This article was inspired by a discussion at last week’s Silicon Valley IxDA meeting, where Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong spoke on the topic “Sleepwalking + Designing for a Healthy Future,” which got me thinking about what qualities one must have to be an effective UX professional. So much of success derives from mindset rather than skillsets, and mindset takes a lifetime to develop—or, for those of us who believe in reincarnation, multiple lifetimes. Your mindset derives from your life experiences and the way you respond to them, as well as what you learn from those who influence you greatly—such as your parents, mentors, and spiritual teachers. Read More
“Organizations…often develop barriers that hinder information sharing and collaboration. … The job of a leader is to spot these barriers and tear them down….”—Morten T. Hansen
Organizations differ in their ability to collaborate within and across teams and business units. A unique combination of organizational, cultural, and interpersonal barriers to collaboration afflicts any organization that is experiencing difficulty collaborating. Therefore, to assess their organization’s ability to collaborate, leaders must first determine what barriers to collaboration exist within their organization. One effective way of doing this is to conduct a survey to identify which of the behaviors that hinder collaboration commonly occur within their organization.
Once leaders understand what dysfunctional behaviors are preventing their people and teams from collaborating effectively, they must tailor solutions to address the specific barriers to collaboration that exist within their organization. They must motivate their people to change the behaviors that are preventing or diminishing the success of collaboration within and across teams and business units.
In this column, I’ll describe some common organizational, cultural, and interpersonal barriers to collaboration and provide solutions for overcoming them. To create a culture of collaboration, an organization must overcome these barriers. Read More
In many respects, we have reduced the ambiguity in our world. We can now sample an entire music album before deciding to purchase it, use a smartphone app to learn what’s happening at home while we’re on vacation, or click a button to discover who has viewed our LinkedIn profile. However, while we might enjoy the occasional mystery/thriller novel or movie, in which the story’s outcome remains uncertain as we’re propelled through suspenseful twists and turns, we are becoming much less tolerant of mystery in our daily lives. We like to disambiguate the circumstances of our lives. We like to know things. This gives us comfort and favors predictability, which in turn reduces our anxiety and stress. Resolving uncertainty is actually something for which people are willing to pay.
But ambiguity is still alive and well in the work we do as UX designers. Those of us who design enterprise software should be very familiar with ambiguity. We encounter it often, whether in vague feature requirements, unfamiliar capabilities that derive from the acquisition of a new product or company, or the complex workflows that are characteristic of the highly specialized domains in which we work. Read More