Ways to Listen, Ways to Act: Impactful UX Strategy

Ways to Listen, Ways to Act: Impactful UX Strategy

I spoke on how to ask the right questions and unpack assumptions at Future of Web Design London.

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Steph Troeth

May 15, 2013
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Transcript

  1. Future of Web Design, London May 2013 Stephanie Troeth Ways

    to Listen, Ways to Act: @sniffles #fowd Impactful UX Strategy
  2. None
  3. None
  4. I own more books than clothes.

  5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/221900474/

  6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn/221900474/ Humans > Rubik’s Cubes

  7. Revealing Story #1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/59195512@N00/145289605/

  8. How is it that we do all the “right” things...

    ...but still end up with something mediocre?
  9. open-ended close-ended “listening labs” “contextual enquiry” interviews usability testing remote

    testing tools surveys focus groups card sorting heuristic evaluation A/B testing We have many ways to listen...
  10. hi-fidelity low-fidelity realistic prototypes sketches graphic mockups paper prototype detailed

    wireframes functional prototype hi-level wireframes dynamic static storyboard functional specifications content inventory flow diagrams We have a lot of design tools...
  11. We have lots of discussions on how to use them.

  12. So why are we failing? Leadership? Process! Management? Communication Those

    designers... Those developers... n00bs! They call us a “channel”!
  13. I think there is one part that we don’t usually

    do well: Setting ourselves up.
  14. Revealing Story #2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyingsaab/8446287189/

  15. Example research finding: “We found that undergraduate students didn’t want

    to read our prospectus on mobile devices.”
  16. http://www.balldesignconsultancy.com/case-studies/adding-value-to-higher-education/

  17. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/designandprint/design/featured-work/prospectuses/

  18. Typical prospectus content ✤ Organisational philosophy / why choose us

    ✤ Information to help students integrate ✤ Employment prospects ✤ Alumni ✤ List of degrees ✤ Application+entry requirements ✤ Tours and open days ✤ Location(s)/Contact info ✤ ...
  19. Greater context data (UK) Internet use over a mobile phone:

    rate of growth fastest in 16-24 yo, increasing from 44% to 71% in 2011.* Smartphone ownership (as of Jan 2011) Male < 35 @ 48% Female < 35 @ 40% Source: http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/18-uk/154-mobile-devices patterns don’t match?
  20. Was it because the question applies to the prospectus in

    its current format? (usually paper or PDF) Was it because students don’t find the content relevant? What happens if the content is available in a more mobile-friendly format? What if we used videos to convey similar information instead of pages of text?
  21. wrong answer wrong question

  22. misleading answers badly formed question mediocre design solution irrelevant? inaccurate?

  23. “Spherical chickens in a vacuum” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=majaPLfQMzk Big Bang Theory: The

    Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization (Season 1, Ep. 9)
  24. Could it be as simple as asking the right questions

    up front?
  25. The shape of your question. & nuance

  26. Public transport scenario (London)

  27. Transport for London (www.tfl.gov.uk)

  28. Transport for London (www.tfl.gov.uk)

  29. Transport for London (www.tfl.gov.uk)

  30. National Rail (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

  31. National Rail (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

  32. National Rail (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

  33. National Rail (www.nationalrail.co.uk)

  34. Transport for London (www.tfl.gov.uk)

  35. Are these “usability” issues or a greater experience issue? How

    wide a net do we cast when looking for a solution?
  36. None
  37. None
  38. None
  39. forecast.io

  40. forecast.io

  41. umbrellatoday.com

  42. None
  43. The problem we need to address should match up with

    our goals.
  44. Transport for London (www.tfl.gov.uk)

  45. Typical question: How can we improve our metrics in the

    journey planner app? naive
  46. Better: A business question for the TFL What can we

    do to get people to use public transport more often?
  47. Business question: What can we do to get people to

    use public transport more often? ✤ Why are people not using public transport as often as they can? ✤ Do they run into obstacles? ✤ Do they perceive it to be less convenient than driving? ✤ ... extrapolate
  48. The scientific method of enquiry: 1) create your hypothesis based

    on educated guess 2) express your hypothesis & assumptions clearly 3) look to prove or disprove your hypothesis
  49. Business question: What can we do to get people to

    use public transport more often? High-level research question: Are people using public transport as often as they can? Hypothesis: people can use public transport more often than they do now.
  50. Business question: What can we do to get people to

    use public transport more often? High-level research question: What obstacles are people facing in trying to use public transport? Assumption: people use public transport less because they run into obstacles. Hypothesis: If we remove obstacles, they will use public transport more.
  51. A game of questions? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LS9WSec4RXQ Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead!

  52. Rules of the game: ✤ No statements ✤ No repetition

    ✤ No synonyms ✤ No rhetoric ✤ No non-sequiturs
  53. Hypothesis: If we remove obstacles, they will use public transport

    more. Can we test this? Can we measure it?
  54. High-level research question: What obstacles are people facing in trying

    to use public transport? Derived research question: How do people prefer to plan their journeys? Why? Assumption: planning a journey is an obstacle. Hypothesis: If people can plan journeys well, they will use public transport more.
  55. Hypothesis: If people can plan journeys well, they will use

    public transport more. Can we test this? Can we measure it?
  56. Research question: How do people prefer to plan their journeys?

    Why? Design question: How can we better help people plan their journey? The design question needs to be actionable Hat tip: Kelly Goto
  57. Which question should we be asking?

  58. How do we make a choice?

  59. The strategy as a starting point.

  60. “[Businesses] think they know what their product and service is,

    they think that it’s all about execution. ‘If I execute better than the next guy, I’m going to win.’ But the problem is that execution without the direction of a strategy, without the choices of the strategy, is all over the place. You might win occasionally but you’re probably not going to win consistently, reliably or sustainably.” http://www.businessinsider.com/ag-lafley-roger-martin-playing-to-win-2013-2 A.G. Lafley says:
  61. Three levels of loops UI feature product UX strategy research

    design
  62. Choose your research scope, define your design parameters.

  63. “To embrace experimentation you just need to stop talking about

    design in a Socratic way [...] and start formalising hypotheses and tests.” Leisa Reichelt says: http://www.disambiguity.com/experimentation-beats-expertise/
  64. “[...] The experimental mindset is an egalitarian approach to design.

    It allows that anyone can suggest a design solutions and, rather than argue endlessly about whether it is better or worse than other approaches, you design a test. Find out how to find out which design works best.” Leisa Reichelt says: http://www.disambiguity.com/experimentation-beats-expertise/
  65. Isn’t this supposed to be creative? Wait a sec.

  66. Typical (healthy) creative process divergence convergence Ideas

  67. Typical (healthy) creative process design ideas inspiration & research problem

    framing prototyping divergence convergence
  68. research design hypotheses findings implementation ideas (or prototype)

  69. Accept that “findings” are just what we know at this

    point in time given what we’ve decided to focus on. The conscious researcher:
  70. Accept that what we create is limited by our knowledge.

    The conscious designer:
  71. Research findings are possible universes.

  72. Designs are also possible universes.

  73. A research and prototype process can reveal important customer behaviour

    that can impact all areas of your business.
  74. Revealing Story #3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/3656437810/

  75. User Experience Strategy provides a way to handle the constant

    shift of the meeting point between research and design. research design hypotheses findings implementation ideas (or prototype)
  76. Your research nurtures a creative model.

  77. Your design proves something. (or disproves)

  78. Your creative process is an continual experiment.

  79. Thank you! Many thanks to: Olivier Thereaux & David Rollert

    Stephanie Troeth @sniffles http://stephanietroeth.com/