- Accessibility (4)
- Conferences (2)
- Food (1)
- Generating ideas (1)
- Good experience (3)
- Job advice (1)
- Mobile (1)
- Productivity (1)
- Random words (1)
- Reviews (2)
- Site info (3)
- Stories (1)
published by Ben Allen
Do you ever have a tough time describing user experience and what UX consultants try to do? I've been trying to spread the good word for over 5 years and it still trips me up some times. It's not a case of whether I understand, it's a case of getting my audience to understand. Stories, analogies, metaphor and simile all help. Here is one I stumbled on while talking to my hair dresser.
Here is the conversation I had with the awesome hairdresser, who's skills are sadly lost on a balding man like myself, at Steven Papageorge Salon.
Hairdresser: "I had a tough week last week because I had all my difficult clients in"
Me: "Why is that?"
Hairdresser: "They are difficult in that they make me cut their hair in a way that is not flattering. It's hard work when you have to do that."
Me: "I totally understand!"
Hairdressers work with thousands of different types of people with different types of hair, they are trained to work out what looks good and what does not look good. They have probably made loads of mistakes in the past and learnt from them. I'm going to that hairdresser because I think they are good or my friends think they are good. Why then do we all walk into a hairdressers, sit down and answer the question, coming from the hairdresser, "how would you like your hair?"? Shouldn't it be me asking "what can you do with my hair?"?
My point is that "the experts should know best" but sometimes the wishes of the client can get in the way of the best ideas.
When designing websites the UX consultancy world can get like hairdressing. I'd suggest that, like good hairdressers, a good user experience professional will be able to create a good experience even if you, the client, cannot picture it yourself. Sometimes I get asked to make an interface or experience that I know sucks or to put it another way I'm being asked to cut may favourite client a pristine mullet.
What can you do? How can clients and agencies banish the mullet?
If you're getting push back from your agency maybe have a go at doing the following:
Over to you:
Happy story telling & best haircut wishes to all of you.