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Tankar kring user experience, användbarhet och effektstyrning

Christofer Blom, Senior Art Director, iZettle.

iZettle are sending a team to FBTB17: “Really useful!”

Ola Nilsson

Many organisations send a whole team to the From Business to Buttons conference. iZettle are sending eleven of their best and brightest this year, and some of them have been to previous conferences. The have several reasons for their visits.
– To get new inspiration, and new ways of thinking, says Christofer Blom, iZettle.

All about From Business to Buttons here!

What is it about From Business to Buttons that make you want to come?

– I was there last year with a colleague. I thought it was really useful. UX plays an important part in our daily business, says Christofer Blom, Senior Art Director, iZettle.

– I got a lot of inspiration and I also got it confirmed that we have made some good calls.

And this year, what are your expectations?

– To get new inspiration, new ways of thinking and learn some lessons from other companies.

iZettle is just one of many companies that join the conference in a group. Why don't you do the same? Groups of 5 or more can get a special group discount at From Business to Buttons 2017. Contact jane.murray@inuse.se for more information!

And another thing – have you seen the workshops? There are four to choose from; UX Strategy, Designing for Real Life, Storymapping the User Experience and Presenting Work Like Your Life Depends On It.

The many faces of Impact Mapping

Ingrid Domingues

In this article Ingrid Domingues describes how an Impact Map develops, how it can be used, how you may find new solutions to well-known problems and much, much more. Sit back, read, and find out about the many aspects that this communication tool covers.

Want to learn more – get a lecture or grab a course seat at inUse Academy!

Impact Mapping is a technique used to explore, discuss and evaluate the impact of a digital service. It can be used for:  

  • Outlining an idea.
  • Communicating a project where a digital service is developed.
  • Describing an existing service.
  • Evaluating and choosing solutions.

Outlining an idea

When you need to work on an idea, Impact Maps are excellent for focusing a discussion. This first draft of an Impact Map is solely based on the understanding of business impact and the needs that people already have. Therefore, the first draft is usually in the form WHY-WHO-WHAT, since demographic grouping of users is the everyday way to speak about users. It is always better to start outlining in the more mature WHY-HOW-WHAT form, if that is possible. However, they both represent assumptions of user behavior.   

This first draft Impact Map can be completed with minor preparations. Three things are needed:

  • A fair understanding of the business and its performance.
  • Some idea of the new service and how it serves the business.
  • A workshop where business managers are coached into creating this first Impact Map.

When the idea is transformative for the business, some structured pre-work is great, for example by making a Business or Service Model Canvas. When the idea is to enhance an existing business or service, less preparation is needed. A bit of research about the business and its performance, plus a few interviews with managers will do.  

This initial Impact Map will give an idea of the scope, and input to research activities. Which users should you meet and interview? Which problems are already known? Which contexts of use are you addressing with the new solution? Are there user needs that are not addressed by the initial idea?

Communicating a project 

Impact Maps are excellent for communication. When an Impact Map has been cleansed of assumptions, and detailed by defining user behaviors, it is great for communication within the project team, as well as with managers and decision makers outside the team. 

A first draft of the Impact Map is based on assumptions. The next step is to do research on user needs, learning about situations, activities, thoughts and behaviors in relation to the new service. By doing this research you can define a thoroughly based Impact Map in the form WHY-HOW-WHAT, that gives excellent ground for innovative user experience design and project management based on impact. It makes it possible to find new solutions to well-known problems. And it reveals business opportunities for needs that have been underserved. 

An Impact Map grounded on user research will give a great understanding on what is needed to make people like and use the new service. It contains descriptions of their behavior, grouped into different Users, and prioritized. The priority is making it clear which behaviours that create most impact, thus giving the very best ground for designing good solutions, and managing the project. 

An Impact Map based on research is used for test and evaluation from day one. It contains metrics that guide the design work and are the basis for evaluating prototypes and designs. Along the way, when design suggestions are tested, and we learn more about the fine details of user needs, the metrics are refined. From the tests you will also learn more about user needs, and the Impact Map can visualise all you learn about users and their needs. By the end of the project, the Impact Map will include everything that is needed for the product manager/owner to follow up on the new solution's impact on users and business.

The agile software delivery community made a version of the Impact Map, where user behavior is defined by what the service provider wants users to do (more of, less of, or stop doing), instead of describing real user needs. Describing desired user behaviour is well suited for the first outline and gives good direction for research. The agile community advocates that this initial Impact Map should also be used during development for designing, planning and evaluating a project. If the project is managed in a true build-measure-learn way, and if trying out prototypes includes proper user research, that could work out nicely.

However, omitting research on user behavior during pre-development will create a need for more development cycles than otherwise. And – even more serious – you might miss possible unknown user needs; needs that could have even greater impact. Also, a WHY-WHO-WHAT Impact Map lacks prioritization, since it is impossible to prioritize demographic groups. This makes the Impact Map less suited for outlining and planning development work when there is a limited budget.  

Describing an existing service

Impact Maps are first and foremost communication tools. The Impact Map explains the desired impact of a certain service, describes how this impact is created by users, and which capabilities the solution must have to satisfy users in all possible contexts. 

The assumption behind Impact Maps is that any service exists to fulfil a purpose for the business that provides it. If that is the case, an Impact Map of the service will be the perfect tool to maintain the service once it is launched. To choose which functionality, content or visual design parts that need to be upgraded. And also in how this should be designed in order to create the desired impact. 

Impact Maps can be created in a development project. That will be a perfect way to help the team provide a service that delivers the intended values. 

Impact Maps can also be developed in hindsight, for an existing service. Usually, there is documentation on users and functionality that can be included in an Impact Map based on demographic users, their work tasks, and functionality. When this is all in place, take time to define impact and capabilities for the service. And take that to the level where the product owner can use the map for the daily work of prioritizing what to spend time and money on. We used this way of working with one of our clients; they could discard one third of all change requests, and thereby saved more than one man.year of development time.    

Evaluating and choosing solutions

The purpose of the Impact Map is to make sure that the designed and developed solution meets expectations on impact: That the solution will support users in the intended way, and that the expected business impact will achieved. One of the most important capacities of Impact Maps is that they provide strong means for testing solutions, used by its intended users, in realistic contexts. 

In other words: Impact Maps make it possible to evaluate any given solution, to see if the solution meets the expectations for users and if it leads to the desired impact for business. This is the core capability of Impact Maps, which makes them a tool in the development process – to judge design solutions. 

It also makes Impact Maps the perfect tool for evaluating off-the-shelf systems. With the Impact Map it is possible to evaluate how systems perform in use, and to rate their ability to create the desired impact.

More about Impact Maps in these articles: The Birth of Impact Mapping and The Evolution of Impact Mapping.

Välkommen! Camilla Nilsson!

Ola Nilsson

Camilla Nilsson, ny Project Manager på inUse, har tagit plats på Göteborgskontoret. Välkommen!

Vill du också jobba på inUse – kolla vad vi söker just nu!

Camilla Nilsson kommer senast från Omegapoint och kommer ha titeln Project Manager på inUse.

Vad är det som lockat dig hit?

– Jag har alltid hört goda vitsord om inUse. Har arbetat med konsulter ifrån inUse i tidigare projekt, har alltid varit nöjd med deras kompetens och leveranser. Extra kul är att de då också har lyft fram hur stolta de är över att arbeta här.

– Det finns en enorm kompetens och drivkraft – vi kan verkligen påverka vardagen för många människor genom att göra system och produkter enklare att använda. 

Vad har du gjort tidigare?

– Jag har lång erfarenhet att leda och driva digitala projekt både som beställare och leverantör. Har haft förmånen att arbeta med otroligt duktiga kollegor och kunder i många spännande och utmanande projekt.

Vad är dina styrkor?

– Jag har lätt för att knyta nya kontakter och är bra på att bygga relationer. Jag har förmågan att bemöta och kommunicera med chefer och medarbetare på alla nivåer. Jag är positiv och full med sprudlande energi.

Vill du också jobba på inUse – kolla vad vi söker just nu!

Effektkartläggning XL – ett tredagars träningsläger i effektkartläggning

Ola Nilsson

På den nya kursen Effektkartläggning XL använder deltagarna sina egna frågor och problem medan de drillas i hantverket med att ta fram effektkartor. 
– Kursen är från onsdag till fredag. Efteråt har deltagarna en effektkarta de skulle kunna arbeta vidare med på måndagen, säger kursledare Mikael Sköld.

Här bokar du Effektkartläggning XL-kursen!

Att göra en effektkarta är inte så svårt om man kan grunderna, men att bli riktigt vass kräver övning. På de tre dagar den nya Effektkartläggning XL-kursen pågår får man stora möjligheter att vända på perspektiven och slipa på detaljerna. Deltagarna intervjuar, analyserar, och diskuterar. Så småningom växer en effektkarta fram som svarar mot gruppens egna utmaningar. 

– Kursen är till för dem som vill bli riktigt bra på hantverket. Deltagarna har med sina egna, riktiga, problem in, och man kommer ha med sig något hem som går att använda, säger kursledaren Mikael Sköld, User Experience Strategist & Designer på inUse.

Så hur går det till? Hur gör man för att få till effektkartor anpassade till sina egna problem – på en tredagarskurs?

– Deltagarna tar med sina ämnen, och vi bildar grupper om tre-fyra med liknande intressen och som kan enas om en problemställning. Sen använder vi hela gruppen som resurs.

Viktig del av hantverket

– Första dagen jobbar vi med att formulera bra effektmål med fokus och mätbarhet. Därefter förbereder deltagarna intervjuer med användare. 

Och sen, dag två?

– Dag två genomför man användarintervjuerna. Genom kreativitet och ihärdighet kommer vi få ihop tillräckligt många intervjuer – för analys och beskrivning av beteendemönster – framåt eftermiddagen. 

Intervjuerna är en viktig källa till insikter som gör kartan trovärdig och åtgärderna grundade i verkliga behov. 

– Grejen är att göra allt tillräckligt mycket så man känner sig bekväm och varm i kläderna och vet precis hur man ska göra sen. 

Reflekterar gemensamt

– Analysen ska bli väldigt spännande. Varje grupp har sina olika problemområden och diskuterar fram lösningen tillsammans, så det är inte direkt så att jag kan presentera några i förväg förberedda lösningsförslag, säger Mikael Sköld. 

– Det blir väldigt spännande för mig som ledare och coach. Väldigt kul att komma in och hjälpa till att vrida och vända på perspektiven. 

Och slutfasen, dag tre? Man analyserar vidare, vrider och vänder på detaljer med kartan…

– Ja, och sen tänkte jag ge deltagarna möjlighet att visualisera lösningen med hjälp av någon kompletterande metod, för att sätta effektkartan i sitt sammanhang. Man kan göra en kundresa, man kanske skissar en storyboard eller kanske till och med gör en prototyp. Beroende på vad deltagarna vill. 

För just det, det handlar inte om en vanlig kurs. Det beror på deltagarna vad man uppnår för egen del. Vi har valt att också benämna Effektkartläggning XL som ett träningsläger, inte bara en kurs.

– Det är träning i metoden. Det innebär att nöta de olika stegen tillräckligt länge. Det finns inget färdigt lösningsförslag. Deltagarna måste själva komma fram till något som de ska bygga vidare på.

–  Skulle det finnas förbättringspotential i effektkartan vid kursens slut – vilket det nästan alltid gör – kan deltagarna fortsätta med ett nytt svep över de intressanta delarna. Precis som man skulle gjort i ett vanligt agilt projekt. 

Mikael Sköld har gett kurser i effektkartläggning sedan 2007. I denna kurs är han – som alltid – ständigt alert.

– Det är verkligen hands on-metoden. Min roll som coach handlar om att hjälpa till så att de inte fastnar, utan istället tar det vidare. 

”Träningslägret” vänder sig såväl till designer, affärsutvecklare, projektledare som team-medlemmar med flera som vill bli bra på effektkartläggning som hantverk. 

– Effektkartläggning som metod är i sig väldigt bred så den går egentligen att tillämpa på vad som helst – produkter, tjänster, webbar, processer, kampanjer... Där du vill förändra människors beteenden och uppnå rätt verksamhetsmål. 

Här bokar du Effektkartläggning XL-kursen!

The Evolution of Impact Mapping

Ingrid Domingues

And it evolved. The Impact mapping technique. Different stages, followed by new discussions and new ideas. Follow the work towards the three levels – Why, how, what.

In need of inspiration? Check out our lectures!

The original idea was to give project teams and business managers a technique to explore, discuss and evaluate the impact of a digital service. Impact to users and to the business at hand. We were dead tired of business and project managers making priorities based on project cost, and skipping evaluation during the early project lifecycle, when there was still time to do a better design.  

We soon came up with the basic concept that the map should give a clear way of reasoning from solution to desired impact. And that the Impact Map must explain how this impact is created in use. Thus, the Impact Map was constructed in three levels:

  • Impact – the difference that this service brings to the business and its organization.
  • Use – needs and behaviors that the service could satisfy.
  • Solution – the capabilities that satisfy user needs.

We knew in our hearts that design and development must be based on impact, not features. But how to define impact in a way that can be a solid ground for design? And to support evaluation of prototypes and solutions? I remember us having a three day (!) intense discussion on whether the User layer should be constructed of actions, situations or needs. 

Best suited for prioritization

The key insight was that the User level was the level best suited for prioritization. Prioritizing some needs more than others, makes it clear how the desired impact can arise, thus gives great ground for design and evaluation. Still we had two alternatives – grouping needs into users that were prioritized, or prioritizing needs without grouping with users. We realized that going directly to needs would usually result in a long list. And we did not feel convinced that the technique and model would be useful if the concept of User was omitted. 

In our first descriptions of the Impact Map, we used the concept of: 

  • WHY – the impact for business as the result of this service (Impact level).
  • WHO – the needs and behaviours that users have (Use level). 
  • WHAT – what we will build in order to satisfy users (Solution level).

Unfortunately, when people tried to do Impact Maps, the Use level often ended up being demographic groups. Describing users as “young adopters”, “subscribers”, etcetera is an established way for clients to talk about users –  marketing, IT and others will understand those. The problem with demographic descriptions is that they do not give guidance when designing and prioritizing. One demographic group often has the exact same behavior as another demographic group. 

Three levels

Soon enough, we understood that the concept of HOW is what is needed, to make every effort to in depth understand and describe how users think, act and behave. This is, in essence, the same concept as Simon Sineks’ “The Golden Circle”

The structure for Impact Maps is therefore the three levels: 

  • WHY – why this service is meaningful to invest in, the impact for business (Impact level). 
  • HOW – how users think, act and behave in situations where the service is anyhow present, grouped and prioritized (Use level).
  • WHAT – what the solution must provide to users (Solution level).

By expressing Users as behavioural patterns, the Impact Map gives excellent ground for innovative user experience design and project management based on impact. It makes it possible to find new solutions to well-known problems. It also reveals business opportunities for needs that have been underserved.

In need of inspiration? Check out our lectures!