Wednesday, July 25, 2007

User Experience Strategy

User Experience consulting strategy ...

"In recent years, my consulting process has become T-shaped, in part due to the gentle jabs of Peter Boersma, but mostly as a result of the fit between my expertise and the needs of my clients.

In the first phase, I conduct research (the three circles) and work with my clients to define a user experience strategy. This narrative expression provides a necessary but insufficient platform for design.

In the second phase, I develop the information architecture, which requires specifying the structure and behavior of a web site, software product, or interactive service, so that users can achieve goals, complete tasks, and find what they need.

And, it’s this tangible expression of strategy, in the form of wireframes, sketches, and prototypes, that reliably translates an abstract vision into a well-grounded, actionable blueprint for design. Without that structural foundation, the strategy just hangs in space.

Frame Analysis
But this article is not about information architecture. Rather, it’s an investigation of user experience strategy, a novel phrase that’s crept into our vocabulary and is shaping our future. Let me explain.

The words we use to describe or frame our roles, our teams, and ourselves influence our own perceptions and the ways we are perceived by others. As George Lakoff explains in Don’t Think of an Elephant:

Frames are mental structures that shape the way we see the world. As a result, they shape the goals we seek, the plans we make, the way we act, and what counts as a good or bad outcome of our actions...Because language activates frames, new language is required for new frames. Thinking differently requires speaking differently.

In other words, user experience strategy is a term whose time has come, and while it leads us to better design, it also obscures our vision."    (Continued via Semantic Studios)    [Usability Resources]

T-Shaped Consulting Framework - Usability, User Interface Design

T-Shaped Consulting Framework

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