“To design is to communicate clearly by whatever means you can control or master.”—Milton Glaser
User experience and its associated fields of expertise—such as usability, information architecture, interaction design, and user interface design—have expanded rapidly over the past decade to accommodate what seems like insatiable demand, as the world moves toward an increasingly digital existence.
As UX professionals, we often take technology for granted, accepting the massive complexity and rapid change in our field as the norm—and perhaps even something to embrace and enjoy. With this outlook and because we’re steeped in our daily professional activities, it becomes all too easy for us to forget that ours is not the usual point of view, and the technological change we expect, the expert jargon we speak, and the processes we use are foreign and confusing to other people. So, while we focus our attention on the users of digital products, we can sometimes be remiss in our treatment of another important audience—the stakeholders and clients with whom we collaborate to complete our assignments and projects. Read More
While more companies than ever before have a desire to be more customer centric, many UX professionals still struggle in trying to gain a high degree of influence over their organization’s overall strategy and direction. At the end of the day, instead of leveraging their design-thinking, user-research, and empathy skills to guide the highest levels of decision making, many design teams still find themselves focused on creating UI designs under the direction of others. When I attend professional meetups and discussions on design management, much of the discussion often centers around tactics for establishing User Experience as the go-to resource for strategic direction. A common sentiment: “We need to be invited to meetings earlier in the process, so we can apply our way of thinking.”
In their UXmatters article “In Search of Strategic Relevance for UX Teams,” Jim Nieters and Laurie Pattison do an excellent job of describing several organizational tactics that serve to elevate the stature of design groups. One of the most important practices they point to is establishing a level of trust with key sponsors and stakeholders. It’s best to have executive sponsorship to advocate for design, prioritize investment in design, and defend a customer-centric design approach during planning and resourcing initiatives. Sounds great, right? The challenge is that you can’t simply find these sponsors and champions in your organization. You have to earn them. Read More
This is a sample chapter from Ahava Leibtag’s new book, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web. 2014 Morgan Kaufmann.
Chapter 2: Making the Case for Content
Content drives the sales process. Even if your job title doesn’t include the word sales, you are still trying to achieve something. Content is responsible for getting you there. Think of it as the fuel in an engine. Now, consider what we’ve done in our society to ensure we have enough fuel to power our cars and homes. That’s how important content is to your business.
Not everyone understands this in your organization. But you do. That’s the first step. Now you have to convince the right people that to move the business in the right direction, they need to invest in content: Content production, distribution, and management. How do you do that? Read More