UX Advantage 2015: Keynote – Beyond the UX Tipping Point: Infusing Design Into Our Organizations

Jared Spool, UIE

- Disney magic band: most important UX event in 2014; completely changes your park experience; pre-choose preferences and stuff before you go, including kid’s favorite characters, birthdays, etc; $1billion investment
- Disney used to have a horrible web site; UIE always used Disney site as a case study for its training over the years; at one point, people would scroll the page to get an animated gif off the page “animated things piss people off”; watched hundreds of people do the same task, find the cheapest hotel on the monorail; 1 in 5 people would accidentally go to DisneyLand instead of DisneyWorld; analytics never showed the problem; Disney confirmed that people come to DisneyWorld with DisneyLand reservations and they hold rooms just for that case; web site folks and guest services never talked; problem lasted almost a decade (1997-2007); to get to the band, huge amont of growth
- phases of UX awakening: Dark Ages (not thinking at all about UX), Spot UX Projects (a few recognize that maybe something could be better), UX Effort (people talk about it and have at least one UX person, larger projects, centralized group), Embedded Team (dissemitate designers out into the teams, but individuals feel isolated), Design-Infused Culture (not the designers are talking about and doing design and UX)
- UX teams shoud be at the place in the org where decisions are made
- Design-Infused Culture: UX tipping point; prior to it, design plays a secondary role, something you do in addition to what you’ve always done; after, design drives the strategy, products, and delivery; tipping point is on the horizon where you see a shipment delayed because the design isn’t right; tipping point is reached when more than half of the products don’t ship until the design is ready; only a handful of companies are at this point today
- all Apple marketing images’ clocks are 9:41am; original iPod announcement happened at that time in the keynote; before the keynote, they take their web site down; while it’s down, the site is completely relaunched; it comes back online at 9:41 pacific with the new products; web team doesn’t know anything more about what new products are going to be there until the keynote; make the final changes right at that ‘flip-the-switch’ moment; site content may be be ready for a product but they decide not to ship because it isn’t designe right and it does not go on the site; have from 10pm Monday to 9am Tuesday to remove all traces of any pulled product and retest
- product evolution stages: base transformational technology -> competition on features -> compete on experience; when those transitions happen, the top dog in a particular stage lose out to new leaders in the next stage; a fourth stage is when it becomes a commodity and the experience is about the bigger picture of use
- to not ship until the design is right, you have to define what “right” means, and align everyone in the chain on what that means; shared understanding of the goal is key to it
- need a common definition of “experience is good enough”; it’s tricky because everyone thinks they are a designer, everyone has design opinions
- in truth, everyone *is* a designer; everyone is solving design problems all day long; recognizing that is the basis of ‘design thinking’; we have to help the people we work with bring out their “inner designer”
- a big fault in our school system is not teaching everyone the basics of design early enough
- compared great design companies to not great design companies, e.g. Apple vs Dell and Microsoft, Cirque de Soliel vs Ringling Bros
- 3 things shared in successful companies were rare in the others…
- #1 constant exposure to users; 2 hours every six weeks by each person who has influence over the products; frequent repeated exposure
- UK digital service made it a policy that every person in the org has to spend 2 hours every six weeks watching users; instead of “I think…” the conversation moved to “I saw…”; hard to get execs to do it at first, but it feeds itself and becomes each
- #2 shared vision of the experience; every member of the team shares an understanding what the experience will be like 5 years from now
- Disney created a foam core and artwork mockup on a studio lot where they could simulate the experience and quickly iterate it
- #3 culture of continual learning; reflective, what did I learn that I didn’t know before; happens in many many small pieces over time, not big leaps
- CenterCentre uses daily standups; standard 4 questions (did do, will do, blocks, risks/unknowns); question 5 – what did you learn and what will you do differently
- UX designers need to be the MCs of this massive storytelling effort to drive all of these; tell the story of current experience; tell the story of what it could become; tell the story of what we are learning
- we need to focus on themes over features; the best designers don’t fall in love with their solutions but their problems; don’t list the features you will ship but the problems you will solve
- great design is rarely noticed, it’s invisible; like when the temperature in the room is just fine, you don’t notice; at Disney you never notice all the sensors and radios that are tracking you; when you get home, you even get a gallery of pictures taken of you all over the parks; “It’s really awesome (and a little creepy)”
- empathy: hear it constantly over the last few years, “need to teach empathy”; “everybody has empathy… okay sociopaths not so much”; problem is not the lack of empathy, but the organizational structure prevents the empathy to happen; no exposure to users; no ability to iterate to improve; taught to be objective and distant from everything that will make great design
- alignment is not just getting everyone to agree; it’s building the substructure so everyone can achieve that a-ha! moment; make sure the tools we all have are actually being used to create this alignment, to get exposure to users, shared vision, and continual learning; we have to tell the stories
- we need to design how we make UX a competitive advantage

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Building a Design Culture within IBM

Adam Culter, Design Team Program Director, IBM

- 15 years at IBM, first 12 years did consulting as a designer
- long design legacy; original intent to humanize technology; in the 80s and 90s, IBM lost its way with focus on finance; 2 1/2 years now refocusing on design
- new design studio in Austin; “Empathy not Ego”; move company to put primary focus on the user instead of the buyer (not to forget the buyer of course); can our systems make part of your day better, can’t control everything the users interact with (https://www.ibm.com/design/studio.shtml)
- goal: 1200 designs by end of 2016; almost there now; design studios around the world; reached out to everyone in the company who called themselves designer and evaluate if they are
- hiring process at that scale: in 2 weeks, have 75 designers starting on the same day; just completing onboarding of 68 designers; 10,000 applications in pipeline, 7,000 portfolio reviews, 5,000 phone screens, 750 fly downs with collaborate work exercises, 450 hires; robust talent and recruiting department; 2/3 of hires are right out of school; send them back to their schools to do recruiting
- how to integrate to product teams: design boot camp program – 3 month cohort in Austin; work with one another in their own space; 6 weeks of company basics, principles of inclusive design (accessibility, front end dev, microprojects); next 6 weeks are real projects from the business units that they’ll be working in – lots of domain knowledge delivered; professional hires have 3 day design camp and then placed on team; work with receiving team to continue onboarding about specific product domains
- his team is 15-20 people responsible for public face of IBM design; everyone else is in the business units; provide support to design executives who manage design leads
- design camp: Bluemix came out of a camp; instead of monolithic system, pick and choose off the shelf components and link them (https://console.ng.bluemix.net)
- 50,000 sq ft on 2 floors; 300+ designers located there; all furniture on wheels or easily moved by small people; totally reconfigurable; hanging whiteboard idea from Stanford Design school; entire 7th floor based on custom designed Steelcase components; non-precious space; it’s about people doing work and getting hands dirty; personal whiteboards that can be put on hooks in a hanging wall; hand carts full of them, take back to your workspace; people work differently when standing up and working next to each other; can take them down, stack them, label them; quick tear down and re-set up; “collective brainpower being spewed out onto the walls”, spacial memory
- structure, position levels, career paths: personal business commitments (PBCs) to IBM; IBM Design sets those PBCs for all designers in the company; HR system has official job titles at all levels and career paths, all the way to IBM Design Fellow; designer job codes and pay equity across functions like engineering; Adam’s title originally had “IT Specialist” job title, took 10 years to even change it to “consultant”
- executive buy in for this: Adam’s boss GM of Design (Phil Gilbert) was chatting with his manager, and joked that he would” redesign every last piece of software IBM makes”; executive commitment and support to doing this
- how are the distributed designers supported by central design team and a community of other designers; most of the designers are physically placed in design studios, regardless of which business they work with; some engineers weren’t sure what to do with these designers; the teams they work with are all over the world; 388,000 IBM employees in 171 countries; cloud-based sticky note tool (https://mural.ly)¬†and slack; one team put an iPad on a pole running facetime all the time when a designer moved away so she could virtually sit with them; other teams have adopted; iPads get dressed up and you can recognize them individually; designers get to visit other studios at times
- measuring design contribution in performance evaluation: need to let go of ownership of design; code is just as important; can’t split apart designers work in one media with a developers work in code; can’t say what part of success was contributed by design; more about did they work well together as a team
- how has new design initiative affected IBM’s long-term, strong culture: train new designers how to behave as a good team member, how to communicate, integrate, and gel; get the efforts aligned across functional roles; “designers are the worst at using our own tools for our own work”, eg empath for engineers; early on, very high touch from central design team; now have to do it at scale and propagating those abilities and principles to all the designers
- influence direction of the company: developed IBM design thinking; design thinking founders “we blew it when we called it design thinking”; added 3 governing concepts on top of the standard design thinking; 1) customer sponsor, 2) playback (frequent, 10 minute, high frame rate, communication of recent design work) everyone invited and execs often attend, 3) “hills” – (commander’s intent, take the hill) 3 and only 3 articulations of what’s going to be delivered in a release, always user focused
- public version of IBM’s version of design thinking will be available soon
- takeaways: the space that you sit in is what you make it (provide what they need to feel that they have what they need); let go of design ownership and share it with everyone, artifacts and tools are not sacred – no holy wars – plan for the outcomes; when you come up with something that advances the state of design share it freely

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Introducing Nasdaq to UX

Chris Avore, AVP, Product Strategy, Nasdaq

- in position for 2-3 years; recent accomplishments: ability to grow our awesome and sizable team – organization understands design, moving customer feedback up the lifecycle into the discovery phase – execs excited, outside analysts are noticing and interested in the work that design is doing
- NASDAQ system is considering really well designed and people are moving to NASDAQ because of the design; in constrast to the Bloomberg system
- he facilitates good decisions being made; executive team is making great business decisions and the designers are designing great things in collaboration with lots of folks; trust in the process, answering real needs
- moving the research up in the lifecycle, everyone in company has better understanding of not only who is using the software, but who the decision makers are; more access to all those people at customers
- how to immerse org in user research: get as many people as possible to participate in the research, report results to development partners, update senior stakeholders on how many points of contact and segmenting them in meaningful market ways
- org structure for design: design team tried to integrate with product management, but technology is different; e.g. vision prototypes are not ever be used in buidling production environments, although sometimes do implement the CSS in production code
- deliverable = something handed off like a specification; artifact = articulates a concrete idea, not used directly to build; always start at the artifact level
- developers consume the prototypes as well as the user research and otehr information; challenge is that some dev teams just want the prototypes as spec, not the research results; prefer the dev teams involved with the problem space
- workforce diversity: 50% women in team; Karen: “some of your best employees may not be white men”; president of NASDAQ is awesome and focused on this; business head also; this is not an accident; take on sourcing instead of HR; reaching out; telling the story; getting outside our known networks, some of our best designers come from outside our normal networks; takes effort, but not heroic amounts; provide career paths for everyone; mexican wrestler masks are one of the cool elements of the design team’s culture; potential hires see people who are like them
- working with acquisitions: usually acquire to grow market size, partner for technology instead; not really acquihire; big acquisition a few years ago, 6 designers, mostly remote; they were more of the “bench model”, providing services on demand; brought them into the experiment in the new way, including them in process of learning and making it work
- moving from production design to helping drive product strategy: the more the design team shows they understand things and see new opportunities, the more credibility and excitement in execs “understanding the users is like catnips to the execs”; have built great products that failed in the market; finding out they’ll fail earlier helps; design team can code much of what they design (prototypes) gives more reach
- prototyping: simulating what could be for evaluation and validation; sometimes some of our code gets into production, but that’s not the expectation; sort of a UX prototyper role, but that’s not an exclusive role, need other design skills; generalists with specialties; junior people can be specialists, most senior peole are specialists, in the middle lots of generalists
- former dev model: buy someone, do some work to fit it in, figure out ways to respond to feature requests; now have built an agile dev environment as they’ve built their platform; designers are scrummaster certified
- legal/compliance: involve them early; legal constantly involved because of some contracts and our patents (and avoiding others); more than just boilerplate terms and conditions
- existing contracts present things that we treat as design constraints; prioritize what’s best for the business and the customer and still meet the contract
- how do you get execs to know you have user knowledge: started by cherry-picking positive comments from user research, audio/video clips; execs would say “what else did they say”; ensure that sales teams hear the positive feedback, get them excited about the new directions; creates a halo around design research work, then invited into more customer conversations
- getting access to users/customers: focus on creating and growing pipeline of customer contacts; keep sales invited to contacts with clear goals; brown bag to sales teams on what design research is about, showing how what was learned changed the design and then validated by customers; show the success stories; engage design team in presenting demos at sales calls to build trust and credibility
- how to get concepts into roadmap: work with business leaders to ensure that the things we see in research are heard and aligned with business prioritization; get that exposure to them in time to inform their decisions
- do you see folks in production development that are seeing design team’s work and want to do that sort of work: not yet; still working on more iterative delivery so the timecycle of idea to product is shorter and more constantly visible
- big takeaway: don’t ever take for granted that you’ve got a seat at the table; always be working on it, building relationships, and show the fruits of your labor (new ideas, understand what customers don’t have)

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Inventing the Yes Lawyer

Traci Walker, Contracting Officer, US Digital Service and Jeff Gladchun, Director of Product Development, Fidelity Investments

- Jeff started at Fidelity reviewing for compliance; exposed to product and enjoyed working with designers and developers; now in product management
- Traci in government procurement; involved in transition to agile, the cloud, and other digital services
- software never ends, so a contract with a piece of software delivered at the end; ongoing changes and operations won’t be detailed with; no longer include requirements in the contract, that work is part of the contract; contract for delivering working software but not the detailed requirements; risk is minimized in an agile process, pay by iteration, including services outside development; no over the wall, cross-functionally engaged from the beginning
- policy vs policy interpretation: product folks need to understand the policy norms in their industry and company; fight for better interpretations when the current interpretation doesn’t meet the actual need
- “brightline rules”: no wiggle room, not open to interpretation
- procurement myth of defined deliverables: redefined the deliverable definition; being innovative but there is some fear in the change of risks; “if doesn’t say you can’t, then you can”
- digital service playbook: https://playbook.cio.gov; being augmented with ways to do the things in the playbook; https://playbook.cio.gov/techfar/; agile in place now; not rules, but a toolbox
- contracts need a good exit strategy: timebox the risk to 6 months, not many years; walk away if it’s not working
- pockets of innovation in government: NASA, NIA; very culturally challenging, fear of risk, lack of ability and knowledge of how to do it
- “You’re making procurement sexy again.”
- in financials, all the disclaimers and such that are supposedly regulated to be on the screen, how do you deal with it: still play “telephone” in the chain of interpreting regulation; need to ask what the original regulation was and thing about many interpretations; get back to the intent and the problem, explore alternate solutions
- government needs to be responsive to the needs of people, and not strand them in limbo during services and transactions; that intent needs to be built into the way we follow the playbook and providing methods in the TechFAR
- cynical view: legal = PPG = “Product Prevention Group”
- get lawyers involved early: organizational habits need to be updated to engage from the beginning; habit = cue, routine, reward; get reviewers familiar with agile and other aspects of how and why projects are managed
- finding an encryption tool where the agency held the “keys to the kingdom” allowed moving data into the cloud for projects
- Jared’s father’s lawyer joke: “99.9% of lawyers ruin it for the rest of them.”

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: The Candidate Experience and Performance-based Hiring

Lou Adler, CEO, Adler Group

- top traits of top people: 8 items from presentation; every one is predictable during the hiring process; most people use a process that doesn’t find this out
- comparable results; trend of growth; achiever pattern; managerial fit; job fit – map intrinsic motivators;
- 5 pillars of exceptional candidate experience: strategy to pursue top talent; job is clearly a good career move; recruiter has to know the job; managerial fit; professional process
- strategy: is there a surplus or scarcity of a-team “achievers”; have, get, do, become; surplus – weed out the weak; scarcity – attract the best, emphasize what they can do and become; manager has to define the work, recruiter defines career path
- how best people get jobs: networking is by far the most important
- you only see a fraction of the market; wrong strategy; transactional versus consultative recruiting; ill defined lateral jobs vs career moves; ROI and quality of hire vs cost and efficiency
- why people take jobs: to engage, title, compensation, location; to accept, career opportunity, job and impact, manager and team, compensation and work/life balance, company/culture/mission
- when recruiting, figure out if it’s a good career move before worrying about compensation
- are you attracting the right audience: our job ads suck; person descriptions vs. job descriptions; a job doesn’t have skills, background, competencies, people do
- difference maker: who would you rather have, someone who can do the work or someone who has the skills; performance qualified vs. skills qualified
- EVP, employee value proposition: why would someone take this job independent of the money
- tell stories, capture the intrisic motivator, emphasize the doing/learning/becoming, sell the discussion not the job
- are you asking the right questions: most significant accomplishment, how did you get the assignment, when did it happen, what were the big challenges, what were the big changes you made, what was the environment like, how did you apply key skills, what did you learn and how did you apply, where’d you go the extra mile, single biggest success, biggest failure, how’d you build the plan, did you achieve the plan, single biggest problem and how overcame, biggest decision and how, what would you do differently now, how did you change as a result, what’d you like most about it, what’d you like least, what recognition did you get and was it appropriate
- what personal traits stand out; take responsibility to measure performance, not presentation; candidate experience starts recruiting process; look for stretch gaps, good career move; fact-fiding is the key; repeat the trend of performance
- do you have the right process (it’s a pipeline): pipeline development, contact and convert, prospects, recruit and convert, candidate shortlist, quality and interview, recruit and negotiate, close and hire; explore->consider->meet manager (15-20 minute phone screen; describe job, best accomplishment)->apply
- if you sell them on the intrinsics, you’ll get a high performer; if it’s extrinisic, you’ll get an underperformer
- 5 pillars of exceptional candidate experience; manager, strategy, job, process, recruiter
- what about a compliance oriented HR dept: show them that they are doing it wrong with authority (from his book)

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Keynote – Culture Work: Organizational Becoming Made Practical

Marc Rettig, Fit Associates

- A fable: The Shoemaker and the Strategist; shoemaker thrives on connection (dance and real people), strategist thrives on control (march and abstractions)
- Hugh Dubberly, Dubberly Design, dubberly.com; wonderful conceptual models; “the creative process” poster; observe->reflect->make (loop)
- design = observation, reflection, and making
- design culture: values conversation, dialogue, open attention; quality of attention determines the quality of result
- culture = essential driving story, myth of your existance; identity, values, relationships, explanations
- culture->structure and process->form
- design culture vs design capacity; capacity = knowledge, tools, resources, processes, etc, a practice that produces better results; shift to iterative is a fundamental shift in capacity
- capacity in a closed culture = “that isn’t us”; observe orange, encounter closed culture, make a better blue; organization is unchanged by design experience; design must engage the culture to have meaningful results
- revenue, profits, competitivenes, even innovation are not enough to serve a culture of design; they are inwardly focused; you repeat your own patterns while the world changes around you
- judgement is the enemy of open observation; conquer it by moving your attention outside your normal center of attention; wonder
- cynicism is the enemy of wonder; conquer it by moving your center of attention outside of yourself, but as part of something bigger; letting go
- fear is the enemy of letting go; conquer it by moving your center of attention to a gathering of a great many possibilities
- design capacity in an open culture = “what do we need to become?”: observe orange, encounter open culture, we do blue but let’s work with orange; explore the possibilities
- design culture: after ever project, something in the culture has changed
- convene diversity and power as best you can (relates to observational research and collaboration story that led to redesigning their quality process)
- doing design together opens culture; “design is scary damn stuff”
- organizational becoming = systemic, participatory, emergent (trying something now); get the “other” in the same room and de-abstract it; document our bubble together, immerse together, give people time for reflection, facilitate great dialog
- Berkana prototypes; participatory narrative, open space technology, dialogic leadership, ritual dissent, intuitive methods: theater and art, conflict styles and NVC, match appropriate to complexity, etc.
- this stuff (driving cultural change) is personal, it’s hard; if you are lost, you’ve started; pay attention, be open
- Shoemaker and strategist conclusion: go into the village together, and other villages, realize they’d been clinging to their own stories, excited because they are asking new questions, they try experiments, and some are successful, they can’t wait to see what happens

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Government’s Design Lessons

Dana Chisnell, Co-Founder, Center for Civic Design and Dean Logan, County Clerk, Los Angeles County

- LA County, largest in US, Dean’s been in that role for 9 years; Dana is also now part of US Digital Service for the White House
- getting developers to sketch: were doing “AgileFall” software development; spend months doing flow charts, hand off to analysts that define data elements, hand off to PO and devs; database barfed on the screen; sat in on demos and working with developers; send them back to the drawing board; found that if they sketch ideas first, she can give feedback before there’s code; first dev that did it got a fried chicken sandwich on a donut, nickname is “Design Princess”
- point of pride for Dean: being here, and thought of as someone worth listening to; had a huge problem to solve with voting equipment; largest voting jurisdiction in the country and using tech from 1960s; market solutions didn’t fit and regulatory environment complicated; build our own; no funding, just to purchase; started with data collection (focus groups etc); first design what is best for the voters, then deal with the regulatory and certification stuff; had to fund it creatively using the data to drive it
- brought in IDEO initially, and after developing voting experience, now creating a spec for the voting equipment part of this; will go to market to get it manufactured; participatory design with voters; vendors have never done that
- innovation in government seems impossible: crisis was an instigator; technology has changed radically in 15 years providing more opportunity; more modularity; agile, continuous delivery, and hackathons opened up doors; voter behavior changed radically but market didn’t respond – early voting, electronic voting, absentee, etc; voting by mail is not innovation, the next generation doesn’t use paper mail
- gamechangers in these solutions: uses familiar devices; interactive sample ballot; fill out, go to any voting center, scan and verify; same piece of equipment can support individual variation (e.g. wheel chairs); test with people with low literacy and mild cognitive issues; learned so much; decades of design practice challenged by those users
- more designers in government: yes there’s room for more designers; however, there are people designing all over the government who are not in formal design roles; with some help and access to information, they can do great work; need to become aware of the world of design; easy access to the actual populace for testing
- small changes iterated over time mitigates the fear and the risk at the same time; can track the change; did it work? many small failures for learning instead of one big one; without user testing, compliance testing against regulations can’t create a successful system
- will your work teach the private sector: been too busy to consider it, but it’s obvious that the private sector out there didn’t do this work; still have to change law and regulation to make this work; vendors are watching what’s being done
- working with IDEO has been transformative; stepped out of their comfort zone to do this work, particularly around government procurement; created collaboration spaces in government offices; whiteboards, sticky notes, and sharpies everywhere
- if voters are motivated, they’ll overcome issues with time, space, and equipment; but if the experience is good, they are more likely to do it again and encourage others; media coverage about long lines discourage other voters
- technology and voter behavior are changing faster than ever; need to be able to evolve the systems to keep up without scrapping the whole thing

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Infusing MasterCard with UX

Karen Pascoe, SR VP Group Head User Experience, MasterCard

- hardest role ever; most support ever; lead UX on emerging payment products; MasterPass (secure commerce), outreach to startup developer community (APIs and SDKs), personal payments (mobile money; tied to identity)
- brought in by CEO who was sold on what she was going to do already; many people excited she came in; sponsorship is huge; first strategic UX hire; previously rarely thought about the end-user of the card as the customer
- driving change in a larger org requires a lot of skill; evangelical, domain expert, visionary leader, arm-twisting, butt-kicking; most important is to form partnerships with people
- executive sponsorship has made alignment incredibly easy in some cases; e.g. going agile in development; managers are used to waterfall delivery of elaborate feature sets; harder, longer term work to get customer-centric techniques into the management processes; need to build more technology understanding in execs
- 3 quarters into agile transition now; getting leadership comfortable with test and learn, experiment
- what’s different about mastercard: leadership and culture; really slow in digital; needed to move big; needed to be at NYC HQ; thoughtful decision making
- customer experience: need journey mapping, but teams don’t know how; need to measure, but don’t have the tools yet; investing in 2016
- difference between user experience and customer experience: traditionally, customer experience is placed in operations, reactive, optimize on unit cost; user experience is about a good experience end-to-end; these are coming together now
- hiring process changes: good thing she knows a lot of people; competing against the best agencies and the hottest startups; lots of speaking and outreach; like to hire experienced people out of an agency; excellent people skills, consultative skills; enterprise has better work-life balance; long term career development
- 12 people right now, growing to about 20; small and great is better than large mediocre team or mediocre processes; not a fan of chargeback; manage a budget, includes growth next year; align resources on most important, strategic priority; help find other resources for projects outside that core
- outside agencies: for first 6 months, she was only one, and needed to engage; used vendors for the work; shifting to more internal work now with capacity; going all lean UX and agile, not all vendors are comfortable with that; want to do co-creation at the studio; stay local; many vendors are still focused on deliverables; arrangement still evolving
- did design-centered agile transformation at JPMC, then PayPal, and now MasterCard; existing agile at MC are currently low maturity; key to teach the teams on the ground how to be good at it; cross-functional retrospective bi-weekly; working really well; collaboration is getting far better; developers way better at shifting around priorities
- what led the CEO to get so invested in UX; recognition that digital is critical to future
- design primarily for merchant, card providers, consumers, etc: need to design for the whole ecosystem; recognize that may be providing a service to provider, but the provider is creating the experience for the consumer
- how do you recruit to a financial services company: exciting futuristic stuff such as biometrics that they’re working on; ecommerce is more interesting than mobile banking
- moving toward “digital by default”; card is just your credentials; MC can understand how physical and digital world are coming together in this space; how can digital be a safe and seamless as physical
- doing both evaluative and generative research; balance right now is evaluative, but need to do more generative; using kan-ban for open-ended stories; no sprinting until it’s ready
- doing guerilla usability now; putting a usability lab on floor in Manhattan that customers are brought through; also get the execs through; developers will work right in the lab
- how to measure the success of this initiative: not really looked at as just user experience; customer-centricity, customer-responsive, user experience, digital used loosely and interchangeably; major investment in vertically integrated colocated teams

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: Bringing UX to all of GE

Samantha Soma, UX Program Facilitator

- GE is 130 years old
- shout-out to engineers: GE has been a design company for its entire history
- 2010-2011: discovered 14th largest software company in US, unbeknownst to them; analytics tools build by engineers; decided to codify design as a practice; created UX Center of Excellence, team of 4, with about 40 other UX designers across the company
- what is a UX program facilitator: originally, was UX community lead to bring together all the UX designers across the company and evangelize; have 800+ now and is self-supporting; moved to facilitate “design workouts” at HQ now; soemtimes have to intervene between GE salesperson and the end client – grab the pen from the GE person and hand it to the customer; don’t have a number to make, have a problem to solve; facilitator, not domain expert; get peole closest to the problem to speak up
- tell us more about the structure: UX CoE is dispersed; software CoE is in San Ramon, with about 60 designers that work with multiple products in industrial arena; now have ‘design directors’ instead of ‘design leads’; they are invited to more meetings and listened to more directly; GEs language didn’t map to the outside world; also found that general HR couldn’t really evaluate recruits; inserted ourselves into the hiring process for designers; invest $1billion a year in corporate education (LP – leadership program); started the UX Leadership Program – apprentice new graduates to senior designers, hope to propogate out
- measured as much on how you do your job as well as how productive; if you get a lot done but no one wants to work with you, you don’t succeed; there is a long career path for designers
- in a data driven organization, is design hard to measure: some business verticals have been more successful than others; can’t measure lines of code you didn’t have to right because you were solving the wrong problem; have had some great successes where the Design Workout changed the direction of a product; e.g. drilling process folks needed a screen design, did in person research, and understanding was so much deeper that they designed a completely different solution and won all the awards that year; no two problems are alike, so how do you measure the impact; have been able to show measured results in a few cases like how much higher a team’s velocity is or how much time was saved
- how are projects resourced to include this work: evolving to better place from where designers were used to “skin” products that were already “done”; products that focus on velocity to the detriment of good user experience haven’t had as good business outcomes; design is now present at the outset rather than later; getting people to realize that design is about solving a problem and being the voice of the customer rather than making it pretty
- evangelism: training, workshops, etc. only works so far; most of org needs to see the value of a design-oriented way to solve the problem; her facilitation is now has a reputation and is in demand
- GE Work Out: a special meeting where the people invited are explicitly empowered to say ‘yes’: http://www.slideshare.net/steven.hy.tseng/the-workout-solve-your-business-issues
- Design Work Out: 2-day, design focused; a bit ritualized to create the space to open up at the design center; put away the technology, comfortable space, whiteboards, etc.; at the end of 2 days, they realize they are thinking about the problem differently
- outside firms: still use them because we have more design work than they can possibly do; changed the nature of the collaboration, sometimes that’s been uncomfortable for some agencies
- design directors: 50% promoted internally, 50% recruited; important attribute of anyone in that role is patience; e.g. have to go knock back a couple beers with a railroad engineer in a field study
- would love to have a research librarian that helps communicate and disseminate what we learn to others across the organization
- Fast Works Every Day – lean startup, scientific methods, design thinking methods; evolving from Six Sigma: https://hbr.org/2014/04/how-ge-applies-lean-startup-practices/
- how does this big lumbering organization move: patience; not really waiting for people to age out; story-telling culture; success stories lead to more attention and the spread of ideas and methods

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment

UX Advantage 2015: The Role of Outsiders

Scott Zimmer, Head of Design, Capital One and David Baker, ReCourses

- is there a shift from using outside firms: no; more inside designers than ever, but there is much more design going on, so plenty of work for agencies
- Adaptive Path is a small but very influential part of our design effort
- 20th anniversary of IPO, still founder led
- lots of interaction with 3rd party design firms while building internal team
- for a successful acquisition, both parties have to be excited
- can’t create an internal team by buying a bunch of experts; need to integrate them and their expertise; organization has to have appetite to learn; if acquirer thinks they know it all, also not successful; CO and AP felt they were kindred spirits, especially with belief in user research
- often in past, acquistion may just be the primary client buying the design firm they use; all but 6 our of 50 over the last number of years; not a good story for the agency
- acqui-hire can be exciting for individuals at an agency; usually give it a chance for at least 6 months; owners may not enjoy running a business; porbably see more of this happening
- David: “Did you just mention SharePoint? I can’t believe you said SharePoint at a UX conference.” Jared: “Friends don’t let friends do SharePoint. Look up the definition of CF, you’ll see SharePoint.” David: “If you don’t know SharePoint, look up their MySpace page.”
- hands (contracting) vs. brains (consulting): no price premium on hands work, big premium on brains work; with internal competency growing, UX firms are often called for the hands work; unfortunately, doesn’t often lead to the brains work
- CO, biggest need is on the hands side for capacity; feel the tension from agencies that they want more, so may hurt partnership; rely on freelancers; become unofficial members of design team; highly value expertise consulting, but need them to deliver too, because internal team may not be inspired to continue the work
- internal workshops on design thinking really inspire the organization to want to adopt this sort of work; then can start talk about sustaining roles on design team
- in house departments don’t have three things that agencies do; business development, IT, and accounting; don’t neglect business development internally, treating your org as the client
- most internal UX teams don’t have an internal charge-back systems, so you can’t say no to stupid requests; some agencies don’t have the skills to say no either
- have to build and maintain expertise reputation; working with you makes their life better; if you are so accessible, may not be viewed as expert
- at the end of a brain-work contract: 1) agency implements it, 2) org implements it, 3) another party implements it, or 4) don’t implement it; clients generally want #1 for “one throat to choak”, but happens less and less
- how evaluate agencies: if you have senior business leaders but a junior design team, going to have problems; need to go toe to toe with a business leader and push back and influence; partners and peers, not customers or clients; tend to select agencies where we have points of proof on what they do and how they do it; culture has to match yours; user-centric principles more important than domain-specific knowledge
- web sites don’t really pay off for agencies; at UIE, hired someone to do our web site in 2003 and have ignored it since
- what happens if an acquisition is considered and then not do it because “we would crush your soul”; if you want a relationship with the agency for their expertise, they should figure out how to best work with you; client should want you to work with their competitors
- off shore design contracting: in person interaction is always preferred, though off-shore always seems like it should be a good option; success is from having equity partner on the ground where the agency is
- colocation is massively important, especially design, engineering, and product management; colocating designers with their teams instead of all the designers together; helps continue to evolve and change the culture; have a “design castle” is a nice place for execs to show off, but then not really engage design beyond that; a bit of distance, so the designers aren’t always hovering over the shoulder, is desirable (“co-location to a point”)
- how to you incorporate remote teams and individuals: travel to site of project; video
- how do you evaluate cultural fit of an agency to a client? experience, networking, and trusting your strong folks; if you look at the most successful projects, it all seems accidental; no good heuristics
- banking regulations keep you from selling anything that isn’t backing, right? how do you keep doing the events; CO has found ways to make it work and keep the events business going
- focus on not screwing up AP with their acquisition; hope that CO gained UX credibility by making that choice

Posted in Interaction Design | Leave a comment