Improving success through increased exposure

by boon

Jared Spool does it again.

He explains how two important aspects that are key to successful design teams:

  • Direct exposure to user observation of team members for at least 2 hours in six weeks

Each team member has to be exposed directly to the users themselves. Teams that have dedicated user research professionals, who watch the users, then in turn, report the results through documents or videos, don’t deliver the same benefits. It’s from the direct exposure to the users that we see the improvements in the design.

  • Involvement of strong influencers (execs, project managers, etc.) in direct observation of users

The tipping point came when we found teams where all these other folks were participating in the user research studies. No longer did they assert their own opinions of the design direction above what the research findings were telling the teams. Having the execs, stakeholders, and other non-design folks part of the exposure program produced a more user-focused process overall.

The question is – will we be willing to sacrifice invest in order to ensure this happens to make our designs more successful? It’s a common occurrence everywhere, and we as designers need to stand our ground.