Last week I attended UX London 2017. Each day of the conference focused on a different theme – Product, Service and Design. This is my summarised notes from Day 1 (Product).

Scott Belsky – Crafting the First Mile of Product Experience

Scott explored the psychology of customers during their initial use of a product. He focused on social products, providing quantitative and qualitative insights into behavioural patterns:

  • User engagement increases after a user has posted content
  • Users seem to have more interest in their own content rather than others

This user behaviour is called ‘ego sharing’’. It’s the need of users to receive social validation by sharing content. Products meet these motivations by providing users with ‘ego analytics’. Eg. Notifications, likes.

Takeaway – It’s easy to get customers to trial a product but the hard work comes in turning them into engaged and repeat use customers – Identifying core psychological motivations for using a product is where to start.

Samuel Hulick – Growing your userbase with better onboarding

Samuel shared his strategies for creating better onboarding experiences.

  • Onboarding shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should be ingrained within the product.
  • Don’t distract users from their task with forced tutorials and tips for using your product. Instead, allow them to learn while completing their task.
  • Design for new users rather than power users

His website provides good and bad examples of onboarding techniques.

Takeaway – Always have a user’s end goal in mind when building digital journeys. Eg. If a user needs to complete an online checkout process to book an engineer to fix their broken boiler. Completing the online checkout process is not their end goal. The end goal is to have their hot water working again. This understanding will help to create more persuasive copy and call-to-actions.

Molly Nix – How Uber Designs for the Future of Transportation

Molly’s discussed the challenges of how Uber designed for the onset of self-driving technology. She focused on the methodologies their designers used to help their users build trust for the product.

Eg. When the first self-driving cars were trialled in San Francisco, Uber had humans in the driver seat. This alleviated customer anxiety and also provided insight from the conversations which were being had with the drivers.

Molly identified three key principles which Uber employs with every new product:

  • Identify key areas of trust
  • Evolve with your users
  • Make product decisions which allow you to learn

Takeaway – Identify and instill trust to create a successful product or service. Eg. Through experience mapping my product team have identified a customer segment (primarily elderly widows) who are nervous and apprehensive about having engineers enter their house to carry out repair work. To alleviate this anxiety, British Gas could provide customers with a photo of their engineer so they feel more comfortable opening the door to a familiar face.

Sian Townsend – Jobs to be Done: from doubter to believer

Sian talked about a technique called Jobs to be Done (JTBD) which can be used to help design products.

For me, this was the most interesting talk of the day and led me to attend a couple of workshops on this subject to gain a deeper understanding of the technique. I’ll write about this in another post but these are my notes from this talk.

A job to be done is not a product, service or a specific solution – it’s the higher purpose why customers buy products, services or solutions. Eg. Most people would say they buy a lawnmower to ‘cut the grass’. But if a lawnmower company examined the higher purpose of cutting the grass, such as ‘keep the grass low and looking great’ then they might not spend huge efforts building better lawnmowers – instead they could look to create genetically engineered grass seed which never needed to be cut.

This is the power of the technique – it helps companies understand that customers don’t buy products and services. Instead, they hire various solutions at different times to get a variety of jobs done.

Takeaway – I currently work as a UX Designer in a digital product team. We identify user needs and deliver web based solutions to meet those needs. Using the JTBD technique would allow the business to uncover these ‘higher purpose’ outcomes which may change the way we deliver solutions to our customers. For me, it’s about exploring potential other solutions rather than continuing down a set path because ‘this is how we have always done it’ or ‘this is how other companies do it.’