Follow up questions from Dan Szuc's Ask the UXperts session


#1

Dan’s Ask the UXperts session was absolutely amazing. We didn’t get to some of the questions, so I’ll post them here for a response from Dan when he gets a second. If you have follow up questions of your own, feel free to ask them here.

I’ll post up a full transcript to the session on uxmastery.com tomorrow (and link to it here).

@jwranton: [B]What are the best customer data points to consider when designing successful projects?[/B]

Jonathan F: [B]Which deliverables are essential to learn for a UX designer just starting out?[/B]

Danielle: [B]Do you have any tips for how to hold the repository of information about the people you’re designing for (e.g. user research and call centre info) or do you think you just weave it into a story and periodically review the story?[/B]

Julio C: [B]What would you recommend as a good first UX project to use in a portfolio for somebody just starting out in Ux coming from a visual design background,? A new app idea or a web app or website?[/B]

Kris: [B]I am going to be practical. There are times when we can provide a solution which is hard to give a reason as why - coz its subjective. How do you convince people around that your UX solution is the best?[/B]

Alina V: [B]It is a challenge though to link UX insights to ROI and value to the business. Do you have any tips?[/B]


#2

Dan has promised to get to this at some stage over the upcoming week.
For those of you that missed it, here is a full transcript of the session.


#3

@jwranton: [B]What are the best customer data points to consider when designing successful projects?[/B]

Its important for the team to gain a better understanding of the people we design for. So suggest you can explore your business and find people who are already speaking with customers and have some observations to share. For example, customer support, marketing/events, surveys come to mind. In our experience, its not that there is not enough customer data, rather its how we make sense of that data to help provide insights that can map to actionable design improvements and also how these design improvements map to the feature priorities and overall product roadmap (if there is one). So perhaps its how do we convert the data into user stories that we can use on a daily basis as we think about how people will interact with our products and services over time and how we can seek improvement over time.


#4

Jonathan F: [B]Which deliverables are essential to learn for a UX designer just starting out?[/B]

Deliverables like wireframes and user stories are important when starting out. Suggest you can also look at practicing how to tell the stories around the designs and also how to take the feedback and iterate it back into improving the designs. So perhaps there is less focus on the deliverables and more on the skills needed around the designs like : listening, critque, note taking (as examples) and then how to feed this back into a user research plan so you have a rolling way of taking the designs back out to users for further learnings.


#5

Danielle: [B]Do you have any tips for how to hold the repository of information about the people you’re designing for (e.g. user research and call centre info) or do you think you just weave it into a story and periodically review the story?[/B]

Do both. Suggest its nice to have a simple way to describe the people we learn from e.g. goals, issues/pain points, opportunities, wish lists etc. The data you collect may fit into these attributes but it may also go into a spreadsheet to be able to both find and sort what you need. This will help you identify patterns (independent of the source) and then determine if its important enough to action through the designs. In many respects our role is to help glue the data together and make sense of it in ways that can be understood through the design. A spreadsheet may include items like: data source, observation, recommendation, design principle, feature/function etc


#6

Julio C: [B]What would you recommend as a good first UX project to use in a portfolio for somebody just starting out in Ux coming from a visual design background,? A new app idea or a web app or website?[/B]

Some dependancy on your own skill sets so would need to know a little more about you. Perhaps ask yourself what projects you are passionate about? So perhaps less about the channel or technology and more about the domain that interests you? For example: banking, insurance, auto, health, govt, mobility etc You may also want to consider the size of teams you wish to work with and the activities you would like to learn about? For example, interviews, analysing data, sketching, facilitation, communicating results (all of the above?). You may also want to look at a project that provides a mix of channels, where you can design both the web site and also what features could be delivered through mobile. There is also lots to be learned by taking a few key landing pages and seeing how you can redesign these (again as practice) and to describe the improvements from version to version to version.


#7

Kris: [B]I am going to be practical. There are times when we can provide a solution which is hard to give a reason as why - coz its subjective. How do you convince people around that your UX solution is the best?[/B]

We find the best way to convince people that your solution is the best is by not convincing them through your opinion alone. So perhaps the question is, what are the contributors to a design walkthrough? One of the most important contributors to design walkthroughs is what we are learning from customer stories. When there are no customer stories or evidence present, conversations can quickly become opinion based or assumption based or ego based. This means we may be making design or feature decisions based on what is not needed. This is a common behaviour on projects and projects can quickly become internally focused without any regard for customer need. So bring it back to the ideas of collecting customer stories, doing this on a regular basis so you know what you would like to learn more about over time, have routines to bridge this back into the designs. If the team is not open to customer learning, you may want to ask more about the type of projects you are looking to work on. Customer stories can quickly neutralize discussions and also open up some interesting questions along the way.


#8

Alina V: [B]It is a challenge though to link UX insights to ROI and value to the business. Do you have any tips?[/B]

The main tip is to be clear about what KPIs or measures we have in place and are they well understood. Do not fall into the trap of speaking a business language you do not understand. A simple one would be to look at the calls coming into customer support and seeing how these could be better addressed through self service and if there is an opportunity to reduce call rates for specific tasks. Or you may wish to focus on making the critical user journeys better over time depending on the core of the product or service you are working on. So in the spirit of an integrated way of looking at the design where we apply overlays on each screen or workflow, we can think about what business questions or metrics we would apply and then think about it from the user goal/task and journey. So imagine being in front of the design, someone walking through the design from the user perspective and someone else thinking about it from the business perspective. This way there is a joint ownership of both and common language starts to form. The problem often arises when ROI or measures or KPIs are separated from the research and design discussions. So integrated conversations speak to a more successful project.