When I joined MISI, the group I lead was called User Experience Design or UX. My first goal was to eliminate User from our language and move us toward a Human Experience mindset. I’ll talk about why. Once you stop thinking User and start thinking Human, you come to realize that the old adage Content is King is no longer true. Content is very important. But with so much of the same content available, what is more important is Context. I will focus more of my talk on that. What Context is, why it matters and what you can do to make sure you do your work in the proper context.
By way of a simplistic summary of what I am going to present, I’d like to offer this illustration. To typical technology solutions providers, including many UX professionals, the world looks like this…when Experience Designers look at the world, it looks like this…while we are ultimately interested in tools, systems and processes and whether they effectively serve their purposes, our primary interest is in the people interacting with those tools, systems and processes and asking who are they, what is it they need and want to do, and how do those tools, systems and processes help or hinder their achievement of their desired goals? How many people here think of themselves as Users?
A quick anecdote to help show how sometimes we design professionals don’t realize that our language gives away that we are often talking to ourselves, not to the people we’re supposedly designing for. A friend of mine with a UX background was preparing to present ideas to his CEO about work he was doing to improve the employee experience at his company. His mentor gave him this advice… By thinking “User”, our language indicates that we are consciously or perhaps subconsciously limiting our design thinking to an interface between a thing and its “user.” To start getting into the habit of thinking big picture context-of-use, stop thinking “user” and start thinking people, customer, employee…
By thinking “User”, our language indicates that we are consciously or perhaps subconsciously limiting our design thinking to an interface between a thing and its “user.” To start getting into the habit of thinking big picture context-of-use, stop thinking “user” and start thinking people, customer, employee…start thinking human experience.
What happens when you stop thinking user and start thinking more holistically? Your world as a designer gets a lot bigger and more complex. The experience becomes a journey with a lot of touch points and interactions and emotions and opportunities to have positive or negative affects on that journey. An interaction with a device of some kind is only one of many touch points on the journey. All of a sudden the meaning of a term we designers like to use - Context - gets a lot more complicated. As this customer journey map by Melanie Edwards illustrates, it can get messy. But it is my contention – and that designers all around the world – that ture human experience design requires this level of context.
By moving to contextualized Information Workplaces, workers will receive information seamlessly, and they no longer have to mentally and manually integrate disparate tools into their work environments.
Fast forward to last year and Forrester is now reporting on the gains companies are making by focusing product and service design and innovation on their customers. This is what Forrester wrote in their 2010 Trends in Customer Experience nearly a year ago…
Show of hands – has this ever happened to you as a designer?
After I had the experience I am about to describe to you, I went onto the company’s website and found this language as part of their mission statement. Their mission is to be the best financial services company in the world, and included among the things they need to do to achieve that goal are these statements…
This is an example of a series of interactions that taken together make up my experience of an organization that claims among its fundamental principles – being field and client-driven. Somehow I don’t think their desired outcome was to have me swear I’d never do business with them again and to use them as an example of a horrible customer experience every chance I get.
It’s like journalism…
Getting contextual means getting out of the lab or the focus group and get into the field. Experience what the people you are designing for are experiencing. Two familiar techniques for field study are Contextual Interviews or Inquiries and Shadowing, often referred to as ethnographic research. It’s important to know the difference between your various field techniques and how to use them effectively. With contextual interviews the most important thing is to ask appropriate questions – don’t ask yes/no questions; and don’t ask questions where you provide the answer…like “that interaction seemed really hard and counterintuitive don’t you think? With shadowing, the key is to be quiet.
Finally, map out your findings. Your map doe not have to be complicated. It needs to be appropriate to the design task. You’re going to be referring back to the map as you design your experience, so make sure it captures the context you need to make informed design decisions.
Dave Roth - Context is king
The Kings are Dead. Long Live the Kings. Dave Roth VP, MISI XD [email_address]
<ul><li>User Experience vs. Human Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Human Experience Design Requires Context </li></ul><ul><li>What is Context, really? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Context matter, really? </li></ul><ul><li>What you can do </li></ul>What I’m Going to Say
<ul><li>“ As enterprises better understand the interrelationship between roles, collaboration, content, and business processes, the need to provide information within the context of an information worker's daily activities will drive the implementation of Information Workplaces.” </li></ul>03/2006 – Forrester on Context as King
<ul><li>“ Customer experience leaders... uniformly attributed their breakthroughs to moving away from a product innovation mindset toward a customer-centered approach to doing business.” </li></ul>02/2010 – Forrester on CE
Infamous Slide 7, Bullet Point 4… <ul><li>Human Experience Context… </li></ul><ul><li>67% of the participants said the portal provides no value . </li></ul>User Experience Context… Make portal features easier to find and functions easier to use For nearly 70% of “users”… Portal is usable & useless
Sales Rep Tablet PC Interface Design User Experience Context… Branded content navigation easy, scalable & supports conversation Human Experience Context… Over 20% of docs ignored or were agitated by presentation. Human Experience Context… 60% gave courtesy glance or asked “Do you need me to sign?” 1 2 3 3 4 5
Company Mission: We must act in the customer’s best interest … helpful, courteous and quick to follow up. Employees closest to the customer should have ample resources and authority to be the best at serving customers. We must exceed customers’ expectations and constantly make it easier for them to do business with us.
Context = All touch points in the experience Customer Backend System 1 System Success 3 Backend System System Success 2 Customer Service: “Nothing I can do.” System Failure Dot Com 4 System Failure 5 Account Reactivation: “Reapply and pay.” Customer Service: “I can’t help you .“ Lost Customer
<ul><li>What is the challenge you’re addressing? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this a challenge? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is facing the challenge and who is affected by it? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are they when they encounter the challenge? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the challenge currently being addressed? </li></ul>Ask Questions: Get the whole story
<ul><li>Contextual Interviews: Q&A the field – know the rules </li></ul>Experience the experience <ul><li>Shadowing: field observation – watch, listen and document </li></ul>
The Kings are dead. Long Live the Kings. User Content Context Human
<ul><li>Forrester : Context is King </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/context_is_king_in_new_world_of/q/id/39035/t/2 </li></ul><ul><li>Mel Edwards on Customer Experience Mapping </li></ul><ul><li>http://desonance.wordpress.com/about/ </li></ul><ul><li>Other Journey Mapping Resources </li></ul><ul><li>http://experiencinginformation.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/customer-journey-mapping-resources-on-the-web/ </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of links to topics like Contextual Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/training/online/webdesign/testing.html#contextual </li></ul>Some links…
Dave Roth VP, MISI XD [email_address] 732 362-2613