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Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool, Founder, User Interface Engineering

Jared Spool, Transform 16

Key points

It used to be that delivering a “good” experience was enough. Now, users expect a “great” experience. The UX Tipping Point is when an organisation no longer compromises on well-designed user experiences, and design has become an embedded part of their culture and DNA. To go beyond the Tipping Point, an organisation has to change its design culture to commit to experiences that delight users. The Disney theme parks are an example of evolving a design culture within 10 years from a barely usable website to a wristband that shapes a delightful user experience through the clever use of technology. the Disney band Successful UX is built on systems that are designed to be flexible and adapt to changing situations, not processes designed to operate the same way every time.
"A culture of continuous learning provides development of a deep understanding of customer needs."

Takeaways

People learn UX design by growing from unconscious incompetence (they don’t know what they don’t know) to conscious incompetence (they know what they don’t know), to conscious competence (they know what they know), and finally to unconscious competence (they don’t know what they know). Transform 16 As people move between those stages they progress from literacy to fluency and finally to mastery. Organisations need to grow their UX design efforts from UX Design as a Service, to Embedded UX Design, to Infused UX Design. We need a playbook, filled with plays, that get us to being a design-driven organisation.
"A team’s growth stage is the stage of the most immature infuencer."

Caveats

To change culture, start telling different stories. If you feel like you’re not going fast enough, you’re probably moving at the right speed. Products need to work, meet needs AND delight users. Creating enhanced user experiences can be expensive, but the returns are proportionate. Learning something new should be the thing that drives us.
"Uber taught us that creepy can be cool.”"
Jared Spool, Transform 16

Resources

@jmspool website slides

Tweets

Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 These extracts are taken from Wrap magazine, the free digital magazine we publish after every conference that summarises every presentation (and a bit more). You are welcome to download this and every issue of Wrap. Transform 2016 took place at Old Parliament House in Canberra, 18-19 May 2016.  " ["post_title"]=> string(54) "Transform 16: Beyond the UX Tipping Point, Jared Spool" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(48) "transform-16-beyond-ux-tipping-point-jared-spool" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-19 19:51:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-19 08:51:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6819" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#247 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6802) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-17 10:00:03" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 23:00:03" ["post_content"]=> string(16359) "It seems that the number one New Year's resolution this year  (as covered in mainstream media, at least) was the "digital detox". Then there was the digital detox backlash ("say 'digital detox' one more time ..."). And in various podcasts I've listened to of late (more on podcasts shortly), really intelligent, successful people I admire like Ezra Klein (founder of Vox, blogger turned Washington Post journalist among many other things) and Kara Swisher (also founder of a media company, and also a journalist) and Stewart Butterfield (co-founder of Flickr and Slack) have all lamented how they are addicted to social media like Twitter and the immediate dopamine hit of updates, the sense that you're on top of a stream of important things that are constantly happening, or managing the sense of anxiety that comes with the sense you are missing out. I'm sure they are far from alone in feeling this (I also noted in each case this was not an judgement by these folks about what they saw in other people, but what they saw in themselves). But today I want to tell you a little story about how my relationship with digital media has changed, quite markedly, without an overarching deliberate plan in recent weeks and months. At no point did I decide to detox, or even to change they way I use my time to consume information. And yet … It starts with a significant change to the pattern of my days about three years ago. I live about 75 minutes (on a good day) outside Sydney, and for years I worked from home, travelling into the office a couple of days a week. But the truth was I was always at home, and always at work: never really properly focused on either. Work leaked into weekends, domestic duties into the working day. The change toward a clear demarcation between work and home life really has been beneficial to both, but that's not the focus of this piece. My commute involves a drive of about 25 minutes, a walk and then about a 40 minute train ride. For a year or so after I started the daily commute, I'd get in the car, and listen to Radio National–serious, important, very politically focused news and opinion. On my half hour drive there'd be two or three experts speaking on the issues of the day, an interview with a member of the government or opposition, super concentrated news reports on whatever was so important that day. I was keeping up with what was important, staying informed with the serious issues that mattered. On my 10 or so minute walk from the car to the train station I'd read Twitter, then Facebook, then back to Twitter. Twitter I mostly use professionally, so it felt like work - what are we all talking about today? What inflammatory article about native versus web has someone posted that I need to respond to? On the train, ostensibly I'd look at email, perhaps look at my RSS feed, dipping into Twitter and Facebook again. And I'd arrive at work already exhausted, my focus atomised into tiny fragments of time. My commute home was in many ways the reverse, and then at home - in between spending time with the kids, getting them ready for bed, sitting with them, reading to them - I'd snack on more Twitter, maybe a bit of Facebook, my time sliced and diced into a minute or two here for one of the kids, a minute or two for an update. I know, right? Writing this down now, it seems incredibly unhealthy, but at the time it didn't at all. It simply felt like life. Then, a bit over a year ago, I was planning to visit Japan for the first time in a couple of years (ironically, the trip didn't eventuate). It pains me to say that having visited Japan perhaps as many as eight times in the last few years, I speak barely a word of Japanese. And so it made sense to use my drive to perhaps learn a little. Every day on the way to work (and typically on the way home, too) I'd do a 30 minute lesson. Now, my drive was less of a focus on the breathless excitement of whatever issue of the day seemed so vitally important to the nation that we'd all forget in a week. My other activities seemed to be affected by this change. I found myself using the commute time better - or at least, to be less focused on these minute slices of time, and more on reading longer pieces. Later in the year, when the Japan trip fell through, I cast around for ways in which to use the drive without reverting to the frenetic, anxiety inducing drive-time news. I can't exactly recall why but I started listening to podcasts, and found they fit the bill perfectly. Some would last me a week, 30 or so minutes at a time (Sam Harris at times has fascinating, several hour long discursive conversations with extraordinary people like the physicist Max Tegmark). I don't think I've listened to news radio more than a handful of times in a year or more now. I honestly can say too, as someone who's always had a very broad range of interests in science, the humanities and, increasingly, business, I've probably added to my range of interests and knowledge more in the last year than in the entire previous decade. I also found myself on my home commute sadly not infrequently having to stand for 40 minutes or so. Physically I almost prefer this, having sat at a desk a lot during the day, but being trapped with just a small screen, and the myriad social media apps thereon meant 40 minutes of frenetic consumption of fragments of information. Now, as many folks with young families will tell you, watching television and movies becomes a challenge. But with the arrival of Netflix in Australia, I found myself watching initially movies, then series (never a huge fan of superheroes, Marvel nonetheless sucked me in with the really well written, acted and made Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil). And it turns out one episode is almost exactly my train commute home. But Twitter and Facebook were still woven into my life, particularly before going to sleep, when I woke during the night with an unsettled child, and first thing in the morning (an early riser, I'd find myself reading tweets and posts and tweets for half an hour or more many a morning). Just before Christmas, after reading something late at night that somewhat spiked the cortisol levels I simply deleted the Facebook app from my phone. Because I rarely take my laptop out of the bag while home, and as I was on a break over the holiday period, I simply didn't look at Facebook for several days. When I did, it was an act of volition: open the laptop, login, open facebook.com. And yet, I barely felt its absence. My Twitter use (in fairness, several multiples of my Facebook use, by any measure) continued largely unchanged, until about a week after returning to work, when more by choice (though still not part of a grander "digital detox" plan) than on impulse I deleted the Twitter app from my phone as well. Now, I've used Twitter extensively for over a decade. It's been an integral part of my professional life for all that time. I've posted over 39,000 times, and spent literally countless hours reading tweets. From being always no more than a few seconds away, woven more directly into my life than almost anything else, Twitter went to being something I needed to access on a laptop, with an act of volition, and no small friction. I'd estimate my use has dropped more than 90% (in terms of time spent staring at Twitter onscreen). And yet, for something so integral to my professional - and to a reasonable extent - personal life as well, this really considerable decrease lead to no real withdrawal symptoms. The time I would spend frittered on Twitter is much more purposefully used now. I have long had a roster of "go to" longer form writing sites, and sites which suggest deeper more engaging pieces of writing, but for the first time in possibly years I've added to these (I list some suggestions at the end of this piece). And my overall time spent looking at a screen has fallen significantly, too. What's interesting to me as I reflect on it is not actually that my time spent in front of screens has dropped significantly. More interesting is that the average amount of time I spend on any given chunk of information has risen extraordinarily, from seconds to low minutes per engagement (a tweet, Facebook post) to tens of minutes – longer form writing, books, TV episodes (sometimes more than one even, late at night after everyone else has gone to sleep), movies. I don't think it's too long a bow to draw to observe that if there's been a macro trend in what we horribly term "content consumption" over the last 20 years or so, it has been toward shorter and shorter chunks (the album was atomised into individual tracks, blog posts became tweets and Facebook posts, articles became listicles, TV shows became YouTube videos). These are trends driven by economics, and the rise of mobile devices, creating whole new chunks of our time where previously we would rarely if ever have consumed information (walking along a street, waiting for an elevator), or consumed it very differently (in the car listening to radio, as opposed to glancing at social media while stopped at traffic lights). It's also driven by fundamental human brain physiology. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with many brain functions, and has long been associated with our sense of pleasure (though we are realising now it's perhaps more closely associated with our sense of want–for food, physical pleasure, or other reward). Its role in habit formation and addictive behaviours is being increasingly studied in relation to social media use, and product designers deliberately design interactions that are habit forming, and which hijack this aspect of human psychology. But perhaps there's another macro trend emerging, a swing from atomised, momentary interactions to these longer kinds of engagement with information. With video: not just from short viral pieces to 40 minute ad-free episodes, but whole series consumed over a week or even a weekend. With music: from songs back to albums, or the entire body of work by an artist. With the written word: from tweeted screen grabs of one or two paragraphs and listicles to five thousand word long form articles and entire books (there;s also the intersting possibly related phenomenon of a return to the printed book over ebooks). From febrile five-minute radio interviews with experts about the issue du jour, to hour(s) long discursive conversations on podcasts. Not for a moment do I make the claim that we'll abandon tweets and Facebook posts, Snapchat, and Instagram, and the myriad other short form, continuous streams of information that have so profoundly changed our lives (and the economics of the media) this last 10 to 15 years. But I see some hope (yes, a value judgement, there) that this type of consumption (and creation) might find a counterbalance in longer, more complex, considered pieces of work. Certainly, my personal experience is I feel less anxious in the weeks since I largely accidentally, and certainly with no master plan, diminished my day-to-day use of social media. And over the year to 18 months that I've made longer form, less time sensitive media more central to my life, I feel I've learned more and been exposed to many more ideas than I have for years now.

Places I find interesting things to read

Here are some places I frequently - indeed, habitually - check in to find interesting longer form reading across science, economics, business and the arts.

3 Quarks Daily

Eclectic well chosen excerpts of interesting longer-form articles. A destination in itself, or jumping off point for further reading.

Aeon

Original longer form articles on matters cultural and scientific.

Long Reads

Both summarises and links to high quality long form writing across a broad spectrum, as well as commissioning original writing.

Marginal Revolution

The long running site of the polymathic Tyler Cohen, that I imagine as the cheat sheet for the the American intellectual classes. Find yourself at a cocktail party in New York or Washington? You'll never feel out of the loop if you read this.

Brain Pickings

I can't find a way to describe this that does it any justice nor indeed even makes sense. A continuous jumping off point for making yourself a better human, in every way.

The New Yorker

I subscribe to the print edition (it's my parents' annual gift to me, one I genuinely cherish). Highly recommended.

Stratechery

I pay Ben Thompson every month for his daily insights into the business of technology. An antidote to the breathless announcements of funding rounds and product launches that characterise much of the business/technology 'press', it's considered, thematic thoughtful writing, with ideas that evolve over weeks, months and even years (see "aggregation theory"). But there's also a free weekly post and a podcast, Exponent (see below).

Podcasts I listen to regularly

I'm aware that below are almost all male voices. I'm always looking for recommendations, so please do add any in the comments, particularly for non-white-male podcasters.

Exponent

The moment an episode drops, I listen. Around an hour, each week, where Ben (Stratechery) Thompson and James Allworth discuss ideas at the intersection of business and technology.

Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein was a student political blogger who took political blogging mainstream at the Washington Post. He co-founded Vox media, and among many other things has this podcast where he has hour-long or more conversations with some of the most interesting people on earth, in business, technology, culture, science and politics.

Recode/Decode

Kara Swisher is in many ways similar to Ezra Klein, though from a slightly earlier generation. Journalist turned media empire founder, she similarly interviews leaders in business, technology, media, and politics.

Tim Ferriss

Yes, he's beloved by many of the Silicon Valley "bro" types. I find myself from time to time quoting my favourite line from the film "The Castle" aloud to him in my car, "Get your hand off it, Darryl". He could up the number of women he interviews several fold. But you'll also find numerous very interesting folks interviewed in a very relaxed style. Dumpster dive through the back catalogues – there's definitely valuable conversations there.

Revisionist History

Malcolm Gladwell polarises, but I've long found his writing stimulating, and very readable. Revisionist History is quite different from most the podcasts I listen to - in essence, they are short, highly produced radio shows, around 25 minutes each, tied together by a theme: what do we think we know well, something uncontroversial, that maybe we don't know well at all? I suspect the future of podcasting, at least a big part of it, looks more than a little like this.

Wonderland

In a similar vein, by the author of one of my favourite books ever, The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson, is Wonderland, a series of terrifically produced radio shows, only around 20 minutes each. Each episode explores an aspect associated with his recently published book – Wonderland: How Play Shaped the Modern World. From the first video game at Berkeley in the late '60s, to the origins of bouncing balls, you'll learn more than a little each episode. Like hopefully everything on this list, you'll go away smarter, not dumber, by listening." ["post_title"]=> string(20) "Not My Digital Detox" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(20) "not-my-digital-detox" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-17 10:01:39" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 23:01:39" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6802" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#246 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6806) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-17 09:10:58" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 22:10:58" ["post_content"]=> string(848) "But we can't. And, on reflection, perhaps that's not a bad thing. Nevertheless, if we're to continue to not just provide you with valuable events, news and conferences, but to keep doing it better every year, we need to know what best suits your needs and preferences. And so, the survey. This survey is short (promise!) and by completing it, you'll have the chance to win a ticket to a Web Directions event of your choice in 2017. That - if you have a look through our upcoming events - is a pretty good incentive, I think you'll agree. Anyway, we'd really appreciate it if you took the few minutes needed to help us keep improving. Thanks!" ["post_title"]=> string(31) "We Wish We Could Read Your Mind" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(14) "wish-read-mind" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 23:04:24" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 12:04:24" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6806" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#245 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6798) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 13:39:19" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 02:39:19" ["post_content"]=> string(1037) "Web Directions has opened a Call For Proposals from people interested in speaking at Respond 2017. Respond is our Front End Design Conference, taking place in Sydney (4-5 May), Melbourne (8-9 May) and this year also in Brisbane (12 May). We're accepting proposals for 20 minute talks up til 1 March, so now is the time to develop that idea for a talk you've been thinking about, and get it in to us. We've prepared a webpage with everything you need to know about submitting a proposal. Take a look, have a think about it and of course you can always contact us with any queries you might have. Respond 2017" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Call For Proposals to Speak at Respond 2017 Opens" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "call-proposals-speak-respond-2017-opens" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 13:45:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 02:45:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6798" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [4]=> object(WP_Post)#244 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6809) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-15 10:00:40" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-14 23:00:40" ["post_content"]=> string(4137) "

You might have already scanned what's in store at Transform 17, but I just want to highlight five great reasons why you should join us this year.

 
 Ben Holliday, Transform 17 International speakers  A digitally informed transformation of government service delivery is happening all over the world. Let's learn from international experiences. Ben HollidayDan SheldonAriel Kennan
 
Australian speakers  Government service delivery systems are very much shaped by local circumstances. We need an informed Australian perspective to bring about lasting change. Sarah AtkinsonJenny HunterBrian Dargan & Luke Hymers  Sarah Atkinson, Transform 17
 
 Case Studies, Transform 17 Case studies Finding out what works and what doesn't in real world situations with impacts on real people brings a practical perspective that's hard to find elsewhere. Various
 
Workshops  Listening and watching is great, but getting a bit hands-on delivers a different kind of learning experience, especially with a group of like-minded peers. Part I: Dan Sheldon, Part II: Sarah Atkinson  Workshop, Transform 17
 
 Networking, Transform 17 Networking You know from last year that we structure our events so there's room to take in what you've just seen and compare notes with your fellow attendees. Priceless.
Early bird registration gives you $100 off the full price Early bird closes Friday 24 February Come and join us in Canberra at the end of next month." ["post_title"]=> string(39) "Five Reasons to Join Us at Transform 17" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(33) "five-reasons-join-us-transform-17" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-17 01:46:42" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-16 14:46:42" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6809" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [5]=> object(WP_Post)#243 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6788) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-14 12:47:13" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-14 01:47:13" ["post_content"]=> string(3027) "You know it. You've felt it. You go to conferences, workshops, meetups, events of all kinds where people get up and talk and give you insights into their work - and your own - that you'd never get from anywhere else. And you can't help thinking to yourself, "I could do that. I could give a conference talk." And you know what? You're right! That's pretty much how all those speakers you like got started. They watched others speak, they thought about what they could offer in a presentation, and they submitted a proposal to a conference. Now, that's exactly the step we're at with Respond, Australia's Front End Design Design Conference. Respond 2017 We've just opened up our Call For Proposal for Respond 2017, the conference taking place in Sydney (4-5 May), Melbourne (8-9 May) and now Brisbane (12 May). If you already know the Respond conference, you'll know that we offer a mixture of full length presentations (featuring high profile international and Australian speakers) and shorter 20 minute talks (featuring local speakers, often up on stage for the first time). If you work in any way with front end design (and let's face it, these days "responsive design" really just means "design") and you don't know Respond - well, you should. Catch up with some previous years here and here. We make it as easy as possible to submit a proposal and, importantly, we give successful applicants as much support as we can to deliver well-structured, polished and engaging presentations. The key date to note is Wednesday 1 March 2017 - that is the closing date for submissions. We'll then let you know whether you've been successful by Monday 6 March, and we'll start helping you get ready. There is, of course, some detail to take into account so we've prepared a webpage with everything you need to know, including an easy-to-complete form to submit your proposal. We take seriously our responsibility to give local industry folks a chance to get up and talk about what they want to share with colleagues and peers, and take an active role in our suite of conferences and related events. Please do take a moment to review the webpage and consider submitting a proposal to talk at Respond 17. We hope to hear from you soon. conference lectern" ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Release Your Inner Conference Speaker" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(37) "release-your-inner-conference-speaker" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-14 12:47:13" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-14 01:47:13" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6788" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [6]=> object(WP_Post)#242 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6774) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-13 10:10:19" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-12 23:10:19" ["post_content"]=> string(4278) "As we approach the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March, we're going to remind you of the talks from the first Transform conference in 2016. These extracts are taken from Wrap, the free digital magazine we publish after every conference that summarises every presentation (and a bit more). You are welcome to download this and every issue of Wrap. Transform 2016 took place at Old Parliament House in Canberra, 18-19 May 2016. 

Transforming Government Communication and Content

Dan Hon, Director of Content, Code for America

Dan Hon

Key points

40% of Californians eligible for the US food stamps program were not receiving the benefits they were entitled to. 62% of people signing up online gave up because the process, requiring answers to 100-200 questions that can take several hours, was too hard. After all that, most applications were not approved, often due to errors or omissions in the application. Even though everyone agrees food stamps are a good thing, the process for obtaining them denied those who were often the most needy AND the least able to handle a complex online process. Government lags behind the commercial world: 17 minutes on hold to reschedule an appointment versus the Uber’s onboarding process.
"Government really matters because it’s the last resort."
Dan Hon, Transform 16

Takeaways

Service content needs to be purpose-designed, taking into account specific user needs. Compassionate design is empathetic and understanding of users’ needs, limitations and aspirations. The low income users who rely the most on government services use more mobile devices than desktop or laptop, yet the websites are not responsive. When we talk about meeting user needs we should mean real user needs, not made up marketing messages. The hard work is on us to make their lives easier. That is the deal we made when we decided to work in government. The battleship approach has to be broken down in an agile, iterative way that addresses researched user needs.
"Just slow down and take the time to write simply, clearly and in plain English."
Dan Hon, Transform 16

Caveats

When users put in the effort and are not rewarded with outcomes, they give up. Even when it comes to entitlements. Content isn’t just a thing that is written. It’s something that has to be designed. Writing is part of the content design process but it’s not what you start with. Policy and delivery must sit together. Digital transformation is hard work: really, really hard work. But not impossible. Dam Hon, Transform 16

Resources

@hondanhon website

Tweets

Dan Hon tweets Dan Hon tweets Dan Hon tweets " ["post_title"]=> string(72) "Transform 16: Transforming Government Communication and Content, Dan Hon" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(66) "transform-16-transforming-government-communication-content-dan-hon" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-12 22:40:45" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-12 11:40:45" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6774" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [7]=> object(WP_Post)#241 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6764) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-10 14:51:51" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-10 03:51:51" ["post_content"]=> string(5506) "

Things I've Been Reading

A fortnightly collection of links to online articles, news and resources of interest to people working on the web.

Automating Visual Testing

At Web Directions events we frequently cover testing and a key to this is, of course, automation (see also Atul Gawande's Checklist Manifesto, which we mentioned in a newsletter last year and was the foundation for a great presentation by Jeremy Nagel at Web Directions 2015, "Checklist Driven Development" [you can watch the popular 20 minute video here]) but an area I don't see talked about all that much is automated visual regression testing. There are a number of tools, like PhantomCSS (covered in detail in this SitePoint article) and hosted services like SiteEffect, but this week I stumbled across an article by Tom Partington at REA on Automated visual checking of deployments with ImageMagick. See how they ensure "greater confidence that each continuous deployment of our home page is issue free."

Inherent Value Testing

"Is your web site chartered with encouraging people to buy or use your product or service? Is it succeeding? It turns out there is a simple usability testing technique that can help you measure how your site communicates your product’s inherent value." Jared Spool, who spoke at last year's inaugural Transform conference, considers how we look for not what's broken about our site (or company's service), but what isn't, in this article about what he terms 'inherent value testing'. When services undergo significant change (as LinkedIn has recently done in terms of its UI), its most loyal users often react strongly to the movement of their cheese. Jared considers how we can identify and ensure the inherent values of our offerings when considering change.

Creating Good Content in Government

"Government has a complicated relationship with content. We publish too much, information can be hard to understand, and users often find it hard to work out what we are asking them to do. Research shows that 50% of users of government services experience difficulty finding information online. Of those, 24% resort to making a telephone call.* This is despite the hard work that many Australian public servant content and web teams do on a daily basis." So, how can folks in Government - and anywhere, really - do better? Libby Varcoe, Content Community Lead at the Digital Transformation Agency and Darren Menachemson from ThinkPlace look at some practical techniques in this piece published this week.

Things I've Been Listening To

Atul Gawande, whose "Checklist Manifesto" I referred to above in conversation with Ezra Klein, founder of Vox Magazine. Gawande is also a feature writer for the New Yorker, a surgeon, and a self confessed health care policy wonk, who worked on campaigns for Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Gary Hart. Klein's podcast is full of fascinating conversations with a huge variety of extraordinary people (another recent favourite is his conversation with Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, also founder of Flickr and the original 5K competition). I know, I know - lots of men talking with each other, but there are some great interviews with women there too." ["post_title"]=> string(21) "Weekend Reading Links" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "weekend-reading-links" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-10 14:51:51" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-10 03:51:51" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6764" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [8]=> object(WP_Post)#240 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6727) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-06 16:54:45" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-06 05:54:45" ["post_content"]=> string(4667) "As we approach the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March, we're going to remind you of the talks from the first Transform conference in 2016. These extracts are taken from Wrap magazine, the free digital magazine we publish after every conference that summarises every presentation (and a bit more). You are welcome to download this and every issue of Wrap. Transform 2016 took place at Old Parliament House in Canberra, 18-19 May 2016. 

Redesigning the Citizen Experience

Dana Chisnell, Design researcher, US Digital Service

Dana Chisnell

Key points

Authentication is a serious problem for users, a major obstacle to getting things done, yet is a requirement for interacting with government online. In 2013, healthcare.gov was launched, a centrepiece of the US President’s health insurance program. On the first day, 2.8 million people were unable to sign up because the user authentication system failed. The US Digital Service was established as a result.

Healthcare: Dana Chisnell

The 20th century notion that it’s less risky to define the system completely upfront, to know everything and then make it, no longer fits. Online services have to be designed to be agile and iterative to respond to changing user needs. Governments need to stop using technology as a tool for supporting the administration of government, and start being a user-focused service delivery mechanism that’s infused with technology.
"Authentication might be the most despised form in information technology."

Takeaways

Government is in the business of building and maintaining systems for service delivery. The service is actually a designed experience, whether we intentionally designed it or not. We need to deliver better small things, which - when combined - make better overall systems. The way that government delivers value is through continuous delivery and continuous improvement of digital and information technology phased services. Redesigning the citizen experience happens at every single layer, and reusable open-source components make development and delivery faster and more reliable. There is an obvious, immediate and achievable goal in coordinating user authentication across government departments.
"Start digital transformation with the back end first."

Caveats

It’s not (only) about money. US federal agencies spend $80 billion a year on IT. That should deliver amazing service, but anyone who has interacted with government knows this isn’t true. Transform 16 Dana Chisnell Hope is not a strategy for launching software. Managing user authentication is not just a tech issue, it’s a people issue. Don’t tell people about the value of design - demonstrate it. It turns out that democracy is actually a design problem.

Resources

@danachis website slides

Tweets

" ["post_title"]=> string(63) "Transform 16: Redesigning the Citizen Experience, Dana Chisnell" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(57) "transform-16-redesigning-citizen-experience-dana-chisnell" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-12 22:14:16" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-12 11:14:16" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6727" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [9]=> object(WP_Post)#239 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6713) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-03 10:45:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-02 23:45:44" ["post_content"]=> string(7133) "Pebble Watches The work of Geoffrey Moore and his chasm theory is less well known now than it was a decade ago, although terms he coined or popularised like 'early adopter' and 'early majority' continue to find widespread use. But, if anything, Moore's work is more relevant now. In the late 1980s, Moore (not to be confused with intel and Moore's law's Gordon Moore) focused on the uptake of technological innovation. He observed that new technologies often have an early, meteoric rise in adoption - a phase Moore termed the 'tornado'  - only to falter before spectacularly crashing (early Web 'push' technologies come to mind here), or after a period of lacklustre growth continuing on their path until eventually becoming ubiquitous. Moore described such technologies as having 'crossed the chasm' (hence the title of his book 'crossing the chasm' and the idea of 'Chasm Theory'). One common mistake people sometimes make when reasoning about technology adoption is to confuse technologies with a specific instances of a technology (for example social media with MySpace.) While at times entire technologies fail to cross the chasm, Moore was focusing on specific implementations of a technology (in essence, on products). This is one way in which Chasm Theory is quite distinct from Gartner's 'hype cycle', which focuses on the adoption of technologies as a whole. All of which brings me to Pebble, the early smart watch company that closed its doors late last year. Moore's Chasm Theory has a lot to say about why the darling of early adopters, with its hugely successful Kickstarter campaigns (plural) couldn't turn the passion (and money) of those campaigns into a sustainable business. Pebble is an almost text book case of Chasm Theory: the tornado of early adoption, the chasm after the initial early heady days, the chasm uncrossed. But why? Moore observes that, at different stages of the adoption of new technologies, different kinds of customers acquire the product for quite distinct reasons. The early adopter is an adventurer, an enthusiast, someone who despite the rough edges, perhaps even because of them, buys a Parrot drone, experiments with HTML (in the early 1990s), or buys a very expensive Apricot (or other fruit oriented PC) in the early 1980s. Early adopters aren't looking to solve a specific problem. They're interested in the technology for its own sake, to see what it might do. These were Pebble's customers. The chasm comes when these pioneers have bought, when the excitement has somewhat worn off. That's when the really hard work starts. So where does that growth come from? Moore observed the next, and much larger, category of customer - those he termed the 'early majority' - are pragmatic rather than idealistic. They want a product to do a job (in Clayton Christienson's 'Jobs Theory' formulation). They want it to solve a specific problem, to meet a well understood need. They are looking for a product, not a technology. It strikes me that Pebble, despite newer versions refining the physical device and addressing the technological shortcomings of the original classic early adopters' device, never managed to become a solution to a need of a pragmatic customer. Pebble created a great technology, not a great end product. There's an interesting parallel with Apple Watch. The first incarnation, despite the obviously far greater focus on refinement, finish, and design than the original Pebble, was similarly an early adopter's product. With the second version of the Watch, Apple now focuses on a specific 'job to be done'– health and fitness tracking. This job, as something of an early adopter and intermittent 'quantified self' practitioner myself, I had originally earmarked as a reason to acquire an original Apple Watch. But its lack of waterproofing, poor heart rate detection, and sluggishness in response to user input put many like me off. It wasn't up to the job we wanted to hire it for. Other companies, too - both more traditional "wearables" (although we didn't use this term until recently) manufacturers focused on athletes, like Suunto and Garmin, and more consumer level products like those from Fitbit - have, of course, clearly staked out a claim in this space. It seems health and fitness are the only sufficiently important jobs as yet to drive etch-like wearable adoption. Meanwhile, many general purpose wearables based on the Android platform have come and gone. Which leads to the question: will the watch be the model for general wearable computing? It's widely considered that it will be. But as with many visions of the future, we're often constrained by how we thought about the future in the past (I've talked about this idea of "jetpack futurism" before, in relation to Google Glass, but it is a common anti-pattern when thinking about the future). Why bring that up now? Like video phone calls and voice activation (as well as jetpacks and flying cars), wristwatch computers have long been a staple of our vision of the future. But our visions of the future aren't always how the future arrives. After initially being very skeptical of Apples' delayed but now shipping Airpod wireless in-ear speakers, my instinct is perhaps the next wave of computing after mobile may not be onto our wrists (after all ownership of watches has fallen significantly from an almost mandatory item of apparel a generation ago to, at best, a signifier of status) but into our ears. I also think mobile may be more difficult to displace from the primary job of personal computing devices for many people these days – killing time – than some might believe. Initially in quite obvious ways, but through inexorable miniaturisation, and the increase in battery life brought about by Moore's (Gordon not Geoffrey) and Koomey's laws, increasingly unobtrusively until we all have Daredevil–like super powers of hearing. But what do such auditory interfaces 'look' like? Don't say 'Siri'. It seems to me this is a field ripe for exploration and opportunity." ["post_title"]=> string(37) "Jobs to be done, and the Pebble Watch" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(22) "jobs-done-pebble-watch" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-05 01:33:59" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-04 14:33:59" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6713" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [10]=> object(WP_Post)#238 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6707) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-01 09:30:27" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-01-31 22:30:27" ["post_content"]=> string(7004) "Last year, Web Directions held our first full conference focused on improving how government provides information and services, Transform. This tapped into discussions across the globe around digital transformation: drawing on the opportunities provided by emerging technologies to change for the better the way governments communicate with their citizens. Transform was a great success and is now a part of our annual line-up of conferences. Transform 2017 will take place on 29-30 March at the National Museum in Canberra. Digital transformation is not, after all, a one-off exercise – it’s a continuous process that represents an inevitable shift from our analogue past to a digital future. The transformation of government services will run into obstacles and challenges and we must find ways to overcome them, all while dealing with the vagaries and nuances of the political systems that underpin – and sometimes impede – the delivery of government services and information. Why Transform? Transform brings you speakers from around the world who are themselves practitioners. Transform is not about theories and hypotheses – it’s about those who do the work sharing their knowledge with you to improve outcomes for consumers, agencies, organisations and government itself. Whether you're in Federal, State or Local Government, or work with governments of any level to deliver services, Transform will put your own experiences in perspective, bring you new ways of looking at your own challenges and keep you up-to-date with all kinds of developments in government service design and delivery. Speakers There’s plenty of detail on speakers and their talks on the Transform website – including the full schedule – but, in brief: Not just a conference While Day Two of Transform will be given over to our five main speakers plus a series of case studies, Day One will feature a full-day workshop in two parts that will let you get a little more hands-on. In the morning, Dan Sheldon will lead you through A survival guide for digital government, taking an “honest look at the way government works and how to deliver value despite of it. If you're a digital practitioner, this session will equip you to deal with the world around you while staying sane.” Sarah Atkinson takes over for the afternoon session on Real World Transformation, in which you’ll be introduced to “tools and techniques which form the foundation of affecting transformation, bringing to life behaviours and characteristics underpinning the Digital Services Standard”. Together, these two sessions comprise a full day we're calling The Transformation Playbook. More! Stay in contact with us on this - as we get closer to the date, you’ll see there’s even more to Transform than we’ve just described. Register now to save Registrations for Transform 2017 are open now. Until 22 February, you can register for both the conference and workshop for just $999 (GST inclusive), a saving of $100 off the regular ticket price. Discounts are also available until 22 Feb for conference-only and workshop-only tickets. Limited Tickets Please be aware that there are limited tickets available for Transform 2017, due to the size of the venue. We do expect this conference to sell out, and we recommend you book early to make sure of your seat. Is this for you? Transform is not just for people working in government. It’s really for anyone with a stake in how governments deliver information and services to citizens. That’s a topic that affects an awful lot of people, including some of the most vulnerable in our community and some of the least able to deal with the sometimes over-complicated or archaic system currently in place. We encourage attendance by people working with and for government departments and agencies, but also not-for-profit organisations, community-based groups, consumer advocacy groups, researchers and academics. The kind of jobs held by Transform attendees range from senior management to the coalface, including service designers, web designers, front end developers, product owners, product designers, UX experts, user researchers, interaction designers, agile and transformation coaches and independent professionals. Need some concrete evidence? Last year’s Transform 2016 featured eight wonderful speakers representing USA, the UK, New Zealand, Australia (national), New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia. Just to whet your appetite for 2017, you’ll find links on the Transform 2017 website to videos of the full presentations last year by the US Digital Service's Dana Chisnell, Code for America's Dan Hon, and the Australian DTO's Leisa Reichelt. You can also download a free copy of our digital post-conference magazine Wrap, with details of every 2016 presentation plus a few extras. We’ll have plenty more to say about Transform 2017 in coming weeks but, in the meantime, let us know if you have any enquiries." ["post_title"]=> string(27) "Transform 2017 - The Launch" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(21) "transform-2017-launch" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-01 09:37:18" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-01-31 22:37:18" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6707" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [11]=> object(WP_Post)#237 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6690) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2016-12-23 10:53:18" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-12-22 23:53:18" ["post_content"]=> string(10969) "Let's face it. For many, 2016 hasn't been the best year ever: the loss of several beloved cultural icons, currents of political decision-making that didn't feel like steps forward, pessimistic news on the climate change front ... But it's well known that cultivating a mindset of gratitude is overwhelmingly positive and healthy. And so, at the end of this seemingly endless and at least personally exhausting year (one in which I turned 50), I wanted to reflect on some really positive things that we managed to achieve at Web Directions in 2016, some of them long standing ambitions.

A brand new conference – Transform

Since the beginning, many of our audience have come from the government sector, and over the years we've run workshops, and even entire conferences focused on Government and the Web. But with the significant changes happening around the World in Government service delivery, kick-started in many ways by the UK's GDS, and more recently taken up with gusto here in Australia with the establishment of the DTO (now DTA), we decided it was time for a conference focusing on this area. So in May (timed originally to avoid the election season planned later in the year, but which ended up being held over the period of the conference) we brought together pioneers in government service deliver from the US, UK, NZ and around Australia for Transform. A great success, we're back again at the end of March, again as a single day, single track conference, plus a day of optional workshops.

Not one but two new publications – Scroll and Wrap

When you go to a conference, you're almost invariably handed a program. Well designed, printed at quite some expense, and largely useless except as a memento. So this year we decided to do something about that. For each of our major events, we produced an edition of Scroll, a beautifully designed magazine that features in depth interviews and profiles of speakers, as well as articles of relevance to our industry. You can only get a physical copy by coming to our events, but you can download all three editions from 2016 now. But that's not all. I've long wanted to ensure that attendees obtained the most possible benefit from coming to our events, benefit that lasted far longer than the experience of being there. To this end, we've for several years made videos of presentations available to attendees, but this year we started Wrap, a detailed writeup for each session from each conference, once again beautifully designed by the folks at Handle. Even if you missed the conferences, there's real value in Ricky Onsman's detailed write-up of every session from every conference this year. Grab your copies today!

Expanding Respond to two days (and two cities)

In 2013, Web Directions was two conferences: Web Directions in Sydney, and Code in Melbourne. In 2017, we'll run four major conferences, two of which (Respond and Code) will take place in three cities. The growth began in 2014, when we ran Respond as a "popup" conference–a single day in Sydney focusing on the specific challenges around front end design. This year we not only extended it to two days, it also travelled to Melbourne, where its audience was even a little bit bigger than the Sydney audience!

Expanding Code to two cities

Hand in hand with this, we took Code on the road, to Sydney as well as the city where it started in 2012, Melbourne. And as I mentioned, we'll be also heading to Brisbane with Code in 2017.

Reframing, refocusing and rebranding our major conference, Direction

Part of all this was a really significant rethink about Web Directions, the conference that started it all for us way back in 2006. For many years, this was essentially our entire business. At one point in 2012, it grew to four tracks, a genuine behemoth. But in time we came to realise that focus is the key to great events. So, by 2015 we'd pared Web Directions back to two tracks, one focused on design and big ideas, and one focused on engineering–a combination of the sort of thins we cover in Respond and Code. But programming multiple developer conferences in Australia (Code, then three months or so later, the Web Directions engineering track) was really hard. So this year our goal with all our events was to integrate and coordinate them better, to allow each event to specifically focus on an area of practice, and to allow experts in specific areas of that field to dive deeply into their area of expertise. Which left us with something of a challenge for the the rebranded Direction (I wrote about the choice of name, and how direction is quite different from directions, earlier in the year). Many events of similar nature around the world might best be characterised as a "celebration" of the Web. But celebrations of their nature look backwards, rather than forwards. And there's only so much celebrating one can do. So we definitely wanted Direction to maintain significant professional relevance. What we felt was that for really established professionals, particularly with more of a design focus, or with an overall strategic focus within a team or organisation, the people shaping the direction (geddit?) their product, or company or organisation is taking, there isn't always a lot on offer. So, we developed Direction as precisely this–a way of keeping track of developing technologies (like this year VR and AR), ideas, and practices. It's more for the sort of person who might call themselves a designer but, to be honest, design sensibility and - dare I say it - "design thinking" are central to successful products, companies, organisations, and so in a way Direction is for a much wider audience. Judging by the responses (including via anonymous survey), this rather large leap into the unknown went a long way to achieving what we'd hoped, and we're already lining up some extraordinary speakers for 2017.

Speaker development

One day, I'll try to write up our vision for what it is we actually do, or at least strive to do here at Web Directions. But in essence it is to help people within our industry develop their skills and capabilities. One area we've focused on recently is helping people develop their presentation and public speaking skills. As part of this, we've worked with local groups like Women Who Code to hold workshops specifically for women to help develop these skills.

Developing an insurance offering

As if we didn't have enough to do with all we'd bitten off, we're also developing an idea I've been working on for quite some time: great value, fully featured insurance for freelance/contract workers as well as smaller agencies offering Web design and development services in Australia. That might seem significantly different from much that we do here, but it definitely aligns with our mission to help build the industry and, most importantly, its professionals. Starting at $39 a month, paid monthly, and with no lock-in, it will be available in early 2017. If you're keen, sign up to our mailing list to be the first to know, or drop us a line with any questions.

Refining our visual identity

In mid 2015 we started on a major overhaul of our visual identity, our Web sites, and more or less all our communications. While it's yet to have hit our main web site (that's coming), the sites for each of our "products" have been significantly overhauled. This is all part of a transition for us toward a focus on professional and industry development, as our industry transitions from peripheral, an adjunct to marketing or - in some ways even worse - IT, to an integral part of the organisations we work in or with.

2017

I've already foreshadowed much of what we'll be doing in 2017, something of a consolidation year for us, after the year of hectic innovation that was 2016. We'll be:
  • * holding Transform, our government service delivery focused conference in March in Canberra
  • * holding Respond, our front end design conference in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in May
  • * holding Code, our front end development conference in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in late July and early August
  • * holding Direction, our product/experience/design and big ideas conference in November
As mentioned, we'll also be launching our Public & Product Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance offering early in the year, we'll be producing Scroll and Wrap to go with each event, and maybe we even have one or two other things up our sleeve.

Thank You

As we wrap up a huge, and at times challenging year, there's a few folks we'd really like to thank. Ricky Onsman has come to almost every conference, workshop, and event we've ever run, including traipsing all the way to Vancouver for Web Directions North. This year, he's come on board as Managing Editor for all our content, and allowed us to achieve some of these things we'd been planning for many years. Michael and Georgina Schepis at Handle Branding, whom we found almost by accident last year, and who've helped deliver amazing experiences with Scroll and Wrap, the signage at our events, and much more. If you're looking for folks to do brand design, signage, print or any sort of communications design, you really should get in touch with them. Simon Wright has been coming along to our events since the early days, and has been our Art Director for the last couple of years as we've transitioned from a couple of folks doing almost everything themselves (including at times making people coffee at our events), to the sort of company we aspire to become. A huge part of this has been to develop the visual identity of the company, something Simon has done with great aplomb. Public Speaking for Life is two fantastic people, Sarah Ewen and Tarek Said, who run workshops, training and a community meetup in Sydney around developing public speaking skills. They've helped us deliver some fantastic training for speakers, and you should really look at what they have to offer. We also want to thank our dozens of conference speakers, writers for Scroll and Wrap, our event volunteers and, above all, you - the folks who've attended our conferences, workshops and events." ["post_title"]=> string(14) "2016 in Review" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(14) "2016-in-review" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-01-13 12:08:10" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-01-13 01:08:10" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6690" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#236 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6683) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2016-12-16 12:24:08" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-12-16 01:24:08" ["post_content"]=> string(57047) "There's little doubt technology has a diversity challenge. There's a lot of conversation about why that might be - although less about what we might do about it, particularly in terms of specific action. Aubrey Blanche from Atlassian spends her life thinking about this, and developing programs and practices to address it. In this highly regarded session from this year's Direction conference, Aubrey went into detail about what they have done - specific actionable practices - to help achieve some quite remarkable outcomes. Want to help increase the diversity of your organisation? Start here.   Like to watch and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once a week mailing list where we round up the week's best reading and watching on all things Web. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of our brand new magazine, Scroll.



Transcript

- - Alright so we're gonna do this without slides today, which is probably great for you because I am not a visual designer.

I am in fact an organizational designer.

So thank you for the lovely introduction, I am actually quite thrilled to be here today.

It's not often that I get to talk at, sort of, design conferences and things like that, so it's really fun to have a new type of audience.

But I am Atlassian's global head of diversity and inclusion, and what that means, my dad often says what do you do, why do you get paid? It's okay, right, like I get that question at least twice a week.

But my job is to help Atlassian more effectively attract, recruit, retain, and develop people from traditionally under-represented groups.

Or put another way, to design a company that creates equal access to opportunity for every person who walks through our doors.

And the reason that that's important is because it turns out that companies are actually quite bad at this, and the tech industry itself is actually really bad at it, and doesn't necessarily know why.

But it turns out that understanding why that happens means that we can design to overcome it.

In the same way that we're talking about what online harassment looks like, we can design organizations to mitigate the things that don't work, and to encourage the types of behaviors and decision-making that does.

So the place I like to start here, is to think about why.

So why don't we see women in technology, in the same way that we see them in a population.

They make up half of planet earth, roughly.

Probably a little bit less if you think about non-binary folks in there as well.

But it turns out there's a few hypotheses about why this is.

Things like women don't like science and math.

They're just not interested in computers.

And it turns out that those are not valuable hypotheses because the data doesn't show us that's true.

So it turns out that there are points along what I call the talent funnel, from the time that folks are tiny children, that actually cause women to opt out of working in technology.

And that there are things that we can do to overcome them.

So, alright here's my other slides.

I'm sorry, these are the wrong slides, but that's okay.

So one of the first things that I hear about the tech industry, and the sort of belief that we have about ourselves is that tech is a meritocracy, and I'm here to tell you that is not true.

It actually turns out, research shows that when we have a belief, that the systems that we engage in, that is they are meritocratic, the more that we believe that, the less likely they are to be meritocratic, and the less likely we are to believe claims of bias and discrimination.

It's something we call the paradox of meritocracy.

An amazing researcher, Castilla and Benard, published a study earlier this year, I absolutely, it's called The Paradox of Meritocracy, check it out.

But what they showed is that when companies added the ideas of meritocracy into their company mission statements, that individuals actually engaged in more biased behavior.

So the first thing we have to do is reframe meritocracy as something that exists, and embrace a growth mindset about it.

Say it is something that we can build.

It is something that we can achieve, and it is something that we can do together.

So starting all the way back, I wanna talk about why girls opt out.

And it starts in 1985.

So it turns out about that time, personal computers started being marketed to people.

And it turns out that they were mostly marketed to boys and men.

Which means that parents bought their sons computers.

That gave boys a 10 year head start.

So in the eighties, you saw in the US that more than 40% of computer science degrees were given to women.

And over the last 20 years, we've seen women's representation in engineering and STEM fields begin to come to parity with men, except for computer science.

And so, we can't assume that fundamental computer science concepts are uninteresting to women because we have historical data that they're not.

In fact, the first computer programmer was a women.

Grace Hopper invented COBOL.

Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr actually invented the technology that now powers Bluetooth and WiFi, right.

We have a hidden history of women in computing.

And it turns out that when that advertising came out, it not only gave boys a 10 year head start on learning hacking and how computers worked and things like that, but it also made girls believe that computers were not a thing for them.

Socialization is incredibly powerful.

It motivates the choices we make, even if there aren't strict rules about what we're allowed to choose, it turns out that, well, horses have to bolt to that kind of influence.

So you see that.

You see girls that are suddenly stereotyped as not.

We have stereotypes about who techies are.

We see them as this sort of lone wolf person, maybe hacking in a basement somewhere.

And there are certainly those people, and if they find that great, that's awesome, but it turns out that there are lots of other types of people in the world.

And by painting this sort of monolithic idea of who tech is, if someone doesn't identify with that type of a lifestyle, they're gonna opt out of that career.

So the advertising, the way we've done it, I don't have the slide for you today, but if you can Google it, Newsweek just did a cover last year, where they show the titans of Silicon Valley, and every single one of them was a white man.

And I love white men, they're great, my dad is one of them.

Right, lots more in my family too.

I'm actually mixed race, so I'm like, the left half of me is white.

It was a joke, right, bad jokes.

But imagine what that means.

You're implicitly telling people, and our brains are very plastic.

So we actually start to learn rules, like what types of people are allowed to do things.

And so this media and this advertising environment, and the stereotypes that we rely on, the fact that we talk about beer and pizza instead of things like comprehensive healthcare and flexible work environments.

Right? All of those things are great.

So we need to change the way that we advertise and the way that we brand, so that we paint a broad inclusive picture of who tech is, what tech is, and who it can be.

Because that's gonna help to opt in.

That's a long term play.

Next, talking about bias.

So unconscious bias is like the buzzword right now in diversity and inclusion.

Which makes me really excited because I am a perpetually recovering social scientist, so anyone that actually wants to talk about psychology is really exciting to me.

But it turns out that unconscious bias affects us in so many ways, it's crazy.

I could throw up 15 studies in a couple of minutes for you about the way that it causes us to actually evaluate the skills of women in technical roles less, compared to their male counterparts.

This is true for black individuals, for people who are Latino, disabled.

And so what happens, is that women actually face higher barriers to entry.

My personal research actually shows that when we removed names from coding screens that a company I was at previously, when the names were there, men were 1/3 more likely to get a phone screen interview when we controlled for the quality of the code.

And we controlled for it by using the same code and putting a different name on it.

Right, identical down to the character.

And when we rebuilt our internal tech systems to actually get rid of that identifying information, that gender based pattern disappeared.

Right, that's really really powerful.

And, so thinking about the ways that we conduct people processes, the way that we evaluate it, and how we design those environments to limit the application of the bias that we have as human beings is incredibly critical.

Because it turns out that if you're at a tech company, you probably know that you're in a war for talent right now.

It is really hard to find technical people.

I think someone told me yesterday that there are one million cyber security jobs in the world that there is no one to fill.

Just today.

And that's becoming even more critical.

And that's just one specialty.

So, the third thing is culture.

So there are lots and lots of research and hypotheses about why women leave.

Because it turns out that by 10 years into their career in technology, 56% of women opt out.

The comparable statistic for men is 17%.

And these women often don't leave technical roles, but they go to other industries where they can do technical jobs.

And there are hypotheses around raising children, and things like that, but it turns out that when you actually ask the women why they left, they will tell you it is a culture that they didn't feel like they could thrive in, and where they weren't going to get oppurtunities to succeed.

That's pretty great right, this is amazing survey tool we have, just ask people what their opinions are.

So it turns out that, you know, even me, I'm a 28 year old woman in tech, like I don't wanna work in a frat house.

And a lot of start ups in Silicon Valley, that's the culture that they create.

But it turns out that culture is malleable, so that's another problem that we need to address if we're trying to address that gap.

So they're kinda the broad things, that's the doom and gloom portion of the talk.

Now we're gonna talk about what Atlassian is doing about that.

So it turns out that a lot of these changes that we make are also not expensive.

So doing smart diversity and inclusion is about smart organizational design that gives your company better talent, but also it is a more efficient process for everyone.

So that's really great.

I guess before I talk about exactly why we've made all of those changes, I wanna talk about why diversity, why it's valuable.

'Cause I do a lot of this coaching.

So what we see, is that when we have diverse teams, they perform better.

So people with cognitive diversity, or difference with perspective and backgrounds, when they work together, their individual IQs actually go up.

So those diverse teams are greater than the sum of their parts.

Companies that are more diverse are significantly more likely to out-perform their more homogeneous peers.

Mackenzie estimates that gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to have greater financial performance, and ethnically or culturally diverse companies are 35% more likely to be in that top quintile of financial performance.

So if you have any equity in your companies, diversity is good for your bank account.

It turns out also that diversity is the mechanism that drives a host of other things that we care about as a business.

So, people on diverse teams are happier, they're more productive, they're more innovative, they perform better on logical and creative tasks.

Companies have greater retention, individuals have greater emotional commitment to colleagues.

Right, like who's all in for that? Me, for sure.

And so when I think about it, diversity is not the end goal, it is the mechanism by which we achieve all of this greatness.

And, that's important because it's not something we inherently seek out as individuals.

We as people have something called strong like-me bias.

I usually think, you know, we like people like ourselves, like our friends.

But it turns out that being around people like ourselves all the time doesn't make us great.

So now talking a little bit about Atlassian.

So I came on board about a year and a half ago, so June 1st of last year.

And I kind of said, what is reality today? And reality was, there was an incredible group of people that are really other-oriented, really passionate, and wanted to know how to make a difference, but nothing was built yet.

And it turns out that that was great because it meant that we could build things the right way the first time.

And so we had to decided where we wanted to start because Rome was not built in a day, and you cannot completely change the composition of your workforce in a year because firing half your employees do to that seems like a really stupid business decision.

So we said let's start with our graduates in Sydney because one, it's a very controlled process, we recruit all of our graduates at the same time, they start at the same time.

So we're in this lucky phase, we're about to open our recs for the summer for grads to start in January.

Let's look at everything we're doing, what we're doing wrong, and why.

So the first part of that project was utterly terrifying.

We pulled, we had just opened our recs for our intern and grad class in January, and we had exactly zero female applicants.

It is really really hard to hire women when you don't have any applications from them.

Right, like, radical honesty here.

And so we said, okay, this is, we are literally starting at ground zero.

What are we gonna do about it? And so we said well there are lots of hypotheses about what's going on, wrong.

Why don't we have any inbound applications? What kind of sourcing are we doing? So we started at the basics.

We know that women have something that we call the confidence gap.

So that means when women and men are equally qualified, women are actually less likely to rate themselves highly.

Like women will not call themselves experts, they call themselves specialists.

Right, all the women in the room are like, yeah totally, that's me.

Me too, like I freak out about the word expert.

I'm trying to embrace it, do that behavioral modeling.

But, we said okay, maybe there's a confidence gap, maybe they just don't feel comfortable applying to Atlassian.

So we sent our recruiters out to the women in tech groups at USydney, at UNSW, and other unis where we know that they have strong computer science programs.

We hosted breakfasts, and we literally just had our recruiters talk to the women about the fact that in their experience, women tend to opt out of applying even when we think that they have strong applications that are very competitive.

That's free, it's easy.

But it turns out that women sometimes need that encouragement because throughout their lives, they've been told that they're less capable at computer science, which means they're more susceptible to when they fail once, to fall prey to that confirmation bias.

So when they put in their application, they wanna really make sure that it's gonna land, and they're going to guarantee they can be successful.

We wanted to interrupt that pattern, and say throw your hat in the ring.

A lot of you maybe have heard the statistic for job applications that men will apply when they have about 30% of the requirements, and women will apply when they have about 80% of the requirements.

Actual research that's done, and I can tell you that that is true, I have stopped doing that.

I applied for my job having two out of the nine requirements on the list, look they gave me the job.

Shocking still.

But so that's a silly problem, it's an information problem, and it's a free problem to solve.

So in addition to going out and coaching these women that we thought would be fantastic additions to Atlassian, we also said we need to re-position our employer branding.

We need to make sure that passive people, who are encountering information about Atlassian, can see themselves there, and can see a value in applying.

So we did a complete overhaul of our careers site.

We looked at the images we were using and the language, and it wasn't about, like we have snacks and pizza, and, you know, beer on Fridays and that's great, wine if you're not into beer.

And we kept that stuff, but we also brought out things like, we're a really collaborative work environment.

We talk about things like flexible work policies.

We made sure that women of all cultural backgrounds were depicted in the images that are on our website.

Because we wanted people to opt in, to feel like they were gonna be included, and like they might have a place at Atlassian when they clicked on that button.

The next thing we did was fundamentally changed our job ads.

So we know that the drop out rate for people from minority backgrounds is significant after you have more than five requirements on your jobs.

And that most companies write their job ads, is this like wish list of a unicorn person who doesn't actually exist.

Stop doing that.

It's really really bad for you.

It turns out that the more that you do that, the less quality candidates you get as passive applications.

So counter-intuitively, it works against.

So we actually instituted new rules.

We started using an amazing machine learning tool called Textio to both surface high impact, positive words, and remove gender bias from the language in our job descriptions.

It turns out that women don't tend to associate themselves with words like "rockstar", or "guru", or "ninja", and also in our experience, rockstars come in at 11 and are really terrible at building software.

So we remove stuff like that.

We don't say "killer perks", we say "collaborative work environment." Why? Because that's actually more true about what we do, how we work at Atlassian.

So, all of our grad jobs now only have three requirements, and all of them are skills-based, and not experience-based.

So rather than saying something like, "Bachelors degree in computer science," we say "experience and ability of building high quality software." Why? Because it turns out that things like what uni you went to, there's a lot of structural factors that tell you whether you're gonna get a computer science degree.

In fact, in the United States, the number one predictor of whether you attend a top 25 university is how much money your parents make.

It has nothing to do with your skills and abilities.

Obviously our education system is a little bit different over there.

But we recognize that even for people, we've seen folks from the LGBTI community who are more likely to have family issues.

They're less likely to have the formal degrees and certifications that traditional job ads have on them.

And again, we know that if they're requirements that people can't meet, that's not great.

So, why not? Think about the ability that you want the person to have, not the very narrow way that one person might acquire that skill.

I've seen the other things is experience in a start up environment.

Well it turns out there's really strong selection effects of who actually makes it into a start up in the first place.

So why don't you say instead, "ability to work in an ambiguous and collaborative "environment at high speed with changing priorities." Right? That's actually what you mean.

So just say what you mean.

Because there's a lot of people, you know, IBM has this really amazing design lab right, where it's kind of start up-y.

And so maybe someone's at IBM, which doesn't necessarily fit with people who might enjoy working in a high growth company, but it turns out that they might have the skills that are an amazing addition to your team.

So be specific and be thoughtful.

Think of the requirements on your job ads as the lowest bar to entry.

The basic things that I need you to be able to do on day one when you sit down at your desk, and everything else is coachable and learnable.

Because you will get incredibly different set of candidates.

So that was a big thing for us.

Just changing our job ads.

That sounds really basic right? So that's the top of the funnel.

And then, it went into well, we know that unconscious bias affects the way that we evaluate people.

And we know that our process may not be perfect.

So how do we remove the bias? Or how do we make our evaluation processes as objective as they possibly can be? And, so we start at the top.

What's the first impression we have of a candidate? The first thing that we do for every candidate is they receive a coding test.

And because my research shows that when humans grade those coding tests, we're subject to bias.

We just had a computer grade it.

Just spits our a raw score for us.

And we came up with a measure of what score a candidate needed in order to move forward to the phone screen portion of our interview.

It turns out that it also takes a ton of work off of our recruiters.

It means that we can access more talent more quickly, and that we can really bring, sort of those high quality folks into the funnel when we start investing those people resources in it, which is pretty great.

Then we said well what about our evaluation processes? So we did a bunch of research about what types of interviewing, and what types of structures of interviews actually results in more objectivity, and what problems we expected.

We expected minorities to experience perhaps more in interview environments than people who have majority group identities.

So we actually re-designed our entire evaluation process to use structured behavioral interviewing.

So if you've read Laszlo Bock's book, who's the former VP of People at Google, he talks about the fact that one, interviewing is hard, and people are terrible at it.

We are really really bad at evaluating whether people are good at anything.

As human beings, so we're all in this together.

But structured behavioral interviewing is, has I think it's like R equals point three four, something like that, predictive power, on whether someone is gonna be successful.

And so what structural behavior interviewing is, is that we have a structured set of questions for each role, and we make sure that each candidate is give the same set of questions.

We try to hire for different facets, so we look at things like technical ability, but also their leadership potential.

And we ejected culture fit from our vocabulary, and from our evaluation processes.

And the reason for that is, culture fit is actually just this weird intractable moras of unconscious bias.

So, that's no good for anybody.

So again, structural behavioral interviewing, and then we changed to something we call values fit.

So, talking about the bad side of culture fit, it turns out that research shows that when we have something in common with the candidate, even if it's completely orthogonal to the skills required for a role, we tend to have this halo effect of them.

Maybe they're just wearing a blue jacket that we really like.

Or research in the financial industry has shown that for people who play the same sport as their interviewer in college, they're four times more likely to be described as a culture fit.

I am totally into rowing and I watch it in the Olympics, but it does not help me create beautiful products.

So...right? Everyone's like yeah, you're saying such sensible things.

And so what we did is we said that's stupid.

At Atlassian, if you know anything about our company, or you can Google it and please do, we have a set of five company values.

And a lot of companies talk about that, but I can tell you I am still quite shocked at how much people refer to them in the middle of their days.

It's like, well I don't, I'm trying to balance this, so our company values are open company no bullshit, it's one of the reasons why I'm actually here talking to you all, is because everything we learn about our people and the way that we build teams, everyone else should know.

You should learn from our failures and our successes, so you can take them and build brilliant, beautiful things with you.

The second is build with heart and balance.

So we believe in bringing your whole self to work, and balancing those things.

That's everything from your work-life balance to the composition of our teams.

And then the third is, and pardon my language, don't fuck the customer.

So what that is, is our commitment to empathy and to putting our customer's needs first, even when it means making hard business decisions.

And it turns out that because we know diversity drives innovation, diversity has to be a part of that conversation.

The fourth one, which is my personal favorite value, is play, as a team.

So, there's a little comma after play, which we care a lot about.

But what it means is that we can have joy and happiness when we come to work.

And, but we are always a team, we are always together.

You will hear our founders, if you ever hear them, they will talk about the fact that we do not believe in the lone genius.

We believe that everything beautiful and wonderful in the world has been built by groups of people with a shared purpose.

And our last one is be the change you seek.

And that is our commitment to allowing people to build a better Atlassian.

We tell everyone every week our new starters, that Scott says, we hired Atlassian, hired you at Atlassian so that you could change Atlassian.

We don't want you to keep it the same.

And so we found that that concept of culture fit was boxing us in.

The idea that we were describing our culture as a little box that it could fit in rather than the sort of amorphous growing thing.

But we care about our values.

Our values never change.

Our culture simply reflects the different types of Atlassians that we have here.

So we developed a set of behavioral questions that we believe answer the things that we wanna know.

Is this person collaborative? Do they show an initiative to help the people around them? Do they prefer to work in a transparent, open information by default environment? And, really really simple questions.

My favorite, I like to ask people, are you kind? Right, everyone looks at me like I'm crazy, I'm like it's not a trick question.

Right, but if you've never thought about it, we probably have a problem.

Right, like if you've never though about being nice to another person, you will not do well at Atlassian.

I have to be like, look this is a co-interview.

But, it's so easy, values fit, things like one of the questions that I always use, have you ever worked on a dysfunctional team? Why was that dysfunctional? Talk to me about what you, talk to me about your role within that team, and what you did to help alleviate that dysfunction.

And then we have a rubric.

A strong answer is someone who understands their role within their team, and did what they could, within the context of their role to help.

They did something.

They don't have to do a specific thing.

But we're looking for that quality.

A poor answer is someone who says, I just put my head down.

Because, and maybe helping was, I realized there was nothing I could do, and so I looked to change.

Right, that's okay, that's an okay answer.

Because we're looking at your analysis of your ability to create change, and then you're taking initiative you wanna go somewhere that you can.

So things like that have helped us hire a completely different group of people.

And, so right, values fit.

If your company is super stuck on culture, that's totally okay, but I have two suggestions for you.

The first is, when someone says something culture fit, your first question should be what do you mean by that? Articulate what you mean.

Because sometimes that's based on bias, and sometimes there are actual data points.

It also turns out that not using the word culture fit protects you from a lot of lawsuits.

Right, that's like a side benefit.

So we look at diversity inclusion from a opportunity prospective, and the compliance will take care of itself.

Right, or the legal team deals with it.

But, right, so culture fit, don't use it, but use culture add.

So your culture question should be what does this person bring to my team that we currently don't have? That will help you select for diversity.

So, that's a pretty basic set of things that we've done, right? And the reason it's so important is because many people, when they think about doing this diversity work, they actually think about quotas.

How do we manipulate the hiring numbers? How do we get more women into the organization? If we're focused on women.

As a side note, at Atlassian, we actually believe that diversity is inter-sectional, and so our focus on women and oppurtunities for them is only one small part of our larger diversity strategy.

That's important that we never think that diversity's just about women, it's about all of us.

Turns out 1% can't be diverse.

So, yeah, it's, you can't change the hiring numbers because what you're doing is manipulating the wrong part of the system.

Right, X causes Y, and quota manipulates Y, without actually dealing with the deficiencies in X, and the problems with the mechanism by which X transforms into Y.

So what we did, is we changed X and we changed the mechanism.

And, when I tell you it works, I promise you it works.

When I came on board at Atlassian a year and a half ago, we had about 11.5% women in our technical roles, globally.

That is way below market average, but it is not crazy out of bounds with our peer companies in Silicon Valley.

So doing some benchmarking for a high growth company that was about 1000 in head count, that was actually not crazy out of the ballpark, it's objectively really terrible, but it's not out of, outside of the bound of what I would have expected when I came in.

And all of these methods, when I tell you they work, this is what I mean.

Last year's intern class was 46% women.

Our graduate class that year was 17% women, which was twice the representation of the year before.

And it was also our biggest grad class ever.

The latest intern class was 47% women, and our incoming graduate class in January 2017 is 54% women.

Yeah, I know, like what? That's what I said too actually.

Yes, applause for that right? I think that's cool.

That I could like, I can do all of those things, right? That's not rocket surgery.

I told you, I tell really bad jokes.

But, it's that organizational design.

How do we understand the way that psychology, sociology, and organizational theory come together to create the behaviors and outcomes we want? And the, I think one of the reasons we've been so successful is because something that we didn't change was that we left it up to the hiring teams to make the final decisions.

We empowered them and trusted them that they were going to make the right decisions.

And part of the way that we did that, is we also offered, for every single person that's involved in our hiring process as a first priority, and all other Atlassians as well, training in unconscious bias and how they can mitigate it, or optimize their own decision making.

So that means we're equipping people with tools, and building the kind of environments, where they can create the outcomes they want, or as I like to say, they can align their behaviors and decisions with their intentions.

So, we're doing these things at other levels of the company as well, and it's really simple, once you get it up and running, it turns out that it's actually more efficient.

When you build a set of structured interview questions, it takes less time to prep for an interview.

It's much easier to create and write up your feedback on an interview when you have a rubric.

That kind of guides you through the process.

And it turns out that when you hire for diversity, you're actually hiring a higher quality talent pool more quickly, which means your people will be spending less time interviewing and more time doing, but you're gonna get this amazing set of people.

And I focused a lot on women here, but the other thing to consider is that when you make these changes, you actually start attracting a different type of men, too.

So people who are maybe a little less into competition, more into collaboration.

And I think we're at a really interesting spot in Australia in particular because we haven't quite figure it out here yet, but the industry's a little bit younger than in Silicon Valley, and so I think the pace of change can be so much greater.

That's kind of the context that I prepared because I find that a lot of people have a lot of like burning questions about this stuff, so I like to create a lot of space for that.

And this talk is a little bit different than I planned it this morning 'cause I wanted to address the elephant not in the room today, which is what happened in the US last night.

I can tell you that I'm like almost shaking talking about it, and I spent most of my day got blown up because I'm in HR, and when that stuff happens, you spend a lot of time on the phone.

And the reason that this work is so important now, that thinking about this and using all of our analytical abilities, is because we're seeing that is companies who are gonna lead this movement for quality and for opportunity and for innovation.

And technology is the forefront at the bleeding edge of all of these things.

And we do not exist as closed systems in a vacuum, but rather the people that come to us, come to us having faced completely different oppurtunities based on structural factors beyond their control.

But we as companies can start to correct it.

We can prove the model, and we can start to change things.

Because imagine the power, the other things is we try to create a feedback loop with this, so after we hired all these brilliant amazing people, we started doing advertising featuring them.

It turns out that that attracts more people like them.

Right, and there's this great feedback loop.

So I wanna put something out to all today because as an American, and as a woman, and as a Latina person, and as an LGBTI identified individual, especially for the white men in the room, like one, like kudos to you, seriously.

Just for existing because you, of all of the people that exist, have this amazing power to do this.

So research shows us that your voices and your opinions and the things that you want happen much more quickly than those of us with one or more minority identities.

And I am a big believer in collaboration, positivity, and optimism.

And so, while recognizing that the world is really hard today, and I'm sure there are a lot of people here that are struggling with that, myself included, but talking to you all is actually me feel really great.

Take this opportunity to take these pieces of learning, and these things that you have, you're all designers, right, so this is totally in your wheelhouse.

Because you can completely change the composition of this industry.

And for Australia that is so important.

In order to continue to help us, and I say us because I've been at an Aussie company now long enough, I have a lot of love for this place, is that we can actually change it.

This is part of the key of keeping Australia relevant and competitive in the global economy.

By taking advantage of all of the talent that is already there that we just need to create oppurtunities for.

And so I really really encourage everybody, but especially the white men in the room, to recognize, embrace, and celebrate the power that you have and this amazing opportunity to change something that's awesome for you, but also awesome for everybody around you.

So that's what I wanted to close with 'cause it's been a really hard day, and I wanna be like yes we can do it, right? But I also wanna take some questions, or chat, or whatever the best format is, 'cause I know we all have a lot of, how did you do this, what did you do? I'm kind of freaking out right now.

Like that's okay.

This stuff is really hard to talk about, but the more we talk about it, the more we can make progress.

Yeah, thank you so much, yeah.

- Thank you Aubrey.

Why don't we sit down? - Sure.

- I loved all the emotion and all the sort of conviction that was in those, not only last words, but everything you said before.

- Oh absolutely.

People call me Polly-Anna.

- Just to pick up what you just said, the asynchronicity of what is happening on the global stage, and at the same time, what is happening in enlightened companies, do you have any reason why these things are so out of sync? - Yeah.

It's really really hard to change hearts and minds.

And what we know is that, for people that we're closer to that we're interacting with, it's easier for us to have empathy and understanding and communication for them.

And so the larger these systems get, the harder it is to maintain that connection, and empathy is really the thing that motivates people to help others, especially unlike themselves.

And so companies, by virtue of being these smaller systems, one are actually more interesting playgrounds for testing out a lot of this, so but we also have this really interesting opportunity, and I'm really into the idea of the potential of marketing, and PR, for this because all of the research on bias, and sort of brain plasticity, shows that the more we see counterstereotypical images, the more our expectations about what happens in the world changes.

So that means that companies, by publicly and openly investing in these things, just talking about the problem is actually part of the solution.

And so we can test and we can move faster than, the US government is, you know, presides over 350 million people.

Like that's just a lot of people to get all moving in the same direction, right? Like how many times have you been in triad in universe, trying to get everyone to agree with each other? It's really hard.

So I think that's a cool thing, is that by engaging in that, and by, you know, we have a video we call Women of Atlassian Building the Future, that just highlights a lot of the amazing work that the women at Atlassian are doing, but we think that's part of it, that the more girls and the more boys and the more people, non-binary people, see images of women doing interesting things like technology, it'll just become normal, right? It's to the point where the sort of homogeneity becomes abnormal, and we're already starting to see it, in the US in particular with Millennials, right.

There are eight year olds right now that have never seen a white person as president.

That's gonna change soon, but think about that.

- An orange president-- - Right yes, this is true.

I have had those disasters myself, a self-tanner, but yeah so I think that there's this really interesting thing where because it's a small system, we're creating that empathy and that engagement is easier, and the levers that we need to push to change things are closer, we can move faster, we can be more agile than these sort of enormous systems.

We can prove the models, and then bring them up to those higher systemic levels.

- Can I just ask, what was a big obstacle you actually faced, I mean everything sounds great in the end where you got to, but what is a problem that anyone here in the room might face if they try to take on some of your advice.

- Absolutely.

So I think the biggest, I genuinely believe that the biggest obstacle to making progress on this is this attitude or belief in meritocracy.

And that's because there's two really really important reasons.

The first is that the people that are represented are the people in power in tech right now, have a lot emotionally to lose by believing that the meritocracy does not exist.

So we need to have empathy for how hard that is.

I, just totally honestly, I watch, especially white men, but lots of other people, I think that they have often the furthest to go and the hardest job, and we need to support them in doing that, is you have to accept the things that you have achieved in your life are not solely due to your own talent.

And that is a really hard emotional journey to accept.

It does not mean that you're not brilliant and you haven't earned everything that you've gotten, but we need to understand the structural factors that allow us to achieve.

In my own life, I can tell you, I was adopted when I was three years old.

And I was adopted by the most amazing couple in the universe, in my opinion, I'm highly consciously biased about that.

And, but I'm Mexican-American, and my adoptive family is white.

And they're middle class.

And my dad's an attorney.

And he told me that I could have whatever book I wanted growing up.

He didn't put a time clause on that, so I'm still taking advantage of it.

But imagine that, I just had parents that cared about education, and had the financial means to send me to a great school.

My dad was an engineer before he as an attorney and told me that I was great at math and science, and so I should do that.

But he was fighting against the idea that everything else in the media was telling me me I shouldn't do that.

And I also really like languages so I went and got a degree in journalism in Arabic.

That's not super useful anymore, but and my Arabic is really bad now, but right, just those types of things, those oppurtunities that we had that we don't think, and I think we think in that way, in a systemic way, it makes that emotional journey easier.

- Do you have any sort of advice on how you can do one little thing today or tomorrow, I'm just reminded of my colleague, Andy Bolaine, who just before I came here, said you know, whenever I get asked to be on a panel, I ask if there's also women on the panel, otherwise I don't do it.

And if they don't want that, then I can swap out myself for a woman on the panel.

You know, that's an easy thing to do.

- Totally.

I think the biggest thing is if you're involved in the hiring process, demand, just say I will not do interviews until you give me a diverse slate of candidates for these open roles.

Because I don't believe that I can actually assess and get the best person without seeing a broad set of candidates.

A statistical trick, it turns out, that if there's only one woman in the group, the statistical chances that she's hired is like zero.

But if there are two, or two minorities or some type, so it depends on what type of diversity, you know, your organization lacks, or wants to focus on.

But once you have two the odds go up to like 40% no matter how many other people are on the slate.

So right, cool, like use math.

Math is great.

So that's a little thing.

The other thing I've been telling people, just as humans, that's really good, is we know that viewing counterstereotypical information can make us less biased.

So I actually, and I bunch of people are going go check me on this, about every two to three months I go on to my Twitter, and I make sure that I'm following roughly 50-50 gender balance of voices, and I look for culturally diverse people to follow as well.

I literally go on to Google and say, like, black women in machine learning, and like people come out of these lists, like I can find them, and through network effects you can find other people with those identities working on those really interesting topics, so it's topical to whatever you're interested in, most of my Twitter is about diversity and social justice because I need to know what's going on, and that's based on my job.

But, those are little things you can do.

And if you are a person in your workplace, all of us have privilege in some way, shape, or form.

Think about how you use that privilege for someone next to you.

Think of your self in a constant state of ally-ship.

So right, I might be a racial minority and a women in tech, but I'm also, I don't have any physical disabilities, and so that provides me with oppurtunities that maybe some of my colleagues don't, and so I can be an ally to that.

Or I can be an ally to more senior folks in the workplace because we know ageism is a thing.

And so-- - Just yesterday I was having a chat with Vince Frost from Frost Design, which is around the corner here, and they shot a film about disability and had a disabled director, and they had a teenage director for a teenage film.

You know it's like those things where you say, when we co-create, and we try to design something for family tax benefits let's say, you know, do we have a family person in the group, or do we have, you know, people who are disadvantaged? - Absolutely.

Yeah and I think that's a really really interesting, exciting space that I'm getting more interested in, is in product design around diversity and inclusion.

So that's something that we also think about at Atlassian with our diversity and inclusion strategies, it's not just about workforce, it's also about the way we do business and our DNA, and how we deal with our partners.

It's everything from our suppliers, we prioritize trying to hire suppliers who are diverse, but also even in our product design.

So things like looking at the default genders that we have as options, or what types of avatars are in the products, or to reference back to the talk before, thinking about the effect of comments and privacy policies on your products, like you have consumer facing stuff.

Because it turns out that the comments tend to drive women off the platforms, and things like that, so make more intentional design decisions because people are starting to look more and more at the business side of things when they're evaluating.

I'm gonna get in trouble for saying this, but Slack actually, no one left, we have, so.

I'm not supposed to talk about Slack.

But, they have a senior designer there, his name is Diogenes Brito, he's a black man, and just tiny little ad campaign that they did, but they made a Back to Slack button, and it was like a cloud and a hand came down and grabbed the Slack button, and it was a black hand.

And he wrote this like, you need to go read the media post, it's amazing, about it, but he talked about he basically freaked out for like an hour in his head about the design choice to like make a black hand because it was so crazy because no one shows black people in tech advertising.

And the incredible outpouring of the black community in tech at that, was just like insane, they were like, oh my God, I've never done that, and for us, we have these little people called the Meeples, like our little avatars and cartoon characters, and we do periodic design refreshes, and last year we added a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, to sort of the composite of the little meeples that we use.

And I publish blog posts a lot about what we're working on, and I made this little group and I included the hijabi meeple.

I got more engagement about Muslim women freaking out about how excited they were that we had a hijabi than any of the content that I wrote.

Like I don't even know if people read the blog post.

Hopefully, but, so I think it's like really cool as designers, you have so much power to shape those narratives, and shape those things.

So don't even think it's just about the HR people.

- Excellent.

Thank you very much.

I think we still have a few minutes, so if people feel compelled to grab a mic and ask a question, I don't know actually where the microphones are, but if somebody does have a question.

Yup, anyone? Possibly? Alright then, second row.

- [Audience Member] You've spoken openly about gender diversity and also touched a little bit LGBTI diversity, I'm wondering if you've had a look at diversity in aspects of ability, be it physical or mental and intellectual disabilities as well? - Yeah absolutely.

So to back up a little bit broader, and then I'll answer your question directly, which is, we talk about diversity as an intersection of different things, and we think part of that is it drives engagement 'cause I know, and I talk about white men a lot, but I think they're really important in this work, so I talk about them a lot, and I don't think diversity professionals do.

They often feel really alienated from it.

And so we talk about intersections as a way to bring everyone together into that.

And when we think about disability is absolutely something we think about.

Both from a workforce point of view, and from our product design.

So to tell a story that actually happened to me yesterday that felt awesome.

I, or not yesterday, Tuesday.

I land in Sydney at about 7am, and I went straight to the office and I got out of elevator, and I went to the bathroom, and I realized that inside all of the stalls were posters about how to design products for people with different types of disabilities.

So physical limitations, eye sight problems, hearing impairment, which isn't as relevant to our products.

And some others.

But, so in terms of diversity of our workforce around disability, we don't necessarily have particular recruiting targets around that population, but we partner with sourcing agencies that we know provide oppurtunities.

So we've partnered with Enabled Employment here in Sydney, and also the California Department of Rehabilitation in our SF and Bay Area offices, so we think about making sure that folks with disabilities know that we have oppurtunities for them, and we're really happy to have them there.

And then we have sets of resources.

Obviously the compliance based things, you know, the right bathrooms and all of that.

But yeah, we think about that as well.

And we talk about neuro-diversity, so it's really important, especially for us, we found folks sort of around mental health and then folks who are on the autism spectrum.

So as a lot of people know in tech, people with autism tend to do better, or there are a lot of jobs that really work for them, which is great.

And so part of that is education.

We encourage our Atlassians to write blogs about their life and their experiences because I believe in the power of storytelling to create empathy and to create those connections, and understanding about what people need.

So we've had a few of our employees, and interns even, on the spectrum, write about, you know, their oppurtunities and challenges of living, you know, with autism.

And it's really great because it helps our managers understand what they need to do to better support those folks, and for those of us that don't have it, we understand how to be better colleagues.

And then of course we have our HR team, who is always available.

You know, we make accommodations for folks that need it.

You know, little things like, right now we're sourcing vendors to make sure that we have captions on all of the videos for our staff on hands, and our Atlassian summit, which is our biggest user conference of the year, this year we actually added sign language interpreters to all of our sessions.

So we try to think about those principles, both for our workforce and the way that it impacts our ecosystem.

- Thank you very much, I hope you'll take some inspiration for that, for your companies, or if you're interested in Atlassian obviously, you can try to join them right here.

- Seriously, Atlassian dot com slash careers.

- That's exactly right.

- We're hiring.

If you're awesome, we'd love to have you.

- Thank you very much Aubrey.

- Thank you.

" ["post_title"]=> string(126) "Video of the Week: Aubrey Blanche–Scaling Walls: The Barriers to Female Representation and How Atlassian is Eliminating Them" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(92) "video-week-aubrey-blanche-scaling-walls-barriers-female-representation-atlassian-eliminating" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2016-12-16 12:24:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-12-16 01:24:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6683" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [13]=> object(WP_Post)#235 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6678) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2016-11-25 14:48:46" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-11-25 03:48:46" ["post_content"]=> string(2773) "Direction '16 took place the day after the US election. I wasn't alone in being more than a little despondent with the result, and in particular several of our speakers were from the US and were significantly affected by the outcome. My sense is that the vast majority of our audience felt similarly. In response, I spent a few minutes talking about the philosophy behind this year's program, which I hadn't originally intended to (I typically hope that the underlying themes emerge throughout the event, rather than making them overt). My basic point was simple. We who work on the Web, and more broadly in technology, are very fortunate. We're well paid, and get the chance to pick the work we do, and who we work for. Many of our contemporaries, indeed most people in the world aren't nearly so fortunate. I see this privilege also as a responsibility. To choose what we do with this opportunity wisely. To do better.   Like to watch and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once a week mailing list where we round up the week's best reading and watching on all things Web. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of our brand new magazine, Scroll.
" ["post_title"]=> string(33) "Opening thoughts for Direction 16" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(29) "opening-thoughts-direction-16" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2016-11-25 14:48:46" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-11-25 03:48:46" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6678" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } [14]=> object(WP_Post)#1059 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6668) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2016-11-22 13:43:06" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-11-22 02:43:06" ["post_content"]=> string(2627) "Well, Direction 16 is done and dusted, and the relative quiet here the last couple of weeks is testament to just how much effort goes into running conferences (though planning 2017 has also taken considerable time). Last year at Web Directions, Maciej Cegłowski's "The Website Obesity Crisis" caused quite a stir, and the video has been watched hundreds of thousands of times since. We were very privileged to have Maciej back for Direction 16, and his presentation did not disappoint. Addressing the challenge of AI, autonomous vehicles (of all kinds), robots and much more, he asks, "What role do we have to play in all this?" A question definitely worth asking. Please enjoy the closing keynote from Direction, and we'll be back November 9 and 10 2017 with more like this.   Like to watch and read more like this? Be the first to score invitations to our events? Then jump on our once a week mailing list where we round up the week's best reading and watching on all things Web. And you'll get a complimentary digital copy of our brand new magazine, Scroll.
" ["post_title"]=> string(78) "Maciej Cegłowski video from Direction 16: Who Will Command The Robot Armies?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(61) "maciej-ceglowski-video-direction-16-will-command-robot-armies" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2016-11-23 15:51:14" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2016-11-23 04:51:14" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6668" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } } ["post_count"]=> int(15) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#248 (25) { ["ID"]=> int(6819) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-02-20 10:00:17" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-19 23:00:17" ["post_content"]=> string(4810) "Friday sees the end of the Early Bird discount for the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March. Which is a great time to revisit the closing keynote address from last year's Transform. Jared Spool certainly knows how to deliver a talk.

Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool, Founder, User Interface Engineering

Jared Spool, Transform 16

Key points

It used to be that delivering a “good” experience was enough. Now, users expect a “great” experience. The UX Tipping Point is when an organisation no longer compromises on well-designed user experiences, and design has become an embedded part of their culture and DNA. To go beyond the Tipping Point, an organisation has to change its design culture to commit to experiences that delight users. The Disney theme parks are an example of evolving a design culture within 10 years from a barely usable website to a wristband that shapes a delightful user experience through the clever use of technology. the Disney band Successful UX is built on systems that are designed to be flexible and adapt to changing situations, not processes designed to operate the same way every time.
"A culture of continuous learning provides development of a deep understanding of customer needs."

Takeaways

People learn UX design by growing from unconscious incompetence (they don’t know what they don’t know) to conscious incompetence (they know what they don’t know), to conscious competence (they know what they know), and finally to unconscious competence (they don’t know what they know). Transform 16 As people move between those stages they progress from literacy to fluency and finally to mastery. Organisations need to grow their UX design efforts from UX Design as a Service, to Embedded UX Design, to Infused UX Design. We need a playbook, filled with plays, that get us to being a design-driven organisation.
"A team’s growth stage is the stage of the most immature infuencer."

Caveats

To change culture, start telling different stories. If you feel like you’re not going fast enough, you’re probably moving at the right speed. Products need to work, meet needs AND delight users. Creating enhanced user experiences can be expensive, but the returns are proportionate. Learning something new should be the thing that drives us.
"Uber taught us that creepy can be cool.”"
Jared Spool, Transform 16

Resources

@jmspool website slides

Tweets

Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 Jared Spool tweets, Transform 16 These extracts are taken from Wrap magazine, the free digital magazine we publish after every conference that summarises every presentation (and a bit more). You are welcome to download this and every issue of Wrap. Transform 2016 took place at Old Parliament House in Canberra, 18-19 May 2016.  " ["post_title"]=> string(54) "Transform 16: Beyond the UX Tipping Point, Jared Spool" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(48) "transform-16-beyond-ux-tipping-point-jared-spool" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-02-19 19:51:12" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-02-19 08:51:12" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(37) "https://www.webdirections.org/?p=6819" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["post_category"]=> string(1) "0" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> string(3) "764" ["max_num_pages"]=> float(51) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(true) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "cd15f7c06249973e2ffe0fd408452899" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(false) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }

Blog

Morning coffee for web workers News Feed Podcast

Transform 16: Beyond the UX Tipping Point, Jared Spool

Friday sees the end of the Early Bird discount for the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March. Which is a great time to revisit the closing keynote address from last year’s Transform. Jared Spool certainly knows how to deliver a talk. … Read more »

Not My Digital Detox

It seems that the number one New Year’s resolution this year  (as covered in mainstream media, at least) was the “digital detox”.

Then there was the digital detox backlash (“say ‘digital detox’ one more time …”).

And in various podcasts I’ve listened to of late (more on podcasts shortly), really intelligent, successful … Read more »

We Wish We Could Read Your Mind

But we can’t.

And, on reflection, perhaps that’s not a bad thing.

Nevertheless, if we’re to continue to not just provide you with valuable events, news and conferences, but to keep doing it better every year, we need to know what best suits your needs and preferences.

And so, the survey.

This survey … Read more »

Call For Proposals to Speak at Respond 2017 Opens

Web Directions has opened a Call For Proposals from people interested in speaking at Respond 2017.

Respond is our Front End Design Conference, taking place in Sydney (4-5 May), Melbourne (8-9 May) and this year also in Brisbane (12 May).

We’re accepting proposals for 20 minute talks up til 1 March, so … Read more »

Five Reasons to Join Us at Transform 17

You might have already scanned what’s in store at Transform 17, but I just want to highlight five great reasons why you should join us this year.

 

 … Read more »

Release Your Inner Conference Speaker

You know it. You’ve felt it.

You go to conferences, workshops, meetups, events of all kinds where people get up and talk and give you insights into their work – and your own – that you’d never get from anywhere else.

And you can’t help thinking to yourself, “I could do that. … Read more »

Transform 16: Transforming Government Communication and Content, Dan Hon

As we approach the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March, we’re going to remind you of the talks from the first Transform conference in 2016. These extracts are taken from Wrap, the free digital magazine we publish after every conference … Read more »

Weekend Reading Links

Things I’ve Been Reading
A fortnightly collection of links to online articles, news and resources of interest to people working on the web.
Automating Visual Testing
At Web Directions events we frequently cover testing and a key to this is, of course, automation (see also Atul Gawande‘s Checklist Manifesto, which we mentioned in a … Read more »

Transform 16: Redesigning the Citizen Experience, Dana Chisnell

As we approach the first Web Directions conference of the year, Transform 2017 in Canberra on 29-30 March, we’re going to remind you of the talks from the first Transform conference in 2016. These extracts are taken from Wrap magazine, the free digital magazine we publish after every … Read more »

Jobs to be done, and the Pebble Watch

Pebble Watches

The work of Geoffrey Moore and his chasm theory is less well known now than it was a decade ago, although terms he coined or popularised like ‘early adopter’ and ‘early majority’ continue to find widespread use. But, if anything, Moore’s work … Read more »

Transform 2017 – The Launch

Last year, Web Directions held our first full conference focused on improving how government provides information and services, Transform. This tapped into discussions across the globe around digital transformation: drawing on the opportunities provided by emerging technologies to change for the better the way governments communicate with their citizens…. Read more »

2016 in Review

Let’s face it. For many, 2016 hasn’t been the best year ever: the loss of several beloved cultural icons, currents of political decision-making that didn’t feel like steps forward, pessimistic news on the climate change front …

But it’s well known that cultivating a mindset of gratitude is overwhelmingly positive and … Read more »

Video of the Week: Aubrey Blanche–Scaling Walls: The Barriers to Female Representation and How Atlassian is Eliminating Them

There’s little doubt technology has a diversity challenge. There’s a lot of conversation about why that might be – although less about what we might do about it, particularly in terms of specific action.

Aubrey Blanche from Atlassian spends her life thinking about this, and developing programs and practices to address … Read more »

Opening thoughts for Direction 16

Direction ’16 took place the day after the US election. I wasn’t alone in being more than a little despondent with the result, and in particular several of our speakers were from the US and were significantly affected by the outcome. My sense is that the vast majority of our … Read more »

Maciej Cegłowski video from Direction 16: Who Will Command The Robot Armies?

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  • November 22, 2016
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Well, Direction 16 is done and dusted, and the relative quiet here the last couple of weeks is testament to just how much effort goes into running conferences (though planning 2017 has also taken considerable time).

Last year at Web Directions, Maciej Cegłowski’s “The Website Obesity Crisis” caused quite a stir, … Read more »