Tweetable Moments and Concepts from Managing Experience (MX) Conference 2014

Posted 4 years ago by Michele Wong No Comments

John Dewey in “Art as Experience” uses a meal to exemplify what a meaningful experience is. A meaningful meal/experience is one you can remember years after “having” it because every single aspect of that experience was designed to be delightful—from the valet to the silverware, to the dish and and of course to the company.

“Experience in this vital sense is defined by those situations and episodes that we spontaneously refer to as being “real experiences”; those things of which we say in recalling them, ‘that was an experience.’ It may have been something of tremendous importance… Or it may have been something that in comparison was slight—and which perhaps because of its very slightness illustrates all the better what is to be an experience. There is that meal in a Paris restaurant of which one says, ‘That was an experience.’ It stands out as an enduring memorial of what food may be.”
-John Dewey, 1934

Drawing on this definition, Managing Experience 2014 was a great experience. Meticulously and strategically crafted by Adaptive Path, MXConf14 was one of the best conferences I’ve been to in a while. Every presentation was filled with tweetable and teachable moments and concepts that made me go, “That was a conference!”

Here are some tweetable moments that have shaped my experience to be memorable:

Katie Rutter: Sketchnoter, graphic recorder, lean entrepreneur, UX designer
In her workshop, Rutter provided lean techniques to encouraging innovation-centered organizations. She introduced attendees to the concept of smallification, which is the process of taking a large problem and scaling it to become more manageable within a smaller time-period.

Here are some moments from her workshop:
1. If you don’t have to do it. Don’t do it (about lean methodologies)
2. If you’re not embarrassed to show it, you’ve waited too long (about testing)
3. UX as a Stack
Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 11.14.00 AM

4. Sustaining Innovation versus Disruptive Innovation
Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 11.14.42 AM
5. It’s easy to be agile when you’re a start-up
6. Change the shape of the ocean
7. SET: Scary Effective Tricks (to smallify a big problem)
8. OMTM: One Metric that Matters
9. JFDI: Just Flipping Do it
10. Successful metrics
Rutter defined a good metric as one that “measures the usage of the product by a person. The usage should be specific to features that deliver value to the user.” Along with a good metric, Rutter explained that there are also useless, vanity, better and awesome metrics. Everyone loves using metrics to measure “the usage of the product by a person.”

The slide below describes 6 common types of metrics:
Measuring the “total percentage of winter coats purchased” is a good metric. However, in a better metric, we would measure the “total percentage of winter coats worn” and not purchased. The better metric measures behavior.

Rutter ecouraged attendees ask the following questions when defining metrics:

Bill Scott: Sr. Dir, UI Engineer, PayPal.
Scott shared several principles that he thinks companies can use to promote user-centered transformation. He asked questions such as “Can your organization be changed?” “How can design be the catalyst for that change?”

Below are some concepts from Scott’s talk:
11. Existing culture as a contaminated petri dish (in regards to joining a new company and evaluating the existing culture)
12. Organizations contain antibodies that resist change
13. Adopt an outside-in culture
14. GOOB: Get out of the Building
15. Consumers & Media tend to be lazy
16. 2 essentials to bringing change: Persistence and Improv
17. Persistence is not Stubbornness
18. Improv is not just winging it, though it will feel that way
19. Take 90 days. Learn the culture then formulate a plan
20. Believe something deeply—have principles.
21. Never abandon your principles
22. What are your principles?
23. Your principles sustain you when things go wrong
24. “Geez, is anybody going to be good?” (when joining a new team)
25. There is wisdom in the crowd (in relationship to existing employees at a new company)
26. Culture of long shelf life instead of experimentation
27. Fix the pain points: Change will not work if it is about self promoting
28. Rally the troops. Route around the weary, the complacent and the perpetrators
29. Sprinkle in new DNA from the outside
30. “The experience of Suck” (David Marcus, President of PayPal)
31. Deliver experiences not documentation
32. Create Tweetable moments
33. Agile has no brain

Livia Labate: Senior Director, User Experience Design at Marriott International
Labate’s talk was very relatable. “Digital Governance: Getting Your Act Together and Keeping It That Way” offered key strategies to achieving governance. First define the stewardship team. Continue by establishing who is responsible for strategy. Establish who is responsibile for policy and follow up by defining who owns the standards.

Labate caught my attention with the following:
34. Episodic Amnesia: Not remembering who your users are
35. Digital Stewardship: alignment between interactions being created and users’ interactions
36. Governance = A shared sense of responsibilities = Continuous alignment
37. Never Start from Zero. What do people know? Call for Knowledge.
38. You want quick wins
39. Create momentum and never shut up about it

Jason Stirman: Building things at Medium
Stirman’s (sounds like a South Park character) original intention was to talk about ways to use design principles to define a company’s journey. Instead, he gave a very honest presentation about how between the day he committed to the presentation and the day of the presentation, he did not achieve what he sought out to do. Nethertheless, he shared his Ferrari stories and some of his not-so-completely-scientifically-accurate findings.

Here are some interesting quotes from his talk:
40. Design your company experience
41. If you think of your company as a product, what would you do?
42. Apply design principles to your company journey
43. Be a Ferrari. It’s ok to go fast and take risk. Celebrate the crashes. Tell us you Ferrari Stories
44. Is it safe enough to try?

Kerry Bodine: Coauthor of “Outside In” and customer experience expert shares:
45. Get small wins and promote those wins
46. 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience
47. You can’t be prescriptive with customer experience
44. The allure of CX:
In essence, “the allure of customer experience” refers to the implicit or explicit promise of good customer experience made by organizations. She used the examples of airlines which provide the allure of CX through language. Bodine exemplified this concept with Delta’s @deltaassist which is ”listening around the clock, 7 days a week” and whose name clearly promises to assist Delta customers. Similarly, United airlines promises a flyer-friendly experience in friendlier skies.

While promising customer experience is great, Bodine suggested that we express the customer experience brand every single way along the customer journey—at the front of the house and the back of the house. Below and above the line of visibility.

She warned us about the misalignment between the customer experience promise, the evidence of such experience and the brand reality. Use her table to clearly visualize where your company stands for those 3 main categories and understand where you could turn the customer experience promise to reality.

At the end of the day, let the customers decide what your brand stands for. is an entertaining site that associates well-known brands with what people think the brands stand for. I think we all agree with this one:


Kim, McCarthy, Buckwalter, and Leveque
48. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habits are what gets you going” (Kim)
49. Hot Trigger. Reference to B.J. Foggs (Kim)
50. Be your mom’s user experience designer (Kim)
51. Pick people with great skill and great social following (Kim)
52. Innovation as a behavior for every employee (McCarthy)
53. Cheetas don’t have heart disease (Buckwalter)
54. Live intentionally (about resilience)(Buckwalter)
55. The Kano Model (Leveque)

Brandon Schauer: CEO, Adaptive Path
56. Don’t fix the past. Fix on the future
57. Experience is becoming an organizational skill
58. Create better customers not only better customer experiences

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