Art of Production
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Art of Production

06: Why Users Need Digital Producers

The connection that gets missed

I know, it seems a bit odd talking about user needs and Digital Producers. Normally that chat is meant for the other Ds….Designers.

But we like challenging misconceptions here, and the role of Digital Producers in user needs is one of them.

Digital Producers need to understand their critical role in gathering user needs. The team cannot do it without you. So we’re going to make that clear in 3 ways:

The Sniffer Dog Mentality

The direct and unbridled access to the client that Digital Producers have, give us a unique ability to drive the hunt for user needs.

With that ability comes great responsibility.

If we were trying to solve a crime, then Digital Producers would be the sniffer dogs. We get dropped off into unfamiliar client territory, on the hunt for important evidence. We sniff around (searching for people) and dig up clues (probing questions) to try and find the evidence the team needs to build a case.

In the team’s case, that evidence is access to the right users, access to data about users, and existing research on how users behave.

Digital Producers have the power to champion the search.

The Producer Value Framework

Putting Users First

Putting the user first is about empathy.

You need to honestly care about people and their day-to-day lives. People who do this well, transport themselves into the mind of a user. They try to understand what might solve a problem for them, or what might be delightful for them.

The most tried and tested method our industry uses is user stories.

“A user story is an informal, general explanation of a software feature written from the perspective of the end user. Its purpose is to articulate how a software feature will provide value to the customer.” — Atlassian

Structure: “As a [persona], I [want to], [so that].”

Example: “As Christine, I want to be able to plan my day, so I can feel more in control”

This technique allows us to collaborate as a team, focus on the user, and drive creative solutions. But it’s important to remember that they are simply a vehicle, not the end result.

Does The Work, Work?

Once what you’ve built gets released into the real world, you need to know whether it works.

The question then becomes, “do users use the thing the way you planned they would?”

Surprisingly the art of measuring success through user behaviour gets completely missed by a huge number of projects.

Of course, there are good teams out there that do this very well. But if you ask most Digital Producers they’ll tell you it’s a rarity, and more often than not, they never get a detailed understanding of what ‘success’ looks like.

Once again, it’s down to our noses to hunt for the answers. It may well take a Digital Producer to champion this cause with the client: a Digital Producer to claw and scratch around. Until somewhere, you find someone with the knowledge to be able to discuss the real meaning of value for that business.

Don’t give up until you get it, it could be the difference between success and being lost at sea.

The seventh part of this mini-series is available to read already!

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Hit the hands if you learned something and help others find this content 🙏🏻

If you want to discuss or ask us questions about anything in this story, please drop us a line and we’ll get right back to you!

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