1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
I remember watching the news, as many of us had, about the technical problems and related emotional frustrations involved in signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act back in the day. While Oregon had it’s own plan, I saw similar issues in our local plans related to the all important ability to use the site, get what you need, and feel great about it. Numerous websites discussed various failures thus far with the federal website.
It made me think of the concepts of user experience and usability in this realm. As someone once said, “there’s no such thing as reality, only perception”. And the perception was not great of the Healthcare.gov site back then. So I was curious, who was focused on the user experience? What was the layout of the development, design, quality, operations and user experience teams who brought this site to life?
A few years ago, I started partnering with a hiring manager who impressed upon me the thing most important in hiring someone in the UX field, and that is this: Empathy. Do they have the ability to understand and share the feelings of the person using the product, and why this understanding is so pivotal to the product’s success? So again, I wonder where the top folks on the healthcare project prioritized user experience. The guts of the plans? Great ideas, good intentions. But what good are the guts if the person trying to obtain them hits so many silly roadblocks that they give up?
“A website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. “Does this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?” These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.”
~ Smashing Magazine
And beyond the product itself, the concept of user experience can be very powerful in its application towards overall business strategy and planning. Just like workforce planning’s importance in the annual budget process, I’ll propose up the idea by UX Magazine that “the deepest, most lasting value that UX knowledge and methods can add to an organization is through strategic, organizational activities. Think of organizational (re)structuring, co-creating organizational culture, and creative development of strategic business roadmaps…the real benefit of UX knowledge comes from using it to design empathy into every aspect of your organization.”
Think about this when you are recruiting! Think about the experience you are providing, both in your conversations with candidates and how you approach your recruiting outreach. It's too important.