September 2019 #CX Briefing

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Four Things That I’m Thinking About CX

  • The word “design” is a curious one because it’s a known word to C-suite executives, client service folks, industry analysts, front-end developers, back-end developers, empowered product managers, disempowered product managers, management consultants, brand strategists, agile project managers, and also the folks who call themselves “designers.”
  • There’s a varying degree of importance ascribed to the word “design” because, like all words, it means something different depending upon who is using the word and *when* it’s being used in the process of creating value for a customer, client, user, patient, constituent, buyer, seller, and any of the organizational roles I mentioned just above.
  • Because there’s a long history of design needing to “fight” for its existence alongside other disciplines to be perceived as equally valuable to CFOs, I find that design debate erupts when we consider the entire system of value creation and when/where design can/should play a material role on a team. Why? Because there’s a history of its oppression.
  • So when people ask me why I am high-centered around the word “experience” I guess the simple answer is that it doesn’t have meaningful ownership by any specific capability group. It’s used most commonly in marketing, and it’s starting to be used in the context of entirely digital business transformations where I work. I’m betting it’ll catch on.

Three Things I’ve Noticed In The Last 30 Days

  • My new book How To Speak Machine is now fully baked and ready to deploy in November. Its central thesis is that computation is *a-ma-zing* but it has encultured and automated an alarmingly efficient means to make our world even more imbalanced. The only way to correct that imbalance is if more people learn how to speak machine (computation).
  • The world of technology is fully recognizing how wealth IMBALANCE has long been a societal norm, and the alarming ease with which the haves get to do things, versus the have-nots, is becoming more obvious. As a result, the CX world will need to increasingly contend with the ethical aspects of an experience: we need to be “wow-ed” with ethics.
  • Our conversation about the environment is literally heating up, and my spending most of my recent time in North America has made me ignorant about the work being done across the world to more fully address climate change. Environmental activists like Greta Thunberg are breaking through to the mass media, and I’ve increased my reading in this area.

Two Unsolicited Non-Tech Products That I ❤

  • The Whiskey River Soap candle that reads “A Candle for *-ing Meetings: Smells like this could have been an email” will definitely be a best seller this holiday season.
  • The bestselling book, “So You Want To Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo is a bestseller for a good reason: it’s eminently useful for any thoughtful professional today.

One Special Link

One Final Point

  • I’m getting this “monthly” newsletter in just under the wire for September. And I know I’m way behind on making my YouTube videos. But I’m having such great fun at Publicis Sapient as Global Chief Experience Officer, and I am still within my first 100 days. So this is a teeny glimpse of what’s been on my mind — thanks for being curious with me.

Comments on Fast Company’s Design in Tech Report Press Coverage

I’ve learned a lot about how the press can turn a short telephone conversation into something sensationalistic, and slightly twist what I really said. But their business model requires getting attention — so I understand the WHY behind it all. What I didn’t expect was to find so many folks out there who rushed to turn it into a platform for how they see the world in contrast to an imagined (and diametric) position that I carried. THAT has been the most interesting learning for me.

When I read the clickbait-y headline I almost fell out of my chair 😱. But I immediately recognized and understood that Fast Company is a business — and their job is to generate interest in a topic to improve their business position.

Context: Most interviews that get written about you don’t have sign off from the interviewee (me) so you never what or how an article is going to come out. In the early 2000s I was misquoted by Wired and it felt a bit icky — so that’s why I started a blog in 2004 on WordPress. Because my blog let me speak in my own words, versus the interpretations by someone else.

Continue reading “Comments on Fast Company’s Design in Tech Report Press Coverage”

On Simplicity, in WSJ Magazine

WSJ Magazine, March 6, 2019

When I began studying design 30 years ago, I started as a technologist. It’s a very complex world—computer code, chip design—and I realized how important it was to make things simple, because it concerned everything in your daily life. If those things you bump into in your house or carry around with you were complex, they were going to make your life terrible. I wrote simple computer programs that would produce complex outcomes. I simplified complex technological experiences. Many designers love to live in a KonMari-style house where everything is super-duper organized; their clothes are folded standing up, and there’s joy or whatever. But I tend to like complexity and diversity around me. Creative people are inherently spatial learners. They understand through objects in their environments. It’s what feeds their spatial memory, their creativity.