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Start the Journey to a People-Centered Product
Is it possible to have a fully people-centered product, without compromising your people value for business, marketing or development requirements? I believe it is and this is how you can start.
It sounds impossible. You are probably already forming some arguments in your head about why it can’t be true. If you are, it means you are not listening, and it brings us to the first principle of the “Understanding Practise”.
Principle 1: If you disagree, change your argument into a question.
We tend to be triggered by words, we assume we’ve heard the arguments before or where the person is going and our head fills with counter arguments leaving us with no capacity to listen. This disrupts the engagement with the other party involved and the opportunity for growth is lost. It is very rare that a person can communicate the full value of their intent with one sentence. By changing your argument into a question, you will give the other person the opportunity to clarify, and you might learn something (you grow) or alternatively, you give them the opportunity to reconsider or adjust their point of view or realise themselves that they might have missed something (they grow). This is an optimal experience for improving understanding for all parties involved.
Continuing, I can discuss for days, weeks, months or even longer on how our current ways of working (Business, Product, Marketing, UX) isn’t optimal or downright BS and you probably have experienced parts of this (only for those moments to evaporate like mist in your pursuit to meet business goals & deadlines), and even have had the opportunity to optimise your processes, put some extra effort in to find “real” customer value, etc., but it wouldn’t be optimal. This makes me wonder if our current collection of processes to define value, is nothing more than desperate attempts to survive a systemic environment of untimely growth expectations, two-week development cycles and non-people centred target settings for departments.
What would be optimal, is to show you what your future could look like and the practises to get there (second principle of “Understanding”).
Principle 2: The fastest way to be in the world you want to be, is not to focus your energy on breaking things down, but to live the world you want to be in (not to be confused with “fake it until you make it”).
People resist change, but they voluntarily go to a place they want to be. It took a long time for businesses to accept UX practices, but once they saw the benefits other companies were gaining, they all wanted in. Create an environment that allows people to prosper and they will queue at your gate.
If you are interested in discussing these topics in future, subscribe. It is free. I might consider in future to charge for subscriber requested topics (request a breakdown of a specific industry for Product Research), but the rest I intend to keep free.
Most of my work has been in utilities; ecommerce, money management, logistics, tax, warehousing, banking, investing, support, and my recommendations would apply for those and related industries. I believe that social and entertainment applications have different experience requirements (emotional, value) compared to utility apps (functional, control) and would require some adjustments in the Strategy phase (E.I.S - Explore, Identify, Strategy) of my Product Research.
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