The User Experience

user exterience layersA few weeks back I met with a colleague in our Service department. She showed me a research she was working on. Whoa!, I thought, that’s exciting!

Effectively she was mapping individual touch points a customer has along the interaction journey with our company. Each touch point had 2 components, importance and satisfaction (or delivery) and was measured on a scale from [-5, +5]. Dividing the journey into logical components like “information gathering”, “consultation”, “requirements and needs”, “finding the right vendor”, ” finding the right solution”, “establishing a relationship”, “designing a system”, and so on allows to have different owners and clear subject matter experts.

That’s good to define the touch points from a service or solution provider. But to get the real user experience you need to see it wearing the customer shoes.


Marc Fonteijn provides a great example:

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When does a set of complex tasks become a Mini Project?

Last week I had organised a workshop for the team. It was about Project management.

The whole thing came about because we have an inconsistent approach to PM in the wider team. That inconsistency makes hard work for all of us.

  • we cannot easily see who is working on what

You might say, a classic resource management issue. Actually it is not. The team leaders have a very good understanding what the workload of their guys is and what they can add or what has to wait. No, the issue is different. The people in the other teams don’t know that workload and as such their expectations to get things done is not matched by possible actions.

  • we cannot report on project progress consistently

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With Intention!

I’ve seen people busy themselves with reports, spreadsheets, documentation, and meetings. I’ve heard it a thousands times “Gosh, I don’t know how you do it, I don’t even know where to start so much work is in front of me.”


This sounds to me like the rabbit in front of the snake, unable to move a muscle and petrified. The rabbit is quite capable of outsmarting the snake. But some instinct doesn’t allow it to do this. It’s like the person who is hording seemingly important tasks and not getting any done. In that case it’s not instinct but habit. Nonetheless, it takes an outside nudge to jump out of it.

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Doing the right things

When I was still at High School my Dad explained to me the difference between efficient and effective. Or in plain English, doing things right compared to doing the right things. I could see value in both and debated about what is better. It took me some time and a fairly extreme example to understand the importance of the distinction.

These days lean manufacturing, lean thinking, and lean approaches are the holy grail. Since Toyota became the standard in efficiency there are few organisations that don’t follow that herd. And boy, there are some amazing savings to be made. Having the right structure in place and everybody knows what they should be doing it is like cogs and gears churning along at full steam.

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