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Designing the Company, Not the Product

In April, I posted a tweet that became one of my most retweeted of all time. Designing the product is all for naught if you don’t first take the time to design the organization. — Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) April 20, 2012 It was a single statement that was the culmination of 9 months of identity [Keep Reading...]

The Most Valuable Thing They Teach at Harvard Business School

It all comes down to one word: empathy. At Harvard Business School, renowned professor Clay Christensen helps his students see that the role of a business is to solve someone’s problem -– and therefore, by their very nature, all businesses are an exercise in empathy. James Allworth, a fellow at Harvard Business School’s Forum for [Keep Reading...]

The Purpose of a Business is to Create a Customer

A customer is defined as a person who pays a business for goods and services. If a person does not pay, they are not a customer. The nebulous term of “user” is assigned when a person is accessing goods and services without directly paying for them. Call them a visitor, a prospect, a constituent, whatever you want. Until they pay you, they’re no customer of yours — and you have not fulfilled upon your purpose as a business.

If Seth Godin were me…

Is Seth Godin reading my blog? His piece last week titled “If I were you…” is a booming echo of my mantra “The user is not like me“: “If I were you…” But of course, you’re not. And this is the most important component of strategic marketing: we’re not our customer. Godin has written a [Keep Reading...]

We Don’t Know Anything

We don’t know. We believe we know. Our experiences, education, instincts and values all add up to our beliefs. They also include assumptions and misperceptions and past truths. We believe something once and then we “know” it forever, because that’s easier than always having to ask. Asking isn’t easy. It takes time. It introduces risk. [Keep Reading...]

User Experience is Not Enough

Designing the product is all for naught if you don’t first take the time to design the organization. — Whitney Hess (@whitneyhess) April 20, 2012 I’ve been a user experience designer for the entirety of my career. And in the decade I’ve spent doing this work, I have discovered that there is only one universal [Keep Reading...]

Whit Hour – Week 16

Thank you so much to the ~22 people who showed up for the sixteenth week of Whit Hour — my weekly one-hour video chat to answer any and all of your questions about user experience, consulting, and whatever else you throw at me. Tune in every Monday night from 10-11pm Eastern Time at http://www.livestream.com/whithour. Whit [Keep Reading...]