Set in a hypothetical setting where after a succesful first porject incorporating user experience (UX) the CIO (chief information office) of the company has asked me for writing a whitepaper for the organization about user experience, why the company needs to take it seriously, how and where the company should make changes to work upon it.
First, a choice of company was to be made. It could be any company small, big, startup, technology, media, etc. However, a recent blog post from one of my favourite UX design consultancy firm Teehan Lax about the state of in-car user experience urged me to think deeper about it. I started thinking why the dashboard which has become more embodied with digital equipments with bigger touch screens were not easy to use and aligned with the design style of the car or brand itself. I dived into finding companies which had both scale and financial liquidity, basically everything to put this last piece of puzzle in place but haven't yet. Volkswagen AG group was my selection as it was parent to a very diverse set of car companies from Audi to Porsche and Lamborghini
I begun literature research by obtaining and consuming published reports from the Volkswagen AG group such as quarterly and annual financial reports, media releases and product blogs. However, one issue was missing from their literature and that was User Experience. It seemed nobody knew about User Experience or did a study about the dahboard-driver/passenger interaction. Hence educating about User Experience and highlighting why it is important an how it can advance their end goal was necessary.
Drawing from my experience of leading a business and my indulgence in business case studies, as a hobby, I learnt how organization structure can influence decision making. Design Thinking and User Centered Design taught me how to think deeper and look at the goal of the users and not their task at hand. Hence it lead me to come up with a bold strategy, almost audacious but sound, which suggested strategies in approaching the Product, People and Process. The Plan pinpointedly addressed How the strategy is to be achieved.
Published Case Studies
Update: In recent times, similar strategic advices as the whitepaper can be observed to have developed in companies that affect and are affected by technology. John Maeda, design veteran and president of Rhode Island School of Design joined the famous venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in a mission to include an independent design expert at top management levels to bring a top down culture of design. Here are some published media articles citing the need of independent design leaders at partner level or senior management of companies.
1. #DesignInTech report by John Maeda of KPCB Venture Capital firm [link]