Strategic Interaction Design

4 Jan 2009 - 1:43pm
5 years ago
58 replies
5920 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.

<http://www.designingforinteraction.com>

In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy, that
is: how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.

So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
You respond...

Comments

4 Jan 2009 - 2:42pm
Neil Cadsawan
2008

Like most answers here and in other places, it depends. Is this
strategy for a project or a business?

It depends on who is responsible for strategy in both your company
and at the client's. Is it just you, someone else or a team?
What's the situation on the client's side? Is it the person
responsible for the RFP or someone else? Is there a C-Level behind
the scenes that needs to be considered?

It depends upon the relationship between you (or your company) and
the client. Have you been hired as a consultancy or an agency? Is
the client looking to you for answers and ideas or are you only there
for execution only? Could this client lead you on to other clients?

It depends upon the nature of the project. Big project or small one?
Could this lead to more work with this client? Could you have more
influence in a later project?

It depends on what the ultimate goal of the the project is. What is
the desired outcome the clients want? What are the desires and needs
of the users? What is the tone of the project?

---

Just a few things that could be thought about when "strategy" is
thrown about.

Cheers.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

4 Jan 2009 - 3:01pm
DampeS8N
2008

If you really want to do good, you should make the chapter about how
to educate the people you work with in charge of business strategy
about IxD and why it is important for a product. And what parts of a
product should get focus.

Whomever is already doing business strategy would be best equipped to
handle where and when to apply IxD strategically.

However, I would argue that all products should have designed
interaction. I would find any book that suggests otherwise to be
suspect.

When applied correctly, digital products that have their interaction
designed first and correctly are cheaper. Because without that,
you'll have a lot of wasted effort over the course of the product's
creation.

So suggesting IxD should be picked and chosen would be giving people
who want to avoid the 'risk' of IxD a way to avoid it.

"Well, It doesn't fit our strategy right now."

If the idea is simply to get them to try IxD a few times and then to
see the value, then you should say that.

Unless I am missing your point...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

4 Jan 2009 - 4:29pm
Jim Leftwich
2004

The extensive discussion that I, Luke Wroblewski, Bob Baxley, and Dirk
Knemeyer had on Design Vision back in 2006 covers a lot of our
career-long observations, lessons, and experiences on the subject of
Design Vision and the need for strategic leadership by designers:

You can get the whole Acrobat .pdf here:

http://www.lukew.com/resources/articles/DesignVision.pdf

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

4 Jan 2009 - 3:52pm
Kevin Silver
2010

Hi Dan,

When I think of strategy as applied to IxD, I think about how behavior
will affect the overall experience. Also, what is the strategic
purpose of the conversation. Is it singular, a one time thing or is it
(or can be) perpetual. I was just talking with someone about their
online service that consists of a single interaction, fill out this
form and we'll let other people know you are looking for information
(insurance quotes) and that's it for the service's involvement in the
conversation. We were discussing the value of perpetuating this
conversation beyond this single interaction and how if we did that it
would affect the overall experience and potentially the brand and
marketing, etc... Perpetuating the conversation and making at least
what I thought a more holistic experience would strategically change
the nature of the business, including a greater technical cost. As
interaction designers we need to know that our design decisions could
change the nature of business for better or for worse. In this case I
thought for better, but strategically they weren't ready to make the
leap.

And from a slightly different angle I also start to think about how a
singular micro interaction can affect the whole macro interaction. In
designing an application for example, how do all of the micro
interactions that occur (discrete actions) affect the overall behavior
or macro interaction. How do these ten small steps affect the overall
flow? Also, how will this affect the overall personality of the
application? And what are the technical implications of both the micro
and macro interactions? Technical implementation is part of the
overall strategy and what we design affects strategy vastly.

You need to think about how an interaction affects the overall
experience or how it affects the conversation itself within a larger
interaction. Strategic decisions need to be made in either case.

Kevin

On Jan 4, 2009, at 11:43 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.
>
> <http://www.designingforinteraction.com>
>
> In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy,
> that is: how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.
>
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about
> strategy? You respond...
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

4 Jan 2009 - 2:39pm
Boon Sheridan
2009

Dan,

I respond%u2026 Do you mean what should Interaction Designers know
about Strategy as a practice or about the strategy of the project
they're working on?

If it%u2019s big %u201CS%u201D Strategy I believe Interaction
Designers should have at least a firm grasp of what%u2019s going on
with the collective wisdom that make up the elusive %u2018Best
Practices.%u2019 I think the front half of the questionnaire Will
Evans just posted to his blog* helps get you there (Are you read up
on ideas and discussions enough to validate them against your goals?
Have you found a few other folks facing the same challenges and see
how they succeeded or failed?) Most importantly %u2013 do you
understand your client%u2019s goals and overall strategy? Learning
about what the client is ultimately shooting for means fewer little
mistakes and no big ones down the road.

If it%u2019s little %u201Cs%u201D strategy all members of a project
team should know enough about the strategy they%u2019re working
towards to make them dangerous - i.e. able to add insight based on
what skills they bring to the table. In many cases strategic goals
are mapped out prior to IxD's getting involved but that doesn%u2019t
prevent good insight from being sprinkled in later to the overall
benefit of all. (That goes for everyone, Content, Design, Tech and
QA.) Don't try to re-open a strategic discussion just for the sake
of it, but try to influence the direction just like you'd tap on the
shoulder of a man with a blowtorch - gentle pressure.**

* http://budurl.com/guruquestions

** Terrible MST3K reference, but it's on in the background so I
can't help it.

[boon]
http://www.wordhole.com
twitter: boonerang

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

4 Jan 2009 - 4:34pm
Fred Beecher
2006

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 1:42 PM, Neil Cadsawan <neil at cadsawan.net> wrote:

> Like most answers here and in other places, it depends. Is this
> strategy for a project or a business?
>

I think Neil's differentiation here is a very important one to make and I'd
like to elaborate on it a little. It is crucial that we understand *both*
types of strategy.

We need to understand the basic way our clients make and/or prevent losing
money and how they plan to increase/decrease this in the future, in other
words their overall business strategy. This is the context in which the
success of the individual project will be judged.

When it comes to the individual project, we need to understand the business
motivation behind it. Why does the client feel like this is worth doing? How
will this project make or save the company money? What specific goals does
the project need to accomplish? And importantly, how will the project figure
into the overall business strategy?

We need to understand all this because, ultimately, we are working for the
business. Not the users (burn the heretic! burn him!!!). Our job is to use
our insight & understanding about the users' goals/contexts/behaviors to
make it worthwhile, easy, desirable, and compelling for them to do whatever
it is the business values.

This could be buying a gadget or simply reading a news article and being
exposed to advertising. But when it comes to what an IxD needs to know, I
think it's a little different when it comes to a website or a consumer
product (including software). If you're trying to get people to buy
something from a store, well, that's a whole separate discipline and I'm
certainly not going to suggest all IxDs need to be Marketing experts. But
what's important when dealing with products is that you need to be able to
collaborate with market researchers to understand things like the target
segment's buying habits, what they find compelling, etc. Of course, all this
quantitative stuff needs to be analyzed concurrently with the qualitative
research we do.

Okay Dan, so here's the short, short version of what IxDs need to understand
about strategy:

- We need to know how to gather and interpret information about overall
business strategy (what questions to ask, how to communicate why you're
asking these questions, etc.)

- We need to know how to gather and interpret information about the specific
business goals behind individual projects.

- We need to know how to take our understanding of the users and use it to
make design decisions that will make it easy for the business to meet their
goals (by meeting the user's goals)

- If we're dealing with commodities (products, software, etc.), then we need
to know how to effectively collaborate with market researchers.

Take care,
Fred

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fred Beecher
Sr. User Experience Consultant
Evantage Consulting
O: 612.230.3838 // M: 612.810.6745
IM: fbeecher at gmail.com (google/msn) // fredevc (aim/yahoo)
T: http://twitter.com/fred_beecher

4 Jan 2009 - 5:17pm
Mark Schraad
2006

You did not specify you application of the word strategy... but I use
four basic frameworks for design strategies. They are as follows...

a) filling the order.
This is almost a non-strategy, but it really has to be mentioned as
the lower common denominator. The scenario is: the client or product
manager comes to design (designer or design team) with a firm idea of
what they would like to end up with. Design complies by executing
pretty much as described. I tend to be very uncomfortable with this
as it renders design as craft and the designer a tactician.

b) problem - solution
While this may seem pretty basic and fundamental to designers... it
is not obvious to those in product, marketing or even engineering/
tech, where projects often originate. When I am struggling with
projects coming to me or my team in the form of framework a)... I try
and switch the conversation to defining the problem. The trick here
is to not call out what may be faulty assumptions that have lead to
the 'vision' or 'solution' provided to the designer, but to go back
to square one and think very fundamentally. Most bad design, where I
have been privy to the process, is a result of solving the wrong
problem, not poorly solving the problem given.

c) goal/objective/policy/tactics structure.
This can actually be layer on top of the problem solution scenario.
This structure helps to further define complex problems. They usually
tend to be a combination of problems and constraints. The validity of
constraints is always an issue for designers... but that is best left
for another conversation (Chris Conley and others).

d) design solution
No conversation regarding strategy would be complete without
discussing the concepts presented by Boland, Collopy in "Managing as
Designing". The initial chapter calls out the sort of process
designers get sucked into when business drives projects... they call
it 'decision' based, versus one that is 'design' based. As an example
the author relates one of Frank Geary's team's projects. They begin
by satisfying the criteria, constraints and goals... then, setting
that aside they embark on the 'how great can we make it' part of the
process. I have had very good success using this approach when the
standards of the client (or their expectations) are not high enough.
I've used a good. better, best labeling to show three solutions. The
client then has the opportunity to gage the ROI of any additional
resources required for the better or best solutions.

I really don't think it matters if you are designing interactions,
products, places or anything else... understanding these approaches
can help to elevate the work, the conversation and the results. Hope
this is in the neighborhood or your ask, and that is it helpful.

Mark

On Jan 4, 2009, at 1:43 PM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.
>
> <http://www.designingforinteraction.com>
>
> In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy,
> that is: how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.
>
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about
> strategy? You respond...
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

4 Jan 2009 - 5:20pm
Andrew Otwell
2004

>
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
> You respond...

The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do we
get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design to
clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I don't
think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't belong
in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.

Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:

- How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
- How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition might
suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
- How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
- What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs. cheap
vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
- How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
"strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how does
strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
inside a company? How is the sausage made?
- Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look like?
Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's not
going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do you
look for to figure out what the strategy is?

Andrew

4 Jan 2009 - 6:54pm
Dan Saffer
2003

Awesome thread everyone. We should talk about this more often.

Dan

4 Jan 2009 - 10:20pm
Tania Schlatter
2007

Interaction designers need to know the basics - that strategy can (and
should) provide a framework for whatever you are designing. When
defined early and inclusively, it is a tool for aligning teams, a
touchstone for evaluating solutions and provides a benchmark for
defining success.

More specifically, they should know that there are a lot of strategic
frameworks that apply to interaction design, and it would be great to
include some. The framework I use for defining a strategy for a
project is "viable, desirable, possible". When I have sound answers
to questions in these three areas, I can design "strategically" -
create something that addresses specific needs or opportunities.

They should see examples of projects that used strategy (and maybe
some that didn't) what the strategy was, the role the interaction
designer(s) played in defining the strategy, and outcomes.

Tania

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tania Schlatter, Principal
Nimble Partners, LLC

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

5 Jan 2009 - 2:07am
Steve Baty
2009

Dan,

In addition to the excellent responses you've already received from Mark,
Tania, Andrew, Fred and others, I would include the need to understand the
concepts of differentiation and positioning (in a business sense) and the
ways in which interaction design can contribute to corporate (or
organizational) strategy in these areas.

An example from the interaction design space would be the iPhone and the
original iPod and how the IxD of these devices created a clear departure
from the existing offerings in (respectively) the smartphone and MP3 player
markets. You could also cite examples from consumer electronics in the
industrial design space by comparing the approach of Bang & Olufsen with
Bose, and the approach to differentiation used by each company in the design
of speakers.

In digital environments you can see this in operation in the differentiation
strategy employed by Google with it's search engine interface at initial
release as compared to the interaction design employed by Yahoo! and Alta
Vista during the same period. There are numerous other examples - including
one you used yourself several years ago with the choice by Victoria's Secret
not to employ a 'shopping cart' metaphor on it's Web site, but to use a
shopping bag instead.

Differentiation is at the core of business strategy and is an important
concept for IxD practitioners to firmly grasp and apply to their work.

Steve

--
Steve 'Doc' Baty | Principal Consultant | Meld Consulting | P: +61 417 061
292 | E: stevebaty at meld.com.au | Twitter: docbaty

Blog: http://docholdsfourth.blogspot.com
Contributor - UXMatters - www.uxmatters.com
UX Book Club: http://uxbookclub.org/ - Read, discuss, connect.

5 Jan 2009 - 9:07am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

For me, this brings to mind a question I was asked once in an
interview. 'Have you ever recommended a non-software/computer solution
to a customer's problem?' This was asked with the knowledge that I
worked for a software development firm. Typically, by the time I am
involved in a project, multiple someones have already determined that
it is a good fit for our company, so a software solution makes sense.
But, the question did make me think a good bit about my bias towards
technology, and software specifically, as the solution to problems.

My company might not like it if I told a client that they really
didn't need our software. But if I was presented with a situation in
which I felt such was the case, it would be irresponsible not to bring
it to the attention of our project lead.

Best,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

Form follows function -
that has been misunderstood.
Form and function should be one,
joined in a spiritual union.

- Frank Lloyd Wright

5 Jan 2009 - 10:06am
Cwodtke
2004

I have a section in my 2nd edition on what you need to know about business
needs and your business model, and how that affects your choices. I agree
that it is increasingly important (especially in our current economic
climate) for designers to understand their role in the business.

the long and short of my thinking is, if you know what behaviors you need
your uses to accomplish to meet business goals, you can model environments
that promote those behaviors. That sounds simple, but really it means
taking apart the business model so you under stand the value of each
accomplishment-- registration, check out, saving, preferences, sharing -- in
terms of core business goals -- retention, revenue, activity. Then you map
that on to where and how you spend your precious design time, and onto the
actual interface. This is the single most important thing an IxD can
contribute to the process.

This is actually more tactics to get to strategy-- strategy is set at the
highest levels, hopefully. However, tactics is where strategy is realized or
fails-- don't elittle it!

That said, if an IxD both understands the major business goals by looking at
the company and at companies in the sector and can speak insightfully to the
challenges faced by the business, s/he may well find herself shaping the
strategy as well as the tactics.

I'll be giving a workshop on just this topic at nform's web strategy
conference. if you can't make it, I bet they'll let me post slides....

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:

> I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.
>
> <http://www.designingforinteraction.com>
>
> In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy, that is:
> how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.
>
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy? You
> respond...
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jan 2009 - 10:41am
Dave Malouf
2005

For me the IxD strategy portion is about creating the narrative that
is the framework around the interactions and interfaces we design.

In the end interaction designers are the story tellers and the
interface and industrial designers are the production artists of the
theater that is the user experience.

The back and forth of the business side is the pre-quel or pre-story
that the interaction designer needs to build in their work in order
to sustain the narrative that will be the product/service.

Oy! metaphor waterfall (doh!! I did it again!)

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

5 Jan 2009 - 11:24am
Kevin Silver
2010

Christina, great point on tactics.

I recently gave a presentation for an organization with a colleague
and we split the talk up into two sections strategy and tactics. It
was a natural approach. More and more in my work I am making the
distinction. Let's talk about strategic direction and define that
first before getting down to the tactics or the detailed design. And
knowing that Dan's book is also about methods I start to think about
the role of concept models (ala Dan Brown) in strategic definition.
Even though a concept model might be a tactical implementation at a
high level, it really can spur strategic conversations.

Maybe another question is, who defines strategy? In my role as a
consultant I typically have a greater say in this, but I'm sure this
isn't the case for everyone.

Kevin

On Jan 5, 2009, at 8:06 AM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> I have a section in my 2nd edition on what you need to know about
> business
> needs and your business model, and how that affects your choices. I
> agree
> that it is increasingly important (especially in our current economic
> climate) for designers to understand their role in the business.
>
> the long and short of my thinking is, if you know what behaviors you
> need
> your uses to accomplish to meet business goals, you can model
> environments
> that promote those behaviors. That sounds simple, but really it means
> taking apart the business model so you under stand the value of each
> accomplishment-- registration, check out, saving, preferences,
> sharing -- in
> terms of core business goals -- retention, revenue, activity. Then
> you map
> that on to where and how you spend your precious design time, and
> onto the
> actual interface. This is the single most important thing an IxD can
> contribute to the process.
>
> This is actually more tactics to get to strategy-- strategy is set
> at the
> highest levels, hopefully. However, tactics is where strategy is
> realized or
> fails-- don't elittle it!
>
> That said, if an IxD both understands the major business goals by
> looking at
> the company and at companies in the sector and can speak
> insightfully to the
> challenges faced by the business, s/he may well find herself shaping
> the
> strategy as well as the tactics.
>
> I'll be giving a workshop on just this topic at nform's web strategy
> conference. if you can't make it, I bet they'll let me post slides....
>
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.
>>
>> <http://www.designingforinteraction.com>
>>
>> In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy,
>> that is:
>> how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.
>>
>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about
>> strategy? You
>> respond...
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

5 Jan 2009 - 12:19pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Good stuff Christina.

For me, this is where I tend to wonder a bit outside of what others
consider proper 'design' conversation... finding and navigating that
definitive line between the design criteria/strategy... and the
process of getting design done and done well within and organization/
client relationship. This is something that account management often
handles... but it is a huge issue for many designers. It is (and as
Bill Buxton noted and Ixda08) the largest are of concentration and
attention in my daily job. Chris Conely addresses it in his article
"design in hostile territory".

As many of us are working hard to elevate design as a practice within
the corporate environment... this sort of stuff is quite valuable
(and should be considered a critical priority for the Ixda).

Mark

On Jan 5, 2009, at 10:06 AM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> I have a section in my 2nd edition on what you need to know about
> business
> needs and your business model, and how that affects your choices. I
> agree
> that it is increasingly important (especially in our current economic
> climate) for designers to understand their role in the business.
>
> the long and short of my thinking is, if you know what behaviors
> you need
> your uses to accomplish to meet business goals, you can model
> environments
> that promote those behaviors. That sounds simple, but really it means
> taking apart the business model so you under stand the value of each
> accomplishment-- registration, check out, saving, preferences,
> sharing -- in
> terms of core business goals -- retention, revenue, activity. Then
> you map
> that on to where and how you spend your precious design time, and
> onto the
> actual interface. This is the single most important thing an IxD can
> contribute to the process.
>
> This is actually more tactics to get to strategy-- strategy is set
> at the
> highest levels, hopefully. However, tactics is where strategy is
> realized or
> fails-- don't elittle it!
>
> That said, if an IxD both understands the major business goals by
> looking at
> the company and at companies in the sector and can speak
> insightfully to the
> challenges faced by the business, s/he may well find herself
> shaping the
> strategy as well as the tactics.
>
> I'll be giving a workshop on just this topic at nform's web strategy
> conference. if you can't make it, I bet they'll let me post slides....
>
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.
>>
>> <http://www.designingforinteraction.com>
>>
>> In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy,
>> that is:
>> how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.
>>
>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about
>> strategy? You
>> respond...
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

5 Jan 2009 - 12:30pm
Cwodtke
2004

Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These questions are
ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current role which
involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found invaluable
in this journey

'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
'Strategy Safari'
'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
'Innovator's Dilemma'

I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.

The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product design.
This post in particular, speaks to your first question
http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
"1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
6. Why now? (market window)
7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
(metrics/revenue strategy)
9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so important.

Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and it's quite
difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though, sheds some
light on how to make free work.

As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a sentence.
I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around with you. I
think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be executed
at all.

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
> > You respond...
>
>
> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do we
> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design to
> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I don't
> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't belong
> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>
> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>
> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition might
> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
> cheap
> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
> does
> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look like?
> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
> not
> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
> you
> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>
> Andrew
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jan 2009 - 12:56pm
SemanticWill
2007

1 sentence for a strategy?

I wrote a draft of the strategy document for IxDA new community
platform and it was 6 pages. It starts with the context, moves quickly
through the value and purpose of the organization and then breaks the
strategy into 3 major themes with objectives, goals, representative
projects and metrics by which to measure success/failure. I don't know
how kosher it is to share that strategy document - but I am rather
certain that it's a balls-to-the-wall stellar document the likes of
which would make Porter himself green with envy and kneel down to kiss
my ring.

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Jan 5, 2009, at 12:30 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These
> questions are
> ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current role
> which
> involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found
> invaluable
> in this journey
>
> 'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
> 'Strategy Safari'
> 'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
> 'Innovator's Dilemma'
>
> I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.
>
> The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product
> design.
> This post in particular, speaks to your first question
> http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
> "1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
> 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
> 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
> 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
> 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
> 6. Why now? (market window)
> 7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
> 8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
> (metrics/revenue strategy)
> 9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
> 10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
> I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so
> important.
>
> Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and
> it's quite
> difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though,
> sheds some
> light on how to make free work.
>
> As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a
> sentence.
> I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around
> with you. I
> think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
> internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be
> executed
> at all.
>
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>>>
>>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about
>>> strategy?
>>> You respond...
>>
>>
>> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm
>> ("how do we
>> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling
>> design to
>> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?")
>> I don't
>> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't
>> belong
>> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have
>> been
>> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>>
>> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned
>> about
>> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>>
>> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
>> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how
>> does
>> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
>> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of
>> competition might
>> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
>> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover
>> vs.
>> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
>> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a
>> serious
>> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free
>> vs.
>> cheap
>> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
>> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy?
>> Often
>> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0",
>> but how
>> does
>> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and
>> development
>> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
>> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy"
>> look like?
>> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO
>> repeats at
>> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the
>> time,
>> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy",
>> there's
>> not
>> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity,
>> what do
>> you
>> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>>
>> Andrew
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

5 Jan 2009 - 1:43pm
jet
2008

[note: I'm looking at this as someone who's done a fair amount of
engineering/project integration across disciplines, not as a designer.
So maybe "strategic" means something very different for me. If that's
true, it does for lots of other people outside the design field, and it
will have to be very carefully defined for outsiders reading your book.

--jet]

Steve Baty wrote:
> Dan,
>
> In addition to the excellent responses you've already received from Mark,
> Tania, Andrew, Fred and others, I would include the need to understand the
> concepts of differentiation and positioning (in a business sense) and the
> ways in which interaction design can contribute to corporate (or
> organizational) strategy in these areas.

I think another great example of this sort of thing is Europa Cafe.
It's not just a well designed cafe in terms of the space and flow where
you can order food online. Their online services and print media are
all tightly integrated with the physical cafes both in visual design,
flow and business goals. The website isn't a simple "order for
takeout", it includes a well-thought-out food management system for
people who routinely order food for other people and for people who care
about calories and ingredients on a fine-grained level.

My guess is that the "strategic design" here was that there was a single
person/team driving all these different design disciplines and making
sure they all worked together for the better good. I'm guessing that
they were also good at resolving a number of significant conflicts
between the different design and business teams.

(Having said that, the lead designers for Europa Cafe are going to come
out of the woodwork and correct my every word.)

--
J. Eric "jet" Townsend, CMU Master of Tangible Interaction Design '09

design: www.allartburns.org; hacking: www.flatline.net; HF: KG6ZVQ
PGP: 0xD0D8C2E8 AC9B 0A23 C61A 1B4A 27C5 F799 A681 3C11 D0D8 C2E8

5 Jan 2009 - 1:52pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 12:43 PM, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy? You
> respond...

My history with strategy has been kind of strange. I saw all sorts of
people talking about strategic design, strategy, and whatnot, and I
thought that I wanted to be strategic too. All the cool kids were.

But the more I learned about strategy, the more I realized I didn't know.

Fast forward a few years, and I decided to get an MBA. Even after
taking three classes in strategy, I *still* didn't know what all of
the aforementioned "cool kids" were talking about.

After embarking in a study of strategy in various contexts including
military, I have finally defined strategy:

Strategy is the plan for how to compete.

I keep it that short in the interests of memorization and brevity. But
there are lots of levels of strategy. You have to figure out what
"you" is, and what you are competing for. Corporate strategy is
deciding what lines of business to be in to compete for investment &
market cap; available tactics include mergers, acquisitions, and more.

Business strategy is how to compete for advertising or customer
dollars against similar businesses and substitutes for your business
services. What services should be offered? What customers should be
targeted? What is the core value? Should we enter this new service
area with either the same customers or the same process?
Differentiation or low cost?

Product strategy, in this framework, is how the product or service is
going to compete. Good interaction design? Features? Simplicity? Flow?
Beauty? Distribution model? Market segments?

Really, I think of design as tactics employed in product strategy. It
seems like execution to me, though that's certainly arguable.

Each of the above are loosely coupled, with product strategy for
different services being tightly coupled with each other. Each "lower"
level influences the level "above", especially since there are are
many lines of business that corporations are in, and many services
that a business offers.

So, what does an interaction designer have to know about strategy?

First, it's a rare designer who has influence over business strategy.
So the designer must generally work with the business strategy, not at
cross-purposes. A Wal-Mart product must not be feature rich to the
point of being high cost. A discount ISP must not induce customers to
believe they can call customer care 10 times per month. An
advertising-driven web site must have plenty of quality advertising
opportunities.

Second, IxDers can have significant influence over product strategy,
though working with others. They must know this, but also be able to
communicate in the language of product strategy. They can especially
influence direction through user research, which is similar to but
distinct from market research. But they can not be the sole source of
product strategy.

Third, product design, along with business processes and service
design, can be the glue that holds together all of those product
strategies. We can work across products, and create a more unified
whole. I think this essentially is "strategic design". And if it
doesn't get planned, it'll happen on its own.

Fourth, we need to understand strategic marketing or marketing
strategy. These folks talk about products and product features to
offer to market segments. Each group can teach the other something
valuable, and each also looks across the various product strategies.

We need to be able to talk their language, understand how they
segment, and articulate differences in research techniques and
personas, and why each are valuable. We need to not fight with these
folks, but collaborate with them. We need to understand when to invest
in their research, when to invest extra in separate design research,
and the differences between purchasers and users.

I don't think that beginning IxDers need to know the above, but I
think anyone with 3+ years of experience should understand it.

~~~~
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

5 Jan 2009 - 2:50pm
Mark Schraad
2006

On Jan 5, 2009, at 1:52 PM, Barbara Ballard wrote:

> Really, I think of design as tactics employed in product strategy. It
> seems like execution to me, though that's certainly arguable.

This is exactly the mind set that I have spent the last 10 - 15 years
trying to correct, or at least mitigate. In the nineties, running my
design firm, I saw project after project that were doomed before we
even got a hold of them. When you're working as a consultant and a
'go to' design firm, one of the fastest way to reduce your livelihood
is to call this out in initial client meetings. And, as Barbara
states, it is the rare designer that has a hand or say in strategy.

We (my tiny midwest design firm) started pulling qualitative research
in as a core capability in the mid nineties. It accomplished a number
of things... better insight, better design, and measurably better
performance... but the most important result was that we, designers,
were involved in the conversations that formed the product or project
strategy. It made a huge difference.

Years later, it is often hard to blame business folks for not
understanding the importance of bringing design into the conversation
early. But they are not taught that in business school. Well, unless
you are lucky enough to got Rottman, IIT, Harvard, Berkley, Kansas
and a handful of other schools where the design and business
professors have continued dialog.

So... to a couple of other points Barbara makes, it is critical that
designers understand marketing, consumer behavior, business strategy,
revenue models... and a bunch of other things designers often find
distasteful. Is it fair? Not at all. In many of the environments I
have worked designers have gone out of their way to become not only
aware and conversant, but competent in these skill sets. But I can
count on one hand the number of business execs that bother to study
and learn how beneficial embracing design can be in their success.
Those who do... tend to accomplish great things. Those who don't tend
to reside in the b list of followers hoping for innovation to fall
upon them.

Mark

5 Jan 2009 - 3:17pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:50 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Really, I think of design as tactics employed in product strategy. It
>> seems like execution to me, though that's certainly arguable.
>
>
> This is exactly the mind set that I have spent the last 10 - 15 years trying
> to correct, or at least mitigate. In the nineties, running my design firm, I
> saw project after project that were doomed before we even got a hold of
> them. When you're working as a consultant and a 'go to' design firm, one of
> the fastest way to reduce your livelihood is to call this out in initial
> client meetings. And, as Barbara states, it is the rare designer that has a
> hand or say in strategy.

I totally understand, and even agree with, where you are coming from.
It's just that I worship at the altar of execution. Without execution,
strategy is nothing more than a bunch of hot air. Useful hot air, but
hot air. And product strategy shaped without design thinking can doom
projects before they start.

~~~~
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

5 Jan 2009 - 3:34pm
Chad Vavra
2008

My thoughts are very much along the same lines as Fred's.

Business Strategy and Design Strategy are two very different beasts.
In my corporate experience business strategy leads and is part of the
RFP, pitch-creation, pitch process and rarely involves a UX
professional.

Design strategy happens after the contracts are signed and usually
fuels research. If the UX team doesn't understand the thinking
behind the pitch and the purpose of the RFP they could very well
waste a lot of time and money on paths of lesser importance,
especially in large scale work.

So what do we need to know? We need to know what the RFP requested
and how and why the pitch team solved for it. We also need to know
that the pitch team [read: business strategists] value our work
enough to include us when appropriate. In corporate structures pitch
teams rarely care once a pitch is won. They exist for the thrill of
the hunt and need to be constantly reminded of the efficiencies to
including the next step in their processes. This is just as true for
UX professionals including developers [specifically database] in the
design strategy phase.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

5 Jan 2009 - 4:18pm
Cwodtke
2004

a heuristic is a short sentence that represents a larger body of experience.
same for strategy-- your six pages should be summerizable to everyone
working on the IxDA can quickly make choices that pushes the IxDA in the
right direction. They can't carry six pages around in their heads.

How about, "self promoting, self educating, self-replicating digital
interaction community"? or better yet, "self sufficiant interaction design
community" (not having read the six pages...)

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 1 sentence for a strategy?
> I wrote a draft of the strategy document for IxDA new community platform
> and it was 6 pages. It starts with the context, moves quickly through the
> value and purpose of the organization and then breaks the strategy into 3
> major themes with objectives, goals, representative projects and metrics by
> which to measure success/failure. I don't know how kosher it is to share
> that strategy document - but I am rather certain that it's a
> balls-to-the-wall stellar document the likes of which would make Porter
> himself green with envy and kneel down to kiss my ring.
>
> ~ will
>
> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
> and what you innovate are design problems"
>
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
> http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
> aim: semanticwill
> gtalk: semanticwill
> twitter: semanticwill
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> On Jan 5, 2009, at 12:30 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>
> Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These questions are
> ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current role which
> involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found invaluable
> in this journey
>
> 'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
> 'Strategy Safari'
> 'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
> 'Innovator's Dilemma'
>
> I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.
>
> The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product design.
> This post in particular, speaks to your first question
> http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
> "1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
> 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
> 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
> 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
> 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
> 6. Why now? (market window)
> 7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
> 8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
> (metrics/revenue strategy)
> 9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
> 10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
> I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so important.
>
> Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and it's
> quite
> difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though, sheds some
> light on how to make free work.
>
> As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a
> sentence.
> I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around with you.
> I
> think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
> internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be executed
> at all.
>
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
>
> You respond...
>
>
>
> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do we
>
> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design to
>
> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I don't
>
> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't belong
>
> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
>
> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>
>
> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
>
> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>
>
> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
>
> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
>
> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
>
> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition might
>
> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
>
> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
>
> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
>
> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
>
> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
>
> cheap
>
> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
>
> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
>
> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
>
> does
>
> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
>
> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
>
> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look like?
>
> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
>
> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
>
> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
>
> not
>
> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
>
> you
>
> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>
>
> Andrew
>
> ________________________________________________________________
>
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>
>

5 Jan 2009 - 4:25pm
Mark Schraad
2006

I really dislike 10 word summaries of complex issues. Its most often
a disservice and inaccurate.

Abstracts work really well when done right (but rarely are outside of
academia). Keywords and subject headers can help... but If it is
important to you... take the time.

Mark

On Jan 5, 2009, at 4:18 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> a heuristic is a short sentence that represents a larger body of
> experience.
> same for strategy-- your six pages should be summerizable to everyone
> working on the IxDA can quickly make choices that pushes the IxDA
> in the
> right direction. They can't carry six pages around in their heads.
>
> How about, "self promoting, self educating, self-replicating digital
> interaction community"? or better yet, "self sufficiant interaction
> design
> community" (not having read the six pages...)
>
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 1 sentence for a strategy?
>> I wrote a draft of the strategy document for IxDA new community
>> platform
>> and it was 6 pages. It starts with the context, moves quickly
>> through the
>> value and purpose of the organization and then breaks the strategy
>> into 3
>> major themes with objectives, goals, representative projects and
>> metrics by
>> which to measure success/failure. I don't know how kosher it is to
>> share
>> that strategy document - but I am rather certain that it's a
>> balls-to-the-wall stellar document the likes of which would make
>> Porter
>> himself green with envy and kneel down to kiss my ring.
>>
>> ~ will
>>
>> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>> and what you innovate are design problems"
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -----------
>> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
>> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
>> http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
>> aim: semanticwill
>> gtalk: semanticwill
>> twitter: semanticwill
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -----------
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jan 5, 2009, at 12:30 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>>
>> Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These
>> questions are
>> ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current
>> role which
>> involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found
>> invaluable
>> in this journey
>>
>> 'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
>> 'Strategy Safari'
>> 'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
>> 'Innovator's Dilemma'
>>
>> I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.
>>
>> The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product
>> design.
>> This post in particular, speaks to your first question
>> http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
>> "1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
>> 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
>> 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
>> 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
>> 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
>> 6. Why now? (market window)
>> 7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
>> 8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
>> (metrics/revenue strategy)
>> 9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
>> 10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
>> I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so
>> important.
>>
>> Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and
>> it's
>> quite
>> difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though,
>> sheds some
>> light on how to make free work.
>>
>> As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a
>> sentence.
>> I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around
>> with you.
>> I
>> think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
>> internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be
>> executed
>> at all.
>>
>> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell
>> <heyotwell at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
>>
>> You respond...
>>
>>
>>
>> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm
>> ("how do we
>>
>> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling
>> design to
>>
>> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?")
>> I don't
>>
>> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics
>> don't belong
>>
>> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have
>> been
>>
>> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>>
>>
>> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned
>> about
>>
>> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>>
>>
>> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
>>
>> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how
>> does
>>
>> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
>>
>> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of
>> competition might
>>
>> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
>>
>> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover
>> vs.
>>
>> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
>>
>> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a
>> serious
>>
>> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free
>> vs.
>>
>> cheap
>>
>> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
>>
>> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy?
>> Often
>>
>> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0",
>> but how
>>
>> does
>>
>> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and
>> development
>>
>> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
>>
>> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy"
>> look like?
>>
>> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO
>> repeats at
>>
>> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of
>> the time,
>>
>> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy",
>> there's
>>
>> not
>>
>> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity,
>> what do
>>
>> you
>>
>> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>>
>>
>> Andrew
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>>
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>>
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

5 Jan 2009 - 4:29pm
Andrew Otwell
2004

Of course, when you're really digging into a complex problem, it's a danger
to minimize it to an acronym.

But if you don't have a pithy, sexy, or scary meme-scale version that people
can *instantly* recall during prioritization sessions or scribble on a
postit, you run the risk of getting lost among all the other Big Important
Topics with Six Page Documents.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:25 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> I really dislike 10 word summaries of complex issues. Its most often a
> disservice and inaccurate.
>
> Abstracts work really well when done right (but rarely are outside of
> academia). Keywords and subject headers can help... but If it is important
> to you... take the time.
>
> Mark
>
>
>
>
> On Jan 5, 2009, at 4:18 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>
> a heuristic is a short sentence that represents a larger body of
>> experience.
>> same for strategy-- your six pages should be summerizable to everyone
>> working on the IxDA can quickly make choices that pushes the IxDA in the
>> right direction. They can't carry six pages around in their heads.
>>
>> How about, "self promoting, self educating, self-replicating digital
>> interaction community"? or better yet, "self sufficiant interaction design
>> community" (not having read the six pages...)
>>
>> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> 1 sentence for a strategy?
>>> I wrote a draft of the strategy document for IxDA new community platform
>>> and it was 6 pages. It starts with the context, moves quickly through the
>>> value and purpose of the organization and then breaks the strategy into 3
>>> major themes with objectives, goals, representative projects and metrics
>>> by
>>> which to measure success/failure. I don't know how kosher it is to share
>>> that strategy document - but I am rather certain that it's a
>>> balls-to-the-wall stellar document the likes of which would make Porter
>>> himself green with envy and kneel down to kiss my ring.
>>>
>>> ~ will
>>>
>>> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>>> and what you innovate are design problems"
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
>>> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
>>> http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
>>> aim: semanticwill
>>> gtalk: semanticwill
>>> twitter: semanticwill
>>>
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jan 5, 2009, at 12:30 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>>>
>>> Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These questions
>>> are
>>> ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current role
>>> which
>>> involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found
>>> invaluable
>>> in this journey
>>>
>>> 'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
>>> 'Strategy Safari'
>>> 'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
>>> 'Innovator's Dilemma'
>>>
>>> I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.
>>>
>>> The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product
>>> design.
>>> This post in particular, speaks to your first question
>>> http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
>>> "1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
>>> 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
>>> 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
>>> 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
>>> 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
>>> 6. Why now? (market window)
>>> 7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
>>> 8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
>>> (metrics/revenue strategy)
>>> 9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
>>> 10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
>>> I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so
>>> important.
>>>
>>> Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and it's
>>> quite
>>> difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though, sheds
>>> some
>>> light on how to make free work.
>>>
>>> As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a
>>> sentence.
>>> I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around with
>>> you.
>>> I
>>> think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
>>> internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be
>>> executed
>>> at all.
>>>
>>> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
>>>
>>> You respond...
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do
>>> we
>>>
>>> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design
>>> to
>>>
>>> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I
>>> don't
>>>
>>> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't
>>> belong
>>>
>>> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
>>>
>>> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>>>
>>>
>>> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
>>>
>>> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>>>
>>>
>>> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
>>>
>>> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
>>>
>>> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
>>>
>>> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition
>>> might
>>>
>>> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
>>>
>>> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
>>>
>>> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
>>>
>>> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
>>>
>>> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
>>>
>>> cheap
>>>
>>> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
>>>
>>> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
>>>
>>> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
>>>
>>> does
>>>
>>> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
>>>
>>> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
>>>
>>> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look
>>> like?
>>>
>>> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
>>>
>>> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
>>>
>>> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
>>>
>>> not
>>>
>>> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
>>>
>>> you
>>>
>>> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>>>
>>>
>>> Andrew
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>>
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>>
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>>
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>>
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>>
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

5 Jan 2009 - 4:31pm
Chad Vavra
2008

Wilken's Law:
The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
thickness of its binding.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

5 Jan 2009 - 4:45pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Wilken's Law:
> The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
> thickness of its binding.
>

I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
idea.

Back to the topic now ...

-r-

5 Jan 2009 - 7:05pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Is 'The Tipping Point' as good as 'Blink'?

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:

> >
> > Wilken's Law:
> > The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
> > thickness of its binding.
> >
>
> I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
> idea.
>
> Back to the topic now ...
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

4 Jan 2009 - 5:41pm
Uday Gajendar
2007

For me, strategy is inextricably related to leadership (or being a
design visionary commanding a "design strategy").

So then the question might really be: what are the leadership
qualities needed to a) properly envision a compelling, valuable,
integrative design concept and b) enable its fruition into a real
product for the business, looking across
markets/cycles/platforms/eco-systems, etc.

I've written about this on my blog recently:
http://www.ghostinthepixel.com/?p=162

(Based upon a talk I gave at IDSA few years ago)

One of the major points is that IxD'ers should be like ecologists,
conscious of the integrated system of invisible consequences. A
corollary is that asking critical questions driven by a set of
conceptual frameworks is necessary for the IxD to identify the right
problems to address.

Also, when I think of what i need to know about "design strategy" I
often go back to Vogel/Cagan's "Creating Breakthrough Products" as
the prime textbook on this, framed as an interdisciplinary product
development challenge. Leavy's "Inside Steve's Brain" has many
tasty morsels (the evolution of Apple's "digital lifestyle"
strategy), as does Robert Brunner's recent "Do you matter".

To dig even deeper, Tony-Golsby Smith at 2nd Road, Jeanne Liedtke at
Darden/UVA are pushing the boundaries of strategy as
argument/conversations, which inherently involve the concepts of
"interaction" albeit for slightly different purposes and audiences
(4th order systems, etc.). This maybe more advanced level of
understanding however.

Hope this helps...

-uday

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

5 Jan 2009 - 4:47pm
Steven Libenson
2007

Some-time lurker, first-time poster. Haven't commented before because I'm
not a UX professional. But with 15 years of strategy experience consulting
to large and small companies and as entrepreneur, I'll wade in here. My
apologies for botching any protocols and being long-winded.

Chad, perhaps the work we did was rare, but I used to help lead a consulting
practice that combined business strategy with interface design. We
addressed the question: "How can we maximize profitable growth while also
creating outstanding multi-channel user experiences?"

To answer this, we needed to know a bunch of things, including: Which
customers and prospects should we prioritize? How do customers become
aware of, research, buy and use our products and our competitor's products
(or similar products, if we're designing for a launch)? What roles do
different interfaces play at the different points in this buying process,
both individually and in concert with other interfaces? At which points do
customers and prospects fall out of this process and where is the upside for
improving it? How can a different marketing mix and better-designed
experiences within and across channels capture more upside?

In some cases, these issues could be answered qualitatively. However, the
larger the dollars involved (or the larger the inter-departmental
disagreement about direction), the more important it was to quantify these
issues and do "real" analysis.

This work highlighted lots of potential areas for improvement. We'd
prioritize plotting the potential improvements on a matrix with company
value on one axis and customer value on the other. We'd sequence
implementation by which changes would have the most upside for the company
(such as on short-term acquisition rate or long-term profitability) and were
positive or at least neutral to customers, as well as the changes that would
have the biggest upside for creating great customer experiences and were
positive or at least neutral to the company (such as cost, speed and
feasibility of implementation).

To David's point about narratives: In order to align decision-makers across
departments such as marketing, sales, user design, development, strategy,
market research, etc., we created before-and-after narratives of the
customer experience, highlighting areas of customer pain and profit upside.

BTW, these were projects in which the broader competitive strategy (such as
R&D, the company's product mix, location of manufacturing, mergers and
acquisitions, etc.) was typically fixed, although at times we were
addressing those issues, too. In any case, we'd ask our clients what issues
were expected to be fluid and which were fixed to set the context and not be
whacked by too many unexpected surprises.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:45 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:

> >
> > Wilken's Law:
> > The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
> > thickness of its binding.
> >
>
> I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
> idea.
>
> Back to the topic now ...
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jan 2009 - 1:39am
Peter Van Dijck
2008

Those are some of the best strategy questions I've ever heard. We tend to
work from product idea on, not from strategy. I do think at least a vague
understanding of strategy is important for designers. The problem of course,
is that strategy is such a wide encompassing topic.

In the same vain, I do think designers should also understand at least the
basic of business. That is, making money.

Peter

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 11:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
> > You respond...
>
>
> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do we
> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design to
> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I don't
> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't belong
> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>
> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>
> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition might
> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
> cheap
> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
> does
> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look like?
> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
> not
> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
> you
> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>
> Andrew
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
me: http://petervandijck.com
blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
global UX consulting: http://290s.com
free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
US: (+1) 201 467-5511
Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
Skype id: peterkevandijck

4 Jan 2009 - 6:00pm
natasha dwyer
2009

Hi,

I know this isn't exactly what you mean about strategy but I think
something that would be useful (especially to students) is strategy to
survive as an interactive designer. During the retrenchment process of a
company, the designers are often the first to go on the chopping block.
How on a personal level do people negotiate life in this type of work?

I've had many discussions with students who have got themselves into
trouble on account of poor strategy on a job (for instance, over
promising).

Some of the issues discussed previously in this thread have touched on
this (for instance, how to charge).

Cheers,
Natasha

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan
Saffer
Sent: Monday, 5 January 2009 5:44 AM
To: IXDA list
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] Strategic Interaction Design

I'm starting a revision of my book Designing for Interaction.

<http://www.designingforinteraction.com>

In the second edition, I'd like to include a chapter on Strategy, that
is: how to decide WHAT should be designed and WHY.

So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
You respond...

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe List
Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines List Help
.................. http://www.ixda.org/help

This communication contains information which is confidential and the copyright of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail please notify the sender immediately and delete it from your system.
Any views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may not be the views of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, unless specifically stated.

This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.

5 Jan 2009 - 11:51am
Jeff Parks
2008

Nothing wrong with metaphors, Dave. In fact, I think we should be using
more of them to communicate ideas. :)

Cheers,
Jeff

David Malouf wrote:
> For me the IxD strategy portion is about creating the narrative that
> is the framework around the interactions and interfaces we design.
>
> In the end interaction designers are the story tellers and the
> interface and industrial designers are the production artists of the
> theater that is the user experience.
>
> The back and forth of the business side is the pre-quel or pre-story
> that the interaction designer needs to build in their work in order
> to sustain the narrative that will be the product/service.
>
> Oy! metaphor waterfall (doh!! I did it again!)
>
> -- dave
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>
>

5 Jan 2009 - 11:06pm
Cwodtke
2004

it's the same problem with Heuristics-- if you ONLY get the short version,
it is meaningless and doesn't stick. But if it is a shortcut to the longer
version, which has at least been shared if not (preferably) co-created with
a larger team, than it is invaluable.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:25 PM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> I really dislike 10 word summaries of complex issues. Its most often a
> disservice and inaccurate.
>
> Abstracts work really well when done right (but rarely are outside of
> academia). Keywords and subject headers can help... but If it is important
> to you... take the time.
>
> Mark
>
>
>
> On Jan 5, 2009, at 4:18 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>
> a heuristic is a short sentence that represents a larger body of
>> experience.
>> same for strategy-- your six pages should be summerizable to everyone
>> working on the IxDA can quickly make choices that pushes the IxDA in the
>> right direction. They can't carry six pages around in their heads.
>>
>> How about, "self promoting, self educating, self-replicating digital
>> interaction community"? or better yet, "self sufficiant interaction design
>> community" (not having read the six pages...)
>>
>> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:56 AM, Will Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> 1 sentence for a strategy?
>>> I wrote a draft of the strategy document for IxDA new community platform
>>> and it was 6 pages. It starts with the context, moves quickly through the
>>> value and purpose of the organization and then breaks the strategy into 3
>>> major themes with objectives, goals, representative projects and metrics
>>> by
>>> which to measure success/failure. I don't know how kosher it is to share
>>> that strategy document - but I am rather certain that it's a
>>> balls-to-the-wall stellar document the likes of which would make Porter
>>> himself green with envy and kneel down to kiss my ring.
>>>
>>> ~ will
>>>
>>> "Where you innovate, how you innovate,
>>> and what you innovate are design problems"
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Will Evans | User Experience Architect
>>> tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
>>> http://blog.semanticfoundry.com
>>> aim: semanticwill
>>> gtalk: semanticwill
>>> twitter: semanticwill
>>>
>>>
>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jan 5, 2009, at 12:30 PM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>>>
>>> Andrew, this is easily the smartest post on the topic. These questions
>>> are
>>> ones I also had to work through so I could step into my current role
>>> which
>>> involves shaping strategy. I'm a book person. some books I found
>>> invaluable
>>> in this journey
>>>
>>> 'What the CEO Wants You to Know'
>>> 'Strategy Safari'
>>> 'Four steps to Epiphany' (particularly recommended)
>>> 'Innovator's Dilemma'
>>>
>>> I also found Art of the Start useful for entrepreneurship.
>>>
>>> The SVPG.com blog is terrific for seeing the other side of product
>>> design.
>>> This post in particular, speaks to your first question
>>> http://www.svpg.com/blog/files/assessing_product_opportunities.html
>>> "1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value proposition)
>>> 2. For whom do we solve that problem? (target market)
>>> 3. How big is the opportunity? (market size)
>>> 4. What alternatives are out there? (competitive landscape)
>>> 5. Why are we best suited to pursue this? (our differentiator)
>>> 6. Why now? (market window)
>>> 7. How will we get this product to market? (go-to-market strategy)
>>> 8. How will we measure success/make money from this product?
>>> (metrics/revenue strategy)
>>> 9. What factors are critical to success? (solution requirements)
>>> 10. Given the above, what's the recommendation? (go or no-go)"
>>> I actually printed this and hung it on my cube, I think it's so
>>> important.
>>>
>>> Pricing is a black art. I spent a ton of time researching it, and it's
>>> quite
>>> difficult. Chris Anderson's latest Wired article on Free though, sheds
>>> some
>>> light on how to make free work.
>>>
>>> As for the last question, at LinkedIn it does get boiled down to a
>>> sentence.
>>> I've long been a fan of memes, because you can carry them around with
>>> you.
>>> I
>>> think if strategy is not put into the form of a meme, it can't be
>>> internalized and executed by the entire company, and thus can't be
>>> executed
>>> at all.
>>>
>>> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
>>>
>>> You respond...
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do
>>> we
>>>
>>> get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design
>>> to
>>>
>>> clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I
>>> don't
>>>
>>> think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't
>>> belong
>>>
>>> in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
>>>
>>> covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
>>>
>>>
>>> Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
>>>
>>> only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
>>>
>>>
>>> - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
>>>
>>> appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
>>>
>>> strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
>>>
>>> - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition
>>> might
>>>
>>> suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
>>>
>>> - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
>>>
>>> fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
>>>
>>> - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
>>>
>>> black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
>>>
>>> cheap
>>>
>>> vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
>>>
>>> - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
>>>
>>> "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
>>>
>>> does
>>>
>>> strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
>>>
>>> inside a company? How is the sausage made?
>>>
>>> - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look
>>> like?
>>>
>>> Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
>>>
>>> every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the time,
>>>
>>> when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
>>>
>>> not
>>>
>>> going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
>>>
>>> you
>>>
>>> look for to figure out what the strategy is?
>>>
>>>
>>> Andrew
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>>
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>>
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>>
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>>
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>>
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

5 Jan 2009 - 11:12pm
Cwodtke
2004

Peter,

You make a good point in that understanding the business goals are
important, but not all businesses are in the short term in it to make money.
Some, like Flickr and delicious built up valuable business intelligence that
led Yahoo to acquire them. If you don't live in the valley, you may not
realize that the yahoo _search_ group bought both to get insight into how
they were solving retrieval problems. Flickr went on to be the biggest
online photo sharing site, the jury is still out on if Delicious is a
"success" or not in traditional terms.

Business value can be garnered in a variety of ways (usually always ending
up in money.) Good user base, UGC created, rich demographics, lots of users.
Montezation will come, but sometimes doing it too early can kill a good
product.

You may disagree with these points of view, but this is a critical aspect of
strategy,a nd one designers MUST understand to be effective. What is your
business tryign to accomplish? Are they growing thier user base? Are they
driving paid subscribtions? Do they need page views? This *directly* affects
design decisions. if you live an die by page views neato ajax interfaces
that never reload may kill your company and then you are out on the street.

Everyone is there to move the needle, and that means YOU, design boy.

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 10:39 PM, Peter Van Dijck <petervandijck at gmail.com>wrote:

> Those are some of the best strategy questions I've ever heard. We tend to
> work from product idea on, not from strategy. I do think at least a vague
> understanding of strategy is important for designers. The problem of
> course,
> is that strategy is such a wide encompassing topic.
>
> In the same vain, I do think designers should also understand at least the
> basic of business. That is, making money.
>
> Peter
>
> On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 11:20 PM, Andrew Otwell <heyotwell at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > So when I ask, what should interaction designers know about strategy?
> > > You respond...
> >
> >
> > The other answers seemed to focus on strategy for a design firm ("how do
> we
> > get and retain more and better clients") or strategy for selling design
> to
> > clients ("how do we convince clients to value our services more?") I
> don't
> > think that's what Dan's asking for here, and IMO those topics don't
> belong
> > in an introductory primer to IxD. Those are also topics that have been
> > covered in depth by the consulting industry in general.
> >
> > Here are some things I've either always wondered about, or learned about
> > only through osmosis or just asking a lot of dumb questions:
> >
> > - How is it that a great idea for a product or service might not be
> > appropriate for a company at a certain point, or at all? Or, how does
> > strategy think about complementary products or ideas?
> > - How are competitors analyzed? What characteristics of competition
> might
> > suggest a product or service would be successful, or fail?
> > - How are markets determined? When is it best to be a first-mover vs.
> > fast follower vs. "best of breed"?
> > - What does pricing have to do with all of this? Pricing is a serious
> > black art (some might say "shot in the dark"), but when does free vs.
> > cheap
> > vs. expensive matter, and what are the advantages of each?
> > - How are ideas and innovations worked into an overall strategy? Often
> > "strategy" seems to mean "we have a great idea for Widget 2.0", but how
> > does
> > strategy affect the less-tangible process of innovation and development
> > inside a company? How is the sausage made?
> > - Finally and perhaps most importantly: what does "a strategy" look
> like?
> > Is it a diagram? A narrative document? A phrase that the CEO repeats at
> > every chance? A spreadsheet of numbers? None of these? Most of the
> time,
> > when you ask "and how does this fit into the overall strategy", there's
> > not
> > going to be a plain-language answer. In the absence of clarity, what do
> > you
> > look for to figure out what the strategy is?
> >
> > Andrew
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>
>
>
> --
> me: http://petervandijck.com
> blog: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/
> global UX consulting: http://290s.com
> free travel guides: http://poorbuthappy.com
> US: (+1) 201 467-5511
> Belgium: (+32) 03/325 88 70
> Skype id: peterkevandijck
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jan 2009 - 11:22pm
Cwodtke
2004

Yes. Outliers is good also. If you love these, try "Better" and
Complications" by Gladwell's pal Atul Gawnde. HIGHLY relevant to design,
despite being about medicine.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Angel Marquez <angel.marquez at gmail.com>wrote:

> Is 'The Tipping Point' as good as 'Blink'?
>
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Wilken's Law:
> > > The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
> > > thickness of its binding.
> > >
> >
> > I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
> > idea.
> >
> > Back to the topic now ...
> >
> > -r-
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

5 Jan 2009 - 11:39pm
Peter Merholz
2004

I will chime in and say that Andrew Otwell's comments are probably the
most appropriate for the 2nd Ed of "D4I", given the primer-like nature
of the book.

I think it might be harmful to equate "strategy" with "business" as
many are doing here. I think the magic of "D4I" is approaching IxD in
an almost Aristotelian, pure fashion. There are many examples of IxD
that aren't suited to business, but none that aren't suited to strategy.

When I think of strategy in the context of our design work, I think of
three things:

- philosophy
- vision
- planning

Philosophy asks, "What are you about? What do you stand for, what is
your approach?" This is akin to branding, and figuring out your brand
personality, your characteristics. Whatever it is that you will be
designing needs to be informed by some underlying philosophy.

Vision asks, "Where are you headed? How will you know you're
successful?" This vision is an articulation of the philosophy that
motivates action. Think "Made To Stick". A philosophy is insufficient
for driving design, particularly something as complex as interaction
design. Vision provides the north star that guides your efforts toward
a successful outcome.

Planning asks, "How will you get there?" I find that in most
discussions of strategy, planning is overlooked, with people more
interested in talking about positioning or competition or other big
picture items. But when I've seen products fail, it's often because
there was bad planning -- the go-to-market strategy was flawed, either
too ambitious or not ambitious enough, resulting in the release of
products that either aren't yet ready for prime time or woefully
behind the pack. Perhaps the single most useful technique we teach at
Adaptive Path's UX Intensive Design Strategy day is the Product
Evolution Map, which brings rationality and sensibility to the
standard product roadmap.

--peter

5 Jan 2009 - 11:49pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Better and Complications sound like this book I read along time
ago:Conversation
With Neil's Brain<http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Neils-Brain-Thought-Language/dp/0201483378>

I agree, totally goes hand in hand with design.

I think Outliers strikes my attention most.

This thread kind of makes me think of me just watching Fast Times At
Ridgemont High with the commentary on. When I think of this movie I think
'Cult Classic'; but, when you hear the director, Amy Heckerling, reminisce
about the production it didn't sound like anything went her way. During the
commentary she doesn't try to candy coat or gloss over any of the hellish
nightmares that we all know we face in getting something of value across the
goal line. Pretty much the finish product was nothing like what she wanted;
but, it was WHAT the people funding the project wanted.

WHAT= A viable solution to the problem.
WHY= That is the service being offered.

-design man

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:22 PM, Christina Wodtke <cwodtke at eleganthack.com>wrote:

> Yes. Outliers is good also. If you love these, try "Better" and
> Complications" by Gladwell's pal Atul Gawnde. HIGHLY relevant to design,
> despite being about medicine.
>
> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Angel Marquez <angel.marquez at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> Is 'The Tipping Point' as good as 'Blink'?
>>
>> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > >
>> > > Wilken's Law:
>> > > The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
>> > > thickness of its binding.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
>> > idea.
>> >
>> > Back to the topic now ...
>> >
>> > -r-
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>> >
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>

5 Jan 2009 - 11:54pm
Jacob Burghardt
2007

I am enjoying this thread a great deal. Thanks to Dan for starting it! I
look forward to seeing what you come up with on this topic in your new
edition.

Some background: I do strategic UX consulting for clients who create (often
complicated) applications for thinking work (e.g. a scientific data analysis
tool).

I would like to contribute four points:
1. Design strategy can be defined differently at different scopes
2. Design strategy can present frameworks for exploration and decision
making
3. Effective design strategy outcomes can arise from ecosystems of
conceptual design
4. Design strategies can be simultaneously communicated at multiple levels
of detail

---
1. Design strategy can be defined differently at different scopes

I agree with the previous comments on scope being important. When
envisioning new or iteratively improved offerings, IxDers moving into more
strategic roles find themselves in one of two generalized project
situations:

Case A. Top level "traditional / business" strategy is in place for their
product or service, in which case design strategy can become "next level"
extensions and conceptual visualizations of differentiated user experiences
(and insightful, high value design strategy work may then lead to iteration
back to reexamine initiating charters)

Case B. Top level "traditional / business" strategy is not in place (or is
in place, but is not very fleshed out), in which case design strategy
efforts can encompass a much broader range of more "traditional" strategic
activities, merging them with the conceptual design activities of Case A.
This situation is a focus in the innovation literature.

I often work in Case A situations, and with that in mind, here is a fairly
rough definition from my recently posted e-book "Working through Screens":

"Design strategy: The singular, relatively unchanging proposals that
summarize the essence of an envisioned application's scope, core value,
points of emotional connection, and approaches to mediating knowledge work.
Design strategies are situated within a larger context of targeted user
needs, technological possibilities, market forces, trends, and predictions.
Product teams can use these strategies to drive clarity in their offerings
and focus their members around a shared vision and goal set. Since they are
derived from key business, marketing, and product development
considerations, design strategies can be thought of as a lower level
expression of a computing tool's initiating, high level charter."

---
2. Design strategy can present frameworks for exploration and decision
making

I believe that IxDers can learn a great deal from the critical brief writing
found at many architecture, industrial design, and graphic design practices.
Important, strategic insights do not just arise through ethnographic
observation - they can also arise from designer-ly exploration and
understanding of established and potential constraints.

By creating frameworks that map things like trends, meaningful sources of
differentiation, and potential experience attributes, IxDers can add
considerable strategic value - especially when these "boundary objects"
contain and reframe the findings and perspectives of other contributing
groups within the organization.

---
3. Effective design strategy outcomes can arise from ecosystems of
conceptual design

"Mature" design disciplines often emphasize a conceptual design phase to
explore multiple options within a framed problem space. Design action
becomes a way of understanding, which can then iterated back into strategic
arguments.

The *process* of holistic, meaningfully branched conceptual design is much
more difficult for software application than it is for a new mouse, but I
believe that it is a major, largely untapped strategic contribution for
IxDers.

I see that IxDers turning onto Bill Buxton's sketching emphasis are heading
in the direction of conceptual design as part of strategic thinking. What
seems to be missing from his readers' posted outputs (the one's that I have
seen in my surfing), is the holistic exploration of multiple genuinely
different positionings as a means of understanding the "what-it's-like-ness"
of potential experiences and discovering the "fittest" solution to a defined
problem (from all of the valued perspectives within an organization).

---
4. Design strategies can be simultaneously communicated at multiple levels
of detail

Andrew asked a whole string of great questions, including:
"What does "a strategy" look like? Is it a diagram? A narrative document?
A phrase that the CEO repeats at every chance?"

I have communicated design strategy outputs slightly differently on each
project, depending on clients' broader organizational shapes, competencies,
and goals.

I have found that effective design strategies exist at multiple levels of
detail, to be used in different circumstances. They can have catchy short
names, short but informative stories that plant narrative seeds, summarizing
visual models of their positioning and experience attributes, and extensive
scenario sketch visualizations that set the "big picture" directions for
subsequent definition, design, development.

I hope these points are of interest - again, great thread!

Thanks,

Jake
jburghardt at flashbulbinteraction.com
www.flashbulbinteraction.com
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

6 Jan 2009 - 12:34am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jan 5, 2009, at 8:54 PM, Jacob Burghardt wrote:

> I am enjoying this thread a great deal. Thanks to Dan for starting
> it! I
> look forward to seeing what you come up with on this topic in your new
> edition.

I'm going to cut and paste this thread into the book and be done with
it. ;)

Dan

6 Jan 2009 - 6:42am
Dave Malouf
2005

I'm going to be overly simplistic for the moment b/c people are
getting very heady (even for me). As a designer I think of strategy
in two different ways.

1. Why? - The strategy conveys the why. Which in my mind relates to
all goals for the project.

2. Vision - Strategic planning in the design process for me is the
100k view. What does this mean?
a. It means you are looking at a much larger swath of the problem
than you will probably directly address.
b. You are looking through time beyond the normal horizon line if you
were on the ground
c. You are looking at the frameworks and not the details

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

6 Jan 2009 - 6:42am
Mike Padgett
2008

Christina,

At the risk of pushing the off-topic thing too far, I read Atul Gawande's "Complications" a couple of years ago and it was indeed excellent but I confess to being surprised that it might have been highly relevant to design (or rather that I missed that ;-)).

Would you mind elaborating just a little on that? I remember reading it for general interest (at the same time as Mary Roach's marvellous "Stiff": I think I must have been having a mortality check) and I'm wondering now if I need to take a second look!

Thx,

Mike

-------------------
Mike Padgett
www.mikepadgett.com
-------------------

>Yes. Outliers is good also. If you love these, try "Better" and
>Complications" by Gladwell's pal Atul Gawnde. HIGHLY relevant to design,
>despite being about medicine.
>
>On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Angel Marquez <angel.marquez at gmail.com>wrote:
>
>> Is 'The Tipping Point' as good as 'Blink'?
>>
>> On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 1:45 PM, Robert Hoekman Jr <robert at rhjr.net> wrote:
>>
>> > >
>> > > Wilken's Law:
>> > > The effectiveness of research is inversely proportional to the
>> > > thickness of its binding.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I couldn't agree more. In fact, Gladwell's book Blink even backs up this
>> > idea.
>> >
>> > Back to the topic now ...
>> >
>> > -r-
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>> >
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

6 Jan 2009 - 7:48am
Mark Schraad
2006

it's really pretty simple... its your plan, your methods and approach
to achieving the design goal. it can be as detailed or all
encompassing as you like.

if your design strategy is a layer below and dependent upon the biz
strategy, then cool. that's pretty normal. in fact... that is why I
say that many many design decisions are bade by biz dev (not the
legal paper pushers, the idea folks)... in defining a biz and product
strategy, biz dev so often determine features and qualities that
could otherwise be chosen later.

Mark

On Jan 6, 2009, at 3:42 AM, dave malouf wrote:

> I'm going to be overly simplistic for the moment b/c people are
> getting very heady (even for me). As a designer I think of strategy
> in two different ways.
>
> 1. Why? - The strategy conveys the why. Which in my mind relates to
> all goals for the project.
>
> 2. Vision - Strategic planning in the design process for me is the
> 100k view. What does this mean?
> a. It means you are looking at a much larger swath of the problem
> than you will probably directly address.
> b. You are looking through time beyond the normal horizon line if you
> were on the ground
> c. You are looking at the frameworks and not the details
>
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

6 Jan 2009 - 7:53am
SemanticWill
2007

Some of my thoughts on Strategy, which takes up about 40% of this designer's
time.

http://blog.semanticfoundry.com/expertise/strategic-design/
http://blog.semanticfoundry.com/category/strategy/

~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Will Evans | User Experience Architect
tel: +1.617.281.1281 | will at semanticfoundry.com
aim: semanticwill
gtalk: semanticwill
twitter: semanticwill
skype: semanticwill
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 7:48 AM, mark schraad <mschraad at gmail.com> wrote:

> it's really pretty simple... its your plan, your methods and approach to
> achieving the design goal. it can be as detailed or all encompassing as you
> like.
>
> if your design strategy is a layer below and dependent upon the biz
> strategy, then cool. that's pretty normal. in fact... that is why I say that
> many many design decisions are bade by biz dev (not the legal paper pushers,
> the idea folks)... in defining a biz and product strategy, biz dev so often
> determine features and qualities that could otherwise be chosen later.
>
> Mark
>
> On Jan 6, 2009, at 3:42 AM, dave malouf wrote:
>
> I'm going to be overly simplistic for the moment b/c people are
>> getting very heady (even for me). As a designer I think of strategy
>> in two different ways.
>>
>> 1. Why? - The strategy conveys the why. Which in my mind relates to
>> all goals for the project.
>>
>> 2. Vision - Strategic planning in the design process for me is the
>> 100k view. What does this mean?
>> a. It means you are looking at a much larger swath of the problem
>> than you will probably directly address.
>> b. You are looking through time beyond the normal horizon line if you
>> were on the ground
>> c. You are looking at the frameworks and not the details
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jan 2009 - 10:18am
Cwodtke
2004

Peterme makes some excellent points worth considering about the nature of
strategy. Strategy happens over and over again, at multiple points in the
work of a comapny. You have a company strategy, a business strategy, a
product strategy and a design strategy. As Barbara said "Strategy is the
plan for how to compete"; you could even simplify that to "Strategy is the
plan for how to" since we have strategies for how to lose weight, for how to
get a new job, etc.

A design needs to both understand the strategies created by the business
owners as context and create strategies to realize those goals.

For an example, a startup might have the goal of creating a sufficiently
large data asset to be aquired by google, or monetize directly. Their
strategy could be to build a wikipedia-esque community commited to building
up this asset. The product strategy might be to create a place that rewards
individual efforts (i.e. digg over wikipedia) and the design strategy might
be to create rich profiles and a named level reputation system that follows
uses around.

The first strategy might be created by the senior executives, the second by
the executives and the product maanger, and the last by the product manager
and the designer... all cocreated as the "how to" gets passed to the next
team member.

On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:39 PM, Peter Merholz <peterme at peterme.com> wrote:

> I will chime in and say that Andrew Otwell's comments are probably the most
> appropriate for the 2nd Ed of "D4I", given the primer-like nature of the
> book.
>
> I think it might be harmful to equate "strategy" with "business" as many
> are doing here. I think the magic of "D4I" is approaching IxD in an almost
> Aristotelian, pure fashion. There are many examples of IxD that aren't
> suited to business, but none that aren't suited to strategy.
>
> When I think of strategy in the context of our design work, I think of
> three things:
>
> - philosophy
> - vision
> - planning
>
> Philosophy asks, "What are you about? What do you stand for, what is your
> approach?" This is akin to branding, and figuring out your brand
> personality, your characteristics. Whatever it is that you will be designing
> needs to be informed by some underlying philosophy.
>
> Vision asks, "Where are you headed? How will you know you're successful?"
> This vision is an articulation of the philosophy that motivates action.
> Think "Made To Stick". A philosophy is insufficient for driving design,
> particularly something as complex as interaction design. Vision provides the
> north star that guides your efforts toward a successful outcome.
>
> Planning asks, "How will you get there?" I find that in most discussions of
> strategy, planning is overlooked, with people more interested in talking
> about positioning or competition or other big picture items. But when I've
> seen products fail, it's often because there was bad planning -- the
> go-to-market strategy was flawed, either too ambitious or not ambitious
> enough, resulting in the release of products that either aren't yet ready
> for prime time or woefully behind the pack. Perhaps the single most useful
> technique we teach at Adaptive Path's UX Intensive Design Strategy day is
> the Product Evolution Map, which brings rationality and sensibility to the
> standard product roadmap.
>
> --peter
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jan 2009 - 12:52pm
Anonymous

My gut response is: You need to know how to learn what you don't
know, and then use that information to make something that sells
enough to at least pay your stockholders.

That may be (really) overly simplistic and I haven't participated in
"strategy" before, but I think the details depend on your type of
business, who you are, what you do, and your level of authority.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819

6 Jan 2009 - 6:20pm
Angel Marquez
2008

Free<http://scpd.stanford.edu/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1284914>

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 9:52 AM, allison <alliwalk1980 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> My gut response is: You need to know how to learn what you don't
> know, and then use that information to make something that sells
> enough to at least pay your stockholders.
>
> That may be (really) overly simplistic and I haven't participated in
> "strategy" before, but I think the details depend on your type of
> business, who you are, what you do, and your level of authority.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=36819
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

6 Jan 2009 - 6:32pm
Peter Merholz
2004

On Jan 6, 2009, at 7:18 AM, Christina Wodtke wrote:

> ... you could even simplify that to "Strategy is the
> plan for how to"

I'm wary of reducing strategy to just the plan, because, as we all
know, plans often (usually?) need to be changed once you start acting.
That's why philosophy and vision are important -- as you change your
plans, you have a foundation that helps you maintain appropriate focus.

--peter

7 Jan 2009 - 12:16pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

> On Jan 6, 2009, at 7:18 AM, Christina Wodtke wrote:
>> ... you could even simplify that to "Strategy is the plan for how to"

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 5:32 PM, Peter Merholz <peterme at peterme.com> wrote:
> I'm wary of reducing strategy to just the plan, because, as we all know,
> plans often (usually?) need to be changed once you start acting. That's why
> philosophy and vision are important -- as you change your plans, you have a
> foundation that helps you maintain appropriate focus.

I had a blog comment that replaced the original "compete" with
"succeed", which seems like a good solution.

I think that the term strategy is terribly overused. For example, we
are moving into a new office. We created a bit of a plan of all the
things we needed to do. Did we have an office moving strategy? I don't
think so.

Now our office location might be part of our strategy. We're close to
downtown, in an interesting part of town, accessible by bike, bus,
foot, and car. It's interesting enough for designers to be happy,
while being cheap enough to make me happy. It's on the side of town
that makes for an acceptable commute from nearby Kansas City, where we
can get a supply of experienced employees without forcing them to
move.

But I don't think that office location is part of our strategy. It is
a specific tactic associated with the "be a great place to work for
great UX folks who don't want to move to major design/tech centers"
strategy. That in turn involves understanding various reasons why our
target employees might not want to move, including family. So we have
other tactics associated with that strategy.

~~~~
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

Syndicate content Get the feed