Thursday, March 6, 2008

Stages of Acceptance of User-centered Design

Here's a draft framework for thinking about how people move from not appreciating the importance of user experience to a place where they build it into everything they do.

The idea here is that if you want to create a user-centered product, you need to create a user-centered culture. And in order to create a user-centered culture, you need to move individuals through these stages of understanding. The type of training and influence required for an individual depends on which stage they're in.

Here's a hypothesis for the stages of "getting it" that people need to go through.

  1. You are not your user
  2. Understanding users requires direct contact with them
  3. Knowledge about users must be grounded in real data and must be actionable
  4. Business results depend on satisfying users
  5. Every decision should be influenced by its implications for the user experience
  6. Specialists can really help, but everyone is responsible for the user experience

What's your experience in helping people through stages? What part of this rings true, and what parts need to be removed or revised?

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