How do you or others get informed about the UX activities being performed at your company today?

30 Nov 2011 - 8:11am
3 years ago
5 replies
1528 reads
leex1080
2009

It has been my experience that UX work gets done and no one really gets to see the results of those activities. Especially in large organizations with many products and many developement teams. How are others getting around this problem so there is communication across the organization to reduce duplicate work, consistency issues, etc?


I am also conducting a survey to gather more information related to this topic if people would be so kind to take a few minutes to give additional feedback. I'd be happy to share the results from the survey: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dFJGQm10Qkk5eGZCNEhYVVJrY1Q1dkE6MQ#gid=0

 

Thanks! 

Comments

30 Nov 2011 - 8:58am
Brian Mila
2009

That has been my experience as well.  It seems that you can socialize your UX work all you want, whether it be personas, standards, usability test results, etc., but if it doesn't directly apply to someones current problems they typically wont pay attention to it.  I've had some success with a two-pronged attack.  One, going up the chain.  I put together presentations, reports, whitepapers, etc and send them up the command chain.  Ideally you'd want to get the ear of the CEO so the message can become an initiative that gets pushed out company-wide.  I've never seen that happen though.  Usually, depending on the people involved, it will get about 2 or 3 levels up and then dies because people seem afraid to take ownership of passing it on.  Which brings me to the second method, "guerilla-style" work.  I've had far more success with a  grass roots campaign.  Identify the pain points of product designers, developers, and qa folk.  For me this means issues with consistency across product teams, redundant work, hard to find information in the specs or on the intranet.  These are all smaller items that you can apply UCD methodologies to solve.  And most importantly, you don't need to ask permission to solve them.  Take the initiative and do it.  When you solve peoples day to day problems, they take notice.  Then you start building up some small wins.  Document those because that tends to have more weight when you want to try going back up the ladder again.  Also, people might tell you never to give up and always be a UX champion, but in my experience, if you find yourself shouting the same thing over and over that "UX can solve this problem" then people stop listening to you after awhile because they already know what your answer to everything will be.  Try to pick those battles carefully.  If you can identify projects that have a little extra budget, those would be good places to start.  And the most important thing is to remember it will take alot of time, think years.  Don't expect miracles.  Seize the opportunities for small gains and capitalize and then build on that momentum. 

Brian

30 Nov 2011 - 11:12am
sanderson
2011

There is a "User Experience" buzz word going on throughout all ranks of my company.  But it seems like people think that it is immediate, not something that takes time, research, and cultural change to actually see results.  Plus the real meaning behind "User Experience" seems to intermingle with "modern" and the "latest/greatest technologies."

My company is aware that usability testing is important.  People buy that.  Although, this isn't being done if it the UX team can't support, if it intrudes on deadlines or if it affects the budget.  

The hard sell is doing the upfront research, personas, vision work, iterative feedback, etc.  So far, it has been hard to prove the importance of these steps and prove the ROI.

The upper management also understand that UX needs to be everyone's job.  But this is really hard to accomplish.  How do you place the sense of UX importance on all individuals in a huge organization?

30 Nov 2011 - 12:20pm
leex1080
2009

In regards to "How do you place the sense of UX importance on all individuals in a huge organization?" --> Is this something that people even want to do? I know we are moving towards this at our company. As Wendy Castleman from Intuit presented, we are trying to "give it away" (give away UX responsibility to everyone in our organization) 

30 Nov 2011 - 12:20pm
leex1080
2009

In regards to "How do you place the sense of UX importance on all individuals in a huge organization?" --> Is this something that people even want to do? I know we are moving towards this at our company. As Wendy Castleman from Intuit presented, we are trying to "give it away" (give away UX responsibility to everyone in our organization) 

30 Nov 2011 - 3:05pm
Santiago Bustelo7
2008

It may help your case to state that usability is a qualitative attribute.Quality is not something that can be simply added to a product or measured alone, but the result of the whole process. 
Quality has been defined and managed scientifically on several industries the past decades. Several UX methodologies and tools have parallels (or precursors) on industrial engineering: task analysis, product testing and Lean come to mind.
Being usability a qualitative attribute, maturity models apply. On Nielsen's corporate usability maturity model ( http://www.useit.com/alertbox/maturity.html ), the situation you are describing seems to match Stage 3: Skunkworks Usability. For some departments or stakeholders, lower stages may apply. 
Understanding the gap between your company's current maturity and the one you would like it to have (i.e., stage 6: Systematic Usability Process) may help you to split the challenge in smaller tasks and milestones, and to focus your efforts in leading key stakeholders one stage up at the time.
Hope you success!
--
Santiago Bustelo      icograma // dirección de diseño y desarrollo      IxDA BA Buenos Aires local group Coordinator      IxDA.org Central and South America Regional Coordinator

On 30/11/2011, at 14:45, sanderson wrote:

There is a "User Experience" buzz word going on throughout all ranks of my company.  But it seems like people think that it is immediate, not something that takes time, research, and cultural change to actually see results.  Plus the real meaning behind "User Experience" seems to intermingle with "modern" and the "latest/greatest technologies."

My company is aware that usability testing is important.  People buy that.  Although, this isn't being done if it the UX team can't support, if it intrudes on deadlines or if it affects the budget.  

The hard sell is doing the upfront research, personas, vision work, iterative feedback, etc.  So far, it has been hard to prove the importance of these steps and prove the ROI.

The upper management also understand that UX needs to be everyone's job.  But this is really hard to accomplish.  How do you place the sense of UX importance on all individuals in a huge organization?


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