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How has UX helped some of your clients?

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DOMINIC: At Avanade, I think there’s two answers to that question. One, internally with Avanade, we’ve helped our business apply UX and for our clients also. For Avanade, with moving to a UX-level design-led approach to solving our client’s problems. You know, we’ve moved away from doing what we did really well, which is understanding our client’s issue or problem, extrapolating that and leading with a product-led solution. I’ll give you a really great example. We just recently worked with a large telecommunications organisation in Australia and they came to us and said, “You know, we need to move off our intranet.” Our intranet is on a legacy system, which we don’t want to continue on for some licencing reasons.
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You know, we want a new one. And our typical response would be to, you know, technically understand that challenge, learn the infrastructure, learn, you know, licencing or whatever other technical challenges they may have and then lead with a product. Well, SharePoint is your answer. So, for us, it’s that, which is now in the market, irreversible trend in the market to lead with, well, what’s actually right for your users. What evidence do we have from your users and putting those users first in a true user-centred design approach. So, that for us at Avanade, it’s two-fold. So, one changing how we approach a problem with our clients. And the second is the result that drives for our clients.
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And that works really well with Agile as well. So, in that example, we went to our clients and said, well we don’t know what we don’t, we don’t know what we don’t know. And certainly, we haven’t spent any time with your users to actually understand, you know, what’s driving them, what do they want? They had a very information-based site and we wanted to shift that to a task-based. So, what are you coming to that intranet to actually do?
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And we used a blend of human-centred design and that’s really, the human-centred design, I talked about that a little bit about that previously, you know, that’s a way for us to use divergent thinking and convergent thinking to really bring those ideas to life and we’re really expansive. In fact, in that scenario, we came up with 400 different things that users actually wanted and use convergent thinking to prioritise that with Agile. And we’re able to break that into workable pieces where we can deliver an MVP versus a future state. And the great thing, this is the thing I love about experience design, I know it’s probably one of the questions.
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You know, through visual design we’ll actually able to, you know, present a picture of what the future looks like. And that was amazing for the client to see. Well, now I haven’t really driven my solution with a product, launched it, deployed it and wondered, “Hey, why aren’t my users loving this? You know, we’ve actually sat down, develop something based on evidence from actual users and then deployed that and not only deployed that, you know, we’ve given a roadmap based on that user feedback, on where to go to in the future. And that’s what’s really exciting about UX and Agile working together.

How quickly can you test your ideas?

It is a mindset, and a collection of techniques (many of which you’ve learned) that will help you prioritise what to test, and test it quickly, no unnecessary steps, or no “fat”.
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