For us, this has been not just a brand-building exercise. It’s actually an integral part of our business. We’ve been able to view the live business through the same prism that we view the digital and print businesses: We’re an editorial company that brings our editorial brand to whatever platform we’re working on.
Understanding customer needs and building the product to solve those needs are critical. But so is developing a process to destroy the inertia of doing things “the old fashioned way” and catalyze users to change their workflows to enact change. That’s the only way to speed the adoption of change, whether in medicine or in technology.
Listening is an art. When people are speaking, they require our undivided attention. We focus on them; we listen very carefully. We listen to the spoken words and the unspoken messages. This means looking directly at the person, eyes connected; we forget we have a watch, just focusing for that moment on that person. It’s called respect, it’s called appreciation - and it’s called leadership.
When user research gets cut out of the product development life cycle, Marketing is reduced to advertising and UX is reduced to visual design. Advertising and visual design are wildly important, but both are late stage activities in a larger product development lifecycle that needs to engage marketing and UX from the beginning.
If you want to hire creative thinkers, interview them in pairs, and beware of the over-eager interviewee nodding, bucking, and jiving when you’re trying to tell him or her about your company. That guy’s probably a little slow.
Museums just seem to have this borrowed cachet—if I want to seem cultural, I will design something cultural. I resist the idea that culture is only opera houses or theatres. Culture is your entire life around you: toilets, the bus, the curb or the dump where you drag your waste. Culture has come to mean the arts, but it’s swimming pools as well.