Thoughts on "The User Experience of User Experience"

From Michael Carvin, President of PhillyCHI

You’re working with a new client, independently or part of a team, and both sides are just getting to know each other. At some point, someone on the client team asks about you and what you do, and what you’re doing for the project. They might acknowledge that you’re the usability/IA/IxD/UX expert, but once things get rolling, all of a sudden you’re being challenged on everything from research insights to the smallest design element.

Sound familiar?

How does this happen? It’s not that what we’re saying is wrong, per se, but there are four major issues:
1) If the client does understand what you bring to the table, they have to pay for it.
2) Your teammates may not understand what’s in it for them, except…
3) it probably means they have to do more work because of
4) some know-it-all who’s going to come in and mess with everything.

And even if you get past those issues, it’s not unusual for us to be the experts nobody wants to consult. The researchers who can’t figure out what our bosses and co-workers need. And the cost of collaborating on a superior user or customer experience leaves our co-workers wishing they’d never had a UX professional on their team.

Dave’s bringing a great talk to us next Thursday night. He’s going to help us understand the people on the other side of the room. In the office down the hall. On the other end of the conference line. The people who we work with to provide the best experiences possible, and the people who pay to make it happen. And he’s going to share how we can turn some of our most common challenges, like being seen as documentation-heavy service providers, into positions of influence with our clients.

I can’t wait for this talk. To be honest, I still sometimes lose sight of how I can better care for and feed my co-workers and my clients. For me to be a better professional, I need this.

The User Experience of User Experience

Thursday, February 24th 2011
6:00PM – 8:00PM (Social time and announcements from 6:00-6:45PM)
Hosted at The William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
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