Understanding valueAll relationships have their foundation in values. It’s about what you bring and what you expect in return. Though each relationship is different, they depend on these values to be truly healthy. For instance: My dog brings me happiness, daily exercise, and a feeling of responsibility and caring. In return, she gets exercise, food, shelter, and — most importantly — love in return. My clients get an agency-like quality delivered without the bureaucracy. They’ll get it on-time and mostly without revisions. In return, I get long-term engagements and clients that adapt to my way of working. Also, I don’t have to chase new clients! Facebook brings me updates from close and not-so-close friends. It really is a great experience and although there are things that could improve, the positives outweigh the negatives. The value it brings me in my daily life verify its worth. In return, I bring Facebook content and engagement. It might seem trivial, but it’s not trivial for Facebook.
What does this have to do with UX Design?When people ask what a UX Designer does, one thing I tell them is that I help companies align their product’s value with the expectations of their users. They certainly don’t want their users to expect too much and end up disappointed. Honestly, even giving the user more than they expect can leave them feeling overwhelmed. This is why aligning values and expectations is so important. It’s the first step to building long term relationships with your customers. Stable relationships thrive on balanced values. Each one of the examples above may be different in the values given/received, but without a balance, one side or the other will suffer.
Time vs. attention: everyday experiences have a costLike many of you, I attend my fair share of conferences over the year. In fact, The Conference in Malmö is one that I’ve loved attending yearly. However, this past year, I decided not to go. No, it has nothing to do with the speakers, the topics, or because my calendar is full of client work. It’s because I’ve come to a revelation: I simply can’t concentrate for an entire day — and I bet you can’t either.
If I’m too busy to take something on, I shouldn’t say “I don’t have the time”. In fact, I often do have the time. It’s not that hard to squeeze in some extra time for someone. What I don’t have – and what I can’t squeeze in – is more attention. Attention is a far more limited resource than time. — Jason Fried
While I may have the time for more projects, conferences, and other random stuff, I don’t have the attention for it. Other projects or my personal life would suffer from borrowing attention from them. I’m less and less willing to make that sacrifice. A conference, meeting, or app require effort. Sure, I could squeeze in 7 meetings a day, but my attention only will allow 3 or 4 of those to be productive.