persuasive, authoritative, presentation justifying formal design process?

15 Jul 2009 - 1:16pm
3 years ago
7 replies
1807 reads
j.scot
2008

Can anyone recommend a persuasive, unquestionably authoritative
presentation on why a formal design process, characterized by
progress toward increasing precision -- for hardware AND software --
makes good business sense?

I've got a VP that doesn't have the time or patience to read
anything too lengthy, who's an electronics engineer, struggling to
understand the needs of the burgeoning software department under
him.

Too much design jargon will be a turn-off.

Perhaps a presentation on slide-share? Something by the CEO, or Chief
Engineer of an electronics manufacturing Fortune 500 maybe?

I could write up and email citing references from my own personal
library (Buxton, Cooper, Goodwin, Saffer, Unger, etc.), but it would
take more time to do that than I have, and I think something more
visual and auditory would be most effective.

I got a LOT of good insight from another thread in which Scott Berkun
comments on pitching UCD (http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=41562),
but this is a little different.

Help me Obi-wan Kenobi... you're my only hope.

Many thanks in advance!!

Comments

15 Jul 2009 - 3:20pm
dirtandrust
2008

Anything by http://www.cooper.com is good. Especially "The Inmates
are Running the Asylum". Your VP won't read it, but you could and
then boil down your findings into this point:

"Good design makes good products".

Okay, that's oversimplifying things, but sounds like this is what's
required. Does your VP want to emulate Apple or the IRS?

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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15 Jul 2009 - 7:14pm
Phillip Hunter
2006

Good design processes will make his SW engineers more effective, and
thus more productive, by targeting their skills on efforts more
likely to be successful from the get go.

I think there was a piece in UX Matters a while back to that effect,
but it was a long read. Might be worth looking for it.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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15 Jul 2009 - 9:27pm
Mary Constance Parks
2009

I know, this is probably too long, but it might help:

http://mags.acm.org/interactions/20080102/

%u201CThe Business of Customer Experience: Lessons Learned at Wells
Fargo%u201D (pp 38-43) by Secil Watson.

--Mary

Sr. Voice User Interface Designer
Nuance Communications

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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15 Jul 2009 - 9:33pm
Stephen Nitz
2009

There is a really excellent organization The Corporate Design
Foundation, that publishes a beautiful and very digestable magazine
called "@issue" that explains the value of design in a digestible
form in business terms.

http://www.cdf.org/issue_journal/issue_journal.html

You may not find a specific piece on usability, but you will find
plenty on how design can transform a business.

Mail:

Corporate Design Foundation
20 Park Plaza Suite 400
Boston, MA 02116-4303, USA
Phone:

617.566.7676
E-mail:

admin at cdf.org

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jul 2009 - 1:04am
C K Vijay Bhaskar
2009

Bottom Line Up First.
Here is how I have seen it work:
The purpose of any design is to enable its users be able to perform
the tasks effortlessly.
In any development cycle, it is a known fact that the cost of fixing
a defect is costlier as the project progresses near its completion.
To prevent this, they typically have internal departments who do
constant reviews, testing etc earlier in the cycle or try and adopt
new methods like Agile or iterative development to address this
issue. So, the intent of any process should be to reduce cost for the
overall cycle of the product.
Early checking systems like that of an Agile or a Prototype approach
ensures quick and early correction to the product based on the
customer's needs. But there is also a cost involved - basically the
cost of running a process that comprises of effort, skill, salary,
infrastructure etc needed to execute a particular process and this
typically is factored as part of the overall budget. But what is
typically not factored in a design unaware organization is the design
effort, process etc.
To sell this aspect, I have in the past used these points:
1) A design process is like an early validation and improvement
system that aides in the early detection of defects from the design
perspective and would help in the cost reduction. The existing
validation methods are typically code or hardware component focused
and is not sufficient to cover the design element.
2) The design process would also have specific output of the
interface early so that the developers can have a better %u201Cstyle
guide%u201D to adhere to apart from their coding standards. This will
ensure efficient coding that would require lesser modifications to
cosmetic issues and also the establishment of these guides will
prevent cosmetic defects in the system.
3) The design process with the interaction with the testers would
give them better insight to create the appropriate test cases that
would test the design aspect as well apart from the code etc. This
would save time and effort in terms of testing covering not just the
code, but also the design %u2013 at an early stage. The same is
applicable for reviews.
4) This efficient integration would ensure that the product is more
usable and more usability would reduce the learning curve of the end
users %u2013 who typically have to be trained each time a new product
is released. This training effort and the effort to prepare the help
files, training manuals can come down a lot and save cost if the
design is intuitive and cognitively usable.
The down side is when the design team works independently of the rest
of the teams or if there is a perception in the organization that the
designers are just make-up artists who would be called later to put a
face to the code which cannot be understood by the user.
I hope this helps. Please do ensure that your design process involves
all the relevant stakeholders and that each of them understand their
role and contribution to the success of the common goal %u2013 which
is to develop a successful product.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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16 Jul 2009 - 1:55pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jul 15, 2009, at 10:16 AM, j.scot wrote:

> Can anyone recommend a persuasive, unquestionably authoritative
> presentation on why a formal design process, characterized by
> progress toward increasing precision -- for hardware AND software --
> makes good business sense?

You won't find such a thing because it doesn't exist.

> I've got a VP that doesn't have the time or patience to read
> anything too lengthy, who's an electronics engineer, struggling to
> understand the needs of the burgeoning software department under
> him.

You might want to start by discovering what *he* thinks the most
important goals and objectives are for his new empire. Once you know
his priorities, it should be easy to show how some aspect of design
practice can effectively help him achieve his goals.

In my experience, you can't manage from below. His goals and
objectives are driven by his superiors. The best you can do is figure
out ways to help him look good in accomplishing those goals and
objectives.

That's my opinion, worth what you paid for it.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks Twitter: @jmspool

11 Feb 2011 - 2:36pm
j.scot
2008

We did exactly what Jared suggested (thanks again, kind sir), and that definitely helped, but later we also circulated the following video from Mix10. The arms are definitely much more open today. 

Anthony Franco - The Effective Laws of Good User Experience

http://ecn.channel9.msdn.com/o9/mix/10/mp4/DS01.mp4

 

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