Jonathan Kahn: Effective Interaction Designers Change Organizations

17 Apr 2012 - 12:13pm
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As interaction designers, organizations are the context for our work.

And when it comes to the web and other digital channels, organizations are broken. We have a problem.

However great our interaction design chops are, we can't sustainably deliver great user experiences that achieve business goals without becoming agents of change. That's right: to do our work well, we need to help our organizations deal with the huge changes that the internet revolution has created. Management sticking their heads in the sand didn't work so well over that last 15 years.

That means we need to leave our comfort zones and step away from our digital tools, to talk to colleagues and clients about the problems they face. Call it service design, multi-channel user experience, or web governance: it comes to the same thing. Does the organization have the key areas of web strategy, governance, execution, and measurement covered?

In practice, design is the easy part—creating an organizational context for design is what separates the linchpins from everyone else. You’re probably an agent of change already. In this session we'll discuss the context for our work, and how organizational denial about change, silo-centric thinking, and poor governance and strategy lead to disappointing interaction design outcomes. We'll explore methods to deal with this problem, and share practical ideas for becoming agents of change within our organizations.


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