UX has never been more relevant. As UX practitioners, we are being respected by absolutely EVERYONE. Here are a few reasons why…
Only a fifth of participants at my UX Cambridge workshop “Idea to prototype in just 180 minutes“, were UX designers, front end dev or usability researchers. The rest were made up of developers, graphic designers, business analysts, scientists, marketeers and business owners. People showed up to better understand how to embrace and work better with UX in order to create better experiences for their customers.
My design workshops are about having fun whilst tackling a very real problem a specific industry sector is facing. Not only do participants have to solve a surprise design challenge each time but they have to do it in newly formed teams with complete strangers. Team members have to quickly form rapport and trust quickly. There is no time for silly power plays. #JFID. Effective facilitation and pulling together cross functional, poly-skilled people to leverage strengths and surface ideas are the key to success. The person doing this (me in this case) needs to be well versed in all things awesome about UX.
Ryan Haney, Redgate Software also ran an amazing workshop, “Game on. Getting your organisation from game-zero to gaming in no time. “again around ways to think about solving problems using innovation game and play techniques. He had a Nerf gun that he used liberally if you were the last one to post up an idea. Dare I say we could run a whole day workshop together where creativity is a must and speed is of essence. Wouldn’t that be awesome!
We have the power and talent, so it is our responsibility now to better champion the customer. This means being sought after naturally to define what it is that businesses need to create at a strategic level. Over the last 2 years, my role as a Idea facilitator means getting together with business owners both external and internal to define the next generation of ideas to help them remain more than relevant and competitive in today’s fast-paced customer centric world.We are working collaboratively to suggest strategies that directly map to business KPIs, Value and their business model.
Business strategy is UX Strategy. Peter Drucker summed it up quite nicely when he wrote:
“What the customer thinks he or she is buying, what he or she considers value is decisive – it determines what a business is, what it produces, and whether it will prosper and what the customer buys and considers value is never a product. It is always a utility– that is , what a product or service does for him or her and what is value for the customer is anything but obvious.”
In the UX Cambridge Panel discussion I, Eewei Chen, also mention the role of the UX advocate:
“There are loads of advocates doing the work for us. We can see the resurgence of the power of design at a higher level. I mean, look at Apple’s Jonathan Ives- he’s a God! It’s about being strong and passionate, otherwise what’s the point?”
We need to start planting seeds everywhere and get other people to do the PR work for us. That way everything we design and build has a reason we had a hand in deciding makes sense from a business perspective which makes it sooooooooooooooo much easier to then deliver with a smile on our faces whilst making the smile on our customers and business owners faces even bigger.
Thank you Leisa Reichelt and her presentation on Strategic UX that really highlighted how relevant and well placed people like myself are now. Spiderman said it best:
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Everyone likes a good story – but make sure they get it!
As a leader and workshop facilitator, I have to be able to make sense of the world and it’s problems. I also need to be able to engage our audience and participants. Improv as an art form, when done well, allows the story teller or stand up comic to frame events and issues that surround us in a way that it connects to their very soul. As a designer I curate experiences that allow customers to achieve their goals effectively, having learned or experienced something they enjoyed.
When brainstorming in a collaborative environment I make sure partipants understand why they are doing things each step of the way. Often the goal is good enough but to keep them truly engaged I outline the entire set of exercises at the start and clearly state why how each step allows us to progress closer to the end goal.
We take participants on a journey of discovery and help them see value by joining the dots. These step by step creative techniques help form the basis of good user centered idea generation that map to real business benefit.
Thank you Ian Fenn for his presentation “Love all the People: What UX practioners can learn from Bill Hicks” where he talks about Dieter Rams, Jonathan Ives and re-introduced me to the amazing Bill Hicks!