Observational customer research

The purpose of observational research is to understand what people are doing. The purpose of qualitative research is to understand what people are thinking or feeling. Only when you combine observational and qualitative research with quantitative data do you get a truly comprehensive understanding of your customers. Service industries have long made customer observation a… Read More »

The three essential sources of customer insight

To truly understand customers it is essential to combine insights from the following research methods: Quantitative Observational Qualitative Quantitative data will tell you what is happening but only if it is configured properly, which often it is not. Bots and other sorts of unpredictable activity can seriously undermine the credibility of the statistics. For example,… Read More »

Quick Links, Slow Links and bad navigation design

Just because something is used doesn’t mean that it is useful. Design decisions can create the wrong expectations and can send people on journeys that will end up in failure. “To simplify the process for advisers, we introduced a ‘quick links’ box on the landing page of our benefits content,” Katherine Vaughan writes in an… Read More »

Agility cupcakes and the rise of the customer as designer

Embracing the new opportunities of print, including the fact that it allowed other cartographers to give feedback, Abraham Ortelius brought out more than 28 editions of his Theatrum atlas between 1570 and 1598. On a daily basis, Google staff will make hundreds of changes to their maps based on thousands of pieces of feedback. Just… Read More »

Customer feedback drives the agile organization

Customers are changing far faster today than organizations are. Customers are setting the agenda. Their expectations are rising in direct proportion to their declining trust in and loyalty to organizations and brands. You cannot deliver quality customer experience if you don’t understand the needs of your customers and create products and services to meet those… Read More »

Principles of humility

Humility begins with an outward focus. You are not the center of the universe. The customer is. Humility is about gathering evidence, about listening intently without prejudice. It is not about what you think. It is not about what you feel. It is not about what your gut tells you. Whether you like the design… Read More »

Humility: developing an old skill for a new age

Humility is not weakness. The opposite of humility is arrogance. And arrogance is a trait nurtured in traditional leadership. However, in the more networked and artificial intelligence societies that we are on the verge of, arrogance will be much less useful. In 1999, I published my first book called The Caring Economy. Its hypothesis was… Read More »

The organization-centric universe

An organizational-centric universe depends on an atmosphere of trust, both from employees and customers. The perfect environment—at least in the short-term—is one of blind trust. Customers are fanatically brand loyal. Employees will follow orders without question. As trust declines, the organization will have to increase its command and control functions or else it will face… Read More »

Developing a customer obsession culture

The Web gives power to people that was historically almost exclusively the domain of organizations. Yes, down through history we’ve had people-driven revolutions at points where the masses had reached their breaking-point with a system or regime and spontaneously rose up. However, before the Web, people never had the tools of organization on such a… Read More »

Design navigation for clarity and fidelity

Navigation is not a murder mystery. A great link tells you what it is, and just as importantly, tells you what it is not. There is nothing worse than a vague, meaningless link. Well, there is. It’s a link that promises much more than it can deliver. I call that sort of link a dirty… Read More »