Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Despite the lack of hard evidence that Ford actually uttered those words, the phrase is wielded by lots of designers and business owners who want to justify basing decisions on their instincts rather than engage [Keep Reading…]
Earlier this year I had a client who hired me to redesign the first step in their 3-step process. The page was getting loads of customer complaints and the last three iterations on the design hadn’t helped. As always, I started the project by interviewing key stakeholders: the product manager, the product owner, the head [Keep Reading…]
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…]
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…]
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.
My friend Steve Portigal, an esteemed customer research consultant in the Bay Area, has a series on his blog titled “War Stories” — anecdotes from ethnographic researchers about the craziest things that have happened to them in the field. One entry from Priya Sohoni is particularly striking. Titled “Taking empathy to a whole new level,” [Keep Reading…]
How often do you get hugged at work? How often do you give them? Paul Zak, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA, is conducting a study that shows that Oxytocin, the chemical released by hugs and many other positive interpersonal interactions, increases [Keep Reading…]