Modern Day Electrician

I wonder how many homes were built out of order once electricity was on the scene. Did electricians have to fight to be apart of the process like Ux professionals have to fight for a seat at the “development table”? It’s honestly not a fight I want to participate in. Instead, I’d work with those who know that Ux is needed.

I’m sure some had years of experience building homes without electricity, and once it came along had the bright idea to loop in an electrician from the very beginning. I bet that those companies had significantly more success than those who decided that electricity could be added well after the house was constructed.

Can you imagine? Thankfully something like that sounds absurd today. I am hoping that soon, the thought of discussing the idea of a site/app/product, building a team, and the timeline without Ux is also deemed equally absurd.

Ux speaks for itself when done well. A Ux professional will have great success when they understand the roles and goals of the other people sitting at the table and can articulate their purpose and goals to their teammates. So I won’t fight someone, a team, a company, or business owner for a spot because I know how powerful and useful Ux. Those who have taken the time to go out and understand Ux, how powerful it can be the way they would go and look into the power of design, marketing, programming, or a sales team. Those are the business owners I want to work with.

Personally, I don’t think it’s that hard to understand that Ux is more than just design. It certainly goes beyond research. It has a place in strategy, implementation, evaluation, and identifying potential. For those who are progressive enough in my wake, I’ve been able to demonstrate how Ux can be used to help other groups who are apart of the success/failure of a product.

While the goal of Ux is to make the life of the user more comfortable. Ux can benefit those who represent:

  • The business and their intention to make money
  • Marketing professionals and their goal to capture and educate potential users
  • The sales team and their goal convert people into users
  • Developers and their goal to build tools people will use
  • Quality Assurance and their goal for a consistent and problem-free experience for the users
  • Creatives (designers, photographers, videographers, writers, etc.) and their goal to deliver work that is consistent and always points back to the brand and message of the company/product
  • Legal and their goal to protect the company/product’s proprietary work, brand, and people
  • Cyber Security and their goal to protect the product, personnel, and user’s information

Like electricity, even though Ux has been around a while (by development world standards), few still use it exclusively to capture the needs of users. Many still feel like business personnel need to hand-hold and guard the path, at the risk that Ux might run-off and bring harm to the business or the product. Which don’t get me started on how ridiculous of a fear that is. The same way people still used gas-lighting, candles, etc. to heat their homes and provide light, when homes started to be outfitted with electricity.

There is a long road ahead of Ux, even still, but as I stated before. I’m not interested in fighting tooth+nail with companies that already exist and don’t welcome Ux with open arms. I’m here for the business owners that have already done their due diligence and are prepared to welcome Ux with open arms, ready to collaborate. Solely for the reason that Ux can’t do what it does best without such a welcome. It doesn’t benefit me to do subpar work because the business isn’t ready.

There’s a difference between working with difficult people and then working with those who don’t respect Ux. I have plenty of experience with both, and I choose to no longer work with business owners or work for companies who don’t respect and do what they should to learn about and understand Ux.

Every single group of people involved in the creation, improvement, and release of a digital product plays a vital role. It has been my personal experience that when the whole team not only understands but respects the purpose, goals, and needs of each group, it sets up an environment for excellence. They’re able to roll out a product that is worthy of winning awards, setting industry standards, and meeting the needs of their users in a way their competitors never could.

When Ux is understood and respected, I find that:

  • Business doesn’t have to worry about making money but focus on the next feature
  • Marketing simply tries to find more ways to spread the word about the product
  • The sales team finds themselves promoting the latest feature and not having to work too hard to sell the overall product
  • Developers are satisfied knowing that what they build is actually being used
  • QA can catch problems faster
  • Creatives know that the products they support are making a difference
  • Legal has fewer headaches,
  • Cybersecurity has even more to protect

All while Ux continues to achieve its goal of making users content and more accessible, the same way electricity makes our lives easier today.

I wonder how many homes were built out of order once electricity was on the scene. Did electricians have to fight to be apart of the process like Ux professionals have to fight for a seat at the “development table”? It’s honestly not a fight I want to participate in. I’d rather work with those who know that Ux is needed. I’m sure there were those who had years of experience building homes without electricity and once it came along had the bright idea to loop in an electrician from the very beginning. I bet that the company had significantly more success than those who decided that electricity could be added well after the house was constructed. Can you imagine? Thankfully something like that sounds absurd today and I am hoping that in the near future the thought of building something, discussing the idea of an application/product, building a team, etc is all done with a representative of Ux at the table.

Ux speaks for itself when done well. A Ux professional will have great success when they understand the roles and goals of the other people sitting at the table and can articulate their role and goals to their teammates. So I won’t fight someone, a team, a company, or business owner for a spot because I know how powerful and useful Ux

I sat where they sat

Have you ever met a user that doesn’t want your help? Someone married to their ways. Not all users want all the help that you can offer. They just want you to fix “one problem” and not touch anything else.

They’re like hedgehogs, the closer you get to their operation, the more they stick you with their protective quills.

So what do you do?

Show the love, show that you care, show that you know what you’re talking about. Sit where they sit. Work with them, become a co-laborer.

Why?

Your users may not just have problems or needs, they can be the problem, because of the way they deal with things. Users are people, people are protective of the way that they do things. They honestly won’t admit that the way they go about things are wrong. The possibility of them claiming that something else is better, is greater. Unless you, as a Ux Designer truly care about your users, you can’t help them.

Work with them

I don’t mean compromise. Don’t be blind to their needs, don’t ignore them and don’t use it as an opportunity to promote your intelligence. People don’t want to know what you know, how you do things, until you care to know what they know and to first do things their way.

Purposefully sit down with them and do their job/complete a task the way they do it. Experience their struggle. Talk about it, discuss it, brainstorm on the ways to make it better for the both of you [make it a team thing].

Some people are blind to their needs.

They might not know they need the help of your application. They have been grinding for so long, making it work, that they have ignored it. Their way of life, their way of doing things has been built upon it.

Be as concerned about the user, as you are of the user’s needs.

These opportunities can help you mature your interface. Give you a better understanding of how an expert vs novice user interacts with your interface.

You will have outlier users, “problem users” who don’t fit within targeted user group. You can deny their needs. Yet it is important to acknowledge that you will come across them, so expect them, accept them and give them an opportunity to help open your eyes. Those who give you the most headaches, cause the most problems, don’t understand what to do with your interface or how to use the tools to their benefit, need you the most. Not the users with zero complaints.

One of the best ways to discover needed resources is to need that very resource yourself.

Scrabble letters spelling out success

Prove Your Work, Display Success

When do you think about analytics and stats for your business?

Before you even launch it, before you even consider having a website.

You need to consider data that will show you and others how you’ve grown and where you have failed to grow. To answer these questions a year from now you have to start gathering that data today.

  • How much money did your company make?
  • How much did you pay yourself?
  • How much went to expenses?

All of that is for accountants and I’m not talking stocks.

Your value and quality will be seen, but by whom, when, where and why?

You should have a target audience in mind but how will you even know you’re actually reaching them? How will you know in one month or three to six and up to a year how people are coming to your site and what they are clicking on?

You may not even know that out of the 300 people who visited your site that only 3 reached out to you, and lets be honest having 3 may have made made your day if you’re starting out. However, when you see that you had the potential to get 300 emails you’ll realize that something is wrong and if you ask the right questions now, you’ll know why then.

You may not even know that out of the 300 people who visited your site that only 3 reached out…

What questions?

The questions User Experience Designers ask when they’re considering the best way to design your website and software or application interface. The same questions you should be able to track data for with your analytics…for example:

Who is your target audience?

It’s what Ux research inquires about and analytics should find a way to track the various details of the people you’re reaching. You need to see if the target audience you initially tried to reach is being reached. If you find yourself reaching a different group and why and if you should focus on them instead. Or worse if it is all over the place and you don’t have a good sense of your user/client base.

These questions will give you answers to make informed business decisions later on. As well as for your Ux Designer and Web Developers to make sound and strategic decisions to reflect the changes you wish to make.

The analyzing of business statistics starts now. Make a list of questions you will need answered in a few months to a year and then write down what type of information you need to answer these questions.

Sit down with your web developer and talk about SEO and website analytics today.

Don’t have a Ux expert on call? Contact me at ogidesigns@gmail.com