In late May, members of the Discuss Product and Sales teams attended UXDX’s New York conference, aimed at Product, UX, Design and Dev professionals. The focus of this year’s event was on team and company culture built around collaboration, with a majority of the attendees coming from design backgrounds.
It was apropo, then, for Discuss Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Jim Longo to take part in the panel: “Embedding A Human Centered Design Culture” alongside design and product leaders from Asana, Twitch, and Hinge. Panelists heatedly considered which was the most important part of human-centered design when it comes to creating products that delight customers: people, culture, or process.
While process was viewed as a foundational means of better communication, ultimately people and communication were most strongly advocated for; in particular, the communication between engineers and designers was emphasized as an area that organizations should focus on improving.
When an audience member asked how you can help improve the culture of a company that claims it is human-centered but clearly is not, the panelists had a few suggestions. Paying attention to what is celebrated and gets measured, and then speaking in that language to highlight customer results was one suggestion. Another idea was to incorporate the faces of customers using the product into company wide meetings rather than just sharing graphs — remembering that people are more than just data points.
(To see how market research agency Walnut Unlimited incorporates customer videos into insights reporting, see our recent video).
In between workshops and sessions, Discuss attendees spoke with designers, engineers, and research operations professionals among others, and soon identified a few common pain points when it comes to collaboration and turning experiences into insights, explaining the following challenges to Discuss:
- Silos have led to customer dissatisfaction. Many teams expressed frustration with the fact that they were not building the right product and solving for the right customer solutions. While it seemed that companies were dedicated to talking to customers, fragments of the insights gained are being passed between product managers, researchers, designers and developers in a constant game of telephone. The end result? Products that do not meet the full scope of needs of their end users.
- Teams haven’t found a solution for sharing customer insights. Without a centralized solution to share insights across teams quickly and with ease, teams are still coming up against the challenge of consolidating their insights. They have yet to find a solution that allows an enterprise to digest recorded feedback from customers at scale.
However, there are many ways to improve the collaboration experience while sharing actionable customer insights across the business. Their recommendations:
- Research operations should drive real change. The solution to ending the silos between product, design, development and engineering is not as simple as allowing design and UX teams to conduct research — they need the guidelines and recommendations of research experts. Otherwise, research can be duplicated, have bias, or even legal ramifications. If democratizing access to consumer conversations is a real priority for an organization, research operations needs to be involved, otherwise rogue research has the potential to waste budget and expose liability.
- Consolidate insights through a purpose-built platform. Leveraging an insights platform like Discuss enables teams to work in an open, highly collaborative environment. With tools that can cut administrative burden in half and provide easier access to key findings from customer research, teams can begin minimizing the time and risk involved in what was previously siloed work.
Overall, the Discuss attendees found that the UXDX workshops and sessions delivered on the mission of helping teams work together to build products that customers love.
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