PMs — the last best hope for user experience

In his keynote at this year’s Digital PM Summit in Philadelphia, Paul Boag, digital consultant, speaker and author talked about why PMs are the last best hope for user experience.

Typically the responsibility for UX sits within the design function of an organisation but Paul explains why this is fundamentally flawed. In most cases, a designer's main focus is on the user interface design. However, UX is about meeting the needs of connected customers, it is not about interface design.

When customers engage in your product, they start a journey which will encompass many different touch points often across multiple platforms. If UX is limited to an interface, we overlook opportunities which can transform, enhance and disrupt the way users use our products.

Good user experience considers the whole customer journey and relies on the dilution of business silo’s, it involves different departments working together to make the experience for their customers seamless, cohesive and most of all enjoyable.

Paul provides the attendees with a couple of examples or organisations which have done just that.

Case study 1

The first being DHL, a delivery company who send a text message telling you the hour slot your parcel is going to be delivered with a link to track the delivery van online — this user experience goes far beyond an interface and requires collaboration at all levels of the business to pull it off but the result, a joined up, intelligent, pleasurable experience for the end user.

Case Study 2

He also mentioned Love Honey, a sex toy company, who identified that the main concern of customers buying products from the website was not how they purchased the product online but how said product was going to be packaged and delivered.

Therefore, the company invested energy and thought into different parts of the organisation i.e. how the products are packaged, delivered even going as far as ensuring that customers bank statements didn’t mention the company name.

These are both great examples of user experience which may not have ever been considered within the traditional design / UX phase of the project — this is because they involved multiple departments and transformational structure change within the organisation.

This type of UX involves creative thinking from all levels of the business, not just the design team, and who is the best placed to bring disciplines together? You’ve guessed it, the project manager!

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UX relies upon the intersection of disciplines

Where can I start?

Paul suggests the following tools and techniques are a good place to start:

These activities will help you think beyond the screen, identify gaps and start fixing customer’s real problems. What are you waiting for?

Written by

Delivery Director at @DeesonAgency

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