These days, it seems that everyone is all about design thinking—scrambling to jump on this runaway train and ride it for what it’s worth before the next big thing hits. There are design-thinking classes and certifications from premier management and technology consulting firms. However, UX professionals who focus on delivering amazing user experiences to people have always been design thinkers—for very good reason. After all, everything we do and experience in life is designed. From the applications we use, to the way we purchase a cup of coffee, design is everywhere. These things don’t just happen. Product teams don’t just write and execute requirements. Business analysts don’t just dream up these experiences. We design them by following design principles and business strategies. So, by employing the same design strategies to real business problems, we are bound to be able to come up with better solutions.
Digital transformation is another popular term that describes the journey companies are undertaking today as they look to integrate digital technologies into every aspect of their business. These transformations consider people, process, organizational culture, the how, what, and why around the ways customers engage with their business. While every major company is engaging in digital transformation, their progress and maturity in this endeavor varies greatly. Throughout what are often multiyear transformation programs, they’re grappling with legacy processes, technology, and culture. As a result, many are still struggling to deliver tangible business outcomes. In fact, it is hard to find any company that will stand up and say, “Yes! We have reached the end of our digital-transformation journey, and we succeeded!” Why is that? Read More
An ounce of gravy can hide a multitude of sins—or so the old adage goes. When it comes to food, gravy might seem to hide an inferior product, but for someone with a sophisticated and nuanced palate, its inadequacies would certainly shine through. The same holds true for the new paradigm of flat design.
Unless you’ve been dwelling in a cave, you know—like most UX professionals—that so-called flat design is the way to go these days. After all, Apple says so. But once you get beyond the hype of flat design in the new iOS7, you can quickly see that the flatness of the design was not really about aesthetics. At its heart, it was about information architecture, the desire to go deep without being distracted by aesthetic elements. Read More
After nine years of building a robust UX consulting practice within a large software consulting firm, I sort of expect certain things. For one thing, I expect that the people in my organization understand the basic importance of what I do. I’ll bet you do, too. While we might not always get all of the time we’ve scheduled or be able to do all of the things we want to do on a project, in general, our expectation is that, at some level, most people recognize the importance of user experience these days. After all, even when some auto parts store in some remote part of the world revamps their Web site, they tout their “simplified user experience.” When you see that, you start to think that this whole UX thing has become institutionalized to some degree.
That’s why it came as a bit of a shock to me recently when I realized that the issues one of my consultants was having on a project were the result of a development team that felt a good user experience just wasn’t critical to the project’s success—or to the product’s overall user adoption. Read More