Do you have to justify usability within your organization? At the second UX Book Club in Groningen meeting (hosted by Concept7) we read ‘Selling Usability: User Experience Infiltration Tactics’ by John S. Rhodes. We concluded this book could help you a long way in the right direction, but beware, there’s more to it…
Are you from Groningen, Friesland or Drenthe? Come and join the UX Book Club in Groningen.
We asked all visitors to formulate an opinion or a critique about the book before the meeting. Critiques about the book were diverse but almost all were positive. A lot of the readers thought they could very well use some of these infiltration tactics themselves or use them to advise their customers who have trouble justifying usability in their organizations.
In fact most of the tactics were used by the readers already. But there was never a book that formulated so many ways to win people for you in your quest to get usability into the minds of the people within an organization.
Bottom-up approach is not always enough
Get the book
There was some discussion about how some of the readers had trouble reaching the right people inside an organization. To change a complete organization (or to speed up the process) you’ll need to get in touch with the CEO or his managers either directly or indirectly.
The book doesn’t provide any hands-on tips to get up to CEO level. One of the readers explained how he helped an e-commerce manager at one of his client’s companies by providing him with the right data all the time but kept failing to convince top-level management.
After a while he found out that it could very well not be the data that wasn’t correct but the way the message was sent. In chapter 39 John describes that you need to think like a leader to get the message across.
Passion and enthousiasm are most important
The group recommends every UX designer within the field who feels himself limited by a lack of support from inside their organization (or their client’s) to read this book. Almost every discussion we had during the evening came to the same conclusion. However, the only way to get any of these tactics to work is to have a passionate sender to communicate the message.