Monday, 29 July 2013

Atom 43: Wake Up, You are Creative!

Educated as a designer? Breathing ideas? Smelling problems? Visualizing end-products? 
All these never been out of passionate designer's life-line, I said life-line, I strongly believe that living as a designer will be a gifted one, where you can still live fresh without ever knowing you had been burnt-out working or thinking endlessly! Dual life, sometimes a drunkard lives in you,in certain dazed and dazzled days :-)

A designer will have been running through various assignments either be freelancing or regularized - evolving concepts and ideas, bringing more natural charisma to the floor, where people always looking at your works (not calling these deliverables, Please give a break!) pop-eyed closely. Certainly, there would be cumulative experiences that you have gathered and created, but somewhere due to lots of external factors and environmental, cost, resources factors may have influenced to a clinical approach - processes and streamlined practices would have barged in to bifurcate the creative stream. If this been a temporary off-shoot for a specific time limit, it seems no larger show-stopper. But on continual failing to cope with urge and seemingly unfit routine to get driven by processes - creates a valley, where processes must have taken you off-route. 

I think the valley is no longer existential, if certain bridges of smaller degree creativity keeps looming you now and then. But, conscious state of connecting and crossing-over these islands of void helps to bring back the original self of oneself. Its been process vs. fluidity that constantly engulfs one in the design field, may it be the project management role or on-site clientele pressure to close solutions; by and large are untold designers wall crawling moss. School education in design, must have brought lots of creativity and less of detailing but hitherto as time moves ahead, we get clogged with money, fame, responsibility and expertise to drive us to clean up the kitchen sink sooner rather than later; where conscious self awareness could keep us enlightened to not get drifted away - but keep these unsighted valley's thwarted. I believe its faintly due to lot of external resources may have shrouded our inbuilt capacity - which most probably a creative genius would be self-aware, would have silently went to the drawing board, gathered pencils and chalks - withdrawn, smiling, solving one more time looking at the world from his end!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Atom 42: Trend or Behavior? Chicken-Egg Conundrum?

We have found myriad trends that emerge bubbling up, as technology evolves.The recent boom been the Smartphones and suitably followed by Tablets. World is going Mobile, and real genius like Apple turned things in an overnight, such shift never been the quickest in the history of any evolution and adoption.

Behavior is closely tied to how technology relates to humans. Using it to the greatest aid makes life simple and delightful. Imagine how Fitbit, Pebble, Nike + & Jawbone UP all create greater support to the living system.But the slimmest line is untold as technology revolutionizes the products (some tend to fade quickly) and humans just get attracted in the swirl of its immersivity! Behavior evolves by adoption and that naturally says to be the trend.

Another school of thought, is perhaps, trend like QR code which channels the behavior around the technology that stood to be called a trend. Companies using Big data to help to make their own decision, which will be eventually leading to more personalisation to the end users.The Big data will churn a behavioral change of making consumers to look out on more as "Me-sumers" - naturally a behavioral change evolving where perceptions, expectations and belief system are transformed.

The crux of this looks quite lucid that a behavior change is just post to trend evolution - but quite subtly only the first wave of it may seem so (not always), as a strong case of a iPad device created series of flutter (ideal thought process to create portable powerful device as envisioned by Steve Jobs) eventually a creator thinks so "What else my fellow-humans or my users would really love to have" (a natural behavior phenomena that lead to creation).It ultimately shows for the tablet market do not hibernate or stop there;but a microcosm of how subsequent transition it may face is also forthcoming. The usage of Second screen is a causative factor of this behavioral attribute - and which leads to the context of upholding a significant market for Smart TV, wherein the additional wave leads to new trend of Smart TV evolution. This evolution will have its own consumption story that may well emerge into more fluidic interfaces - without any device to frame a content. Purely technology that may have always been catalyst supporting both the "Trend" or "Behavior", nevertheless its a Chicken-Egg conundrum in simple terms, where a trend turn to a behavioral change and by lots of boredom, paucity and constant outlook for new ideas (busy neurons!) the behavior pushes to a new trend where humans either choose or reject to live with it!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Atom 41: Hear Jack! Speaks Business!

Novice and Expert Jack's are split-personality roles. EJ is an inner-self of NJ and truly leads in finding a new mission for the bored NJ - Hear Jack!

Novice "Jack": I been talking to Clients, team and leading it one way on my designs?
Expert "Jack": Yeah, you been great NJ, But What Next? You just need to move to Board rooms now!

N-J: You think so? Am I made for it?
E-J: Turn into a UX Strategist - It will turn the world for good, and trust me, you' ll love it
N-J: That's brilliant! So Where do I start?
E-J: You need to learn Business Strategies, think how you could churn money through your skill-set
N-J: Don't you think I been doing this kinda work under-the-hood earlier....
E-J: I bet you did it, but that's no more skimming on the surface, get to the depth behaving a "Strategist"...
N-J: Um, So How I climb this uphill........

E-J: Not a serious tough-nut to-crack NJ.....
E-J: Look one deliverable that may stand different from what you are doing.....
E-J: UX Strategy documentation - that explains; strengths of org, market share, competitive benchmarking, customer segments, business plans, roadmaps with solutions - Do you see the value in it?
N-J: Hey, I have done certain things of these pieces
E-J: But, What you need to address is how you will turn your solutions to money. How you would end on RoI and more so talking on business perspective and holding the problem by scruff-of-its neck!
N-J: Looks you want me to get the "jargon confetti of biz minded break-up value and find barriers to entry by understanding backwash effects and build Balance Scorecards by leveraging backward integration if so, or really dissect brochurewares and study buy phases"
E-J: Thats more you need to converse now NJ!!

E-J: Lets say plainly - you need to Understand Company like Positioning, Market share, Impact on Margins, Competitors profitability. Understand Biz Strategy like Sales Projections, Strategic Gap Analysis, Operating plans, Supply chain management, Industry Analysis and Vision. Understanding Customers and Behaviors.
E-J: More simply - Where are you now? Define Where you want to be?  How will you get there? How will you measure success? The viable future is managing brand experiences through Reflections-Frames-Solutions
N-J: Interesting, I need to now start defining problems in business areas, societies & draft ideas to devise plans
E-J: Look at Apple, Belron, First Direct and Zappos - deeply diving into customer touchpoints, not just marketing messages and are top performers in CX and advocacy
N-J: What questions more should I ask then.......?
E-J: Questions like - Can you link UX Measures to strategic goals of the org? Link between UX and Business performance? Do you have clear framework for which you can plan and prioritize UX activities? Brand values and UX linkages? Understanding of pain points across different customer touch points?
E-J: Its something that you may try to discover through Reflections, move to framing vision/principles, lay a roadmap and measure to discover anything been left out in a loop
N-J: As a UX Strat - I learn that to dig deep insights of customer, company and identify opportunities and improvise the business processes.
N-J: Do not you think that a Business Strategist is also well learnt to be more like UX Strategist?
E-J: Both bring complementary skills to the table and that's why more its intended you to learn the Business terminologies, metrics, deliverables earlier rather than later, and justify the claim in making decisions.
N-J: Oh, right, you mean to be a central role and bring decision from different perspective and tying it with the more relevant structural language of business
E-J: Yes, NJ. Love to see you planning your Shift in a smooth way that your language is getting enriched and seems more fruitful for the receivers, Lets visit sometime soon, and find how good is your disposition channel!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Atom 40: YDCIDC : You don't care! I don't care.

Recently, I witnessed a great vicissitude of transition in emotional behaviour on a service termination, rather on telecom. It was not easy to stand to see a cross-channel break up of all departments - sales, customer service and call centres. How often can you digest when differing view points are brought on a simple Termination of a connection? Termination of connections would mean losing customers in a rudimentary language. Reasons may be migration to newer services, lets call this "Responsive transition"; where the dissatisfaction or alternate service providers reign decision for customers.  It's responsive state for the companies or providers since they lose customers and do need to act - if the genuine reason's are mapped and necessary shift is somewhat deviated. Apart from this, there stands other "Non-responsive transition", which do not highly be intervened by suppliers as the customers may have solely decided on personal grounds. Eg. Migration to another country.

These "Responsive transition" is a major bet that should be aimed by the providers, where each of the departments or silos should work in tandem and co-create a company. The creation is a term that defines here to rebuild or reinvigorate the brand or problem in front of customer's eyes. It should showcase its necessary willingness to retain the customer base by more channelized, mediated & directed methods. By more so, even this approach fails to retain the customer - it should take due responsibility to not tarnish brand image which relates to brand equity. 

All disjointed departments and poor service design leads to deteriorate perception of the brand and workforce culture. Responsive participation to weed problems of the customer is never understood and in more worse case - the customer service never asked me a question of Why I need a termination. They never cared about the termination, except that they had to communicate it back to the corporate office and guided on a half-baked process (since they really did not understand how back-office of termination works). Merely they served as a mailing service and disjointed role with the Sales team. To more in dismay, the sales team when found the reason of my termination never really approached in a "responsive" mode to realise their losing stand of the "responsive transition", or cared more to fetch real reasons behind the termination.

In a purely disconnected service world, each silos work in different view points, never looked to merge or never owned. In such disparity, CX (customer experience) look to be dilapidated and strategical measure is required. If these different puzzle blocks are never entertained to come to a single frame, customers will stare at the brand with lot of ambiguity, with lots of questions and head-scratching experiences. May be this relate to "If you don't care, I don't care" (YDCIDC) is surely a trend that will speak of Why CX needs a top-priority. 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Atom 39: livingUX Edition 1.0 (UX best reads)

1.  Explains digital strategy - To get to a strategic framework to develop insights, firstly identifying Site Metrics, User Survey, User Research [Track 1: User] plus Stakeholder interviews, Competitive Analysis, SEO/SEM research [Track 2: Business]. The Strategic regions are categorized as CONTENT, SOCIAL, SEARCH.
Persona Creation,Content Planning, Content Governance, Workflow, IA & Taxonomy are part of Content. Channel Strategy, Ecosystem design, Response Assessment part of Social. Keyword Opportunity Analysis, Link Strategy, Segmentation Analysis covers Search. [Check the link for the diagram]
2. How People really use Mobile covers 7 Primary Motivations and the goals as 46% of activity as "Me Time" (seeking relaxation or entertainment) and 19% by socializing. 
Other activities categorized as Self Expression, Discovery, Preparation, Accomplishing (11), Shopping (12). New data show that 68% of consumers' smartphone use happens at home rather than on mobile.
3. provides list of tools and frameworks : Dojo, Infragistics, FeathersUI, Telerik, JuiceUI, jQuery UI, Componentart

4. UX vs CX -- UX (persons anticipated use of system) vs. CX (customer-supplier relationship). What they have in common is Empathy. User Journey vs. Customer Journey. KPIs, Business Strategy, Business cases involved part of  CX. A marketing researcher, manager, business analyst are involved in CX. Identify customers, find business cases, establish strategy, establish KPI, governance and culture. Provides strategic framework & business approach. Customer is a receiver of product, service, goods. CEOs look for CX rather than UX.
5.UX Strategy as explained by Eric Schaffer: Ecosystem Solutions needs to be build which is the work of UX Strategists. Digital banking channels like ATM, Mobile devices,Web and more needs to be tied in.Creating more value as how Amazon does. Creating a Motivational Ecosystem! Ideally required to build motivational leads and enable ease of use. Who does it? UX Strategists. 
Starts with Executive Intent - modeling behaviors - coherently designing the cross channel experience. Without motivation and big picture design is simply 'Hope". Form big picture by building a ecosystem and motivational leads.

6.USER REACTION/Impression STUDY: Quick survey in-person or remotely sent to find the severity of design. This may follow up with specific questioning with a follow-up study/interview or survey to understand Why they say so? Why follows What. The Metrics are assembled on thoughts, feelings,needs, activities, motivations, experience, problems

7.Field Study/Visits recorded on basis of observations and inquiry. Places, People, Quotes, Notes, Artifacts and outcroppings (physical traits) are recorded with pictures, video, audio possibly feed relationships. The final output is a collated document of the recorded information, relationship mapping & communication patterns are generated.