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Help Wanted: Using UX to your Advantage

With Mariah Hay

The Difference Between UX and UI

Important: UX is not UI

  • UX touches the service, product, and the interface - you can’t design these selectively for they are experienced collectively

  • UX as a whole entails:

    • Research (typically owned by the PdM and UX designer); visit people in their context, know how they’re acting and find patterns across them:

      • User Goals

      • Tasks (to be accomplished)

      • Needs (that have to be met)

      • Desires (best experience possible)

      • Pain-points (job-to-be-done)

      • Workarounds

      • WHY DO ALL THESE? Empathy

    • Strategy

      • Identify needs

      • Re-imagine current capabilities

      • Direct future offerings

      • Techniques: Interview breakdowns, Personas (Pluralsight combines the classical persona details with an empathy map), User Needs Mapping (identifies & documents explicit user needs), journey mapping

    • Design

      • Useful (here you ask "is this thing really what the user needs?")

      • Usable - easy, frictionless, intuitive

      • Desirable - delight

The History of UX as an Industry

  • Common thread: UX is UI

  • Mariah Hay: UX as we know it resulted from an amalgam of so many disciplines

    • Industrial Designers

    • Animators

    • Graphic designers

    • Web dev

  • 1990: Computers in the home

    • The 4 disciplines came together in "one glorious terrible object that will change everything" - the computer
  • UX sits at the centre of Tech, Business, and Design

The Maturity of UX in an Organization

  • Ask: What types of products does your UX team work on?

    • Common problems:

      • Departments are siloed, segmented.

      • There is a DIGITAL DIVIDE - web vs physical products

        • We can’t have this. We have to be stewards of the end-to-end experience
Scope Ad hoc/digital only Multiple digital touchpoints End to end digital and non-digital
Strategy Absent Gather requirements Set vision and shape roadmap aligned to firm strategies
Research Usability testing Iterative testing, ethnographic research Quantitative and qualitative research EARLY and OFTEN
Design Wireframes low fidelity sketches to high fidelity mockups Sets and governs experience standards
Staffing Generalist contributors (or a UX Team of One) Full teams (research, interaction design + visual design, prototypes) Executive leadership + centralized strategy/governance