Four Articles for a New Year

by Jared M. Spool

Design is no longer—if it was ever—just about making stuff look pretty.

In 2019, we saw new progress in our teams’ and stakeholders’ mindsets on the importance of design. For this year-end wrap-up, we’ve picked four of this year’s articles that center on the expanding ways we can look at design, and how it’s important to our organizations.

#1: The Growing Demand for UX Managers

The hot UX job right now is User Experience Manager. It’s a sign that things are changing for the better. UX is growing in importance inside many organizations.

Organizations only need managers when they’ve been growing their design teams. They only grow their teams when they value design.

However, there’s a problem. There aren’t enough experienced UX managers to fill all open positions. Experienced UX managers are often happy where they are. It takes years for new managers to get the requisite experience to manage growing teams.

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#2: UX and CX: Same Language; Different Dialects

We’ve looked closely at high-performance CX and UX teams in dozens of organizations. What we learned was that they uniformly work towards an identical goal. They all want the organization to deliver the best experience for anyone who interacts with their organization’s products or services.

The difference between the CX and UX team is not their mission, but their origin. Because of that difference, they achieve the goal quite differently.

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#3: Understanding the Kano Model – A Tool for Sophisticated Designers

Working with our clients, we’ve seen teams prioritize their work using the Kano Model. They’re constantly monitoring their users’ current basic expectations, to make sure there’s nothing they’re missing. They are always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to add excitement generators. And they use the performance payoff to help understand how much delight they can generate with new features.

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#4: Zooming In and Out of UX Design Resolutions

In UX design, our tools and methods also need to change, depending on which resolution we zoom into. For screen-level UX design work, we created tools like usability testing and form design heuristics, to help us see problems at the screen resolution.

For application/site-wide UX design, we created sitemaps and wireframes. These tools aren’t as useful for screen resolution work, but they’re perfect for application/site-wide work.

For organization-wide UX design, we created design systems, service blueprints, and customer journey maps. Again, these are only of minimal value when we’re working at the lower resolutions.

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About the Author

Jared M. Spool is a co-founder of Center Centre and the founder of UIE. In 2016, with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, he opened Center Centre, a new design school in Chattanooga, TN to create the next generation of industry-ready UX Designers. They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared’s decades of UX experience with Leslie’s mastery of experience-based learning methodologies.


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