That “shiny” thing you like so much went through a process, that’s why it works

Joseph Emmi
Jul 5, 2018 · 3 min read

Selling UX to a crowd that don’t get it at all is always a tough gig, no matter how much positive feedback have you received along the way for some of your techniques that helped to better understand some users’ real problem; it doesn’t matter either if you managed to build a solution that tackled the real problem and avoided the waste of significant amount of resources (time and money) both in the immediate and long-term.

It doesn’t matter if you explained why and how you did it.

The only thing that really matters for that type of crowd is what was done, the tangible outcome, this meaning, the delivered solution.

The problem with this is that, although at the beginning they might seem like they are getting it, that they understood how you did it and why, they really don’t, and that it’s not only a big challenge and it’s frustrating, it also can become a problem.

Not long ago I was involved in a project in which I was able to be in total control of the process; a project that was not only considered extremely successful but that was indeed solving a problem, addressing the users’ need while staying aligned to the business needs too. A real win-win situation.

However, there is a challenge now, everyone wants that “shiny” thing. “Can you do something similar to what was done for project Z?”. Everyone looking for help or guidance based on the outcomes of this previous success are only thinking on the final stage; how to replicate the outcome; they only ask for the deliverable, the tangible part. No one asks about the process, no one even thinks about it.

Yes, there’s a big element of education to be set in place and these circumstances (ideally) could be thought as an easy way to amplify that message and its urgency, however, the downside comes when no time or attention is given to it, with people almost ignoring this stage while remaining tied to the idea of that desired outcome. That’s just what they want. You clearly are able to just do the same again.

The reason why it worked was not because of the technology that was used or the way it looked. The reason why it worked, it’s because there was a process which sole purpose was to understand what was really needed to be done before doing it, not the other way around. It is not about imagining how “nice” it would be for people to be able to do X.

One of the biggest problem of many organisations, is their perennial lack of desire or focus on investing the time to understand the problem from the core. They will say they do, and I don’t doubt it, the thing is that it is not done right. It is about taking the time to talk to the relevant people, not just some people. To observe, to learn. It is about why something is happening or why they needed in a certain way; not just about what happens. Why, not what.

This article is part of my #100DayProject #100DaysofWriting — Day 94 of 100

The Bridge

A crossroad between Technology, Business and Design

Joseph Emmi

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Technology + Business + Design + Entrepreneurship

The Bridge

A crossroad between Technology, Business and Design

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