The theatre metaphor provides so much inspiration, insight and knowledge.
"Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting. These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It's these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked."
Service design as the vehicle for adding corporate value: E2 ('Experience Engineering').
"I believe that the strategic process of experience engineering is why it is imperative that the benefits of Service Design are communicated to and supported by people working at the highest organisational business level."
A great piece on being successful online, every designer, manager and marketeer should read.
"Strategy is about trying to take control and trying to win. Strategy is about trying to predict the future or at least enough of that future that will give you a competitive advantage. Strategy is about being specific. It is about helping you get from A to C by doing B. It's about putting your cards on the table, placing your bets."
Healthcare, the next field of digital disruption and experience design.
"(...) organizations that lag in customer experience can be found more commonly in the airline, Internet service provider and healthcare industries."
We know of this poster child. The team must be gold.
"The past year's success is the product of a talented, smart, hard-working group, and I take great pride in being a part of this team. Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element of Amazon.com's success."
CX being driven by the EX.
"The methods of experience design uniquely situate experience designers to address employee disengagement in textured ways. By uncovering the root behavioral causes and co-producing solutions with employees, experience designers can create the right kind of resources, which empower organizations to own their desired change over time. As employee experience design is not a tidy activity, this article will focus less on concrete deliverables or step-by-step how-to-recommendations. Instead, a working framework is presented to assist experience designers in thinking through their own process-centric approaches and solutions."
Finding what you're looking for implies you know what to look for.
"The customer experience, in all its different facets, is moving into the focus of innovation management.(...) Firms have started abandoning the transactional and product-oriented view of customer relationships. Instead, they have begun to design and align all their interactions with a customer so that consistent experience cycles evolve. Practical product functions are becoming a commodity and the communicational functions as well as the symbolic environment are becoming competitive differentiators. The product is thus merely one element to develop and is to be embedded in an equally important environment of consistent and meaningful customer touch points. The key challenge for firms is to handle the dispersion of responsibilities for relevant touch points across functions and business partners. Therefore, this research explores the means for an effective management of the experience design activities."
Business, the new hunting ground for UX professionals.
"We talk a lot about cross-channel experiences and how to address these new challenges as designers, but what about using our design skills, our hard won knowledge and empathy for customers to help companies decide what products and services will help grow their business? While companies are coming round to the value of customer experience, they're struggling to acquire the skills needed for creating and managing touch points as well as understanding and prioritizing needs. And when we're talking multi-channel ecosystems, who's better equipped to address this complexity than those who have the skill set to not only understand it, but to design it and guide how it's built. From optimizing the cross-channel customer experience, to creating new product and service extensions, we're heading into a prime moment for bringing our toolkit into the business arena. This talk is meant to be both a thought starter as well as a lively group discussion around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company's digital strategy. Using examples from my own experiences and input from a variety of seasoned practitioners, we'll examine the challenges and map the opportunities across our own journey as UX professionals who are starting to think about what's next."
It's so easy. It just takes five.
"As customers' expectations change rapidly driven not just from you, or what happens in your industry but also by other companies they deal with who lead the way (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Starbucks etc.) you need to constantly innovate. There are fewer innovations when people are afraid to do errors. We have recently gathered former clients from different parts of the world who had a success with their customer experience programs and one thing was common that led to their success – the room for trial and error they had."
Preaching for the choire.
"This is the first of a series of posts on why digital experience planning has become a strategic priority of a growing tribe of digital leaders."
System thinking connected to design thinking. Deep thinking for government digital services.
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ "In this ten-minute presentation, the new digital reality and grand challenges facing government are identified, and the way in which Informaat's systematic design approach can be a solution to meet these challenges is outlined. The guiding principles of this approach are putting citizens at the center of design, applying outside-in thinking throughout, and visualizing as much as possible. By harnessing the power of personas, journeys, ecosystems, dialogues, wireframes and prototypes, government services can be delivered in the best possible manner."
Lack of quality impacts all aspects of life.
"Quality assurance impacts the user experience: when things don't work, users question their understanding and develop superstitions and inefficient workarounds."
A diagram showing how customers mentally travel now. But what about the future territories.
"One of the biggest challenges facing companies when they want to become customer focused is that their own organisation is based around functional silos. This is not only noticeable to customers as they are passed from function to function looking for service, but also to companies themselves either when they look to start a customer improvement initiative, or look to implement change based around customer feedback. With organisational hierarchy based around functions the ability to make effective decisions and push through change is fundamentally opposite to how a customer wants to experience dealing with them. A customer wants to experience an organisation that provides a single seamless journey across all touchpoints from initial enquiry right through to any required post sales support. An approach to overcome these barriers is to consider the total customer journey."
With this book, Milan Guenther achieved a comprehensive reframing of the Enterprise concept for the 21st century with Design as its primary driver. Intersection will become a beacon for many in the design, business and technology communities.
"Many organizations struggle with the dynamics and the complexity of today’s social ecosystems connecting everyone and everything, everywhere and all the time. Facing challenges at the intersection of business models, technical developments and human needs, enterprises must overcome the siloed thinking and isolated efforts of the past, and instead address relationships to people holistically. In Intersection, Milan Guenther introduces a Strategic Design approach that aligns the overarching efforts of Branding, Enterprise Architecture and Experience Design on common course to shape tomorrow's enterprises. This book gives designers, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders a holistic model and a comprehensive vocabulary to tackle such challenges."
It's the human touch in a 'moment-of-truth' that makes the difference.
"While walking back to the infusion center from the hospital cafeteria, my mom briefly stopped and held the wall-railing to catch her breath. Enter a maintenance man 10 feet away who asked "Would you like a wheelchair?" My mom thanked him but graciously declined and we were on our way once again heading to the elevators. We were both moved by his kind and proactive attention. This man exceeded our expectations and two weeks later we're still talking about him. With four key ingredients, he transformed an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one for us and delivered an exceptional patient experience."
As said before, an awesome wave of change (a.k.a. Alt-J) for UX designers is coming. Just surf on it.
"(...) as we approach the end of 2012, the business discipline of customer experience, or CX, has gone mainstream. It's got its own professional organization, the CXPA. It's acknowledged as a key competitive differentiator, even by those who prefer spreadsheets to sticky notes. It's discussed in boardrooms and in media within the context of corporate earnings."
DTDT for PX.
"The sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization's culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care."
Experience Design in the Agency Setting : Architecting cross-channel experiences to drive brand relationships
Experience design: user, customer, patient, and student experiences.
"As the user experience field has been maturing, certain unique disciplines have emerged, like user research, usability testing, content strategy, information architecture, and experience design. While different organizations may have UX departments named after any one of these disciplines, this article focuses not on taxonomy or the UX/XD service offering as a whole. Rather, it will examine the distinct "experience design" discipline itself and how this discipline can add value within the agency setting."
Connection at an emotional level, a kind of emo-HREF.
"Materials, products, services ... Experiences? Welcome to the newest evolution of economic value – and the companies that are earning big dividends by satisfying their customers on a deep, emotional level."
Organized through orchestration, choreography, or direction.
"Experience design claims to know better both a user experience as well as its design. The paradox therein being that no experience is designed. Experience is either in the Now, in which case it is event. Or it’s in the past, in which case it is reflected upon and then retold."
Experience design for employees, customers, users, and (now) patients.
"The healthcare experience is improving even though we've almost all had a less-than-pleasant memory of either waiting endlessly for an appointment, forgetting when and what dose of meds to take, crying over massive and unpredictable bills, or even just locating decent care in the first place. All of these mounting complaints and expenses have finally pushed healthcare to the tipping point. As a result, a patient-centered paradigm has emerged that is forcing organizations to more closely examine and improve the experiences they provide."
Here we go again. DTDT, re-framed as "what came first".
"Customer experience is always a little tricky to explain. It's just so darn big. What doesn't it cover (not much) and who is responsible (good question). Often, customer experience is translated into user experience - the front-end digital experience of users."
"As user experience extends itself across devices and channels in the years ahead the biggest winners will be companies that take a holistic and planned view of how it all works for the customer. (...) If user experience people are to be successful in changing the hearts and minds of these groups, then we need to seek out opportunities to speak with them on their own ground and use a vocabulary that resonates with them: tying UX to social benefit, improved business performance and new marketing opportunities."
Oh wow! Another consultancy firm gets CX on its radar. Almost no 'design' mentioned.
"Creating a unique customer experience is one of the best ways to achieve sustainable growth, particularly in industries that are stagnating. If a telco, a utility, or an insurance company can create a highly differentiated customer experience that turns dissatisfaction or indifference into delight, it will recruit an army of vocal advocates online and offline, gain market share, and generate revenue growth."
It's a start. That's what it is.
"Digital touchpoints like websites, mobile phones, tablets can drive revenue, lower costs, build brands, and engender customer loyalty. This shouldn't be new news to anyone reading this. But to achieve these potential benefits, you need to deliver digital interactions that meet your customers' needs in easy and enjoyable ways. That isn't as easy as it sounds. Companies struggle on a daily basis to identify what digital experience improvements they need to make - and, once that's nailed down, how exactly to make them."
Congrats with the Forrester book on CX.
"The practices in the design discipline help organizations envision and then implement customer interactions that meet or exceed customer needs. It spans the complex systems of people, products, interfaces, services, and spaces that your customers encounter in retail locations, over the phone, or through digital media like websites and mobile apps. Design weeds out bad ideas early and focuses your customer experience efforts on changes that really matter to customers. By leveraging expertise and ideas from customers, employees, and partners, it encourages creative solutions--and helps avoid missteps by grounding those solutions in reality. "
(Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine ~ Fast.Co)
Business survival by going for the experiential of products, services and environments.
"The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled disruption: an obsession with customer experience."
(Harley Manning ~ Fast Company)
If change is the only stable factor, design can lead the way.
"I try to translate best practices from the domain of change management to the design domain. And from the other side, I identify where change managers need designers to achieve their change goals. To put it more clearly, design is change and change is design."
CX as the new black in marketing.
"The customer experience across every digital touchpoint – whether owned or earned – should be akin to a good waiter in a top restaurant, or a concierge in a top hotel. The thought given to the customer should be evident by the ease with which they can meet their goals. They should be able to move seamlessly, joyfully through the system."
(Phil Whitehouse ~ Nextness) ~ courtesy of alistapart
BX: Definitely inside-out.
"We're living in a cross-media world where the planning of brand experiences are key to success."
Well done, Milan!
"For me, the word Experience in the context of Design work refers to the way people experience the world, and making everything we produce fit into their lives. The word preceding Experience is about the perspective you use when talking about someone's experience, the roles and the scope you want to focus on. For an enterprise, this translates to the ways it chooses to appear in people's lives."
"UX is an evolution of Web Usability". Know your history I would suggest.
"CX is nothing more and nothing less than applying process analysis methods for better understanding how to create value through customer interactions across the multiple user's touch points with the brand."
(Isabel Fernández Peñuelas ~ The Customer Experience Journey)
The next silver bullet for companies: appoint a CXO.
"Method's Reuben Steiger offers five ways for creating an ecosystem of products and services -- and thinking like a chief experience officer. (...) The days of perfect plans within a top-down hierarchy are over. Instead, we need to influence our companies to embrace shared values and product principles. Then, each of us can be a chief experience officer creating memorable experiences and a cohesive, engaging, and delightful brand."
Service design connects here to customer experience.
Presentation - "This presentation shines the light on what's missing in turning A customer experience vision into tangible business value. How do you use all that is good and useful from typical customer experience approaches? How do you add commercial rigour and the hard core analytics in a way that one competency doesn't dominate the other? What is the secret in bringing together the skills and perspectives that result in a great customer experience and an equally great commercial outcome?"
Again a broken 20th century institution to refocus on experience: the PX
"In my view, UX designers can do more. Learn about the problematic healthcare cultural characteristics that dominate and that need to change. Alter how you do design research. Don't limit yourself to incremental innovation and work that is narrowly focused on UIs. Question the advisability of doing projects that, in essence, only amount to putting lipstick on the very large healthcare pig. Escape your comfort zones in order to have the kind of impact on the world that you desire."
(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @riander)
One of my rare original blogposts.
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ "In this post, I would like to talk about what has been on my mind for the last year or two: the relationship between user experience and customer experience and how user experience designers can extend their influence in businesses."
Calling it 'Customer Experience' might help.
"The closer you are to your customers, the more relevant your product will be and the more likely you make it for people to choose you. It may seem obvious, but the gap between those that do and those that talk is widening, despite the immediate bottom-line benefits. But more than this, companies that put usefulness at the heart of what they do become part of their customers' lives. Engaging with customers then becomes an ongoing conversation, rather than the stop-start involvement that characterized the 20th century. This makes it much easier for customers to come back, and keep coming back."
And beyond technology as well. All through design.
"Over the last few years, the popularity of UX has grown by leaps and bounds. Companies have come to realize the importance of offering engaging experiences to their users, lest they risk losing them to competitors that have invested time and money into improving their product and service experiences. An interesting side effect of this enhanced focus on UX is that it has helped make users more sophisticated. This, however, can be a double-edged sword; as users become more sophisticated their expectations also increase, and UX professionals must find new ways to meet these elevated expectations. One way to achieve this is to extend the experience beyond the device."
The idea remains: UX is an organizational challenge, not a design one.
"Let's presume for the moment that interaction design can be perfected and delivered to your organization in a tidy, shiny bundle of brilliance. Have you now got a magic talisman that will protect you from competition and summon market share? Of course not. Design is just the beginning."
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).
"Digital strategy touches every fiber of your operation. We firmly believe that it takes a systematic approach that's woven into your organizational fabric to deliver compelling customer experiences - an approach comprising a recurring cycle of ideation, design, development and evaluation (...) The Design Factory is a methodical, structured design capability that comprises people, processes and tools. It infuses your organization with the creativity, agility and efficiency to successfully execute your digital strategy - from conceiving innovative solutions through to using robust and scalable approaches for design and specification."
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).
Industrialize Processes In Support Of A Digital Customer Experience Strategy - "To consistently meet or exceed customers' expectations, firms must take a systematic approach to digital customer experience management. In conducting in-depth interviews with 16 business professionals, Forrester found that several of these companies had adopted some best practices for digital design that delivered improvements in customer experience - leading to improved business results through increased revenues, improved loyalty, greater customer engagement, and reduced costs. However, no organization had a mature, systematic approach to consistently differentiate through superior digital customer experience. For firms to turn their digital customer experience into a sustainable source of competitive advantage, they must define a digital customer experience strategy and introduce robust tools and repeatable methodologies to support it."
Marketing, brands and business discovering HCI rapidly. A little late, but still...
"The end user doesn't care how your company is structured. Customers view brands as a unified entity, and they expect that brand's value to be delivered across all channels with an equal degree of integrity. The good news is that the digital landscape is forcing all of us to re-think how we work. The bad news is that we're trying to crawl out of a work style that was better designed for Ford's assembly line than for digital ecosystem consistency."
CX or/versus/and UX? It's in the air. Consumer of customer, that's (still) the question.
"Forrester recently released a report on the rise of the Chief Customer Officer. The emergence of a C-level role with authority over customers' interactions has caused much hand-wringing within the UX community. It's like the job (we think) we're made for has been stolen from us."
And these are just three of them. Many more to come
"(...) sought to address some of the biggest red herrings in UX today. Ultimately, I want to turn 'myths' into 'truths' and introduce my definition of Experience Strategy as well as the critical notion of the 'Aspects of the Experience'."
Cross-channel becomes touchpoint orchestration.
Example: Touchpoint orchestration ~ "Consumers interact with companies in many different ways. They may receive corporate information through publicity in the media, they see brand advertisements on TV or in magazines, they interact with personnel during the buying process or at the customer service desk, they unwrap packaged goods, they sample products in stores, and so on. Ideally, the different design elements that consumers experience should work together like the instruments in an orchestra to create the overall experience. Just like the instruments in the orchestra each have a different character, the design elements do not need to be similar in order to work together in creating a great and engaging experience. Touchpoint orchestration makes sure that all different elements work together and in the right order, in order to create the desired user experience."
Never seen 'convenience' as a quality attribute for user experience, like usable, useful or desirable.
"Technology and innovative design have made many products and services more predictable and efficient, the two lower levels of Different's 7 Essentials of Customer Experience. Convenience, the next essential of customer experience, is a critical factor in determining how customers make decisions about what to buy, what services to use, where to go, and with whom to engage. Conventional wisdom says that convenience is a factor of time and effort. On the surface, that's true, but if you dig a little deeper to fully understand service convenience, you need to consider another factor: perception."
See, UX gets picked up by the 'big guru guys'. Let's see what they do with it.
"User experience is a priority that should, in some way, find a home within the design of any new-media strategy. (...) User experience is now becoming a critical point in customer engagement in order to compete for attention now and in the future. For without thoughtful UX, consumers meander without direction, reward, or utility. And their attention, and ultimately loyalty, follows."
How come I mistrust companies which appoint a CCO? AAPL doesn't have a CCO.
"Chief Customer Officers can be valuable in the right environments."
Cross-pollination with another practice.
"The model (...) helps you analyze the customer experience of your product (or service), which ultimately allows you to invest more wisely in customer experience improvements."
(Christian Holst ~ Baymard Institute)
CX is getting a lot of traction due to Forrester these days. I wonder why.
"An increasing number of companies are appointing a single executive to lead customer experience efforts for a business unit or the entire company."
Morphing UX into CX increases organizational complexity by several levels of magnitude.
"Most companies say they want to differentiate themselves based on a superior customer experience. But the reality is very few manage to provide an experience that truly differentiates a brand from competitors."