Customer expectations changing the enterprise

Customer expectations are increasing for enterprise computing experiences to be at par with their fluid and friendly Facebook-like world. This pressure didn’t exist before because people weren’t using computers as much as they are now. Enterprise computing companies didn’t need to invest the extra money required to make their user experiences less painful — so they didn’t.

The Distinction Between Designing for Enterprise vs Consumer Customers
John Maeda, Linkedin, 2015-02-02

When vision and values lead to velocity and capacity

When clear design objectives are articulated into values and characteristics of the product then all teams who collaborate around design have mindshare. Discussions cut incisively to the core of design challenges and get solved much faster without the drag of a struggle. As silos dissolve, design velocity and capacity invariably increase in the same way development teams and operation teams increased their capacity to deliver better software faster. The next frontier is to do so towards a higher quality of user experience, and most of all, a higher accuracy of execution, and alignment with user needs.

Is DevOps Driving the Future of UX Design?
Kai Brunner, Wired, 2015-01-19

Sellable Shirts

The quality control (QC) process of inspecting a shirt has one main function. It ensures that the shirt was constructed according to the specifications of the shirt designer.

Does the shirt have two equal sleeves? Yes, it does.

Are the buttons sewed on firmly? Yes, quite firm.

Are there holes for the collar-stays? Yes, there are.

Are the threads trimmed? Yes, they are.

A majestic QC sticker is placed in the most precarious spot of the shirt when it passes the QC process. Congratulations, shirt!

QC 16

Now consider this:

Would it be right to conclude that every shirt which appropriately earned a QC sticker is a sellable shirt?

Silly, no.

The QC process doesn’t verify that the shirt color is ugly as sin. It doesn’t ensure that the moisture-wicking technology is superior. It doesn’t verify that the shirt fits excellently for a size. It doesn’t determine that the price is right.

Guess what a shirt designer does when he wants to know if his shirt is sized well. Or if the color is pleasant. Or if the moisture-wicking technology functions right. Or if the price-point is appropriate.

He does research and prototype testing.

He talks to people about the color. He works with a fit model. He has adventurers test out the moisture-wicking. He tests his ideas of price-point.

In doing so, he avoids the costly risk of making shirts that no one wants.

Who Owns the Product Experience?

Whose throne is the driver’s seat of the Ford Mustang? Who feels the grip and glide of the steering wheel? Who moves with the pull of a sharp turn? Who commands the windshield wiper intervals during the sputtering rain?

Who wields the OXO whisk? Who clutches the soft, rigid handle? Whose wrists sweep into each pancake batter morsel? Who stuffs the whisk into the crammed dishwasher?

Who sinks their teeth into a Wendy’s hamburger? Who remembers the first and last bite? Onto whose lap slips the mustard-laced sliced pickle?

Simple.

It’s the customer. They feel the nuances of a product. The customer experiences the product in all its glory … or shame. They own the experience of whatever product they are using or consuming.

Companies don’t own their customers experiences, nor can they design them. But, they certainly influence those experiences.