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Practice Building For The UX Team of One [UXLX]

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These slides were presented in a workshop at UX London 2011. The workshop covered the methods, soft skills, and strategies to help UX teams of one build their own careers and do their best work in a resource constrained environments. Includes an overview of different "types" of teams of one, challenges, and some useful methods.

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Practice Building For The UX Team of One [UXLX]

  1. 1. Building a Practiceas a UX Team of OneLeah Buley · May 11, 2011 · Lisbon Portugal
  2. 2. The UX Team of OnePhilosophy1. UX is good.2. The world needs more of it.3. You can make that happen.
  3. 3. Our goal today:This workshop will guide you in making an18-month plan for your UX practice, andhelp you identify specific tactics andstrategies to get you there.
  4. 4. Today...9:00-9:45 Goals. What motivates you? What are you working towards?9:45-10:30 Challenges. What obstacles might you encounter?10:30-11:00 Break. Don’t you want coffee? I know I do.11:00-12:00 Methods. Tactics and strategies for a variety of situations.12:00-12:30 Plan. What are your next steps?
  5. 5. Caveat:We are all figuring this out—together.
  6. 6. How about you?What do you want to learn today?
  7. 7. * Goals *
  8. 8. My horoscope onAugust 27, 2009
  9. 9. ✘✔✔
  10. 10. This is about...Strategies & RoadmapsWorld Domination
  11. 11. [Experiment] Goals Write down 3 developments you want to see in your UX practice within 5 years. Think about... • Your role • Your team • Products you put into the world • Your success stories • Who your allies are • Education (yours and others) • Where you work • How you work • The culture you create & contribute to
  12. 12. * Challenges *
  13. 13. Hol di Ke a basic ng M e g Buildin nding of pin No y Gr gU ta Pr unders oun pW oc d es ith UX 17% Territory sChallenges the Disputes Ind 5% us Status try Quo Getting 5% permission t o doWe Face Creative Is the work 13% olation 6% Communic ating/ selling idea No s 12% Strategy 7% Just Trying to Politics Do Good 7% Time Work 8% 12%
  14. 14. Challenges We Face The usual human stuff Fear of A change Fight- rapidly Territory changing i-ness disputes industry Little strategy Plus the politics Lack ofunderstanding/support for UX But there’s too much to do. Not Foundation enough time. No permission to do user research / UX So you just try to do what you can Tactics Process Leah Buley |
  15. 15. How change happens...“I’ve been working on earning theconfidence of others to trust my judgmentand apply my design / suggestions. Priorto myself, the company had a UX team ofzero. The confidence was gained overtime as my input continually improvedproduct development. It is/was a difficultpath that has proved to be rewarding.”
  16. 16. B Be up there, not down here.
  17. 17. [Experiment] Challenges Write down all the challenges that are currently standing in the way of your ability to do good UX work. Think about... • Your role & responsibilities • Your team • Your company • Your strengths & weakneses • Prejudices and biases
  18. 18. [Experiment] Challenges Now, working as a group, put all your stickies together, and create logical groupings. Think about... • What challenges naturally go together? • What challenges stem from the same problem?
  19. 19. * Methods *
  20. 20. Types of The CrossoverTeams ofOne: The Doer The Builder The Independent
  21. 21. TheCrossover
  22. 22. The CrossoverCrossovers bring passion and freshperspective. They’re helping to spreadUX.Challenges- Permission to Focus- Getting in Touch with the User- Finding Ways to Do Good DesignStrategies- Find Good Partners- Do DIY Research- Steal Inspiration Wherever You Can
  23. 23. Method: Heuristic Markup How it works 1. Start at the beginning of the site or service 2. At each step, take screenshots or pictures 3. Write directly on the image what’s confusing How it gets others involved Creates a very visual document that you can send around to raise awareness of design issuesSlide from presentation by MAYA Design What questions it can answer Basic awareness questions. What kinds of issues does UX address? What opportunities do we have for improvement?
  24. 24. Method: 5-Second Test How it works 1. Show users a design for 5 seconds 2. Take it away 3. Ask them some questions about the design 4. See what they can remember How it gets others involved Invite team members to watch. Invite team members to participant. Best if you can get users involved too, of course. What questions it can answer Do we all agree on the goals of what we’re trying to accomplish? Where to learn more
  25. 25. Method: Collect Examples How it works 1. Go to a site that collects good examples. (I like The Webbys). 2. Create screenshots of everything you think demonstrates the qualities your product should have. 3. Do a quick analysis on what design choices make it seem that way. 4. Send around the screenshots to others in your company, sharing your thoughts. How it gets others involved Turns critique into an open dialogue. Invites a culture of sharing ideas for how to improve the product. What questions it can answer What design principles and aesthetics can be a foundation for product changes.
  26. 26. The Doer
  27. 27. The DoerDoers make things happen. But theycan be under-appreciated, and adrift intheir organizations.Challenges- Building Consistent Support for UX- Communicating the Value of Design- Coming in Too Late in the ProcessStrategies- Connect Professionally- Focus on Relationships- Offer Your Services- Start Measuring ROI
  28. 28. Method: UX Health Checkup How it works 1. Schedule a recurring meeting 2. Make a spreadsheet 3. Break the site into sections (e.g., search, registration, etc.) 4. For each section, choose relevant comparators 5. For each section, grade how good it needs to be vs. its comparators 6. For each section, grade how good IT IS vs. its comparators 7. As a group, discuss the gaps How it gets others involved Invites others to regularly assess how the site/service is doing What questions it can answer Where do we need to focus next? For more information phillychi
  29. 29. Method: Product Definition Workshop How it works 1. Schedule a meeting 2. Everyone draws their vision for the design 3. Everyone talks about their design 4. Everyone throws away their drawings, and draws again 5. Everyone talks about what they drew 6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 7. Final designs should be closely aligned toward shared group goals How it gets others involved Everyone gets to share their vision for design, and has to listen to others What questions it can answer What are outlying ideas for the design vs. core shared expectations
  30. 30. Method: Lunchtime UX How it works 1. Brainstorm a list of the people who you need to or would like to partner with. 2. Invite each one to a one-on-one lunch. 3. Ask your lunch date to talk about what their working on. Probe to understand their goals, challenges, etc. Ask about their frustrations or concerns. Listen more than you talk. 4. Save time to ask your lunchdate about their vision for the project or product. How it gets others involved It sets a precedent for positive working relationships, and gives your partners a chance to share their perspective outside of the context of formal meetings. What questions it can answer Where are there opportunities for UX to help. What are the reasons why it sometimes faces opposition.
  31. 31. The Builder
  32. 32. The BuilderBuilders have been doing UX work intheir organizations for a while, and arestarting to see real progress from it.Often, they’re on the verge of startingfull-fledged UX teams.Challenges- Process- Politics- Relationship ManagementStrategies- Align With Business Goals- Strategic Planning- Pyramid Evangelism- Build a Case to Grow Your Team
  33. 33. Method: Internal Survey How it works 1. Send around a survey to internal stakeholders 2. Ask them about their goals for the product, what parts need improvement, and their understanding of users How it gets others involved Invites others to share their expertise and vision for the site/service. Creates a starting point for further conversations (people will want to hear what you found) What questions it can answer How much support for change is there? What business goals do people expect the site/ service to serve?
  34. 34. Method: Case Studies How it works 1. Create a one-sheet overview of a major project you did. 2. Include images of the outputs, and a brief write up of the goals, and what you’ accomplished. 3. Share with others, or simply keep the stories well memorized in your back pocket. How it gets others involved It makes it easier for you to explain the value that UX provides, so others can see it too. Can also be an opportunity to highlight the involvement of colleagues. What questions it can answer What are the results of UX work? Why might we want more of it?
  35. 35. Method: Pre-Meetings How it works 1. Prior to an important meeting, list key participants. 2. Think about senior decision makers, people with informal influence, and the people most likely to have reservations 3. Set up a pre-meeting with each of them to preview the design work and invite their one-on-one feedback. 4. If the reviews go well, youre golden. If not, consider delaying the meeting. How it gets others involved It gives them time to think and ask questions. It also makes them feel special. What questions it can answer What concerns are there? Where does the support lie?
  36. 36. The Independent
  37. 37. The IndependentIndependents are lone guns – peoplewho work for themselves, but contractwith other organizations or groups toprovide UX services. Independents arethe literal teams of one.Challenges- Building Business- Contracting- Being Positioned to Do Good WorkStrategies- Promote Yourself- Get a Lawyer- Set Your Terms
  38. 38. Method: Project Brief How it works 1. Create a one-page overview of the project 2. Include vision, functional requirements, and design principles or user goals 3. Setup a meeting to review and “redline” with others How it gets others involved Puts the goals of a UX project in an appealing summary and invites people to think about what you’re trying to accomplish What questions it can answer Do we all agree on the goals of what we’re trying to accomplish?
  39. 39. Method: Have a Contract How it works 1. Talk to a lawyer. 2. Have them write a good contract. How it gets others involved Well, this one’s not so much about involving others as protecting yourself. But that sets you up to do more work with more people in the future. What questions it can answer How do I protect myself in my business. For more information F*ck You. Pay Me.
  40. 40. Method: Share What You Know How it works 1. Think about your work experience. What are the topics that you have hte most expertise and passion for? 2. Establish a practice of regularly writing about them. 3. When you do, tweet it. 4. If you’re feeling bold, submit ideas to conferences to share what you know with others. How it gets others involved You share your knowledge with others an invite them to see you as an expert in your area. What questions it can answer Is there demand for this topic? What else should I be learning about and sharing?
  41. 41. Caveat:We are all figuring this out—together.
  42. 42. [Experiment] Methods Working as a group, pick one team of How it works one profile. Brainstorm 3 new methodsWhat it to help them deal with their common looks challenges. Think about...Tactics & likeHow gets giesStritateothers involved • Methods that address a common✔ problem✔✔✔ • Ways to adapt existing methods, but take less timeWhat questions it answers • Methods that involve others and build✔✔ buy-in • Methods that are self documenting
  43. 43. * The Plan *
  44. 44. Let’s put it all together.Goals + Challenges + Methods Tactics & Strategies ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
  45. 45. [Experiment] Your PlanYour Personalized Plan Take 10 minutesWithin the next 18 months, what do I want to achieve? to fill out your personal plan. Think about...My basic strategy/approach is: Three methods that will help me are: • Ways to adaptIf I get everything I want from my plan, the impact will be: If I get the bare minimum that I want, the impact will be: your goals withoutSome reasonable objections that people might have are: Two possible alternatives that I would be happy with if compromising things dont go quite as a I planned: your values.
  46. 46. * Q&A *
  47. 47. Thanks!Slides: · @ugleah ·
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These slides were presented in a workshop at UX London 2011. The workshop covered the methods, soft skills, and strategies to help UX teams of one build their own careers and do their best work in a resource constrained environments. Includes an overview of different "types" of teams of one, challenges, and some useful methods.


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