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CX / UX StrategyDriving Innovation & Making our Work MeaningfulCassandra Moore, PhDUXPA DC July 21, 2016


AgendaWhat makes work meaningful?Strategic thinking is unnaturalHow to think strategicallyBusiness strategyExperience strategy

Satisfying WorkSense of agency, influenceInvolvement in something aspirationalFinding meaningFlow?



Taking a more strategic approach to customer/user experience can provide more meaning, enable us to be more influential in our workplaces.

Mapping our UX Strategy to larger goals of the organization expands our sphere of influence, demonstrating that strategic customer experience can effect the bottom line.


Strategic thinking

Defining Terms (for this talk)Goals what you want to achieveStrategy plan for achieving goalsTactics specific activitiesOrganizations have purpose, goalsBusinessGovt agencyAssociationNon-profit



Ill be talking about commercial business, government agencies, and other organizations interchangeably. Most orgs have a purpose for existing and goals they aspire to achieve5

Descriptive of Strategy?YesRationalityLogicGoalsIntentionalityReasoning

Not so muchIntuitionEmotionBiasGood enoughQuick



Myth of the Rational AgentChoices based onAll available informationProbabilities of events Potential costs & benefits

Always maximizes utility in his own interest



Previously economists thought of people as rational agents that always acted in their own self-interest.7

Strategic Thought is not NaturalConclusions on few factsCertain were rightDismiss inconsistent evidenceUse heuristicsOvergeneralize, exhibit bias



Two cognitive psychologists, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky demonstrated that our choices, including large investments were anything but strategic.

Danny Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 based on this work, and the field of behavioral economics has since blossomed.


Who we think we areWho we really are


cassandramoorephdIts Counterintuitive

These findings are very counterintuitive. We experience ourselves as Spock-like when it comes to decisions, but were actually a bit more like Homer Simpson.


Automatic, effortless, quickLargely unconscious, difficult/impossible to controlIntuition, expertise, skill Does most of the work of thinkingControlled, effortful, slowUsually consciousLogically coherent, rule-governedLazyEasily overwhelmedTwo Systems of Thinking

@Seymour188System 1System 2cassandramoorephd

Kahneman proposed a two systems approach two general families or categories of thinking.

Which is not to say that you have two little homunculi in your head but naming them makes it easier to think about their characteristics

System 1 is the older system, perfected for escaping predation, surviving in the Serengeti, still the default.

Anything orange is dangerous enables you to act quickly when a tiger may be present, but you may also run from a few giraffes.

System 2 is the rational system, it does math in restaurants. When we talk about cognitive strain were referring to System 2.


Thinking is HardPersuasion, sales, voting, even behavior change, appeals to emotions and values It works because our everyday thought is based on heuristics, intuitions, emotions


Not that we cant think rationally, its just that thinking is effortful we have to engage System 2


Strategic thinking How-to

Algorithms Engage System 2Use algorithmsExplicit consideration of each component of a decisionLeads to more rational choicesImportant to choose the right criteria


So how do we engage System 2 in order to think strategically?

Goal is to have a successful army.

Strategy is to identify recruits who exhibit certain traits. Criteria for selection,

Measure predictive value of those criteria13

Surgical ChecklistSurgery has become so complicated, expert surgeons can forget a step Expertise is not enough. It relies on System 1Checklists reduce medical errors dramaticallySlows the team, engages System 2


To Err is Human enormous number of medical errors, even by experts

Goal is fewer medical errors

Strategy is checklist; consideration of each component slows the team down, engages the rational thinking of System 214

Checklist for Regulatory Impact AnalysisChanging Federal Regulations has broad impact, huge cost if incorrect or incompleteInstituted by Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law faculty) in the Obama administrationRequires evidentiary support, explicit reflection, and reason-givingProvides criteria for deciding what to do, what NOT to doRIA (Sample of Questions)

Does the RIA include a reasonably detailed description of the need for the regulatory action?

Does the RIA include an explanation of how the regulatory action will meet that need?

Does the RIA use an appropriate baseline?

Is the information in the RIA based on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, and economic information and is it presented in an accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased manner?

Does the RIA explain and support a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify)?


Cass Sunstein, a law professor at Harvard and past member of President Obamas administration instituted a similar procedure. Before making changes to federal regulations, regulators used this checklist to engage System 2 and make more strategic decisions.

Criteria for deciding what to do, what NOT to do

Evidentiary support, reflection, reason-giving

Deliberative DemocracyEvidence-based Medicine

Cass Sunstein, 2009, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/regpol/RIA_Checklist.pdf


StrategyBefore creating an Experience Strategy, we need the right criteria for deciding what to do. Criteria are supplied by business goals.



Business Strategy

Seek to Understand the OrganizationApproach with curiosityWhat are their goals? Challenges?What do they offer to customers?What is the value proposition?How do they want the customer to interact with them?How do they differentiate themselves from organizations with similar offerings?


Value proposition that is why the organization believes a customer would want what theyre offering. What benefit do they believe theyre providing to the customer? Valuable customer experience.

Goals why does this org exist? Created by congressional act?Challenges can be competition, regulations, mandates


Business Strategy ala Michael Porter

A collection of activities that an organization chooses to undertake to deliver a series of (positive, exceptional) interactions which, when taken together, constitute an (product or service) offering that is superior in some meaningful, hard-to-replicate way; that is unique, distinct & distinguishable from that available from a competitor.

Replace is with the customer believes. Knowing what the customer thinks is the critical support for the whole strategyMany products, e.g., Internet service, cable, are essentially the same. The differentiator can be customer experience


An experience strategy is that collection of activities that an organization chooses to undertake to deliver a series of (positive, exceptional) interactions which, when taken together, constitute an (product or service) offering that is superior in some meaningful, hard-to-replicate way; that is unique, distinct & distinguishable from that available from a competitor.

What we propose to do should be based upon the goals and strategy of the organizationCommoditization product offered by different sellers does not differ (e.g., corn)Differentiation an offer that is superior in some meaningful


The Elusive Business Strategy

Most organizations dont have an explicit strategy (please write if you find one!)Org strategies are very difficult to write and to agree upon. Efforts are often abandoned mid-streamUsually, you will be hunting for clues about the implicit goals of the organization



Hunting for Org (Business) StrategyAt the organizational level look forVision or mission statementsAbout Us descriptionC-level newsletters, speeches, blogsArticles about the organization or their mandate

At the department level look forDepartment goals, KPIs, success measuresRFP, proposals for the projectVision & scope of projectBusiness requirements



Make Straw Man GoalsEvaluate the evidence gatheredGet input from team members with different perspectivesDevelopers, designers, project managersMake a prioritized list of organizational goalsThink about which problem or opportunity each goal addressesBe willing to be wrong



Will collect lots of evidence from artifacts, review it, evaluate it, look for themes, constraints

Note differences of opinion and check those out with stakeholders


Verify the List with StakeholdersAsk