The user’s experience is directly affected by how your team works together through the creative process (or doesn’t)! Not just the speed at which they produce, but the quality of the work has a very direct impact on your user’s experience. Staying singularly focused on the user’s perspective will enable your team to achieve a level of effectiveness and productivity that seemed previously impossible.
By focusing on the human (check out this blog to find out more about human instead of user) your team can avoid unnecessary, and typically lengthy, discussions about whose idea is better. Your team can look at the idea creation process as a walk in your humans’ shoes. Decisions can be made swiftly and with conviction when the human is the focus of the decision. Communication of those decisions becomes more seamless as a common language centered around your humans develops. Finally, execution becomes a familiar, yet engaging dance as the common language develops into concrete outcomes reflecting the ideas that are similarly represented in minds of team members.
Think of a terrible team that you have been a part of. What was the output of that team? Did they create a great end result? Now imagine that team designing a product. What will the end product look like? Is an unproductive team likely to create an experience a user would enjoy? It’s highly unlikely if they are expending energy on activities that do not involve a focus on their humans. So if a productive team is more likely to create a great UX, are there aspects of UX that can improve the productivity of a team? Yes. By focusing on the humans that you are serving, you can limit wasted mental focus and direct your energy toward creating excellent user experiences. The singular focus on the human is the essential component for both exceptional products and productive teams.
When considering which UX to adjust, adapt, or build, consider what job your humans most need. What would change their lives? What would make their experience with your product so unbelievably amazing that they tell all of their friends? Is there is a poor UX element that is preventing your users from becoming super fans? These are the discussions that will yield the greatest ideas for your humans. Focusing on what new feature you can offer is unlikely to yield the best ideas. Clayton Christensen says, “What they really need to home in on is the progress that the customer is trying to make in a given circumstance — what the customer hopes to accomplish. This is what we’ve come to call the job to be done.”
How will you decide which of these ideas to implement? Which will have the greatest impact on lives? How can interacting with your product solve a challenge? And how can you limit your curse of knowledge from daily interactions with your product? Your roadmap may say one thing, but if your humans don’t want it and don’t value it — your map won’t be much help. Deciding which direction to take your product absolutely must involve talking to your humans (check out the free pdf version of Talking to Humans).
Once you have decided which ideas are the most valuable to your humans, communicating those decisions to your development team can be a lengthy, challenging process. The way to shorten and simplify that process is to bring the team in as you make decisions. Demonstrate using examples. Showing designers and developers two or three key pieces of evidence will go along way towards understanding the approach and dynamics of the decision. This will also help them understand the why. They will be able to make development decision along the way reducing roadblocks because they are clear about the why.
What elements of flexibility have you built into your process? By incorporating A/B testing, you can identify which interpretation of your humans’ jobs more accurately reflect their actions. Regularly scheduled intervals of usability testing allow for that continued flexibility to craft solutions that support your humans. The best products involve execution that incorporates development and iteration through routinely checking in with your humans. A team member doesn’t have to sit in on every usability test to know that your checkout process stinks. Nor do they need to comb over thousands of Hotjar heat maps to understand that your users are getting stuck on your blog pages. Sharing and showing a few key findings with your team will highly improve productivity, as well as the end product. Demonstrating to your team the type of product experience that your humans are currently having will enable a keen focus on which improvement areas will lead to an exceptional product experience.
UX and productivity
There is a connection between teams that focus on the user and how productive they are. Humans that use your products need to be the sole focus of the activities of your development team. So what does UX have to do with your team’s productivity? When it comes to executing on the ideas, plans, and solutions that serve your humans, productivity is increased when your team is singularly focused throughout development on your humans!