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Five questions UX Camp Europe

My (annotated) closing plenary from UX Camp Europe 2015.

Most UX professionals these days are concerned with learning to use the tools of our trade. Yet, these tools have been around for decades – if not centuries – with new names given with each passing generation. But to truly get the most out of these tools (from personas to customer-journey maps), it sometimes helps to step back and reflect on what we are actually trying to achieve.

I would like to share some of the things I have learned over the years. Hopefully, my experiences can help you bring the practice of UX to a higher level, help your clients and colleagues understand why UX is important, and help you actually prove the value of your work.

Here are the questions I have been asking myself for almost four decades. Are YOU asking yourself these questions? If not, perhaps it is time to start.

Why are products and companies doomed without a focus on UX?
When is a company ready to embrace UX?
Who are the people that make good UX designers?
What are the ingredients of UX?
How do we measure the results of our UX efforts?

Five questions UX Camp Europe

  1. 1. Five UX questions in search of answers Eric Reiss @elreiss UX Camp Europe 20 June 2015 Berlin, Germany Stuff I think about Stuff I want to share
  2. 2. “A man falls into a hole...”
  3. 3. “Why are companies doomed without a focus on UX?” (Wait – do we really want to start here?)
  4. 4. “What is UX?”
  5. 5. UX – a bible story
  6. 6. UX – German uniforms
  7. 7. UX – backbone of an entire industry
  8. 8. The user experience of User Experience Camp Europe
  9. 9. Sorting out the paperwork
  10. 10. Czeching the pizza
  11. 11. ”DB interrupts their regularly scheduled programming...”
  12. 12. By first name...
  13. 13. Come rain or shine...
  14. 14. High degree of functionality
  15. 15. Fantastic presentations. And a sketchnote artist!
  16. 16. Lunch – proof of the pudding
  17. 17. Conceptual design
  18. 18. User testing
  19. 19. Proof of concept
  20. 20. Innovative sponsors (and not a lot of screenshots)
  21. 21. And Holger’s ongoing sensation: “UX – the musical”
  22. 22. (tough act to follow) We all design UX. But there are no UX designers.
  23. 23. UX IxD SD IA CS
  24. 24. How do we describe UX?
  25. 25. Content management Knowledge management SEO Scenarios Content strategy Sensemaking Accessibility Storytelling Usability Findability Service designService designService designService design Information architecture UserUserUserUser----centered designcentered designcentered designcentered design Design thinking Experience design
  26. 26. Proliferation of titles? Sure. Proliferation of ideas? Not so sure.
  27. 27. Webmaster Webmaster Visual designer Copywriter Developer Visual designer Information architect Copywriter Front-end engineer Full-stack developer Visual designer UI designer Interaction designer UX strategist Content strategist Information architect Content providers SEO consultant Social media guru Product manager Project manager Token baby boomer 1995 1998 2000 2015 Inspired by Lutz Schmitt
  28. 28. Down-and-dirty practicalities
  29. 29. Eric’s 1st Law of UX: User experience is the sum of a series of interactions between: • people • devices • events
  30. 30. Eric’s 2nd Law of UX: UX design represents the conscious act of : • coordinating interactions we can control • acknowledging interactions we cannot control • reducing negative interactions
  31. 31. “Why are companies doomed without a focus on UX?”
  32. 32. A Tale of Two Pizzas
  33. 33. Nota bene In a “me-too” world, UX is the key to company/product/service differentiation Higher product/service prices can be justified if you provide better UX Merely “making customers happy” cannot be the goal. Increased conversions is the goal and UX helps make that happen
  34. 34. What you can do now Do something quick and easy that makes your client/company look good (show that positive change is not impossible) Seek champions within the organization Make everyone feel that their contribution is valuable
  35. 35. Berlin | 20 June 2015 | 01:35
  36. 36. Berlin | 20 June 2015 | 08:12
  37. 37. “When is a company ready to embrace UX?”
  38. 38. Let’s talk about auto safety...
  39. 39. From academia to reality Safety depends on reducing: velocity of impact crushing force bending, folding, or torque of the body deceleration rates during a collision Safety depends on reducing: stress on the body direct contact with hard, sharp objects Safety can be improved by: adding seatbelts airbags crush zones to absorb impact
  40. 40. Nota bene Most companies examine UX when all the tried- and-true options have failed Most companies ignore UX because the definitions are too academic or confusing No company will accept UX if they don’t understand it.
  41. 41. Source: Renato Feijó
  42. 42. Source: Bogo Vatovic
  43. 43. What you can do now Aggressively promote activites that are: understandable actionable measurable Get senior management involved a company will never be truly ready to embrace UX before its leadership is DON’T let yourself become the “UX team of one”
  44. 44. “Who are the people that make good UX designers”
  45. 45. You are!
  46. 46. Nota bene – three key skills Curiosity You’ve got to be interested You can’t fake this Empathy This provides balance in UX Both for users and stakeholders Understanding A perception is always true One insight is worth a 1000 data points “Understanding” does not mean “agreeing”
  47. 47. What you can do now Get out of the building and talk to users not just to discover a problem, but also to see problems through someone else’s eyes you have to understand the context of UX Make sure you are always solving a real problem, not merely inventing one Don’t just ask what; ask why Don’t argue, listen
  48. 48. “What are the ingredients of UX”
  49. 49. Let’s build an ark…
  50. 50. Content, code Strategy, visual design IA, navigation Metrics, testing, best practices Building requires four things Basic materials Shaping tools Fastening techniques Measurement tools
  51. 51. Nota bene – three key ingredients Utility Stuff needs to work Relevancy Stuff needs to provide value within a specific context Consistency Stuff that looks the same should act the same Stuff that looks different should act differently Retroductive inference lowers the learning curve
  52. 52. What you can do now Create a UX shortlist Focus on what is really important Eliminate the “nice to haves” – think feng shui Keep users in the loop Practice user-driven design Don’t succumb to “deliverables creep” Communicate, don’t try and impress
  53. 53. “How do we measure the results of our UX efforts?”
  54. 54. “Flying on time…”
  55. 55. Nota bene – three metrics Conversions Has the business improved? Efficiency Are we saving time and money? Are we reducing effort and stress for our users? Satisfaction Are the users truly better off than before?
  56. 56. What you can do now Compare your work to current best practices Don’t reinvent the wheel – until you need to Make sure you measure things that are important Don’t go for easy wins such as “likes” on Facebook or time on page Talk to help-desk and call-center personnel Insist on having influence regarding the questions asked in all future customer-satisfaction surveys
  57. 57. Alfred Wegener and continental drift
  58. 58. What you can do now Don’t let “UX” become a buzzword Don’t think you need certification Don’t be afraid to disagree with current practices Pick your battles with care...but... Don’t be afraid to fight for what is right
  59. 59. Vielen Dank meine Freunde! (und jetzt)
  60. 60. Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss info@fatdux.com www.fatdux.com