Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Moving UX into a Position of Corporate Influence: Whose Advice Really Works?

Getting UX accepted in the corporate environment ...

"A few days ago, a Principal User Experience Architect wrote about the challenges User eXperience (UX) was confronting in her place of work:

"Currently UX does not have it's own budget or access to dollars. We continually compete with conflicting priorities at the product management level. ...we have the desire to provide 'delightful' user experiences as part of our overarching goals, but without any tactical programs in place to achieve that goal we are simply putting bandaids on the UX as we go with individual projects. ...we're about 5 years behind in our UX and we need to jumpstart to get closer to today."
from CHI-WEB, 9 July 2007

What should she do? How should she go about achieving needed changes in her company? What approach should she take to as rapidly as possible move UX into a position of greater corporate influence?

... "For Blue Shield in particular, it was incredibly important to establish a visual (process) model, working with multiple teams, multiple disciplines, multiple business units, that they can refer to when they were struggling with or trying to understand when to engage the user experience team. ..."
Shauna Sampson Eves, Director of User Experience, Blue Shield of California

"At Wells Fargo, it was critical for us to make sure that our partners didn't perceive our design team as a black box and assume that we had some magical powers to create things that weren't in the control of the product managers or the IT personnel, but were somehow achievable by the user experience people. ..."
Secil Watson, Senior Vice President of Internet Channel Strategy, Wells Fargo

"I think that user experience teams spend a lot of time trying to justify themselves, and I wish they would spend the time and energy that they spend justifying themselves actually doing design work..."
Jeremy Ashley, Vice President of Applications User Experience, Oracle

"Do NOT evangelize..."
Manfred Tcheligi for Tobias Herrmann, Head of Team User Experience, mobilkom austria

Has it been important for UX personnel to establish ownership over the UX to move UX into a position of corporate influence? It was in some companies, but not in others. For example:

"At Cisco, (the UX Design group) always owns the user experience. It is like building a house, where you have an architect who develops the blueprint, and the construction crew builds it."
Jim Nieters, Senior Manager of User Experience Design, Cisco"    (Continued via uiGarden)    [Usability Resources]

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