UX Day 2015 Flyer

User Experience (UX) Leadership Development Workshop

Today we will have a guest post from the content manager and University of Florida PhD Student France Jackson.

We are continuing the discussion around HFES 2015. During UX Day at the annual meeting, I was honored to be a participant in the UX Leadership Development Workshop. Today, I want to do a guest post and share my experience.

Prior to the event, participants were informed that there three theme areas we would be discussing at the workshop and to prepare our thoughts and talking points on these areas.

  • Managing the organizational resistance to change?
  • Responding to technological advances – Big data revolution in the User Experience research industry
  • The initial few months in the UX leadership role in a startup

Within each theme, there were specific questions to guide the discussion. During the workshop, each participant was paired with a mentor, who is a UX professional. The mentor and the mentee had a designated time frame to discuss each question. During this time the mentee offered their thoughts on the topic while the mentor offered advice and their take, based on their experiences.

Marc was my mentor for this activity and here’s what we discussed:

Theme 1

  • How can we mitigate organizational resistance to change?
  • How can we create a culture that is open to taking a long term view to such changes?

From our discussion, I concluded that sometimes people are not logical and we have to give examples. By illustrating scenarios where companies ignored UX or didn’t follow the customer while their competitors did, we can paint a picture of the importance of user experience. Also, by highlighting the effect good ux vs. bad ux can have on the bottom line, we are often able to better get our point across.

Theme 2

  • How does the big data analytics movement impact the user experience industry?
  • What is the impact of “Big data movement” on the different phases of user-centered design?
  • What skills should the UX researchers need to have to thrive in this era of data explosion?

Marc and I had an interesting conversation about the role of Big Data on user-centered design. We talked about how Big Data could be used in earlier phases of the design process when we are trying to process user needs. Marc brought up some really great points about ethics and when we circumvent free will for a “good design”. He mentioned a story where Target was using women’s purchase patterns to deduce that they were pregnant and began sending them ads for pampers and other baby products. That sounds really useful, but in some cases the women did not know themselves that they were expecting or they were not ready to reveal that information to other people. There are a few articles that talk about that story. This article from Slate discusses other capabilities big data can have on end users.

Additionally, we spoke about premature beta testing in search of Big Data. If we as researchers move to a model that is too focused on Big Data, we have to be careful about pushing products to market too soon, just in hopes of getting it in the hands of a large group of people. He used the example, “What if autonomous cars were released to the public before they were really safe, just to get a large set of data points to future improve the car?” This brings us back to the first point…. ethics.

Theme 3
The final theme was a “homework assignment”. We were tasked to take that last problem home and further discuss it with our mentor and report our response. So check back here to see my thoughts on the final theme.

Image Source:UX Day 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *