report to now? (Anything else to characterize UX?) Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points What services do you want to provide? What areas of UX do you want to cover? At what stages do you want more (or less) UX representation? How much of the product experience do you want UX to own? How do you want UX to be measured? Do you want UX to stay where it is or move? To where? (Anything else?) What obstacles do you foresee having to overcome before you get to your desired state? •  Organizational •  Budgetary •  Resource •  Interpersonal •  Etc.
  38. 38. Strategic Planning 38 Your current state What services do you currently provide? What areas of UX do you currently cover? At what stages of product processes is UX work being done? How much of the overall product experience does UX own? How is UX performance measured? Where does UX report to now? (Anything else to characterize UX?) Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points What services do you want to provide? What areas of UX do you want to cover? At what stages do you want more (or less) UX representation? How much of the product experience do you want UX to own? How do you want UX to be measured? Do you want UX to stay where it is or move? To where? (Anything else?) What obstacles do you foresee having to overcome before you get to your desired state? •  Organizational •  Budgetary •  Resource •  Interpersonal •  Etc. What business-critical problems is UX uniquely positioned to solve? Who can you ask for a chance to tackle these problems? What high-level support can you cultivate? What keeps the business leaders up at night? Can UX help in these areas? Anything else?
  39. 39. Strategic Planning Armed with this information, you can direct your actions toward strategic goals… Rack up some tactical wins… And embed UX practices and process more deeply into your organization. 39
  40. 40. Assignment 1 Break into groups of 4. Using the paper provided (or your own digital resource), start discussing and documenting: Your current state Your desired state Obstacles you face Leverage points You will find yourself cycling back between the areas as you listen to your group members. 30 minutes 40
  41. 41. Assignment 1 - Strategic Planning Ques8ons 41 Your current state What services do you currently provide? What areas of UX do you currently cover? At what stages of product processes is UX work being done? How much of the overall product experience does UX own? How is UX performance measured? Where does UX report to now? (Anything else to characterize UX?) Your desired state Obstacles Leverage points What services do you want to provide? What areas of UX do you want to cover? At what stages do you want more (or less) UX representation? How much of the product experience do you want UX to own? How do you want UX to be measured? Do you want UX to stay where it is or move? To where? (Anything else?) What obstacles do you foresee having to overcome before you get to your desired state? •  Organizational •  Budgetary •  Resource •  Interpersonal •  Etc. What business-critical problems is UX uniquely positioned to solve? Who can you ask for a chance to tackle these problems? What high-level support can you cultivate? What keeps the business leaders up at night? Can UX help in these areas? Anything else?
  42. 42. Assignment 1 Time’s up! 42
  43. 43. Agenda 43 Topic Format Timing Introductions - - 05 - 15 Setting context Presentation 15 - 45 Small group breakout - - 45 –50 Assignment 1 Group work 50 - 80 Selling UX Presentation 80 - 90 Stretch & bio break - - 90 - 100 Assignment 2 Group work 100 - 120 Discussion Interaction 120 – 170 Wrap-up & going forward Discussion 170 – 180
  44. 44. “Selling” UX Selling UX in your organization means aligning with the true needs of the business. Ask yourself these questions: What are the critical needs of the business? How does UX solve the problems of the business? How does UX impact the bottom line? 44
  45. 45. Marke8ng 101 for UX’ers AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action Capture their attention. Appeal to emotion, not logic. Hold their attention. Maintain their interest! Understand what they desire. Show the benefits. Move them to take the intended action. 45
  46. 46. Tac8cs For Selling UX Just a few tactics: Show your work. Leave it up! Conduct lessons learned sessions after projects. Point to the intranet UX page in your signature. Assist the help desk and customer service department. Run free training sessions and brown bag luncheons. What else has worked for you? 46
  47. 47. What Doesn’t Sell Being inflexible Being too academic Jargon: UCD, IXD, HCI ROI-based justifications 47
  48. 48. A Word On Jargon At a former company, we referred to contextual inquiry by two acronyms… FMO FMH Any guesses? 48
  49. 49. A Word On Jargon “Follow Me to the Office” “Follow Me Home” Use words that resonate with your organization. 49 This is just an adorable picture. It’s not jargon-related.
  50. 50. 10 Minute Break 50
  51. 51. Agenda 51 Topic Format Timing Introductions - - 05 - 15 Setting context Presentation 15 - 45 Small group breakout - - 45 –50 Assignment 1 Group work 50 - 80 Selling UX Presentation 80 - 90 Stretch & bio break - - 90 - 100 Assignment 2 Group work 100 - 120 Discussion Interaction 120 – 170 Wrap-up & going forward Discussion 170 – 180
  52. 52. Assignment 2 Break into groups of 4. Review your work from assignment 1. Based on this information, make some reasonable assumptions about where you want to be in 1 year. Make a 30-60-90 day plan that moves you toward your 1 year goals (and your desired state). 20 minutes 52
  53. 53. Assignment 2 Time’s up! 53
  54. 54. Discussion and Feedback You’ve made your 1-30-60-90 plans. One person from each group volunteer to share: Current state Desired state Obstacles Leverage points 1-30-60-90 plan Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? 54
  55. 55. Wrap-Up Let’s continue the conversation. I’ll send you invites to strategicux.slack.com Any other questions? 55
  56. 56. Paul Sherman paul@shermanux.com +1.512.917.1942 QUESTIONS AND CONTACT

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