Why Design Will Eat User Documentation

Design Will Eat User Documentation and technical writingAs Marc Andreessen once quipped, software is “eating the world,” embedding itself in all material and digital products. The basis of his remark was that digital interaction was an order of magnitude faster and more efficient than analog.

Design will eat user documentation explains that now a much more profound change is afoot because design is permeating everything that humans make. People are more likely to use things that have been explicitly designed for them because products’ ease of use and relevance are greater. Continue reading Why Design Will Eat User Documentation

Improving the Business Impact of Technical Writing and UX Writing

Improving Business Impact Technical WritingImproving business impact of technical writing and UX writing outlines how to increase the business value of two writing disciplines that directly affect customer experience.

Before diving into that, the backstory shares how I developed an unusual point of view while practicing service design and experiential social media—and how this led me to technical writing and UX writing.

Then the main event: I offer five ways organizations can substantially improve the business impact of technical writing and UX writing. Continue reading Improving Business Impact Technical Writing UX Writing

Why Africa Is a Nascent Innovation Powerhouse

Africa is a nascent innovation powerhouse

Africa [credit: Mapswire.com]

Africa is a nascent innovation powerhouse, and its leadership will become increasingly obvious during the coming decades, but the seeds are already visible as this post reveals: Africa’s population is exploding, and its young people are adopting tech alternatives to countries’ long-insufficient health, education, and financial infrastructure.

If you’ve been interested in international development for long, you have seen many prognostications about “Africa rising” over the years only to see them fade into oblivion. Predicting profound economic shifts is like predicting earthquakes; you study the driving forces and your algorithms crunch the data.

That isn’t stopping Helga Stegmann. She has led “user experience” agency Mantaray since 2006, and she gave a riveting talk last week in Chicago hosted by partner agency BoldInsight. In my experience, user experience folks rarely have their hands on the pulse of disruptive economic change, but the reason she is an exception reflects that Africa’s economic transformation is happening at the grassroots level (as with most revolutions), and her key orientation is user experience design, so researching users across rapidly evolving interfaces in devices. Follow along with my notes of her remarks and my additional reflections to reframe your ideas about Africa as bastion of innovation and economic growth. Continue reading Why Africa Is a Nascent Innovation Powerhouse

Agile Digital Ethnography: Secondary Market Research That’s Quantitative and Qualitative

#agile #digital #ethnography: dynamic new secondary market research: mainAgile Digital Ethnography uses an ethnographic research approach to analyze people’s online interactions. It creates a dynamic new market research capability that’s useful by itself and even more when used with surveys, focus groups, field work, and other primary research.

I have learned that Agile Digital Ethnography provides a unique combination of research results. I have used it on client engagements since 2006. Like primary research, it reveals people’s behavior, thoughts, emotions, and motivations in rich detail; however, because it’s secondary research, it’s faster and less costly than most other methods. It’s very useful when it’s conducted before primary research since its results can inform the design of primary research instruments. Continue reading Agile Digital Ethnography Secondary Market Research Quantitative Qualitative

How to Boost the Accuracy and Power of your Customer Journey Maps

Boost the Power of Customer Journey MapsHow to Boost the Power of Customer Journey Maps shows how firms can increase the accuracy and power of their journey maps by using digital social data in practical new ways that almost all customer experience pros overlook.

Would you willingly base multimillion dollar brand and product decisions on a hodgepodge of 20th century research methods?

That’s exactly what 99% of brands and agencies do, based on my just-completed review of customer experience, design, marketing, market research, and software firm posts. The good news is, you can improve the accuracy and power of your journey maps by using digital social data in a way that’s hidden in plain view. Continue reading Customer Experience: How to Boost the Accuracy and Power of your Journey Maps

The Free Chicago Seminars of Experiential Social Media for Nonprofits

Introducing the Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media Nonprofits

Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media ?NonprofitsThe Free Chicago Seminars of Experiential Social Media for Nonprofits and social impact firms aims to help nonprofits and social impact firms to unlock the power of experiential to transform their commitments from their donors, volunteers and other supporters. The series will be offered by CSRA in Chicago starting Summer 2018. Experiential is “the nonprofit way” to do social media because its main goal is serving people, not marketing to them. And it usually produces much better business outcomes than social media and marketing.

I designed this three-part public seminar series for nonprofits and social impact companies, and I’m making it available for free to qualified groups. I’ve pioneered the development of experiential social media since 2006, and I want to share a new way to build trust and commitment from donors, volunteers, partners, clients and other stakeholders to nonprofits and social impact firms. Continue reading Free Chicago Seminars Experiential Social Media Nonprofits

Article Review: Triune Ethics Theory Reveals Roots of Trust and Relationship

Trust and the Triune Ethics Theory reviews Darcia Narvaez’s breakthrough Triune Ethics Theory paper and draws new insights into how trust and relationship building work, based on the human brain’s evolutionary development, structure, and functions. And it sheds light on how experiential social media increases intimacy.

Triune Ethics Theory, Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D.

Trust and the Triune Ethics Theory: Article ReviewTriune Ethics is an enthralling, exceedingly useful approach to understanding human behavior because it explains the context of trust and relationship building at a profound level that is actionable for anyone who wants deeper, richer, more flexible connections and collaboration with people. Triune Ethics Theory will help me to educate my clients and teams at a deep level, and it can give you a rare understanding of your own behavior—and that of people around you.

As with all my reviews, I will attempt to summarize this paper’s salient points before adding some reflections and conclusions about how I’m using its assertions in my work. As I have no formal training in neuroscience, I am drawing on lay study as well as psychology and my work in ethnographic research of social media. I highly recommend reading the paper, Triune Ethics: The Neurobiological Roots of Our Multiple Moralities, and delving into its sources. I have also included references for further reading at the end. Continue reading Trust and the Triune Ethics Theory

How to Boost Employee Support for Nonprofit Fundraising

Employee Support for Nonprofit FundraisingHow to Boost Employee Support for Nonprofit Fundraising reveals that, although employees can be tremendous supporters of nonprofit fundraisers, managers have to navigate some subtle waters to engage employees.

The key to “engagement” is making it voluntary and meaningful to employees as people. I say this because many organizations expect support, but expectation diminishes the voluntary requirement. When management harbors the attitude that employees owe them to promote the fundraiser, this will backfire. Here’s my response to a situation in the Nonprofit Technology Network forums. 

A web/social media specialist for family services nonprofit sought advice for increasing employee participation in their annual fundraiser. Most of the responses explained how to use email signatures (someone even suggested appending promotional text to employees’ email signatures globally!). Someone else suggested gift certificates. I took a different tack. Continue reading Employee Support for Nonprofit Fundraising

Nonprofits and Experiential Social Media: A Special Affinity

Nonprofits and Experiential Social Media: NGO Social Impact CauseNonprofits and experiential social media shares how nonprofits can improve their social media results and why I think experiential social media has an affinity for cause-focused organizations. This post was triggered by my insights from my recent research on nonprofits and cause-focused organizations. Although I’d served nonprofits throughout my consulting career, my focus was on commercial firms. While organizing Chicago Social Empowerment [Cohort One], I researched many nonprofits to distill the cohort’s categories, so I learned more about nonprofit operations and business models.

First, I’ll share some broad insights about nonprofit operations and business models, specifically focusing on their stakeholders, and broad guidance for improving their results with social media. Then I’ll share insights about experiential social media and why I hypothesize that it has a special affinity for nonprofits.

For brevity, I’ll also use “nonprofit” to refer to social enterprises and other cause-focused organizations. Continue reading Nonprofits and Experiential Social Media

Book Review: Intriguing Insights into the Potential of Female Leadership

Potential of Female LeadershipThe Potential of Female Leadership explores what lessons we may learn from bonobos’ matriarchal social structure, so we can build stronger, more collaborative human communities and groups. Bonobo Handshake is an enthralling insightful book, which I review here. A tremendous bonus is its similarities to and significant differences from Chimpanzee Politics (reviewed yesterday).

Bonobo Handshake was on the same library shelf as Chimpanzee Politics, but it is a very different book, and in delightful ways. At the same time, it offers intriguing insight into bonobos’ behavior, which differs significantly from chimpanzees’ and holds interesting lessons for human societies and groups. Although Woods is not a primatologist per se, she has conducted extensive research with her husband, who is, so explaining scientific experiments forms a key part of this book.

Bonobo Handshake is rare in a surprising way. Deftly and subtly, it contrasts the joy, harmony and matriarchal structure of the bonobos with chimpanzees’ and humans’ patriarchal societies and violence: the wars in and around the two Congos result in the murder of chimpanzees and bonobos because people hunt them for food, and humans have been murdered and women raped en masse for years now. I felt that Woods did this without judgment, almost like her curiosity and the juxtaposition of events produced the contrast spontaneously. So the book is a story within a story. Continue reading The Potential of Female Leadership