Kim Goodwin talks to Gerry Gaffney about UX leadership and organisational change. Kim ponders what makes a good UX leader, whether UX and leadership skills are aligned, and whether Steve Jobs has implemented cultural changes that will stick at Apple.
This is Gerry Gaffney with the User Experience podcast.
Today’s guest is author of Designing for the Digital Age: How to make human-centered products and services. She’s former vice president of design at Cooper Interactive, and indeed we had Alan Cooper as a previous interviewee.
She’s has worked on a huge range of design projects, including web, medical and mobile devices in large and small organisations. Of late, she’s been concerned with issues of leadership in the field of user experience.
Kim Goodwin, welcome to the User Experience podcast.
Thanks very much for inviting me, Gerry. My pleasure.
Now, you gave the keynote address at UX Australia recently in Sydney. Did you enjoy the conference?
Actually, I thought it was a fantastic event. It was kind of the best of a professional conference and a community conference, right? It was very well run and thoughtfully curated, but it just had this very empowered vibe where you got a real variety of speakers. It was a terrific event. I recommend it.
I found your talk was very interesting, and other attendees that I spoke to rated it very highly as well. You gave the keynote and I think it set the tone for a lot of conversations that went on afterwards. I guess we could say that you spoke about organisations, leadership and change. Is it fair to characterise your keynote as being about those topics?
Sure, fair enough.
To being with organisations. What characterises an organisation that has a strong UX culture?
As in any case we can generalise a bit and we won’t be 100% right, but I would say that the organisations that tend to do UX well are learning organisations, they know how to examine their own actions and change them when they don’t work. They’re not risk-averse, they understand that you can’t always know everything before you do it. They understand that some amount of reasonable failure is inherent in doing innovative things. They’re usually pretty focused on quality, there’s a real pride in workmanship there. They’re willing to prioritise; this is one of the things that you see in great products is somebody who is ruthless enough to say; “You know what, we’re not going to do everything. We’re going to do a limited number of things and we’re going to do them well.” And obviously, of course, they’re end-user and customer focused, right? That one’s kind of a given.
Continue reading this article at: UX leadership: An interview with Kim Goodwin | Information & Design.