UPA Boston 2012: Boldly Going Where No UX Has Gone Before (Jeremy Kriegel)
Jeremy Kriegel presented “Boldly Going Where No UX Has Gone Before” at the UPA Boston Conference on May 7, 2012.
Forget about UX tools, think about team value: What does team need most to be successful now?
- “I can create wireframes faster than your guys can code.”
- In 2-3 days, we could get the wireframes done, an`d have a review.
- In a week, we had gone through more revisions than the developers could do with code in two months.
- Then UX was swamped with new work ;)
- In one of his markets, French government started regulating.
- Now people have to submit a picture of a government document (e.g. social security card) to sign up.
- Existing customers had to re-sign! If product didn’t get sign-up flow right, company would lose all their customers.
- Cultural diferences to privacy, security – how do you test in US for users in France? Gonna have to go to France, find some of their users there, test with them.
- Can’t change the rules, but can test the UI so that it works best within constraints.
- If you can present something as a risk, rather than a benefit, it can be more convincing – “push the risk.”
- Finding the right message to convince the stakeholders, is very important – that’s why he’s a better advocate now than before.
- Identifying the risk makes spending the money look insignificant – justify the value in stakeholder’s terms
- Product team didn’t know what happened once product had been installed.
- Hard to make decisions in a vacuum.
- Ideally: tell product owner, let’s spend next three weeks on the road, watching users. But no way that would happen.
- More practical: Let’s spend one day a month talking to a customer.
- It’s low-friction… not huge benefit with one meeing, but it gets foot in the door, and after a few months, you’ve built up a lot of knowledge.
- Plus the monthly schedule meant the knowledge could evolve, wouldn’t get stale like lots of interviews all at once.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
- When you start, there’s a bit of expectation that things might change
- But after you’ve begun, change levels off… need to keep “bumping” for more change
- What’s the next improtant need in company that UX can address
- Jeremy’s progression: Started with mostly wireframes, prototypes; then identified risk of losing customers, a bump that let them start usability testing, then could move into other areas of the product…
- Inertia may make it tough to make change
- How do you prepare to address barriers? What’s their appetite for change? Need to find out directly.
- Ask: why haven’t they had UX? how do they expect the org to change? where is UX on the priority list?
- Note: Most hiring managers haven’t thought about these question.
- Maybe when push comes to shove, they don’t want to make the changes necessary to address UX concerns.
- Sometimes people value UX, but it’s low on the priority list.
- Is delivering on time, on budget, new features most important? What’s driving the company?
- Very much a collaborator, his personal style.
- Lower friction activities. Simple things he can control, show value quickly.
- Use the trust that builds to push for bigger things.
- “Driving the UX wedge” – keep hammering to provide more value
- Delivering value to the team, not “doing the best design in the world”
- “What is the next most important problem the business has that UX can help solve?”
- “How do I design in the absence of usability tests / user input?”
- Best practices: what works generically, based on research, personal experience, common sense, what’s out there on the web.
- Look for key assumptions that you’re making: if you’re wrong, you’re screwed. That’s the risk, you can present that to others and challenge them on it. If we’re wrong, there’s a big impact; here’s what I think we’d need to do to learn the right answer.