As a team manager, I am especially interested in helping customers, executive stakeholders, and my peers in other functional areas (such as Engineering and Product Management) understand the benefits of User-Centered Design (UCD) and User Experience consulting services.
I’ve recently written about UX Maturity Models (as well as written my own), and I am tracking with interest the Design Management Institute (DMI) work on the Design Value Index. It is really wonderful to see the field evolving and changing in so many different ways.
Another exciting thing to witness has been the emergence of Enterprise User Experience, as a distinct space within the field of UX. In the past few years, the Enterprise User Experience conference hosted by Rosenfeld Media has been energizing and informative, and definitely a place to watch for insights as the field continues to coalesce. I live-blogged the event in 2016 and will do so again in 2017. You can read those posts here.
However, one area where I still feel there is a lot of work to be done is in ensuring that our design work is truly user-centered. I think this is a particular challenge in the B2B space (where I have spent most of my career) because access to users is often so difficult. In my experience, there is still lots of work to do to to educate STEM-trained executives about the need for user insights to inform design. As the awareness of the field continues to grow, I hope that we’ll make more headway on this important topic.
Natalie just wanted to encourage your work on the UX maturity ideas. I recently used your maturity model to help our consultants get a handle on what to look and listen for at clients to see where we might start a conversation about their UX needs. I had reviewed the ones you posted about earlier last year but really liked the simplicity of yours. As you noted, it is really helpful when talking to non-UX’ers or executives. Also, I couldn’t agree more with the idea of making sure we’re being “really” user-centered. As a friend of mine wrote over at Boxes and Arrows, we see many firms taking the U out of UX by, for example, skipping the Empathy stage of design thinking. Whoopsie.
Thanks for your feedback, Ralph. I’m glad to hear it’s proving to be a useful framework for you and your team!