Sitting where we do within a consulting organization for a software vendor, my team and I often feel like mediators between two warring factions. On one side, we have Design and, on the other side, user’s actual usage of an application. Sometimes, both meld fantastically well. In such cases, the design is almost always well thought out, slick, and crafty. At other times, though, a design is found wanting in actual usage, especially at the higher end of the scale. It is at such times that, although a design seems great, all parties agreed to it, and we put it through rigorous testing, there are still significant user-adoption issues after the design gets implemented. How does this happen, and how can we address this problem?
During this golden age of design that we are experiencing, it is becoming increasingly important to address such situations. Even though the profession of User Experience is rapidly maturing, many executive sponsors of our efforts still look at User Experience as some sort of magic pixie dust. UX experts come in, sprinkle it about, and all is well. This mentality does not leave a lot of room for UX folks to fail to hit the mark the first time out. Such expectations may be unfair, but more and more, this is becoming the reality. Design, especially Web page design, is now becoming a commodity. Business leaders understand that User Experience is critical, but there is also a growing sense that what we do is totally repeatable. Read More
Strategy is your product’s path to success. As software continues to eat the world and artificial intelligence becomes pervasive and, eventually, even commoditized, your product strategy can build competitive advantage through your product’s user experience—how people feel, what they think, and how they connect with others when using your product.
So how can you differentiate your product’s user experience and, thus, leverage user experience to create competitive advantage? By integrating user experience into your product strategy. Read More
I enjoy writing for UXmatters because it gives me the opportunity to explore topics that are of interest to me through the lens of experience design. I love researching a topic to learn more about it and connecting it to service design. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own work and find themes, principles, or approaches that might be beneficial to others in the UX community.
When you work as a consultant, your clients look to you as the expert. They want you to guide them, show them what they should do, and help them to see how they should approach problems and decisions. As I quickly approach the milestone of two decades in my career providing experience-design consulting and client services, I find myself becoming nostalgic, reflecting on all those client head nods and even vehement client head shakes that I’ve experienced. Thus, I thought it would be valuable to the broader UX community for me to outline six of the top pieces of advice I’ve found myself repeating to clients over the years. Read More