Balanced Team 2012 Closing Circle

At the end of the Balanced Team conference in Chicago June 22-24, we formed a closing circle and asked each person to say one thing they would take away from the event. I’ve paraphrased peoples’ comments and organized them into themes for easier reading.

CULTURE

  • Qualities of a company that can produce good UX: Vision, feedback loops, culture (per Jared Spool)
  • Design the organization for balance
  • Process leads to culture, culture is established by leadership
  • Culture is what you make it. Culture your culture
  • Leadership matters
  • Designing the product means you have to design the business, which covers the end to end user experience

VISION

  • Focus on output over outcome (referencing something Jeff Patton said)
  • Experience defines features, and helps determine right MVP

INTERACT with USERS/CUSTOMERS

  • It’s not enough to build process to know your users. It’s vital that people get to see it first-hand
  • Kidnap the CEO and take him/her to see users
  • Buyer goals and user goals are connected

POLY-SKILLED PEOPLE

  • More skills, smaller teams
  • Broken comb people (+3) [per Jared Spool’s presentation]

TEAMWORK

  • I’m going to hire a designer so we can have a more balanced team
  • Involve everyone in design thinking and focus on the product
  • Experience is important to having a good product and interpersonal relationships. Focus on good experience leads to better work.
  • How UX principles apply to the product and organization. Everyone is involved in the UX of the product
  • The power of integrated thinking
  • Bring developers on board early, help them see the big picture
  • Designer-as-facilitator (+1)

HOW do we KNOW it’s GOOD?

  • I will test my hypothesis and get validation
  • How do we check for results as we try to make “better products?”

SERVICE COMPANIES and FREELANCE considerations

  • People said there’s a transition in power as they go from consultant to in-house. Does this have to be true?
  • As a service org, how can we manage the expectations of our clients and influence their decisions?
  • Likes the idea of charging by feature (as discussed by 8thLight)

The BALANCED TEAM COMMUNITY

  • I met like-minded people (+1)
  • I liked learning about balanced team
  • I’m not alone
  • Nice to be with the other kool-aid drinkers
  • We are fellow travelers who can help each other with day-to-day tactics
  • I’m not crazy, other people think like I do
  • There are people out there who can help me
  • Your passion feeds mine
  • Great to meet people who are doing it and have advice for other people in the group
  • Appreciated the trust, respect and openness of the group

FUTURE of BALANCED TEAM group

  • We’re going someplace together. Where next?

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

  • There are different solutions for different situations. It’s OK to move/change jobs/careers
  • Lots to think about, thanks

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