At some point a tech company decides it needs a user experience team to champion the voice of the customer. The smart ones start this journey early as it is more challenging to institutionalize user experience in companies with a few hundred employees. The following 7Ps will help you institutionalize UX in your company:
Posters : Use posters to communicate the critical components of the UX message - UX principles, customer segments, etc. For example, Walmart.com had posters of its customer segments on the walls around the office to always remind its employees who they were designing for.
Process: Define the UX Engagement process. Usability.gov has a well defined design process. This may vary based on how departments are structured in your company, resources available and team dynamics but a process is a start to including all the critical elements of the user experience.
Procedure: Create standard UX templates to define the procedure to conduct a specific aspect of the UX. Usability.gov has many templates. For example, a moderator guide or guidelines to conduct and write a heuristic report will establish a set of standards and improve the consistency and quality of work.
Protocol: Create a UX repository on the company intranet to educate everyone in your company about the UX team and their work, how to engage with them, what to expect, timelines, schedules, etc.
Publish: Get noticed in the greater UX community by publishing research and presenting at conferences. This brings visibility and credibility to the UX group.
Proof of productivity: User Experience improves the customer's experience in many ways. For example, it could reduce time, reduce help desk calls, increase enjoyment and trust, improve safety, etc. It is critical to measure this improvement in productivity to translate the value of the UX activity and to communicate it to employees and management.
Partner: This is the most important step in institutionalizing UX in a company. Unless you have a partner in upper management to rally around the UX cause this would be a very difficult struggle. It is critical to get support to ensure the message does not get lost and more importantly give UX the attention it deserves. After all, some of the top tech companies have made it their mantra. Google says "Focus on the user and all else follows" while Apple uses UX to drive its innovation engine.
Attention and interest on the web are critical metrics and are an essential component that should guide any online strategy. LinkedIn has done an excellent job in this area of indicating interest quantitatively. Let us look at a few examples:
Indicating interest in you/your profile by showing how many looked at your profile. Indicating interest in a job by showing how many people clicked on the Apply button. Indicating interest in your connections by showing how many changed jobs in a year.
There are some other examples in the online retail industry. For example, Rue La La indicates interest in their products (clothing, accessories, home goods, etc.) by letting us know how many Ralph Lauren sweaters are left to buy thus indicating how quickly a product is getting sold. We also measure interest (though not shown quantitatively) by grouping stuff under most popular, most commented and most shared on various blogs and news sites.
The theme of the third largest social network, Pinterest (Facebook and Twitter are the top two) is centered around interest. Interest is indicated quantitatively through likes, repins and comments. We need to have a measure of interest by consolidating our online behavior (sharing, commenting, viewing, etc.). Let me know if you have any ideas on how to measure interest.