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.


Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media

Ethnographic Research for Business Innovation Using Social Media: de-risk innovationEthnographic research for business innovation shows how to apply ethnographic research of social media to managing controlled disruption within organizations. Ethnographic research of social media can transform the entire innovation process because it’s a very efficient way to study the behavior and motivations of the people that the innovation proposes to serve. Unlike traditional innovation and ethnographic research methods, which are relatively slow, costly and qualitative, ethnographic research of social media combines qualitative richness with quantitative analysis. It’s faster and less costly, too.

Ethnographic research for business innovation can dramatically improve the depth and breadth of business and corporate strategy, business design and service design research since it allows teams to consider more users and to assess their behavior and motivations, which can improve the value of more costly research.

This post outlines the business innovation use case of ethnographic research of social media, and it includes examples in banking, professional services, consumer products, and B2B marketing. For more on ethnographic research, see More Resources below.


Catch Social Media Leaders [Social Business Team Building]

Catch Social Media Leaders [Social Business Team Building] case3[UPDATED] Catch Social Media Leaders applies to organizations with very conservative cultures—banks, insurers, healthcare, governments, B2B firms, and professional services to name a few—that have sat on the sidelines and now feel nervous because they are so far behind. In 2013, digital marketing and firm executives are thinking about building their internal teams to provide more continuity and scale, so here I’ll show how firms can use strategy and best practices to outperform rivals across the social business life cycle.

Catch Social Media Leaders is the third of the five-part social business team building series The series describes team building in the context of various scenarios in which firms build social business capability, step by step, while investing wisely. Social Business Strategy Use Cases outlines and compares all five use cases while Social Business Team Building gives general guidance for how to create social business teams as well as recommendations for what characteristics leaders have, so I recommend reading them, too.


Pureplay Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012

Pureplay Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012 Pureplays address social business as transformation by definition because they have been launched to address emerging market needs that established players either do not yet understand or have yet to organize to address. Moreover, Pureplays are not adding social business to their existing services; they have been formed to practice social business. They are a small cohort in this research survey because they were constrained to social business and transformation as were advisory firms in other categories.

Pureplay firms are often smallish startups, so they are quite limited in some areas when compared to established legacy firms as in this research survey. From a market and client perspective, Pureplays represent a vital part of the market and can offer unique capabilities; however, clients need to approach them with “eyes wide open” because the way they serve clients varies considerably.

There are thousands of social media advisory Pureplay firms that are focused on marketing and promotion. Pureplays’ capabilities are largely colored by their founders’ backgrounds. Dachis Group, SideraWorks and SocialxDesign directly […]

Enterprise I.T. Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption

Enterprise I.T. Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] Enterprise I.T. vendors are chiefly product businesses that specialize in large-scale “solutions,” and all contenders in this research survey field large services businesses. They are a diverse group that was selected based on their public activity relevant to social business transformation. For example, Salesforce.com is a leading cloud infrastructure and services provider that sells organizational flexibility, which synergizes with social. IBM, Dell and Hitachi are large product vendors, although IBM’s services business is now larger than its product divisions. Accenture, Infosys, Capgemini, TCS and Cognizant are large outsourcing providers, although Accenture’s roots are management consulting, and it subsequently developed a large outsourcing business. BearingPoint is regrouping after bankruptcy; its origin, like Accenture’s, was an audit firm spinoff (KPMG and Andersen respectively).

As you evaluate advisory firms that are moving into social business, it is useful to refer to their DNA. Enterprise I.T. firms scale largely by selling products or productized services. Many have “collaboration” solutions, and they tend to approach social business within the context of product strategy. Product […]

Big Four Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption

Big Four Firm Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] The Big Four accountancies have been rebuilding their advisory practices for the past several years, and social business transformation fits with their core competencies in important ways. Like Strategy firms, they have been watching adoption and producing thought leadership on various aspects of social technologies’ relevance to business. Their approach also resembles that of strategy firms in that they have relatively low evidence of social business practice.

Big Four firms are well positioned to evolve into social business consultancies because they have core competencies in business strategy and business process transformation. However, they will be challenged by their relative lack of core communications skills and awareness of “soft” social, people and behavioral knowledge.

Deloitte has been an early adopter of social business as a concept, perhaps because it did not shed its consulting practice in the early 2000s as all others did. PwC acquired boutique social business consultancy Ant’s Eye View in 2012, which shows its intention to integrate social business more deeply into its Customer Impact practice.


Agency Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012

Agency Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] Marketing, advertising and public relations (MAP) agencies have comprised the largest share of the “social” advisory and execution firms for many years. Most of the other advisory firms are relative late entrants, with the exception of some Analyst and Enterprise I.T. firms. Communication forms the core of social technologies, and MAP agencies have been pivotal in leading the growth of social media activity in their clients, many of the largest brands in the world.

However, this research survey argues that, although social media will remain an important portion of the total economic value produced by using social technologies, it will devolve into a minority portion. Collaboration and pervasive innovation will be the majority, which will require enterprise business process transformation. MAP agencies lack competencies in management consulting and enterprise transformation, so they are in an ambiguous situation, being the leaders in social media, a shrinking market in the medium to long term. This report shows how agencies can navigate these rapids and how their clients might best partner with them […]

Strategy Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption

Strategy Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] Strategy firms are the most trusted names sought by CEOs and boards of directors who are reevaluating their companies’ identities, strategies and operations. Strategy firms have been making measured investments in social business over the last few years. Their knowledge of enterprise transformation is deep and broad, and they all have proprietary methodologies for most aspects of the strategy and transformation life cycle. They have deep and broad expertise in market analysis, competitive analysis corporate core competency analysis and virtually all aspects of operations. Many firms have large business transformation practices that explicitly guide clients through profound redefinition and change.

Strategy firms have extensive core competencies that could enable them to offer social business strategy services. In addition, Strategy firms are significant producers of thought leadership relevant to corporate and business strategy as well as operations. Most firms field high quality management journals whose papers are written by their consultants. Many have research boutiques or even full-fledged businesses for research and thought leadership. However, they are challenged by very conservative […]

Analyst Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption

Analyst Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] Analyst firms are go-to sources for emerging business and technology trends since they conduct constant due diligence on markets and technologies, which they sell via a subscription model. In addition, they are prodigious producers of content, conferences and other thought leadership activities relevant to social technologies, and a large portion of their employees produce and deliver content publicly (research, write, present), which strengthens their competency with social technologies.

As with most advisory firm categories, market leaders Forrester, Gartner and IDC are being challenged by analyst social business pureplays Altimeter Group and Constellation Research Group, while other firms hang back. This report also includes NM Incite, which is more of a market search firm, but it makes for an interesting comparison.

Advisory and Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012 is a research survey that evaluates and quantitatively ranks the maturity of agency and consultancy social business practices. The survey ranks Strategy firms, Big Four, Marketing/Advertising/PR agencies, Analysts, Enterprise I.T. firms and Pureplays on their social business practices, service offerings and leadership—specifically […]

Contest Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012

Contest Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012Advisory and Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012 is publishing as individual Executive Summaries of firm category reports. These discuss relative scores of firms in each category, but they don’t disclose scores themselves. This enables us to have some fun. You can guess the highest scores in several categories and win valuable prizes!

Contest Rules

To be eligible for 1st, 2nd or 3rd prizes, all you need do is respond to four questions via the embedded survey below. You could win an Extended Analysis report of any firm in this Research Survey, or even commission your own Extended Analysis report! For five minutes of your time.

I will award prizes two days after the last Executive Summary publishes (see the Research Survey microsite for dates). However, the first person who responds with the correct answer wins that prize. This introduces some risk for people who just wait until the end! You should also know that I reserve the right to change any of the rules or prizes without notice except on this […]