Ok, it’s a fair cop! I didn’t write this blog to address the big existential question!!
Rather I wanted to talk about the importance of feedback in any transformation and then lay out some of the thinking behind ux-insight. I hope you enjoy it:
Our world is constantly changing in unpredictable ways
At first it takes longer than we think. And then it happens faster than we thought possible.
As the context changes, our ability to innovate and create new approaches is critical for us to survive and then thrive.
We can increase the likelihood of our transformations delivering the value we need by finding out what our customers think about the new and innovative methods. In fact, it’s a critical prerequisite before we take further steps towards our “new way”.
There’s no perfect solution for getting customer feedback but “just asking them what they think” is fraught with difficulty and the chance of being misled is significant.
A phenomenon called “Response Bias” means that research respondents will often give false information. There are a variety of reasons why it can happen but the effect is well documented and proven. In many cases, we can be unaware that we’re misleading the researcher.
A popular and quite successful alternative to “just asking them” is to “just watch them” and we can do that in a UX Lab format where we invite users in and then give them tasks to undertake while we sit by their side, looking for hesitations and troubled expressions on their faces indicating uncertainty or unhappiness with the process. Our colleagues in the Product Management Team and some key members of the technical delivery team can also watch on mirrored screens in an adjoining room to make sure we understand the customers concerns and can respond with the best proposal possible.
It definitely works.
Huge insights are the likely outcome.
Those insights are invaluable in designing the next iterations of the product.
But… It’s an expensive exercise and the highly intrusive nature of the measurement (a UX Consultant sitting by our customers side watching their face intently for signs of trouble) can invalidate the findings.
In his writings on “The Uncertainty Principle”, Heisenberg (the scientist, not the main protagonist in Breaking Bad!) stated that it’s impossible to measure anything without having some effect on the thing we’re measuring. The presence of The UX Consultant will almost certainly change the way our customers would undertake the task.
Advances in artificial intelligence in the last few years have allowed us to get indications of human emotional response by detailed analysis of facial micro expressions. This creates exciting opportunities for automating the task of observation and evaluation of our customers frustration or happiness. However, in just the same way that humans can misread someone’s emotional state by looking only at a picture of their face and without a proper understanding of the context, it’s possible that ai can also make the same mistake. But when we analyse larger samples and aggregate the results, our chances of properly understanding the emotional response to a given stimulus (element of a task) increase significantly.
And because we can systematically associate the emotional response with the customers journey as they work towards the completion of their task, we can start to understand how the different stages of the journey correlate with our customers emotional state at the generalised level.
We can draw out insights concerning the emotional highs and lows of the customer journey and use that information to shape our incremental solution design.
Our proprietary processes and tooling also help our consultants to compile and create compelling evidence about the customer journeys that’s usually needed to convince our stakeholders and secure their support for incremental solutions.
In short, we use ai and our highly experienced consultants to quantify the customer journey over a significant number of users and then use that information to draw insights that will shape the incremental solution. Our tools and experience also allow us to compile compelling evidence to support the need for change.
So that’s “why” you could get competitive advantage by leveraging our expertise as part of your transformation.
If you’d like to discuss any of these ideas further, or find out how we could engage to really make a difference, please get in touch.
Curious problem solver, business developer, technologist and customer advocate