The user experience is arguably the most important dimension to your brand, product, business, organization. Smashing Magazine defines it as how a person feels when they interact with a system. Elements that are part of a user experience: value, usability, adoptability, desirability. See this post for help in understanding the elements of user experience. All of these are presented by your website, unboxing experiences, your social media channels, customer service emails, etc.
The following is a talk about how designers (not just graphic designers) can adjust to and persuade others to adjust to the user experience revolution. It was delivered by Paul Boag at the Awwwards Conference in London.
Here are the 5 ways to influence your organization toward user experience:
1. Find like-minded people.
These exist both inside and outside the organization.
2. Create a manifesto.
Create user experience principles, design principles; e. g. “simple” “intuitive”; “digit-first” “design with data”
3. Raise the customer profile.
Create a customer journey map; persona; empathy map.
4. Create a vision of the future.
Look to the MagicBand example at Disney. They had to build a prototype first and acquire proof of concept.
5. Work on a proof on concept.
Ask them to take small steps by gathering data and proving that your design will work.
6. Focus on culture.
Realize that adjusting to user experience doesn’t happen over night; culture changes over time.
10 Quick Fire Suggestions for Shifting to User Experience and Design Thinking
1. Show, don’t tell
- Visualize the user journey
- Get colleagues completing user tasks
2. Get colleagues in front of users
- Open usability testing
- Record and share sessions with clients/users
- Make usability sessions mandatory
3. Workshop with stakeholders
- Workshop customer journeys
- Collaborative wire-framing
- Use user attention points
4. Become educators not just implementors
- Write newsletters and blog to clients and colleagues
- Use guerrilla tactics
- Run lunchtime presentations
- Consider an internal conference
5. Target the selfish gene
- Latch on to what they care about
- Focus on their targets
- Piggy-back on their agendas
6. Rely on data
- Establish your KPI’s (key performance indicators)
- Say, “Let’s test that” to push back on criticism of your design
7. Link to the company wide strategy
- Connect what you do to assumed organizational values
- Facilitate management’s own goals
8. Change how you work
- Ask for user tasks, not foundational specs
- Make testing mandatory
- Establish some design principles; formalize it
9. Focus on close collaboration
- Interview colleagues
- Embed clients in your team
- Consider design sprints
10. Make use of outside experts
- At best, hire a consultant
- At the very least, use books and talks
- Use data and research to legitimize design thinking
Get Paul Boag’s new book, User Experience Revolution (April, 2017) for kindle here (affiliate link).