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User Experience News & Analysis

You Can't Escape the Long Arm of Conway's Law

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You already know about Moore's law and how it describes the miniaturization of chips. You may know about Goodheart's law and how it describes human behavior regarding quantitative metrics. Have you heard about Conway's law and how it is constantly clashing with your efforts to bring customer centricity to the enterprise?

11 Ways to Ruin Your CMS Project Without Even Trying

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Your web traffic is a vital factor, maybe even the most important one, in generating sales leads for your business. According to Stanford University, 75 percent of people judge the credibility of a company on the design of its website. That’s why it’s such a big deal when your company decides to overhaul your web CMS.

There are so many ways to ruin a Web CMS project without even trying, but here are 11 that will certainly do the trick. 

Don't Let Your Personas Get Stuck

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If case you haven’t noticed, personas are a pretty big deal these days. Marketers plant relevant, engaging content throughout digital experiences on multiple channels to try and move the business forward. And that content must be relevant and individualized.

But marketers face a growing challenge. Yes, yet another one.

Google Joins the BYOD Party

For a while it seemed that Google was so busy getting geeky with glasses and driverless cars that it was blind to the big opportunity directly in front of it — bringing enterprise level security to the nearly 1 billion Android mobile devices that, in some way or another, are used on the job or for work purposes every day.

“For many, these phones have become essential tools to help us complete important work tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals,” said Rajen Sheth, director of product management, Android and Chrome for Work at Google.

“But for the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace,” he added, noting that the business and innovation potential on these devices is for the most part, untapped.

And though Google initially spoke about separating work data and personal data on mobile devices at its I/O Conference last June, it didn’t make Android for Work available to the masses until now.

The Problem with IT and the Digital Workplace

Technology is what drives the digital workplace and yet for many business executives, the IT department is being seen as less and less relevant.

We Need a Measure for Customer Effort

What the text of a particular link means to someone will be influenced by the task they are trying to complete. 

People are People, Not Users

Empathy is an essential skill for those who design and manage websites and apps. It’s hard to have empathy for a user.

Don't Be Afraid of SharePoint Customization

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When SharePoint first came on the scene many years ago, Microsoft embraced a broad and deep partner ecosystem, supported all sorts of educational events to train people and placed millions if not billions on marketing events, all focused on showing us how to customize SharePoint.

With the release of SharePoint 2013, we suddenly had Redmond telling everyone to stop customizing SharePoint. A lot of companies are now embarrassed and ashamed to admit that they have customized their SharePoint sites. In less than three years it went from de rigeur to risky and questionable.

A Look Back: Still Searching for Optimal Customer Experience

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You couldn't escape talk about awesome, amazing, remarkable customer experience (CX) in 2014 — or, for that matter, related terms like customer satisfaction, customer focus, customer service or customer-centricity. It is, after all, the Age of the Customer — a reality that has caused businesses everywhere to embrace CX as a business goal.

But like the mythical 10 pounds we collectively vow to lose on New Year's Day, the customer centricity of most companies, as evidenced by their delivery of memorable customer experience, rarely evolved from a concept to a practice this year.

And no matter how hard companies tried — with new technologies, new programs and even new names ("customer success," anyone?), the dream of seamless, engaging, excellent cross-channel customer experiences often remained an illusion.

  • Why is it cheaper if I order online for in-store pick-up than if I just buy it off the shelf at the store?
  • Why do so many companies make me wait more than 30 minutes to speak to someone who might have the authority to resolve my problem?
  • Why are call center representatives unable or unwilling to understand when you plead "I cannot hear you – please adjust your headset?"
  • Why can't anyone listen to what I am saying?
  • Why are so many of my interactions with companies simply frustraneous?

Why, indeed?

Bah Humbug: Could Your Holiday Emails Be Hurting You?

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Skip me if you’re sending out holiday emails, especially if we’ve never met. What you consider to be Seasons Greetings, I consider to be SPAM. And I have 512 such pieces in my inbox. I could have a part-time holiday job just opening them all.

And when I do open some of them and try to extend greetings of the season to you in return (it’s the least I can do, isn’t it?), the “To” box auto-fills itself with things like “customerservice@xxx.com”, no-reply@xxx.com, info@xxx.com and so on. It makes me feel so special, I can’t tell you.  What were you hoping to achieve?

Design and Refine Your Digital Business in 2015

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User experience was top of mind on Dec. 5, when nearly 150 business people, designers and technologists came together at Idean’s UX Summit in San Francisco. Two questions that I wanted to explore at the event: 1. How can UX design help digital business and customer experience success? and 2. Should all employees apply some design discipline to contribute?

The summit coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the start of Ernest Shackleton and his crew's epic attempt to traverse the continent of Antarctica. I couldn’t help but make a connection between the Endurance story and the challenges modern enterprise teams face with digital business and customer experience initiatives, often times ill-equipped and/or having to dramatically pivot en route, just to survive.

An Experience Design Primer - Service Design, UX, CX, DevOps

2014-05-November-Volcanoes.jpgA small eruption emerged on Twitter in response to my article that covered the Adaptive Path acquisition. At the root of it was a conversation about the differences and overlaps between user experience (UX) and service design. Patrick Quattlebaum, managing director at Adaptive Path and esteemed former colleague sat down with me to see if we could suss out the overlaps and distinctions between each approach.

Why Can't Enterprises Get User Experience Right?

A leading analyst recently said to me, “If enterprises cared about the user experience, SAP and Oracle might not still be in business.” Not to pick on those vendors -- they produce technologies that drive value in the enterprise -- but it’s no secret that the enterprise has lagged far behind the consumer world in terms of the user experience (UX). It’s bad. In enterprises we’re usually asking workers to accomplish tasks that are significantly more complicated than just booking an airline ticket. Arguably, those tasks drive greater revenue -- or cost savings -- than ticket booking for that travel website.

Each of us can chronicle bad experiences with the technology tools we use every day -- and if you’re in the enterprise, your pain may be even more excruciating than consumers. Not only are the experiences worse for you, but they are often ones that you do repetitively, so that pain piles up into long-term frustration and general dread. (Are you familiar with the term “Sunday blues”?)

Here's What Happens When Employees BYOD

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Security-related headaches around BYOD may make users want to BYOB.

That's what you can conclude from a new survey that shows organizations with bring your own device (BYOD) policies have twice the number of security concerns as other organizations.

“BYOD introduces a variety of potential risks from security and policy perspectives, as well as end-user privacy,” said Eugene Liderman, director of the office of the CTO at Good Technology, the company that sponsored the Mid-Market Mobility Trends Survey.

Adaptive Path's Sale Signals Change for UX

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An era has passed. Many in the user experience (UX) and web development worlds were shocked to hear last week that a small company in San Francisco called Adaptive Path had been acquired by, of all companies, Capital One.

With the announcement, company co-founder Jesse James Garrett -- author of the foundational UX book, "The Elements of User Experience" and now chief creative officer at the company -- assured his community not to worry. While they would be closing the celebrated consulting business that helped kickoff the web 2.0 movement, the cherished events the company produced, including UX Week, UX Intensive and The Service Experience Conference would continue.

Still, you have to wonder. With the acquisition of what is arguably one of the world's foremost UX firms, is UX dead?

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