IA Summit: The business of experience

by April 14, 2008

At the 2008 IA Summit, Jess McMullin walked through several techniques for building business relationships & success utilizing user experience design methods.

  • The User Experience profession has reached the point where the barriers to having more influence are about working with business not users
  • Pivot Tools: use user experience techniques/approaches in business setting.

Identify your audience

  • Business personas: ways to think of people in business organization
  • Network diagram: define influence network of relationships
  • Advocate: on my side
  • Superior: the boss
  • Peer: other people that can help with or need to buy in
  • Frontline: people that implementation affects.
  • Critics: pick apart ideas
  • Validators: balance critics and provide support. Could be analysts, media, or other companies.
  • Gatekeepers: need to sign off on something. Finance/lawyers
  • What are relationships of these people? How do they interact?

Understand motivators

  • Reward: what matters to stakeholders (up and to the right)
  • Power –have influence in organization
  • Vendorship: transactional relationship of selling deliverables
  • Risk: what might happen
  • Motivation map –who fits where against risk/reward/power –etc?
  • Helps understand business

Understand Activities

  • What are business stakeholders involved in and responsible for?
  • Lead, Manage, Execute
  • Consider activities people have –understand what they are trying to achieve and why
  • Tools & principles are better than a set cookbook
  • Understand, Solve, Evaluate toolkit – what in each of these can make a contribution to Leading, Managing, or Executing?
  • Empathize with business leaders – what is it like to hit numbers, hit deadlines
  • Hindsight from past experience can help predict future activities
  • Through empathy can think about future scenarios –what would best for people?

Commit to action

  • Need to go out into world, talk to people, and get them to do things.
  • Build trust: credibility with projects. Care about if people succeed or not.
  • Ask open ended questions to get to real motivations
  • “Will you questions” get people to make commitments.