Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What Is Holding User Experience Back Where You Work?

Getting UX accepted in your workplace ...

"A couple of months ago, I referenced variations of a boat metaphor (see Changing the course or pace of a large ship) that I have found is often used by User Experience management personnel to describe what it feels or felt like to build and establish a corporate User Experience function, get it understood and valued, enable it to contribute to a business to the extent that it can, etc. As I stated in that blog entry, one director described the pace of change he has been able to achieve as akin to the pace of an oil tanker rather than a speed boat.

During our recently completed Managing User Experience Groups course, I used a part of that variation of the metaphor to learn about some of what is holding User Experience back or propelling User Experience forward in the rather wide range of companies represented by the students. More specifically, I used two forms of the Speed Boat exercise described in the recently published “Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play” (see The way we work has enormous power).

For one exercise, I drew a speed boat and several anchors hanging from it on the whiteboard, and asked everyone to write onto post-its whatever has been holding User Experience back where they work and then place those post-its on the several anchors.

Some of the “anchors” holding their User Experience “boats” back:

• lack of an executive user experience role
• lack of leadership
• an unclear business direction
• inconsistent impact of User Experience on the business"    (Continued via UX Magazine)    [Usability Resources]

Speedboat Metaphor - Usability, User Interface Design

Speedboat Metaphor

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