#Subsistence #UX #Resolution UX #Gain UX or #Advantage UX what results do you get?

Subsistence UX, Resolution UX, Gain UX or Advantage UX ?

What do clients require, what are clients getting and can they tell the difference in the level of UX or do they just not call again?

There is a major problem with user experience UX as it evolves, many projects are not underwriting their solutions with recent and client specific 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 UX, Resolution UX, Gain UX or Advantage UX.

Pattern based UX has been added to major software by companies who build static interaction libraries for front end development tools, as if everything in user experience and interactive systems can be or should be limited to the same interactive behaviours as every other system!

When I commission a digital system for a client, I would want to know what has been used already and who else has the same thing.

Subsistence UX

Pattern based user experience, where the person (interaction designer, visual designer, UI developer) providing the service has not conducted UX requirements gathering and UX research. The result of this type of UX is survival but it does not support growth as it was not conceived by understanding targeted users. Many practitioners would not consider this UX at all, but it is what lots of clients are being sold as UX.

Resolution UX

Fixing basic problems with a user experience would at first glance appear easy, but in fact it’s more difficult than working on a green field project, because no matter how bad the experience is, people have become use to it. With existing users involved projects are not a fix problem, it’s becomes a fix and migration problem. UX people should be asking themselves ‘how do I in UX facilitate users moving from one experience to another?’ This requires a mixture of analytics and user workshops (group work) to rapidly find a common interactive language for the systems target audience.

Gain UX

Understanding the motivation, desires and needs of targeted users in defining UX requirements (changing the project/business requirements) enable gain type UX. This type of UX is front loaded (quick wins) on to projects to establish clarity of focus that enables the adoption and rapid integration of complex interactive systems.

Advantage UX

Advantage based UX, is like Gain in that the focus is the user, but at a strategic and architectural level. Almost everyone you ask at the strategic level will say ‘yes we focus on the user’ but they don’t think like the user, they think like someone selling or engaging with the user and are not objective.

Advantage based UX has the rights to questions the reason for projects, by asking ‘what benefit does the user get from this? does this reduce our trusted brand status? etc.’ Advantage is always set by being where there market is often before they know that where they are themselves. How? By modelling user logic, user behaviours, user interaction, external factors upon personas and target markets it’s really complex, that’s why so few people and companies do it.

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#Lies damn lies and #user #experience

User experience has in recent years become the greatest area of fraud and theft in business. Because the output documents appear simple huge numbers of people without any formal knowledge of what goes into them are having a go.

Be careful of Fakes

Avoid designers, look for Architects and Consultants, with an MSc and good client references (but not a portfolio) which can be viewed on LinkedIn.

The most common request for people involved in user experience is to produce wireframes (low fidelity pictures) a task that a child could do.

Wireframes should be the container document for standards, insights into target audience expectations, business KPI’s and brand values.

Ignorance in UX can be costly

The real problem is that recruiters and clients don’t know what they should be getting for their money.

A good indicator that someone is ignorant is a request for a portfolio. A portfolio is a set of images that express the capability of a designer involved in architecture, graphics, fashion design etc, but it is not relevant for UX. The reason it’s not relevant is that the complex ideas within wireframes need an expert to review and validate them against standards.

People who want to see a Portfolio are incompetent

If the interviewer does not know the standards, frankly they deserve to be fleeced, it’s like employing a plumber to represent your interests in court instead of a solicitor because they can make a good argument. The action of the argument is not important, even if there are lots of buzz words included because legal matters like usability matters are complex interrelated sets of rules and dependencies.

So unless an expert does the review the activity is pointless, a secondary but probably more damaging problem is ownership, rights and breach of contract.

Wireframes contain information on “How it Works” not “How it Looks”

How something works is the inventive element and belongs to the client. If clients are not protecting their Intellectual Property in UX, they really should be quite aggressive about it, but all contracts have a provision for this protection asking to see UX work from clients is a breach of contract and breach of IP.

Asking people to show a UX portfolio is asking people to breach their contracts.

If you or your team require training on interviewing UX people please contact me.

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