So I posted this as an update on LinkedIn I got some great responses from people who read their contracts and got a whole load of really negative responses from people who did not understand the statement so I will try again here. I make no legal determination as part of this post, I am simply reporting an actual event. The Background First off this is from several actual experiences, years ago in one instance where a recruiter was found to be in Breach of Contract as the Contractor they supplied held on to client work (not in the public domain) and digitally published itRead More →

Philosophy of UX User experience is about making people’s lives better. A persons experience is based in their mind and their emotions and can be established by both interaction and reflective (upon biographical experience) inputs. In UX we define inputs in digital or real world frameworks which enable the creation of solutions that have meaningful impact. Overview of UX The current approach to UX is that it is the practical implementation of audience drivers, cognitive acuity, usability standards and accessibility laws. And the integration of business context into user context, to facilitate alignment and communication. Definition; A user is a representative of the target audience.Read More →

Every dollar spent on UX brings in between $2 and $100 dollars in return. This is gained by spending on UX not making things look pretty, it’s not graphics its making the product, service or information system meet the business KPI’s and the customers expectations, desires and needs. Forrester Research finds that “implementing a focus on customers’ experience increases their willingness to pay by 14.4 %, reduces their reluctance to switch brands by 15.8 %, and boosts their likelihood to recommend your product by 16.6 %”. Making things for Users/Customers makes the business relationship are real one rather than just some marketing hype.Read More →

How do you design the experience? You can design a framework or architecture but the experience is in someone’s mind and in their emotions. UX research or UX analysis all make lots of sense but UX design does not, but the real point here is the breaking of the UX process in to sections. The practice of breaking the process is clearly done by people who don’t understand it. I keep meeting UX researchers who are excited that I am recruiting UX people, but to me not being able to do the full process creates too many limitations on them as viable UX people. ApartRead More →

A UX portfolio shows the candidate is a thief and the interviewer opens a legal claim against them for viewing confidential information. The request for UX portfolios are what happens when graphic designers end up in charge of a UX department. In graphics, most things get published in the public domain so it’s completely fine to see a portfolio of their work. But in UX the wireframes contain critical business information regarding ‘How it Works’ and that belongs to the client, forever. It’s what the clients are paying for in UX, revealing it to a third party is a breach of contract which opens anRead More →

As with Agile, UX has suffered fools having a go and failing. Focusing on titles, roles, activities or outputs misses the essential process that has not been applied by qualified, able and intelligent people who are able to deliver. No amount of talking about wireframes without understanding that anyone can produce a wireframe, just like anyone can produce a presentation can reduce the risk of confusing a delivery mechanism with the deliverable itself. “Wireframes are not the deliverable in UX” The deliverables of UX are the user research, business research, domain research, usability, accessibility, site architecture, enterprise architecture, data architecture, control language, logic model, engagement model,Read More →

“UX and Development cannot exist in the same Agile workstream” might sound like an outlandish claim but if you fully understand, it’s obvious. Forcing things to work as with the picture above is not a good idea. Can UX be Agile yes, of course in so far that all the effort and artefacts required to deliver UX can exist in an Agile UX workstream. UX includes user research, user requirement, KPI’s, system-wide taskflows, concepts, concept testing, persona definition, user roles, user journeys, usability and accessibility standards, sitemaps, key pathway wireframes. Development can also be Agile, but not all of it, infrastructure and front end needRead More →

It’s just the most embarrassing thing to hear intelligent people say UI/UX. It makes professional people cringe because your left wondering should you care that they are exposing ignorance or just let them get on with sounding like an idiot. I mean their ignorance is not your responsibility after all, or is it? So what’s so bad? Well not knowing that UI is a tiny subset of UX should not be that bad? It’s the total lack of knowledge that irks, I think. I mean when you first went to school there was always some kid who thought it was funny to pee in theRead More →

Best practice, puting the missing part in a puzzle

User Experience (UX) why is it important? User experience is so important because it enables client companies to get to the heart of their relationship with their customers without the marketing glamor that hides how they really feel and what they really experience. Client companies spend a great deal of money creating myths about what they do and their relationship to their customers but they also need the reality that user experience research brings. Ultimately user experience is about the ability to make decisions based upon re-creatable rigorous scientific research (avoiding one person’s view) involving real customers to create actionable information for design and theRead More →

The UX point of view is we have no point of view, that’s the point of UX (in fact it’s been created that way) any person who can offer a UX point of view (without actual user and business perspective) is not a UX practitioner. I get really concerned when I’m asked for my opinion by people who say they understand user experience, my opinion is of no importance in regard of delivering my clients a system designed to engaged with their target audience. The target audiences and individual users expectations, experience, desires, tasks, objectives, capabilities are of the utmost importance, but to assume IRead More →

UX afinity diagram

What is a User in Professional UX? Below is a simple guide to find out if you have users involved in your project. A person who is part (employed or service team) of a contracted consultancy – IS NOT A USER A person who is part (employed or service team) of a client company project team including sponsors and stakeholders – IS NOT A USER A person who does not represent the primary targeted audience (based upon user screening protocols) – IS NOT A USER A person who does not provide an independent non partisan (providing both positive and negative experiences) view – IS NOT A USER If your user falls into any one of the above groupsRead More →

Best practice, puting the missing part in a puzzle

User Experience (UX) looks pretty simple can anyone do it? No it’s a skill and knowledge based activity, I look for communicators with formal science qualifications (BSc, MSc or PhD), standards knowledge, creativity and genius level intelligence. Wow you need to be a genius to do User Experience (UX)? Not exactly, but it helps. User Experience is a complex translation process, requirements are tested with users and transformed. These user requirements are then filtered through standards and then transformed again into concepts. The concepts are then transformed into functional and non functional specification (mostly as user stories) which are transformed again into wireframes, annotations andRead More →

After a year and a half of planning and work UCD2012 is almost due to start. It started as a conversation on Linkedin for me, then for a while between contacts became all consuming to make it happen. As a contractor myself I argued for an event that would also be available on a Saturday as I know how hard it is to motivate someone to lose a day’s rate and then pay for a conference on top of that. To my knowledge UCD2012 is the only United Kingdom conference to focus on it’s users in this way. It’s totally appropriate for a user centredRead More →

I have been involved in Agile for a very long time, mainly because it uses methods from the human computer interaction scientific process (CHI/HCI). Agile Networking Group (20,000 members on LinkedIn) https://www.linkedin.com/groups/81065. Signed the Agile Manifesto on 3rd April 2008 (http://agilemanifesto.org/display/000000111.html) Certified member of the Scrum Alliance Certificant ID: 52664 I’m surprise no one else has blogged about the use of CHI/HCI processes in Agile before, but though I should say something as I keep getting told that it’s interesting how many CHI/HCI people have embraced Agile. In fact it’s the other way around we have simply re-appropriated our own techniques that have new Agile names.Read More →

Anyone can do user experience, nope! I meet a lot of people claiming to do user experience, process and deliverables aside, they don’t have a usability background so they cannot do real user experience. User experience is a personal capability (not all usability people can do user experience) based upon the experience of conducting usability testing. Usability testing provides the standards and experience of the user that is needed to understand their perspective, illicit the correct requirements in workshops or testing and represent them in projects. I met (6 years ago) a UX expert, I’m always worried when I meet UX experts I don’t know,Read More →

Business management does not reflect customer (users) activity The management of a businesses online presence is broken up into various channels in order to simplify the management, responsibility and accountability for overall effectiveness and value. However customers (users) are unaware of these business rules and are only focused on their task or tasks, which will cut across several channels. Holistic customer (user) experience is cross channel Given the behaviour of customers (users) it is clear that effectual user experience is cross channel as well. This creates some problems for business, however with the advent of Agile, user stories it may be time for businesses toRead More →

There seems to be a huge level of confusion around user experience (UX), but one of the key things is that the user interface is not the user experience architecture. User Interface – what the user sees Interface Logic – what the user can do Logical connections Interactive behaviours Content/data calls Content/data inputs Data Systems – the content the user creates and interacts with Platform – the users delivery mechanism user experience is defined by what users can do, not just what they can see If you are paying for UX you should be asking “how did the UX change the interaction, logic, data systemsRead More →

User experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) are very different and have separate skill sets, processes and outputs. I often talk to people who add IA on the their CV as if it’s some simple skill, it’s actually more complex and difficult than UX. IA is also hundreds of years old as an activity while UX is less than twenty in it’s current form. Information architecture is involved in the classification and structure of information. User experience is involved in; defining who the audience is, what they can do, how they can do it and matching the aspiration of the content provider with the desiresRead More →

UX is a highly complex set of research tools and outputs, the use of which is dependant upon time, cost and the clients willingness to accept them. Question 1, why are you there? If the client were to think in best practice terms which for them would deliver exactly what they require then everyone would have a great experience of the process. Unfortunately it is pretty much a given that clients want to prove themselves knowledgable about well everything, in control and this is one of the main problems. I often hear clients say “I understand our users” or “I built this company so IRead More →

The UX triangle is supposed to focus a project on the relationships involved in a project and how everything is centred upon the users. The UX triangle shows the key relationships and participants in a user experience project. The outer participants are the Business (strategic and corporate), IT services (design, delivery and infrastructure) and Marketing (driving relationships, market knowledge and acquisition). Centred on User Experience (UX) and focused on the User. It’s almost as if User Experience needs to start from the beginning again, because the essential component is missing in so many critical projects because there is ‘No Budget’. If you don’t have theRead More →

Like my last post How to Hire a Head of User Experience this post is not intended to supersede the experience of a really good HR or employment agency person but to bring clarity around the differences in the roles. A Director of User Experience is not really the next level on the business ladder for a Head of UX or a lead user experience or senior user experience person. The reason is that it’s a business role with little or no actual practical activity in the UX domain. A Director of UX is someone with an extra level of expertise related to management, financeRead More →

Head of anything is evocative of responsibility, power and knowledge, but what does Head of User Experience (UX) really mean and how do you know if your getting one? User experience in its value and effectiveness is geographical and sector based, that is to say it means different things to different people by country, by business and by route to the role (in-house HR or agency service). With this many variants how can anyone be sure that they have hired a Head of User Experience? One of my colleagues in a recent contract described User Experience as turning the turd (poo) into a piece ofRead More →

There is a major problem with user experience as it evolves, many practitioners are not underwriting their output with recent ux research but are relying on past patterns. In turn this has caused the creation of streams or levels of UX capability and delivery; Subsistence, Resolution, Gain or Advantage UX.Read More →

Doing user experience The first step in user experience needs to be the recognition that every problem is different and will require a separate solution. Because if they are not, then every business is the same which they are clearly not. In effect there is no quick fix or standard solution method but rather there is an armoury of methods each with associated risks, limitations and plus points. Anyone offering a standardise method for user experience without flexibility should be ask to leave as they about to cost you a fortune. I have worked with very well known agencies who are unable to get theirRead More →