Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Figuring out the “one thing” that will move UX into a position of strategic relevance

A common question asked of successful User eXperience (UX) leaders is what “one thing” they needed to do in order to move their organizations into a position of strategic relevance. However, the answers often vary (if they believe they've achieved such relevance), posing a challenge to those struggling to figure out how to achieve the same goal where they work.

For CHI 2007, I put together a session entitled, "Moving UX into a position of corporate influence: Whose advice really works?" during which six panelists -- all senior management folks from six very different companies -- argued in support of or against different combinations of five pieces of advice, each of which has been claimed by various people to have been the "one thing" most important to achieving strategic influence. Might one of those "one things" be the "one thing" you should attend to where you work? Might something else be that "one thing"? What is key to figuring that out?

At CHI 2009 in Boston, several panelists will each describe the "one thing" that they think can make all the difference. They will then analyze a variety of scenarios from a variety of companies one by one to attempt to predict the "one thing" needed in each case. And all participants will attempt to elucidate key aspects of the scenarios and the process of analysis to help audience members figure out how to figure out what "one thing" is likely to work in their own situations.

Are you trying to figure out what one thing you need to attend to in order for UX to gain a seat at the strategy table with business and engineering? If so, let us know -- tell us about your work situation, and we'll look into including it among the scenarios to be analyzed by the panelists.

Note that we'll also be addressing a mix of related questions such as what makes a good "one thing," can there really be only "one thing," and just how adequate analyses akin to those to be attempted during the session can be. It promises to be an interesting session.