Business and UX: Logs of the Express Workshop

    "Dog Playground" is a wandering party " Dog Pavlova ." We invite colleagues and professionals from related fields to visit, ask a topic for discussion, and exchange knowledge and opinions in a brainstorming format (that is, without criticism, if possible).

    Party is free, but an intellectual fee is charged for entry: you need to concentrate and describe how you can be interesting to other guests of the “Dog Site”. The format of benefits changes from time to time: sometimes experience is important, sometimes dating, sometimes a profession. Ideas were important this time.

    Next - a report on the meeting a week ago. According to the calendar, we attached it to World Usability Dayand decided to talk "about all this usability" from a business point of view. But is there any sense, but will it be worthwhile, if not to drive all these UX-rappers off with a filthy broom and hire cold-sellers instead?

    Accordingly, we called on managers of the 80th level, owners of companies, sane startups and other people who consider UX as a business tool.

    From each at the registration they expected a stuffing in terms of their business experience. Ideas, problems, expectations, perplexities - everything went into business, if only it were connected not with abstract benefits with all the gift, but with the specific activities of real companies.

    No wonder the full house didn’t happen :) - and you know, this is good. We just wanted to filter out lazy people, freeloaders, nerds, dumbasses, narcissistic boobies and all who can only spoil a pleasant evening.

    But half a dozen rather interesting - and very revealing - cases for discussion were received at the entrance.

    Met. We talked, discussed. Now we will show you both the cases and the squeeze from our conversations.

    The benefits of reading to you, most likely, may be this. Once again, the tasks are the most typical. Many times we have already heard these formulations (and how much more we will hear!) - always a little under a different sauce, of course. So if something like that gnaws at you (and it, like, usually attacks from around the corner, and you don’t have time to notice) - at least read how your colleagues look at this problem. Suddenly come in handy.

    Once again: these are real and typical tasks that torment real and not at all typical people. Well, the reaction of the collective mind (UX specialists and sympathizers) to these tasks.

    Crooked sites


    Why do my small business clients have such crooked sites?

    Immediately with a sweep of brick in the forehead, huh? Further it will be more difficult.

    This claim is very popular. But not too fair.
    Here are some considerations that the next time you should keep in mind when you scratch your tongue to talk about UX charms and you want to scratch him about the next plywood seller and his wretched site.
    1. When a small business says that it doesn’t have money, that’s exactly what it means. He very often does not have money not only for experiments or development, but also for the most necessary.
    2. Until now, the development of Internet presence for small businesses is a matter of faith with elements of gambling. The answer to the question "Why spend?" not that no ... But no one can take responsibility for the businessman, and he himself is not torn.
    3. There is a site, and everything is fine. Shakes nothing. There are even some orders. Of course, those who could not even find the company on the Internet, not to mention taking advantage of its Internet presence, did not give any feedback and did not express dissatisfaction. So, from the point of view of small business, everything is in order - no one complains.
    4. An expert evaluation of a website that reaches a small business is often very emotional and rather qualitative than quantitative. But small business is small and that is not too interested in emotions. You him: uncomfortable! And he - and what? “It’s bad for the user” - this is not an argument for small ones at all: it is necessary - it will buy! There are no resources for service, for service.
    5. Small conversion has become the norm - everyone has it. As a result, there is no requirement “Make me better!”. Just a site - because of its initial stupidity - does not become a business tool. And in order to turn it into a business tool, you need the most expensive resource - the will power of the company owner. With her, the problem is usually the deficit-s (and no, this is not strange, not stupid and not funny).
    6. Maybe it's in the sample? Not all small businessmen are such suckers. There are a ton of fine examples of the excellent use of the Internet environment. There are entire communities in which small businesses are imbued with the experience of e-commerce and Internet services. Yes, this is not the majority yet, but can one not notice the trend?
    7. An unearthly beauty and perfect convenience are absolutely not needed to solve business problems. Therefore, what “specialists do not like” can really be more than acceptable - and even good - in the context of relations between the buyer and the seller of small services. Conversely, site refinement often leads to a waste of money and loss of customers. So expert assessments are not as reliable as we, experts, would like to think.
    8. IT services in Russia are stupidly expensive. Yes, you can always find a student or some other acquaintance-relative. They will do it cheaply. But in this "cheap" you need to invest the strength of the business owner, which is usually spent on another. And if you don’t invest, it won’t work.
    9. You can continue the phrase “Small business because small and because ...” in a variety of ways - but our favorite continuation is this: because it does not know how to buy services. He strives to do everything himself. Someone is doing pretty well, but most do nothing. And to pay money for something that he himself has already been inclined to do, the toad is strangling.
    10. Do you know how many scammers they recapture, as they think, “suckers” from small business? Yes, this is hell. Now look at the owner of the company: from his point of view, Internet services - this is one complete fraud. To do this normally, one must not just find the money - one must also find who to give the money to. Not the easiest thing, and easier to score on him.
    11. People just don't know how it should be. There are few good examples (although, we repeat, they are). Obviously, one cannot reach cool decisions - and if you look at competitors, then they all do not try too hard to make a good site. So a vicious circle comes out.
      There were several more hypotheses of the form “Why so.” And clarifications of these formulations. But whoever didn’t come to the "Dog Site" - he missed everything (offscreen devilish laughter).

    New calendar


    80 percent of tasks do not appear on our calendars. They break in at the last moment and push back the deadlines. Hence the nerves, the feeling of dissatisfaction with oneself, resentment. At the same time, a person is not a robot and cannot spend a lot of resources on planning in small things - he is bored. Therefore, it would be good to entrust this concern to the "robot." The success of products such as Sunrise Calendar and X.ai (as well as Siri and Google Now ), shows that there is still no end in planning and users are ready to trust robots with more and more everyday, routine solutions.

    So far, only an idea about creating an add-in or a full calendar / planner that would:
    • significantly simplified the input of typical tasks, and also generated sub-tasks related to the main task (meeting -> preparation, transfer, meeting, follow up);
    • could integrate with a large number of advisory and other services to help determine the choice of establishments, sessions, find contractors for solving everyday problems, etc .;
    • he approached the formation of the agenda in a new way, and also did not consider event-calendar and to-do list as separate, unrelated arrays of tasks.

    Well, our format involves a constructive discussion, so let's get started.
    1. Indeed, there is pain — typical tasks that consist of many small, meaningless gestures. Half of them are lost, for the rest you need to buy something small, but on the other side of the city and only on Tuesdays ... In general, it makes sense to attach it to a number.
    2. It would be nice to get a calendar that understands the structure of the day - and at least displays different days in different ways. If I have only interviews, there should be one interface on the screen, and if I write documents or submit reports, it’s completely different.
    3. It is a pity that now planners do not know how to remember successful plans from the past. It would be nice if the work done once — with all its nuances and, most importantly, the real time budget — could be simply “repeated” (at least in planning).
    4. By the way, then you can begin to exchange these successful recipes - technological maps - and plan some things according to other people's templates. The closest analogue is recipes.
    5. Now calendars forgive postponement of affairs. But we must not forgive! So that you couldn’t just take things off and postpone.
    6. The development of the previous one: if you always postpone the matter from the category of delegated (especially for money) - let the system automatically place an order. For example, you cannot go to change a car for two weeks - the calendar calls for tire fitting directly to the office.
    7. And a separate temptation is to make decisions for tired people. Where are we going to drink coffee today? What movie to watch in the evening? Oh, I can’t decide - a cute computer, decide for yourself, huh?

    It seems that all this is another software that no one needs. But it seems that people will never stop writing toes. And they will never stop using new ones. So - in a good way, what really there.

    Online Course Platform


    Now the business - a platform of open online courses - has the problem of an entry threshold that is too large to create educational content. Creating online courses is hard and long. We are doing something with this, but more is needed.
    How to do no more, but more focused? How to build processes to identify such changes in the product that require minimal effort (development) and bring maximum UX benefit to teachers?

    Oh, and here is our favorite type of task: looking under the lantern, because it’s brighter there. You see, yes, that here the problem is not in the interface?

    Let’s explain. This platform for free (crazy!) Records the courses of all Yandex - like we are for the idea, we are for world peace. It’s scary even to think how firmly the rabbits with billions of revolutions got on the kids’s neck and how securely they hung their legs.

    And on the other hand, since thousands of “ordinary people” manage to record and publish video courses on how to fix toilets, then, probably, the new platform should really really solve some very serious problems of them, so that they even pay attention to it. Platform owners do not know such serious problems.

    There is a third party. The hope of turning a startup into a business now lies somewhere in the area of ​​corporate courses. Companies will buy the platform, and then their employees will collect training programs on this platform for salaries. But here the question is: why, in fact, work on the UX-characteristics of the system, which people will still use (they will be hired for that)? This is not a rhetorical question: sometimes a business wants to speed up these people, or put people cheaper, or something else that is cynically pretty. But never professional interfaces improve for the love of art - it is not environmentally friendly. So here is nonsense.

    But - okay, okay, we promised a constructive solution to the issue.
    And the question - if you simplify it - is this: how to understand which UX features to do, and which ones to score?

    A simple but not yet widely used tool helps here: the Kano model . It is for searching the most promising functionality that it is especially good.

    Here is the Kano model we discussed further.
    It is a pity to disappoint you, but there will not be an abstract right here. A very separate topic. And a lot has already been written about her .

    UX process in IT-Krupnyak


    UX, we have people with the skill designer. Most often, a business analyst or project manager delves into the process, then they and the designer work on prototypes, and then the designer pulls on the UI.

    How to painlessly share UX and graphic design for everyone? So that the UI designer does not feel like a button painter. Sometimes it succeeds - if you put in UX'om indisputable authority. But there are few such, and UX-tasks more and more.

    Spoiler: This company has been telling us about its UX suffering for about the fifth (seventh?) Year. Woz doesn't even rock the boat. That as if unobtrusively hints that there is especially no need to save anyone here, everything is really good with people. But let's try to come up with at least something, since there is a request.
    1. Hire an UX guru and calm down? Yes, Yura Vetrov is busy, you are out of luck - well, there are several more large-scale people in the market.
    2. So, the designer is afraid to stay out of work. Think about it: the designer is out of work! Maybe you just have designers there - visual, aesthetic - are not worth a penny? It is not surprising that people are afraid to lose those crumbs of influence that they still have. And they grab onto any task, even completely alien to them.
    3. To continue the previous paragraph: is it true that you have to do a visual designer when interface design is removed from it? He himself must come up with a task? Or maybe it's time to formulate this task at the top level, not at the level of "beautiful buttons"? Here, of course, we need the qualifications of a design manager, but you’re a big (fat, even in a sense) IT-office - you will find it, don’t be discouraged.
    4. Fire designers. All. To hell. No man - no problem. And then, without leaving the place, try to hire them in the “right” role. Maybe someone will go into the status of a designer, which only in the world does not happen. In any case, the conflict will definitely disappear, already not bad.
    5. It seems that the conflict itself is still somewhat hypothetical: no matter what happens. So let it come out? Wait for the conflict to worsen - and there already think what to do.

    And if ernism is put aside - the problem sometimes occurs, yes. Not in such a neglected format, but often designers try to make interfaces and hold on to their activities very much. Which is permissible, but you can also change the situation if you wish. Everything is solvable.

    Project management system


    There is a web studio. Our profile is startups, code outsourcing, automation, server side for mobile applications, etc.
    Problem: antediluvian level of information management, in all forms - task planning, discussion of the project and not only, the relevance of TK, the relationship of TK with tasks, information structuring on the project and everything else. Now it’s just chaos and tin. Colleagues use Trello , skype, google dock and cannot understand why it takes a million time and nerves to manage - and all the same, projects are drowning, but I want to leave the profession for something simple and tangible, like clay sculpting or furniture restoration.

    The essence of the idea: a project / task management system that contains several non-trivial solutions.

    For example, the system not only records tasks, but also records visual elements of the project (to the desired degree of accuracy - you can list the pages, or you can take each button into account), take into account each project essence and each field, take into account each initiated five-minute dialogue on any issue project, accounting for development history objects (commits, pull requests), some technical entities (modules, classes, templates in the code) - and this is all clearly linked to each other!

    To arrange all this, it does not take a miracle to write an uncomplicated system and then a little willpower and habits to put all this on work processes.

    It seems to me that this concept is universal for all cases where we have a bunch of different entities, and everyone is connected to each other, and we need to quickly and clearly work with them all.

    You already realized that the tasks are progressing: the further, the less UX and the more business, life and small psychiatry. Here you go.

    Of course, the problem is unsolvable. But this does not mean that it does not need to be solved!
    Briefly decided this.
    1. Still, we are not dealing with project management, but with managing project information. Which is not the same thing at all.
    2. The dream of dashboard is a common viral disease among managers. Well, we’ll just call a spade a spade: fashionable, cool and hellishly want to have a dashboard on which everything is shown about the business. And since we are constructive, we will not discuss the reasons why such a miracle is impossible.
    3. Roughly speaking, there are two types of universal control systems for everyone. In the first there is a core to which minor components are stuck. Bitrix24 and all that. The second is decentralized: information is spread, everyone communicates with everyone. Such a thing can be assembled even on the knee using IFTTT and a dozen cloud tools.
    4. Participants told each other about their failed experiences with such systems. But this does not count, since we are talking about good.
    5. If you really want to, want to do, it’s really better to start with a working prototype. Here we call the prototype not pictures, but a moving system with which you can work. We take the aforementioned IFTTT , use the built-in capabilities of all these endless Trello - Airtable - Slack - MailChimp - Dropbox - ... - and further evolve as we can.





    These are the tasks we discussed a week ago at the Dog Ground in honor of World Usability Day. They managed it in two hours.
    Next time we’ll discuss something else funny. Come if you are in St. Petersburg.

    In the meantime, you can develop hooked topics in the comments. Well, we, too, did not all write what we think - what if you add something useful? We look forward to that.

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