LinkedIn bullies and the loss of the LinkedIn professional network

Social Media Empowerment

It is without doubt that Social Media empowers people to feel they can act with impunity. However this has never really been true, there is no impunity on Social Media as accounts can be traced quite easily.

LinkedIn Posters Experiences

It is now a common experience of people who post that they get blasted by someone else’s opinion instead of experiencing a discussion. It may be that the responder is so insecure that they feel the need to bully others or it may be a strongly held belief. Either way it’s unprofessional, even things that you may consider to be universal or culturally correct may not be someone else’s experience.

How to Respond on LinkedIn

Like a court case, when responding you need to provide context and evidence (case studies, though often without the client name). Your summary opinion without the context of why your saying something is the response of a child (around the age of 4). Structure your response;

I disagree based upon my experience of …. it showed me that …. what is the bases of your post?

Responses to LinkedIn Bullies

Some people simply won’t behave like professional people, in those cases the following responses are common;

  • Block people rather than engage with them if your the poster take a note of who they are first then delete their abuse, then block them. If you block them first their abuse is still on your post but now you can’t see it.
  • If the comment is particularly vile or brings their company into disrepute forward it to their Managing Director, Head of Public Relations and Head of Sales one of them will contact Human Resources and get them retrained or have them fired.

Why deal with this at all?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing

Edmund Burke, 1795

For those who experience this kind of abuse I would suggest that you endure, my father taught me to never run away from bullies, your mere existence and experience diminish their hate because you won’t surrender or submit.

Please remember that you add a perspective that many people want to engage with they just need to think and write professionally.

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Mobile is now Slowbile, mobile experience is destroying user experience (UX)

I like many other people love to use my mobile phone to view the web, contact friends through mobile applications and keep up to date. But recent changes by companies are driving me nuts; it’s so bad that I’m considering not using their services.

So what’s the problem with mobile?

When the World Wide Web started to go mobile, the complex problem of screen size and control had many solutions, some worked some did not. I remember writing my first WEP site; it worked but was an awful user experience. Then CSS took over as the solution of choice, now it’s purpose built applications (less functionality, one for each device and a rather expensive route) or the responsive web (resizes with same functionality, the direction I’m taking). However it’s the change in user choice that’s driving me nuts, as a user I used to be able to choose to have an application or not, now I’m being forced into an experience I don’t want.

A recent forced bad user experience with LinkedIn

I really like the concept of LinkedIn but they have really lost contact with users and the following experience really expresses this detachment better;

I was using my iPhone and I wanted to manage one of the groups I run on LinkedIn, so I used Safari on the phone to access LinkedIn. I had to do this as the LinkedIn iPhone application does not support group management. So through Google I went to LinkedIn and I was given an interstitial page about the iPhone application. Great they are clever enough to know I have an iPhone, but not clever enough to know I already have the mobile app but am not using it!! maybe there is a reason, I can’t cancel this (never see again checkbox, a feature I put on all interstitial pages as its just good user experience) so every time I try I get this bad experience.

I get to the website, great I put my email address and password in (really not easy on an iPhone, that’s an easy fix, but just look at all the sites and companies who can’t be bothered to make it easy for users) and click login — I’m expecting to get into my account, but no I’m forced into their (very slow) mobile site.

At this point I’ve already been asked if I want a mobile version and said NO, I’ve logged in and now I get asked to login again. This is because their credential store is not set up to pass my credentials to their mobile site version; this is really poor, even in the most basic WordPress system that is integrated.

Anyway as I don’t want the mobile version as it does not have the functionality I require, I click on the go to desktop version. I’m back at the desktop version but I have to login again, at this point I want to throw the iPhone under a car.

It took 25 minutes to login to LinkedIn, Mobile is now Slowbile

At this point I’ve arrive in the office and decide never to bother with this again, way to go LinkedIn forcing me to hate your thinking and technology when your concept is such a good one.

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How to Hire a Head of User Experience

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 of glitter covered turd. If this is the expectation it’s not really surprising if the wrong people get senior roles, then the incompetent lead.

What I want to show is some basic indicators about hiring a Head of User Experience;

Please don’t be offended if it’s what you do for a living (recruitment or employment agent), glean what you can and discard anything you don’t need. 🙂

Who, What, When, Where, Why.

Who do they know and how do they deal with them?

They must know users; understand user drivers and perspective for every project just as they must know the client stakeholders and leaders with the environment that they are working in. The level of knowledge will vary, as much of the information is second hand from Lead and Senior designers or researchers. But the Head of UX will have both their own knowledgebase and be able to elicit extra business and strategic information not visible to other ux practitioners.

Can they let their team work or do they micro-manage? It’s really important when working with a new (to the Head of UX) team that the teams strengths are encouraged and supported. UX is one of those skill sets where diversity of experience is critical in evolving multiple parallel project solutions within a team of peers. Giving the team rights over the group output is critical to maintain quality and to challenge narrow thinking. How they manage, mentor and train people is key to the future of the team? How will they deal with internal applicants for the job they have just got? Conflict is a given in any location where people are, what are their stratagies for conflict? Watch out for people with an ‘I problem’ if it’s all about them they cannot see other people. Get references from colleagues as well as employers, you can find them as connections on Linkedin.

What do they do for a living, how do they describe themselves, their ux work and their colleagues?

How do they describe what they do for a living, a couple of years ago recruitment agencies where told by someone that ux people only focus on the user and that should be their response when ask who they focus their efforts on. Wrong, ux is a service that is based on creating a meeting point between people, organisations/businesses > providers and products/services > content. Any Head of User Experience who does not know this is not a Head of User Experience, it’s a business. It’s a great business that gives an audience access to the content they are looking for, makes it easy to interact with and enables communication with the content provider, but it’s still a business. Watch out for divas they upset clients and stakeholders alike a Head of UX is a savvy business person and knows which things to fight for and which things to mitigate as a risk.

Do they have a process? Can they describe the process and where it came from, how it has evolved through their experiences and which projects made the most change or option routes for it.

When did they acquire their skills?

People involved in user experience who have the kind of experience to be a Head of User Experience come from diverse backgrounds. A colleague of mine started in the US DoD (in the 1980’s) designing graphic manuals for troop training and another NATO information systems. Find out what else they have done and how they evaluate their experiences, because their experience underwrites their other skills and gives them a breadth of understanding about various sectors that may not be on their CV’s. For instance I have had lots of experience setting up business banking accounts, some really lousy (maybe for another post), some grossly inefficient (some excuses of epic proportions) and others utterly fabulous. Ask them to describe an experience, evaluate it and provide a solution to any problem they have encountered. For people like us it’s easy, for example I’ve had a fix for the supermarket self checkout bottleneck for years, it’s obvious.

User Experience in its current form is a fairly recent naming when I meet practitioners with experience before 2005 described as user experience, I know there is something wrong depending on where in the world they say they got their experience.

Where and with whom do they associate?

Confirming the professional level of a person is now quite easy with Linkedin, connect with them and have a look at their connections, if they don’t know any senior people outside of ux they are not senior themselves. It’s a cultural thing we tend to mix with people at or above our own level when thinking professionally, occasionally people come on the radar where they a worth following to see where their career goes. Yes, Linkedin again, if you don’t use it, you won’t know what your missing.

Why do they think they fit?

Based upon their research, they should know enough about the role, the people, the ethos and the clients or stakeholders to be able to pitch a reason why they fit in.

Don’t ask a Head of User Experience;

Don’t ask for a portfolio asks for a presentation. Presentation ability is required when working the board of directors, client stakeholders and when conducting pitches with new business or internal advocacy. Look for the narrative, a really good ux presentation has a story that it’s telling ‘What is UX?’, ‘How can UX help my business?’, ‘Project name UX concepts’, ‘Project name user stories’ etc. Also look for substance over style, the presentation must be meaningful and hint at critical thinking and creative talent, really flashy presentations make me concerned when they lack any real information, interpretation of data or concepts that have a provable pathway from researched insights.

Finally get references

I mean get real references, as if your job depended upon it, because it and your future reputation do. User Experience is still a small field, when someone with little or no experience gets a Head of User Experience role the first question we all ask is what was the agency that did this? When I am really unsure of an applicant (due diligence is critical in client services) I use a private detective, just give them the CV and ask for verification.

 

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Interflora SMS STOP 60070 update

I prefer to do something about situations rather than just complain. So apart from phoning Interflora’s contact centre and getting nowhere, I also used the professional social network Linkedin to contact senior marketing staff about my experience. Below is their response;

Hi Karl

Just wanted to update you on the STOP issue you had with our SMS campaigns. We have spoken to our supplier and it seems there was an issue with the system which applies the STOPs to the database. This has been resolved and backdated so that any recipients who unsubscribed during the problem have now been opted-out, including yourself. Please let me know if you have any more issues.

Regards

Mark

Hopefully that’s the end of that, now.

Linked posts:

http://karlsmith.info/user-experience-ux/interflora-discount-voucher-100-no-brains/

http://karlsmith.info/user-experience-ux/interflora-dont-listen-or-care-about-user-experience/

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