For 26 years, I have helped Fortune 100, 500 and Government organizations design and reimagine digital products to improve User Experience (UX). From strategy to features to functionality to User Interface (UI) design, I work alongside product design and development teams to help them find and remove UX-related obstacles. Which, quite conveniently, helps these organizations save or make money.
In addition, I coach and train designers and developers to deliver better experiences via online courses. I am honored to have helped more than 30,000 students to date start a career in UX or transition from a related discipline.
Everything I have ever done has revolved around a core principle: if you're in the business of creating digital products, those products serve as your ambassadors.
As such, user trust and customer loyalty depend wholly on the experience people have with those ambassadors. If the product is hard to use, people assume it's hard to do business with you. If the site sucks, you suck. If the system is slow and unresponsive, so are you. If the app is confusing and frustrating, they're frustrated with you too.
Products are used by people, after all, so putting people and their experiences first is a pretty good place to start. At the same time, creation always entails cost: time, effort, money. And every creator is looking for a way to cover that cost, along with a little extra. In order to do that, you need to design and deliver superior product experiences -- consistently, repeatedly, over time.
In order to do that, you need to uncover the sweet spots between what users expect from the product and what the business needs to accomplish in order to survive and prosper.
These are strategic concerns, not tactical ones. In these scenarios the greatest tool any consultant, manager, designer or developer has is what's between his or her ears.
The thinking part of design and UX is the most valuable part. That's what this book is about. That's what creates the value loop I talk about so often, where value goes out to users, and in doing so comes back to the business as well. There are no shortcuts to great experiences. There is only the discipline to investigate, the patience to analyze, the willingness to be wrong and a mind open enough (and brave enough) to admit it.
Think First is my roadmap for practicing and applying that philosophy.