User experience design: How far will you go?

Paul Boag

Shaping a better user experience will involve touching every part of your business. Is that something you are willing to face?

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My reading list is one of the most eclectic you will ever see. I have articles on management, design, development, marketing, governance, strategy, fulfilment, customer service, and more. Where most specialise in a discipline like user interface design or digital marketing, you may think I have no such focus. But in fact I do.

Everything I read, watch and listen to is through the lens of user experience. When I write or speak it is ultimately about user experience. I wrote Digital Adaptation because I saw that most companies were in-capable of meeting the needs of today’s users.

Although I have an eclectic reading list, it all ultimately helps me improve the users experience.
Although I have an eclectic reading list, it all ultimately helps me improve the users experience.

You see creating a great user experience has such far reaching consequences. It touches every part of your organisation. User experience design is not just about creating better user interfaces. It is about so much more.

  • When a user calls a company because their website can’t help and ends up stuck on hold, that is a bad user experience.
  • When they order a product and it arrives in the wrong colour, that is a bad user experience.
  • When a customer gets passed from one department to another, that is a bad user experience.
  • When a company spams a user with email because nobody is managing there frequency, this is a bad user experience.
  • When management under-invest in digital it creates a bad user experience.
  • When a website is slow or a mobile app is insecure it creates a bad user experience.
  • When companies dismiss accessibility it creates a bad user experience for everybody.
  • When marketing fluff gets in the way of users getting answers to their questions it creates a bad user experience.
  • When companies fragment the use of digital across the organisation it creates a bad user experience.

And so it goes on.

A user experience designer goes wherever the job takes him. He never says “that is not my problem”. He sees nothing as off limits. He works with everybody within an organisation to make the changes required to improve the experience of users.

A user experience designer is a maverick. He challenges the status quo. He understands that user needs are evolving and organisations need to evolve too. He is unafraid to tread on peoples toes (in the most sensitive way possible) and will pursue a problem to its core.

If the terms and conditions are incomprehensible he doesn’t resign himself. He works with legal to improve them.

If a legacy system is holding things back, a user experience designer investigates replacements.

If business requirements and user needs clash, the user experience designer will approach management.

In truth a user experience designer can never ‘design’ the user experience. There will be many elements that are beyond his or her control. But you can influence many things if you are willing to see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Are you ready to see where it leads you?

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