Harnessing the power of UX #AdrenalinSessions

by Laura Turner & Jenni Hayward
14 Mar 2017
6 min read
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Harnessing the power of UX #AdrenalinSessions

The aroma of freshly ground coffee filled the room as guests filed in to join us for the second #AdrenalinSessions. Hosted over at our R&D lab Adrenalin X, the morning event was focused on how to harness the power of the user experience.

The UX industry has gained great momentum and attention in recent years as the link between user experience and brand loyalty grows ever stronger.

We decided to bring together two experts from different fields of UX to share their expertise and experience. The room teemed with guests from a variety of industries from banking and government to creative agencies, all keen to hear about the lastest UX trends and learnings.

Here's a video from the event:

This a summary of the session's presentations:

Speaker: Sheilah Hogan, Objective Experience

First up was Sheilah Hogan, Managing Director of Objective Experience – a user behaviour testing consultancy. Sheilah has many years’ experience working as the CEO of various successful international companies. She knows the C-Suite inside out and so shared her tips on to how to quickly and effectively communicate the importance and strategic benefit of UX to time-poor senior management. Here are some of the key points she made about finding the true value of UX.:

“Put humans and stakeholders at the center of what you do”

Sheilah discussed how in this day and age it is a switching economy (consumers are less loyal and free to change between brands and business, with little to no cost to them).  With this in mind companies need to use UX to capture and engage customers for a share of the $1.6 billion dollars available within the switching economy.

"Diminishing brand loyalty. Customers no longer put up with a bad experience."            

“Good UX enables the speed to market with a sound risk mitigation strategy.”

When speaking to the C-Suite and explaining the importance of UX, Sheilah suggested these three key steps to keep in mind:

  1. Cut to the bottom line - cognitive load is a maximum of 18 minutes. Listening is hard so you need to wrap up and deliver what you need to communicate in a short amount of time. Explain: What’s working, what’s not, and how to fix it.
  2. Leverage innovative channels – keep up with trends. Bring the person back to the center of the story. Bring the customer to your audience with tangible evidence in parallel with innovative technology. I.e. Comm banks innovative hub – Sydney.
  3. Tell the whole story – big data + human factors = whole picture. Data only tells you ‘what’ but you need to ask the question ‘why’. Bring in the human element to avoid running into trouble with false truths.

“Apply UX early and apply it often”

Sheilah talked through three case studies Objective Experience has worked on for; Cancer Council, DBS Bank in Singapore and Google. Key take outs from these were:

"Invest in research to give tangible evidence of what marketing is working and what’s not."

Using eye-tracking glasses enables you to learn about customers’ natural habits and allows for mapping of customer interactions outside of the online space. This type of tracking helps to articulate behaviours that people may not be aware that they are doing.

Additional information gained from asking questions is essential: in the case of DBS Bank in Singapore - Singaporeans expect stand in line for 30 minutes at a bank however, there was only a 2 minute video loop. The eye-tracking showed that people lost interest after the loop finished and so they were losing customer’s attention. This insight highlighted the importance of data AND communicating and asking the right questions.

Google wanted to know if people are watching TV ads. By eye-tracking it was possible to capture genuine insights without going into people’s homes and asking them.

“Nothing is more real than watching our customers in their own homes”

Sheilah and her team also let guests demo first-hand some of the Tobi eye-tracking glasses Objective Experience uses for consumer behaviour research.

Speaker: Dan Johnston, Domain

Our second speaker was Dan Johnston, Head of UX at Domain. Dan’s talk focused on data informed UX. He discussed some of the insights he and his team have discovered through testing, testing and more testing.

At Domain the team is constantly testing and experimenting to make the site more engaging. Here are some of the key learnings Dan shared with us:

"With apps ensure permissions are enabled so you can communicate with users."

"Everything was going well, and then... “Your test was inconclusive”…“60 days to validate your test” Testing issues affect velocity."

While looking to create more engagement Domain found that test results were inconsistent and asking questions at different times got different answers. The performance of the FAB (floating action button) changed over time as users became familiar with material design.

"Sometimes after asking questions it takes forever to get answers and asking questions at different times can provide different answers."

What did Domain learn? “Accept uncertainty. The path isn’t always clear, and that’s okay”

Dan recommended utilising the Google Heart Framework to measure the quality of the user experience “Happiness, Engagement, Adoption/Activation, Retention, Task Success”. Goals, Signals, Metrics.

Dan also suggested that it’s best to focus on a small number of metrics that really matter – "you can’t micro optimize every data point."

E.g. Facebook worked out if a new user adds 7 or more friends within the first 10 days, they are more likely to be a daily active user. So they focused on a small number of metrics to make a big impact.

"Plan carefully – tightly control as many variables as you can to minimize bias when testing."

"Split test first with new users to minimize the familiarity bias."

"Undertake qualitative research in parallel with testing. Take risks."

"Celebrate the wins!"

Many thanks to our speakers. If you would like to find out more about what they think you can find them on Twitter here:

Objective Experience – Sheilah Hogan - @ObjectiveEX – Dan Johnston - @thelastbean @Domaincomau

To find out more about our future #AdrenalinSessions or to recommend a speaker visit our event page here.

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