Session 2 – Crossing the divide between Marketing and UX
Simon Lester, Head of UX & Design, FlexiGroup
The topics Simon covered in his workshop were:
1. What is UX?
2. Why do we use UX?
3. The UX process
4. What does UX look like?
5. Working with UX teams
7. Be part of the change
So what is UX?
The dictionary defines “UX” as “A person’s perception and response resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product system or service”. But UX is better defined as “The experience that needs to be provided to the end user via the user interface that enables and promotes the end user to do business with us as a business”. Simon however went on to say a better definition would be “it’s how an experience cam be manipulated or influenced by the designer to increase the pleasure and interaction between product and user”. Always making sure that, visions and solutions need to be customer centric.
UI vs. UX
UI is user interface, and the focus is on how a product ‘looks’. UX is about the experience and design and how the end user interacts with a product. Simon showed us a bottle of tomato sauce as an example, saying that UI see’s it one way, but then UX will see it another way.
Why do we use UX?
Business goals generally include:
Selling more product
Providing a better service
Making more money!
UX design goals include:
Understanding the goals and context-of-use of potential users or customers
Use that understanding to design a product, service or app within the constraints of business and technology.
So, in order to align the goals of the user with the goals on the business, the focus needs to be:
Useful: You need to solve a user’s need, a problem that users actually have
Usable: Usability needs to be clear so that users understand your product/service
Delightful: It’s not a bad thing if a user enjoys using your product
The UX process
Simon advises that process is key. Whether working iteratively (agile) or in a more traditional milestone approach, there is always one goal which is to provide the right content and tools, to the right people, at the right time. Aim to give each customer an experience that feels personal.
It is important to understand the 6 principles behind UX which are:
Many believe that UX Design is confined to sketching the interfaces. However, UX Design is a much broader process that ideally starts at the strategy level and affects the whole lifecycle of a project or business. UX design has a crucial part in defining the business strategy, providing baselines for business decisions with such design deliverables as personas or user stories. Simon mentions that a UX driven process does not necessarily end with UI, as it then goes on to testing with people, supporting development and making ongoing adjustments even after the initial launch.
Working with UX Teams
Imagine Marketing teams working with UX teams as two sides of one coin.
The Marketing side aims to communicate the value of the same product or system so that user experience designers have someone to design for, for customers (not-yet users).
The User Experience side aims to ensure that users who interact with said product or systems can accomplish what they need to do, and do so with minimal frustration and decent levels of efficiency, for users.
Both Marketers and UX designers focus on the end user however the Marketer knows the end user as a customer, and UX designers know them as the user. The conflict occurs when marketers look to produce copy and creative that suits their audience and by the time the creative makes it to the UX designer, the experience has to be built with constraints in place.
The solution to all of the common conflicts Marketers and UX teams face is simple – collaboration! Do not divide the creative responsibilities and deliverables. While division is still necessary within certain industries, it is less imperative in an industry where collaboration can not only ensure the task is met, but also that it is done more efficiently. Simon noted here that working together should not be mistaken for working collaboratively!
So, what can you do?
In terms of collaboration, if you sit in different locations, use technology to your advantage! Programs like Optimal Workshop will assist those teams working on separate floors or even separate buildings.
Leave your ego at the door – nobody can create and continue to develop an incredible product experience on their own.
Everyone can draw – pick up a pencil and get ideas out of your head on onto media that can be viewed and discussed
Define the roles
Cross participation – it works both ways! Set primary and secondary responsibilities
Skills vs Roles – The definition of roles matters less than how a company operates. Pick the people who are best suited for the task at hand.
A typical expected experience will look a bit like this:
The Product/Marketing teams would bring the data and business needs.
The UX team would bring creative and interaction design concepts.
The other teams would bring anecdotes about users.
Founders/Business stakeholders would bring business goals.
Simon touched on a personal experience as an example where:
The Marketing team presented data and business goals, but also had UX concepts. They brought print outs of competitor’s websites and even a few wireframes.
The UX team brought how this project fit into the overall experience for a user and the brand overall (since they also designed other parts of the product). They were also very open-minded to other ideas for UX designs from other teams.
The other teams not only brought user anecdotes, but also some great UX insights, inspiration from other products and apps they had used.
The key learning from this was that knowledge is shared and communication and feedback can be framed around business contexts. Everyone is a valuable resource to the UX designer, and it speeds up the validation of concepts. The result is a better team and a better product!
Everyone is a part of the User Experience… so do what they do!
Empathize – understand why your customers behave the way they do.
Be curious – Have a genuine desire to know why people behave the way they do and dig deeper
Provide clarity – Express often complicated concepts clearly to those with little or no prior knowledge in the field – to make better decisions
Parity Plus is a value-add initiative designed by Parity Consulting to contribute to our clients and applicants skills development and industry knowledge. We regularly partner with industry leaders and specialists to provide opportunities to engage with and learn from market leaders at the cutting edge of industry transformation.
This series is the first of its kind facilitated by an Australian based recruitment company specialising in Product, Marketing, Communications and Digital.
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