How can we spread the love for user-centric thinking? It's a #worldusabilityday #uxchat love-in

In this week’s #UXchat, we’re celebrating World Usability Day 2017 by asking our community of UX professionals their thoughts on how usability has shaped their experiences and how they exalt the benefits of user-centric thinking?

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We’ll be diving into how adopting a user-centric mindset has not only changed their way of working in organisations, but also themselves.

We’ll also ask how we can spread the love for user-centric thinking beyond WUD2017, and we’ll be predicting what a World Usability Day in the year 2050 will look like.

Just in case you’re new to UXChat, here’s a little background to our weekly UX conversation where you can rub virtual shoulders with some of the most knowledgeable ‘UXperts’ on the planet, every Thursday at 4pm.

This week’s conversation was hosted by Elizabeth Allen, who’s currently responsible for UX research at Shopify, as well as a consultant on small research projects, a course tutor, speaker and co-chair for the UXPA. Previously, Elizabeth completed a PhD in cognitive psychology and held UX roles at companies in Chicago and San Francisco. You’ll find many of Elizabeth’s helpful comments throughout the following discussions.

How does adopting a user-centric mindset change an organisation?

The practicalities of becoming a ‘customer-first’ organisation can mean a huge transformation, especially for more traditional organisations that have only recently embraced digital.

Here Doug Collins and Elizabeth Allen discuss their own experiences, and reveal that despite ‘company buy in’ they often find themselves as the UX team of one.

E is for empathy!

Or… what we talk about when we talk about being user-centric.

Becoming a user-centred organisation means becoming an empathetic one. That’s what all of this research, testing, data, journey mapping and shifting business culture is leading towards… giving a damn about the user first and foremost. Then, as Anne Jackson states further down, commercial goals will hopefully fall into line.

How has adopting a user-centric mindset changed YOU?

Outside of the organisations our community of UX professionals work for, we wanted to see how being immersed in usability has affected their everyday lives. For many it comes down to being more generally considerate of others (I bet Andrew Martin lets everyone off the tube first before boarding) and this drives a passion to help people, and not to sound too glib, make the internet a better place.

Beyond World Usability Day, how can we spread the love for user-centric thinking?

How do our UXperts communicate the value of UX to the more stubborn and miserly members of their organisations? How do we ensure user-centric thinking brings everyone together as one? How do we keep the spirit of WUD alive for the rest of the year?

Basically this is the same takeaway you should get from watching Scrooged, only it’s about World Usabilty Day, not Christmas.

Imagine it’s World Usability Day in the year 2050… what has changed?

This is actually only 33 years away. So I’ll be 70 and hopefully by that time I’ll have figured out how to access the alternate keys on my MacBook keyboard. For others, the hope is that WUD has become either a public holiday, or that usability has seeped so much into the way we develop and produce everything, the day has become redundant.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Thanks so much for everyone who took part in #UXchat this week. Please follow us and tune into Twitter every Thursday at 4pm for more insightful UX based discussion.

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Main image courtesy of Yanguang Lan.

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher is the Content Marketing Manager of WhatUsersDo. He’s also a filmmaker and the editor of wayward pop culture site Methods Unsound. He used to be the deputy editor of Econsultancy and editor of Search Engine Watch.

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