Six Lenses The Locus Research blog about creatvity, design, product development and innovation.

Selling UX - Dan Szuc

Much as Apple is a cliche, Dan Szuc points out that their stores are a great example of selling UX

Aided by an exemplary breakfast at the Downtown Quay West bistro, those who got up early enough to catch Dan Szuc's talk on Selling UX were well rewarded. His engaging and insightful presentation drew on his decade of experience as a UX practitioner for his Hong Kong-based company Apogee Usability Asia.

Some of my highlights from the presentation were:

The importance of a UX culture. Say what you will about Google, but they've managed to create a strong culture of UX, to the point where their guidelines ask whether something is "Googly". Most organisations are centred around engineering, design, or sales - all with their own cultures and issues.

UX Language is Ugly - UX practitioners have had a history of needing to defend their processes, to the point that we may hide behind jargon such as "wireframes", "personas", and ""clickthroughs". If we are to sell, we need to use known examples (Apple, Google) and only talk about process and terms where necessary. (It also helps to be engaging and accessible!)

What does it take organisationally to design great experiences?

  1. UX Vision - having a sense of something bigger -. (I particularly liked the two diagrams on placing experiences. For the record: Szuc rated Apple as being half-way between emotional and spiritual.
    Also see his related Johnny Holland discussion
  2. Collaboration 
  3. Iteration & failure
  4. Communications - think about methods to get engineering, sales, and design to all speak the same language (e.g. with case studies, results, shared values)
  5. Leadership - Dan believes in the importance of UX Leadership to the extent that he and fellow UX practitioner Will Evans have created the website on this very topic, as well as a number of discussions.

Dan is in New Zealand until the beginning of August on a "student exchange" (as he calls it) with Optimal Usability, and as well as running workshops in Auckland and Wellington be doing another free breakfast chat in Wellington on the 29th of July (RSVP) and a less early-bird set at the UX Meetup in Auckland again in the first week of August. If you have the time to catch his talk, I highly recommend it. (For those who can't, as well as his above slides, you can read  some of his articles on the topic, hear his earlier version of this talk from UX Australia 2009).

For more on Dan Szuc check out his Useful Usability interview.



Selling UX Slideshare presentation
Communicating a UX Vision discussion
UX Leadership site
What Are the Ingredients to Become a Great Leader discussion
Selling UX article - UX Matters
Selling UX article- Johnny Holland
Selling UX - UX Australia Slies and Audio
Useful Usability interview
Apogee Usability Asia


Upcoming NZ Workshops
UX Meetup

Vicky Teinaki's picture
Vicky Teinaki
Vicky Teinaki is the Locus Research interaction designer. She also regularly contributes to the interaction design online magazine Johnny Holland.


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