Compassion in endurance

Endurance is that drive that keeps you going. It’s grit. It helps you in the long haul.

Success requires endurance. It requires hustle and persistence.

However we need to be careful and not run others over with our persistence. We need to be aware of others and their needs.

Our endurance need to be compassionate. Compassionate to others and to ourselves.

Inspired by the Meaningful Life Center

What should user experience design be?

UX design is the attempt by a business to craft how a customer encounters every touch point with the organization. User experience design should occur from beginning to end not just within some app.

User experience may start with the first encounter of the organization. How do they learn that your business exists?

Next the person may explore more about the company and what it does and who work for it. They start to do a little research.

Maybe they make the decision to do business so they call. A sales rep speaks with the person and they decide to work with your business.

At this point they are onboarded and begin using the company’s products and services. Some of these are done in person, some talking to a person, some use technology, some are old school and some are a combination of all of the above.

User experience is definitely not about a pretty user interface or some new sexy app.

User experience is about creating something for your customer that they will enjoy enough to share with others… To make remarkable.

Tom Peters: the ideal 25-person product development team is: 15 WOMEN. 10 MEN. 10 AGE 50 PLUS.

“If you pay attention to demographics and purchasing power…”

If people paid attention product teams would do many things different. Most of the time it is simpler to hire people who are:

  • In your own image
  • In the Jones’ image
  • Available
  • Cheap
  • In the know

Maybe we should hire because:

  • They demonstrate customer empathy
  • They are familiar with the customer segment
  • They bring diversity of thought

Designing choice matters: triple your sales by adding one more choice

Dan Ariely is a professor and a fabulous writer about behavioral economics. Multiple times he has written about an MIT study that demonstrates the psychology of the architecture of choice.

I will tell the story in reverse. When selling the famous Economist they set up some experiments.

When selling a web version only for $59 and a web & print version for $125, 68% of the people bought the web version.

By adding a print only version for $125 also they were able to flip the purchases entirely to the web & print version … 84% of the people bought it.

That is almost a three fold increase in exactly the same offering “web & print for $125” just because they added another choice. That choice allows a mental comparison that increased the perceived value three fold.

Cognitive dissonance is when your boss tells you to stop looking for coworkers who have a passion for user experience.

She tells you that it is our job to just tell the software engineers what to do and they will do it.

And then she wonders why the user experience of the product is not what is expected when people are selected to work on projects because they have a pulse but no interest.

Since when do people do a good job because you tell then they have to?

3 things your team can do to leap frog your competition

You could hire designers to create that new thing. Or you could add these three things to your current process and do better.

  1. Observe your customers in action… Do not interview, observe
  2. Validate solutions and priorities with your customers.. do not just make it up
  3. Test what is being built at least every two weeks… Do not wait until the solution is complete

It sounds so simple, but your competitors are not doing this. So do it and jump right past them.

Discipline in discipline. Keeping organized, good use of time, maintaining the drum beat of a practice

I struggle with doing the same thing for long periods of time. I prefer the new, the chaos, and the freshness of learning something new. Perhaps that is why I like product design.

Recently I decided to try writing on a daily basis. This is difficult. The way I am approaching it is that it is an opportunity to learn every day. So I start with either something that triggered me during the day, something that I have read, or another inspiration. I take the inspiration and research and explore some more.

The act of writing helps me think about and consolidate my thoughts. I find the practice provides learning with more regularity than without.

With a little discipline hopefully I can maintain some discipline.

4 leadership lessons: pursue operational excellence, project humility, facilitate communication, streamline decisions

Bill Cambell teaches executives:

  1. Pursue “operational excellence. Focus on the processes, prepare for all meetings: staff and one-on-one, hold people accountable and compensate well.”
  2. “Project humility. Show a selflessness, that projects that you care about the company and about the people.
  3. “Facilitate open honest communication. It is “better for arguments to be heated but honest so a best idea or solution can surface, than for conversation to simply be passive-aggressive and for people to talk past each other”
  4. “Streamline decisions. Help create the process and culture for doing so. The goal is to provide a safe environment to air ideas and to get the best one.”

From the article:
Leadership Lessons From A Football Coach Turned Silicon Valley Executive in ‘Trillion Dollar Coach’ – By Frances Bridges

How can user research inform innovation?

3 points Lisa deBettencourt (@ldbett) shared in her review of the MITX panel she was on.

  1. When large organizations stay to use customer knowledge to inform innovation they “face new problems of managing access and distribution of insights at scale.”
  2. “discovery, synthesis, and decision making process itself and can be distributed in real-time.”
  3. The best way to leverage user researchers is to have them “perform research to inform business decisions, as well as teaching and coaching others”

What do winners say when they fail?

I have been watching the interviews around professional sports. All teams have losses and some have streaks. This always frustrates fans and the media relishes the opportunity to ask about it.

What I find interesting is that the response of the best teams seems to be the same across football, basketball, hockey, and soccer. Whether talking to the coach, the star player or a rookie they all say a variation of the same thing.

“We need to do better.”

It is simple but so telling. “We” focuses on the team as a whole (not pointing anyone out). “Do” is the action (instead of try). “Better” acknowledges the opportunity to improve.

This is perfect thing to tell other people. Then leave the details and critique to the internal review as a team.

We can do better.