For some time now a cross-section of business, research and technology teams have been working on a way to get great UX into a box with one primary goal - that it can be effectively un-boxed and put to work. A variety of different approaches were taken and in the end we settled on one workable option, but first let's explore the outputs of the lengthy and expensive consulting and brainstorm process:
- Put the actual designers in a box and ship them. This proved inhumane and not a good use of designer's time while they waited in the box.
- Put a lot of different designs in a box. This was tried by Corel and others in the clip-art heyday. No further comment on this.
- Put a DIY design kit in the box. The problem with this approach, while it could be construed to provide actual value, was that the outcome was still unpredictable.
- Capture color, process, ideas, requirements and user needs and put those in the box and pray. This has been tried in variations by a lot of folks already and unfortunately produces inconsistent results.
In the end, we decided to put design-thinking DNA in the box and to make sure that there was enough to go around. Through direct injection and osmosis, firms can leverage this DNA across multiple projects forever. In addition to providing a steady stream of maintenance and support revenues, this also accomplishes the much-needed requirement for teams to fundamentally rethink how they enable self-serve and customer service touchpoints through great design.
Finally, this guarantees that the initial investment will pay out for years to come as organizations constantly improve on the UX based on changing user requirements and evolving form factors and interaction models.
Unfortunately, we are currently stuck on pricing - we know it is somewhere between free and priceless and the business and marketing teams are polarized on this issue now.
As soon as we resolve this, we will have more information. If you would like to participate in a pre-release program, grab a pencil, a napkin, a few user profiles and a design buddy and head down to the pub for an April Fools Friday cocktail and some of that tomorrow's soup you love so much.
As part of our ongoing research to see if there are better approaches, the plan is to capture and document the next 30 days of UX discussion around the web and mine, visualize, share, thread and thematically digest the current UX conversation. Please participate by continuing to talk about UX and if you like join the conversation directly by using the hashtag #30DaysofUX (#UX is a perfectly fine alternative of course). We are not trying to co-opt the conversation and we know it goes beyond 30 days, but this is an opportunity to capture, mine and better understand it - who is driving it, what the current themes are and where the conversation is going. Our thesis is that it's going outside the box. More to come...