Selling the Value of User-Centered Design


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The presentation covers:
* Why is user-centered design important?
* How do I communicate the value of user-centered design?
* Understanding how to prove, if necessary, a return on investment (ROI)
* A role playing exercise for selling the value of user-centered design to various project/client stakeholders

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

Selling the Value of User-Centered Design

  1. 1. Selling the Value of User-Centered Design Jason Ulaszek, Manifest Digital 1.19.09 Manifest RFP Response | Terlato Wines International
  2. 2. Q: Why is user-centered design important? 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  3. 3. It’s an approach that seeks to remind us… ”If you’re only looking at the problem from your own point of view, you’re only going to be, at best, half right.” Jesse James Garrett, User Experience Architect 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  4. 4. Because nobody seeks frustration on purpose User-centered design can help to create – • A more relevant and valuable product • Products that support rather than constrain or frustrate users
  5. 5. It allows you to seek understanding first And understand the true nature of the problem or opportunity before you devise the product or solution
  6. 6. And because user-centered design… Helps strike a balance between people creating products and those using them – creating a greater chance for success Sweet, you’re meeting my I’m selling needs! more, yippee!
  7. 7. And it… • Reduces your chances of failure • Positively affects your product’s experience overall
  9. 9. Q: How do I communicate the value of user-centered design? 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  10. 10. TAKING YOUR FIRST STEP STOP forcing education. START selling action. Know your “toolbox” of user-centered design activities intimately – understand each activities’ (activity = tool) purpose and value it can bring to solving business problems Let education and awareness happen naturally through participation in the activity. . Make your discussions with your client about the activities and the business value they can provide Be pragmatic – it’s never your way or the highway. Find and partner with advocates 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  11. 11. ARGUMENTS FOR USER-CENTERED DESIGN THREE effective techniques exist 1. Appealing to reason • Works well when you know the client’s specific goals or objectives • May include data-driven points such as references to Return on Investment (ROI), web traffic reports, statistics, etc 2. Demonstrating your credibility or authority • Works well when there’s a previous relationship with the client • Can also be helped by describing your expertise, providing references, describing previous successes, etc. 3. Appealing to emotion • Works well when you know your client’s values • Can be supported by referring to recent emotionally-charged events (such as issues they may have had in the past when UCD was not included, and user-reported issues caused problems in rework or bad press). • Showing someone a usability test is a great way to make this appeal 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  12. 12. PEOPLE SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY – USE THE SAME LANGUAGE I see a Um… heart I see a boomerang?
  13. 13. VALUE TO A BUSINESS MANAGER (CEO, VP, etc.) • Increase overall product quality • Increase product sales and customer satisfaction • Increase user acceptance and adoption • Increase end user productivity • Lower support and training costs • Lower maintenance costs by making sure user needs are met before products (sites/systems) are released 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  14. 14. VALUE TO PROJECT MANAGER • Reduce or avoid potential costly revisions – deliver on time and within budget • Increase overall product quality • Assist in achieving pride in the work completed • Meet or exceed performance measures • Ensure clear and consistent communication across project team • Help the team secure success 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  15. 15. VALUE TO TECHNOLOGY LEADER • Reduce the number of late design changes • Shorten the development cycle • Identify/plan for potential reuse • Improve IT development by more clearly understanding requirements • Reduce IT development costs by avoiding cost overruns • Decrease amount of maintenance 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  16. 16. VALUE TO AN END USER (EMPLOYEE, CONSUMER, etc.) • Increase job satisfaction and provides a more pleasurable experience • Reduce the amount of training, creating additional self-sufficiencies • Lessen time spent looking for support/help • Reduce number of errors made during a task • Help provide consistency across applications 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  17. 17. Q: Don’t we need to prove the Return on Investment (ROI) to sell UCD? 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  18. 18. Arguments for User Centered Design: Situation A • Situation: o The client has an existing site and is looking to make small but high-impact changes to it without a full redesign. o Examples: Revisions to a checkout process, general home page updates, improving task efficiencies. o Objectives are specific and clearly state, for example, decrease time on task by 10%. • Argument o The focus is on making immediate, incremental gains for an existing product. It’s a relatively specific and planned project. o Focusing on their potential Return on Investment (ROI) can be effective in this case. 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  19. 19. Example of ROI Analysis: Situation A • Measuring savings for completing insurance claims o Agent Smith works 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of the year. o Before the redesign, he completed 1 claim every 5 minutes; after the redesign he completes 1 claim every 2 minutes. o Agent Smith went from completing 12 claims an hour to 30 claims an hour o Savings is significant AND measurable 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  20. 20. Arguments for User Centered Design: Situation B • Situation: o The client has an existing site but wants to do a fairly extensive redesign. Their objectives may be more general but can include hard numbers o Example: Increase online sales by 10% • Argument: o ROI is harder to track since it’s no longer a simple cause- and-effect situation o Many things are changing at once, i.e. marketing campaigns, look-and-feel, etc. 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  21. 21. Example of ROI Analysis: Situation B • It’s often more helpful to explain the benefits of a UCD process in terms of improving desirable behaviors like: o attracting more customers to the site o getting them to perform some kind of initial action (like registering) o getting them to complete a flow on the site (like purchasing an item) o retaining them (e.g., ensuring return visits) 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  22. 22. Arguments for User Centered Design: Situation C • Situation o The client wants to launch a new initiative or needs to make a decision that includes a high level of risk or uncertainty. • Argument o ROI is no real help here: there are too many unknowns at play o UCD can help to:  Uncover opportunities for innovation  Help clients understand current usage patterns and gaps that can be filled with new technologies  Validate a design direction • Conducting research and gathering responses to new tools in a planful way can also help mitigate risk before large- scale initiatives are launched. 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  23. 23. Exercise – Selling the Value of UCD to Project Stakeholders • Pair up into groups of 3-4 • Each group will be given 5 personas, a design company and four client stakeholder personas • In your groups, read your through scenarios and role play your persona • When we reconvene, be prepared to share your experience 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design
  24. 24. Thank you! Jason Ulaszek Email: Manifest Digital: Blog: Twitter: webbit 1.19.09 Manifest RFP Response | Terlato Wines International
  25. 25. Appendix – References • 10 Most Common Misconceptions About User Experience Design o • Selling UX o • Selling Usability: User Experience Infiltration Tactics o Tactics/dp/1442103736 • Return on Investment for Usable User-Interface Design: Examples and Statistics o Aaron Marcus, President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. (AM+A), 2002 o • Professional usability testing and return on investment as it applies to user interface design for web-based products and services o MauroNewMedia (MNMedia), 2002 o 05.07.09 Selling User-Centered Design