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Head of Product In July 2017, a recruiter called me up and I jumped at the chance to be Head of Product at a health insurance & wellness start-up — in Sydney, Australia! This particular “start-up” is actually being incubated under the umbrella of one of the country’s most trusted consumer brands, with strong customer relationships and marketing reach into over 50% of Australian households. It felt like a dream come true to define and deliver innovative digital solutions with a small, co-located team, as an equal member of the leadership team alongside Heads of Marketing, Tech, Sales & Operations, Finance and Commercial. The company as a whole hovered around 65 employees, while the Product team I managed comprised two Product Managers, two UX Designers, two Visual Designers and a Product Analyst. For any given initiative, we would be tightly interwoven into virtual teams typically with Marketing, Tech and Commercial colleagues. This preface provides context for sharing one of the most significant impacts I made in this organization — the ratification of a design-thinking based, strategic product management process. When I first joined this highly agile company, it was still operating in a mode that most informed by implementing against initial business hypotheses using Lean approaches. The roadmap wasn’t defined and there was a big backlog of intentions that weren’t clearly defined. The Product team was struggling to prioritize the big “rocks”, and the UX team was focused more on resolving customer pain points of incremental value rather than helping to define desirable solutions. Double Diamond Model for Product Management I firmly believe that the best Product Management approaches...Learn More
Like every senior practitioner within the fields of UX, I too have cast my modeling hat in the ring when it comes to defining User Experience Design. Note that already I come from a design perspective; my own roots lie in Interaction Design and Design Research, while I have particular interest in Human Factors Engineering and the management arms as well. I’ve proposed a view that represents the fields of User Experience Design organized on a spectrum comprised of the soft skills we all possess: Understanding; Definition; Communication. We must excel in understanding people, technology, domains, problems; we must excel in providing definition to that understanding and advancing it towards a goal, in terms of defining models, approaches, scenarios, solutions, frameworks, systems; and we must excel in communicating this user-centered understanding and solution definition in all ways, including visually, verbally, and into development and launch which gets into product management territory. Here’s that view: All of the root disciplines can be placed on this spectrum in terms of their most natural affiliation with the skills of Understanding; Definition or Communication. Obviously none of us would survive as professionals if we didn’t have a balance of all three. If we delve deeper into the individual disciplines, we can see that each of our primary work practices are also mapped according to their focus on the matters of comprehending problems, solution modeling, and disseminating our output. Since I know Interaction Design inside and out, here’s my analysis of its activities: Yes, my essential view is that “UX” is just an umbrella term for the sets of considerations required to research, design and...Learn More
Devise Consulting provides services for digital product & service development. We’re specialists in user research and deliver data-driven personas that inform the creation of innovative design solutions. We define products that delight your customers, and can support you from usability testing through product launch and beyond. Perhaps most importantly, we teach you what we know, partnering with your team and disseminating the right user experience design practices for your organization to...Learn More
Recently Liz Bacon presented a talk to the HIMSS Usability Task Force about “Understanding Patient Engagement”. So often, the production of health information technology can leave the human element and context of use behind. However, we can only generate progress towards the crucial goal of patient engagement for health if we focus on people. People are emotional and individuals are networked, whereas today’s healthcare systems are stuck on transaction-based models that don’t meet people where they are, much less anticipate their future needs. Liz proposes that the new interaction model for healthcare to transcend “sick care” is a blended model that sustains engagement by truly understanding the individual. We have to research people’s behavior, motivations and goals and use these to craft desirable experiences that enhance everyday quality of life. Liz also discusses the startup Find Wellness as an example of a system that applies UX processes and best practices to identify and foster engagement. Liz presented her talk on January 21, 2014 and you can peruse the slides below: Understanding Patient Engagement from Elizabeth...Learn More
For Integrated Services Inc (ISI), Devise provided user research, interaction design and visual design services. We went into the field to spend time at quick-lube shops, studying their operations and daily activities in order to provide design concepts for a new web-based dashboard. We were able to articulate multiple directions based on an assessment of the roles involved in quick-lube shop operations, prompting our client champion Wayne Allen to say, “Liz is fabulous…several people within my company were amazed at how quickly she came up to speed with the issues our customers were facing.” We carried forward an existing vision for a literal car-dashboard inspired section of gauges; Devise took the information density higher while defining a clear set of threshold and alert information design standards to improve users’...Learn More
For our client, Revelation Inc., we designed the 2.0 version of their PROJECT software, which manages online research studies. We scoped an engagement involving User Research, Product Conception and Detailed Design. Partnering with their interaction designer, Michael Felix, we traveled and conducted ethnographic-style research. Then we created personas that illuminated the field of business opportunities for Revelation. Collaborating with CEO Steve August, we selected the right primary personas to define a robust interaction framework. In the solutions we produced, we combined enhanced visual records of the research studies, and designed and usability-testing novel tagging categories capabilities; we also defined great dashboard-based project management tools tailored for a market researcher. ...Learn More