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UX Poland 2014: Y.Vetrov — Applied UX Strategy

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UX Poland 2014: Y.Vetrov — Applied UX Strategy

  1. 1. APPLIED UX STRATEGY UX & Company Maturity Model Yury Vetrov Mail.Ru Group
  2. 2. INTRO
  3. 3. IN A PERFECT WORLD… Companies would take a systematic approach to product design from their very first days.
  4. 4. …IN REALITY Early product design efforts can be sporadic for various reasons – for instance, because a product must launch as soon as possible, there’s not enough money at the start, the user base must grow at the fastest rate possible, or the product idea changes constantly in trying to discover an effective business model.
  5. 5. WINDOWS 2013: 90,57% MARKET SHARE 1985: ~500 000 COPIES
  6. 6. ANDROID 2013: 81,3% MARKET SHARE 2009: ~2% MARKET SHARE
  7. 7. WHATSAPP 450 million users iOS7 revealed June 10th, 2013 Screenshot from AppStore, December 1st, 2013 * *
  8. 8. WHY IS THIS?
  9. 9. GROWTH RATE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN QUALITY Product-growth and market-penetration rates are critical in a company’s early days. In fact, they’re more important than perfect technical solutions or high-quality designs.
  10. 10. PROVE IT FIRST! This is true especially for lean startups that employ the minimum viable product (MVP) concept. A team first needs to validate that they're solving the right problem for the right audience, in the right market. Only after that should they polish their product.
  11. 11. DESIGN IS BECOMING IMPORTANT There could be many different reasons for emphasizing design: Competitors might become stronger. A product might receive negative feedback from users or have a poor public image. A product’s user base might be shrinking. Perhaps good design just becomes trendy. Company changes its focus from aggressive user acquisition to user retention.
  12. 12. HOW IT WAS IN MAIL.RU GROUP Many years ago my company Mail.Ru Group had similar issues. Our scale makes design rethinking really complicated.
  13. 13. 40PRODUCTS Add to this mobile and tablet sites and apps, promo pages… It's about two hundred projects if you sum it up. A lot of them are leaders in their market niches. Almost half in my business unit. * *
  14. 14. 100MLN USERS Total audience of Mail.Ru Group products. comScore, August 2013 – http://corp.mail.ru/press/news/1895 * *
  15. 15. Based on our experience at Mail.Ru and looking at other companies, plus learning about existing UX maturity models, I’ve defined three levels of UX maturity. UX*3MATURITY LEVELS
  16. 16. 1. OPERATIONAL The designer is just an implementer, working on individual design tasks and creating design deliverables.
  17. 17. 2. TACTICAL The designer is an integral part of a product team and deeply integrates design into other product development tasks and processes.
  18. 18. 3. STRATEGIC The designer is a visionary or product owner who influences strategic decisions on how to evolve a product.
  20. 20. …OR PIXEL MOVING PROBLEM SOLVING Where are you now?
  21. 21. DESIGN STRATEGY IS: BUSINESS PROBLEM SOLVING DESIGN QUALITY SUSTAINABLE GROWTH These 3 levels indicate how deeply designers become engaged in product and business management. Sustainability is a critical part of establishing a systematic approach to design, as well as ensuring predictable quality. {
  23. 23. UX MATURITY IS NOT ENOUGH The company itself must have sufficient maturity. Looking at a company’s success as a business and its effectiveness as an organization, it may also be at different stages of evolution that determine its agility in choosing goals, the persistence of its business model and current market position, the available resources it can invest in products and the quality of processes, the experience and far- sightedness of employees and management, and common priorities.
  24. 24. UX ENVIRONMENT This is the environment in which User Experience will grow, which is dramatically important to the successful implementation of UX strategy. To make UX strategy happen, you must have deep knowledge of the company, and its business.
  25. 25. COMPANY IS: RESOURCES PROCESSES PRIORITIES You should assess their current state. They will be the “portrait” of a company. {
  26. 26. 1. RESOURCES These resources are the basic requirements for executing UX strategy and placing attention on design.
  27. 27. Money to invest in anything other than the company’s basic needs – ensuring a product works and acquiring new users. You must know whether the company and its specific departments have money to invest. People to work on design. You should consider both their experience and their workload. Sufficient time remaining before the next product release. Credibility that would let User Experience make bold decisions without micromanagement from supervisors.
  28. 28. TODO: ASSESS CURRENT STATE WHETHER THEY MEET YOUR NEEDS? If you lack some resources, how can you get them in the near term and whose approval do you need? What if you break UX strategy execution into several phases, so you can gradually get the resources you need? Perhaps these resources already exist, but you haven’t yet requested them. If you have enough of all of these things – that’s great! { * *
  29. 29. 2. PROCESSES A systematic approach to UX design means building an effective work process that lets you create and enhance designs and integrating this process throughout the whole development cycle. A good design process should consider all of the steps of the development cycle. Don't be afraid to push for changes in these if they’re resulting in bad user experiences.
  30. 30. A. NEW PRODUCT AND FEATURE INITIATION Who is responsible for decisions relating to launching new products or redesigning existing products or features? How do decisions become tasks, and when are they assigned to designers? How do market, competitive, and user research occur?
  31. 31. B. DEVELOPMENT What development model does the company use – waterfall, agile, lean? What deliverables do designers provide to developers, and how do they support the implementation process?
  32. 32. C. QUALITY ASSURANCE What does the company mean by quality – basic tests to ensure that a product doesn’t crash, matches functional and business requirements, has good usability, and complies with design guidelines and the designers’ initial mockups? Can the design team block the release of the product if there are problems with the user experience?
  33. 33. D. MARKETING What is the target audience? Are marketing promises true to the actual product? Is the design of marketing collateral good enough in comparison to the quality of products’ visual design? Do they have the right voice and tone?
  34. 34. E. SUPPORT When and how does a company help its users to resolve the problems that they encounter when using a product? Are users satisfied with the help they’re receiving?
  35. 35. PARTICIPATION ON EVERY STAGE Designers’ participation during development and quality assurance is critical. If the role of a design team is to be more than just that of implementer, their participation is also important during the initiation of a product-development project. In a perfect world, user experience is a key part of every step. * *
  36. 36. COMPANY’S BASIC PRINCIPLES What are they?
  37. 37. Powers and responsibilities – for every member of a product team. Approval workflow – from requirements and deliverables to product decisions and entire phases of a project. KPIs and metrics – for employees, departments, products, and their features. Organizational structure – whether matrix, functional, division, or a combination. How are people distributed across business units, products, departments, and roles?
  38. 38. GENERALISTS When a company is a startup, a small group of founders and early employees can manage all product-development tasks. They’re generalists who take on all responsibilities and fill all roles. If the company is ambitious, it will change often. * But with company growth comes specialization. People get assigned to specific roles and more employees get hired. So, throughout the product- development process, the organizational structure is changing. SPECIALISTS VS
  39. 39. TO CHANGE COMPANY’S PROCESSES If you need to change something, you should change not only how design occurs, but the company’s processes as well. A successful company is always changing, so the efficiency of its processes always lag behind its growth. Therefore, even once you’ve built the best design process you can conceive of, you should always look for ways to improve on it. Keep improving even after the perfect design process is build. * *
  40. 40. PROCESS EFFICIENCY The current processes in any company are rarely fully efficient. Sometimes this is because an organization is young, sometimes it’s a legacy of a crisis within an industry, and sometimes short- sighted management is the cause.
  41. 41. POLITICS This is not necessary a bad thing like the intrigues that we see in the news and in movies. First of all, you need to consider other people’s interests. This will help you to get their support and to work more effectively as a team, avoiding conflicts.
  42. 42. 3. PRIORITIES A company and its products always have their own paths by which they grow and evolve. Business priorities determine which path to follow and when.
  43. 43. HARD CHOICE Priorities are influenced by the current state of a company’s choice of market, what market segments the company wants to enter or focus on, competitors’ positions and actions, technology trends, and the current state of the company and its products.
  44. 44. UNDERSTAND CURRENT CONTEXT A UX Strategist should know not only where the company is heading, but also why it has chosen its path. What problems is the business trying to solve right now? What problems will become important in mid-term and long-term? These are design problems that you will have to solve. A business’s priorities can vary, depending on whether it is. * *
  45. 45. SEARCH FOR: MARKET PRODUCT BUSINESS MODEL A product ought to change and pivot often – maybe even dramatically – to enable the company to survive. {
  46. 46. GROWTH OF: USER BASE REVENUE The product gets new features or distribution models. {
  47. 47. RETENTION OF: CUSTOMERS You need to differentiate your product from those of competitors by becoming more customer oriented, expanding its feature list, optimizing your product for key usage scenarios, and strengthening your brand.
  48. 48. PRODUCT PORTFOLIO: EFFICIENCY OF WORK It’s becoming more important to launch and improve products faster and make design activities easier.
  49. 49. CRISIS: SAVING A PRODUCT Two possible scenarios are making gradual improvements or radical changes.
  50. 50. SETS OF PRIORITIES Companies can have more than one high priority. Furthermore, different products may have different sets of priorities.
  51. 51. WHAT VALUE DOES UX BRINGS? Without knowing this the way to influence product is closed. Start by simply helping the company meet incoming requests for design work. In the beginning, these are often easy tasks, and you need to make your design just good enough. Then you can try to influence how product priorities and problems emerge. You should always know the answer. * *
  54. 54. DESIGN TEAM EVOLUTION At Adaptive Path’s UX Intensive Design Strategy Workshop, they describe several stages in the evolution of a design team.
  55. 55. 1. Solving design problems. 2. Solving developers’ problems. 3. Solving users’ problems. 4. Solving business problems. 5. Asking whether you should solve this particular problem at all.
  56. 56. PROTECTION It’s critical for a company’s top management to understand the value of good design. Only in such a context can you safely make dramatic changes to a product’s strategic direction or design. Otherwise, the lack of their support will block your progress in making changes to either a product’s design or your design process. A company’s leaders may even disband the entire UX team.
  57. 57. Famous identity designer Paul Rand always tried to work directly with top management so he could be sure that his work would become fully realized, and his clients wouldn’t screw around with it. © http://www.behance.net/gallery/Paul-Rand-Illustration/4387739
  58. 58. WHAT ABOUT YOUR COMPANY? When you're learning about a company for which you’re creating a UX strategy, you can use the various components making up these resources, processes, and priorities lists as a checklist. Together, they paint a portrait of a company. Each company’s strategy is unique, so regardless of whether companies have similar design goals, their execution and the details of a design will differ.
  59. 59. GET LUCKY For a few lucky companies, design is a key competitive advantage and a way to differentiate their brand right from the beginning – it’s a real business driver. Other companies have founders or early employees who have a strong design background and skills, so build User Experience into their culture from day one.
  60. 60. EXAMINE AND UNDERSTAND But most companies realize that they need a systematic approach to design only after they’ve already achieved business success. So examining a business’s current state is one of the main concerns of the UX Strategist. In addition to this checklist, you should analyze your company using existing organizational maturity models.
  62. 62. ICHAK ADIZES
  64. 64. JARED SPOOL Stage Users Want Usability Means Developers Focus On Raw Iron The basic capability The product works Technical issues and delivery Checklist Battles The best set of features Having the right functions Adding features and fixing bugs Productivity Wars To get their work done better and faster Easy to learn, fast, powerful Performance support, reducing technical support costs Transparency Lowest cost The product is invisible Reducing costs or seeking new markets
  65. 65. ADAPTIVE STRATEGY And to make the task even more complicated – remember that competitive environment is constantly changing. So your strategy should adapt to these changes getting the most of design as a tool to solve company's current problems and goals.
  66. 66. UX MATURITY
  67. 67. CHAOS No UX team. Even if designers are here they’re disconnected.
  69. 69. 1. DESIGN CHAOS Goal: to solve design tasks, however formally. Result: quality is random.
  70. 70.  Developers are on their own. Somebody has to put user- interface controls on the screen and give them some visual style.  The company either hires its first designers or assigns team members who have design skills to the role of designer. Maybe one of company founders has design experience.  Designers are outsourced – either before hiring designers onto the team or afterward. The problem is that nobody knows how to work with them properly.  Nobody knows how to work with designers – what to expect, how to critique and approve designs.
  71. 71. OPERATIONAL Design team is just an implementer. It works on incoming tasks to create design deliverables.
  73. 73. 2. WISHING FOR CHANGE AND FINDING A LEADER Goal: a systematic design approach is started. Result: some first successes and relaunches.
  74. 74.  Executives see problems in consumers’ perception of products in the form of negative feedback, a shrinking customer base, and general criticism in the industry.  The company hires a UX leader or promotes someone from inside the company.  The UX leader shows where are problems and how to solve them.  The company initiates a program of user research and analytics.
  75. 75. 3. THE TEAM AND WORK PROCESS Goal: a fully functional design process. Result: the UX team regularly contributes to product updates.
  76. 76.  The company builds or acquires a UX design team.  A process for assigning and approving tasks; short-term and mid- term planning for design tasks.  Workflows for typical projects and tasks, ranging from the creation of new product concepts to providing UX support for current releases are defined.  Optimal toolset for creating wireframes, prototypes, mockups, and other deliverables; knowledge and document exchange; and planning and efficiency tracking.  Outsourcers are involved solving either tasks that are not related to product concepts or when there is too great a workload for the team.  The team establishes learning, training, and skills-improvement programs to grow designers professionally.
  77. 77. TACTICAL The designer is an integral part of a product team and deeply integrates design into other product development tasks and processes.
  78. 78. 3 LEVELS OF UX MATURITY OPERATIONAL TACTICAL STRATEGIC Leader Design process Integration Principles and guidelines CHAOS
  79. 79. 4. DESIGN TEAM INTEGRATION Goal: works effectively in a tight collaboration with the Product team. Result: design is delivered to the product faster and in higher quality.
  80. 80.  The value of UX is demonstrated to every product and project manager. These managers understand and support the UX design team and bring them design problems, not solutions.  The team gains authority, credibility, and trust and always gets heard. All design decisions get made up front.  Experts in other disciplines like developers, testers, and marketers trust UX designers. They often contact us directly to solve ongoing problems or ask questions bypassing managers altogether.  Mid-term and long-term planning of design tasks.  A quality-assurance process gets set up and covers design implementation reviews, usability testing, and ensures designs solve business goals.
  81. 81. 5. DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES Goal: support current products and launching new ones easier; a recognizable look and feel of the product portfolio. Result: the UX is consistent across the entire portfolio of products.
  82. 82.  First model products get launched, and the unification of the product portfolio coalesces around them. Their visual design, interaction principles, and overall quality are good enough to provide a basis for the whole portfolio.  New products and redesigns of other products are made around these model products.  UX design guidelines that specify visual design, IxD and IA. These establish standards that designers, managers, and developers follow.  UX guidelines have a tech basis and provide frameworks and unified code bases. Design is integrated into building blocks that developers use every day.  The company builds dozens of products based on guidelines that are built into frameworks, making it easier to control and evolve their designs. We make changes to groups of products all at once instead of focusing on each instance.  Design principles guide the company’s efforts in building and evolving products. These are high-level commandments that help the team to choose the best design decisions from several alternatives.
  83. 83. STRATEGIC The designer is a visionary or product owner who influences strategic decisions on how to evolve a product.
  84. 84. 3 LEVELS OF UX MATURITY OPERATIONAL TACTICAL STRATEGIC Leader Design process Integration Principles and guidelines Knowledge exchange Market differentiation CHAOS
  85. 85. 6. KNOWLEDGE BASE AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER Goal: knowledge about users helps the company to improve the whole product portfolio. Result: best solutions are scaled to whole product portfolio; the company learns from its mistakes.
  86. 86.  There is a unified knowledge base that documents how users work with the company’s products, ongoing competitor analyses, and design and technology trends. This includes analytics and user research data, market and competitive research, and customer feedback.  The UX team defines KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track product design enhancements. These are tied to business KPIs and goals.  New product and feature ideas come from the bottom up – from UX researchers and designers to product managers.
  87. 87. 7. DESIGN AS A MARKET DIFFERENTIATOR Goal: design as a business driver. Result: the company has a deep design culture.
  88. 88.  Everyone on the product team has at least basic design skills, including developers, QA engineers, and managers.  Co-design is happening widely through the company. UX ownership is shared.  The company finds its own language of visual and interaction design. Visual and interaction designs leverage emerging trends and even help to launch design trends.  The company’s product design influences the industry. UX solutions are copied by competitors.
  90. 90. JAKOB NIELSEN 1. Hostility Toward Usability 2. Developer-Centered Usability 3. Skunkworks Usability 4. Dedicated Usability Budget 5. Managed Usability 6. Systematic Usability Process 7. Integrated User-Centered Design 8. User-Driven Corporation
  91. 91. BRUCE TEMKIN
  94. 94. KEIKENDO
  95. 95. KEIKENDO
  96. 96. TOMER SHARON
  97. 97. MACADAMIAN TECHNOLOGIES Characteristic 1: Unenlightened 2: Awakening 3: Enlightened 4: Super Human 5: Celestial Timing of Initial UX Activities End of development (if at all) After most of the coding is done Mixed. Sometimes prior to coding, sometimes in parallel, sometimes before Prior to code being written As part of business and market requirements Availability of Skilled/ Knowledgeable Resources — Visual Design Visual, Interaction, Research, Lower Level Management Visual, Interaction, Research, Lower and Upper Management Visual, Interaction, Research, Management, Executive Sophistication of Techniques Used to Incorporate User Input Non-existent — Often usability testing, but not user needs User needs and usability, sometimes integrated with marketing Integrated with marketing and other research activities Leadership — — No clear owner, shared amongst functions Clear owner in upper management Clear owner and well understood, represented at executive levels Adoption and Integration of Processes Unaware Awareness Organization learning, adopting, integrating Well Integrated in product creation Well integrated into all aspects of company culture Perspective on Business Impact — Minimal Mixed. Significant on some products Significant on products or across products Significant across entire customer experience
  99. 99. THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL MODEL You'll certainly disagree with them in some aspects but it's okay – there is no universal theory of everything. And will never be. But it's a good starting point to build your own UX strategy.
  100. 100. CONCLUSION
  101. 101. The higher your company’s UX maturity level, the better its products will be as a result. And it will be much easier to sustain this level of quality. While a company can jump levels of UX maturity, it’s likely to result in a short-term success that is hard to maintain. So try to strive for long-term goals. You can’t change just the design process – it’s necessary to influence other production processes. This model is about product companies. But can be useful for agencies too.
  102. 102. P.S.— How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? — Only one, but the bulb has to really WANT to change. Don’t wait for the company, insist on changes yourself. * *
  103. 103. THANK YOU! YURY VETROV www.jvetrau.com twitter.com/jvetrau