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Change it or Leave

. andrew

Change it or Leave

Read this first

In a recent blog posting, Dustin Curtis took a UX Architect from AA.com to task. Give it a quick look. It made me think about and question how people approach UX at a large organization.

Where I’m coming from

I can completely relate to Mr. X’s situation. I, too, work for a large bureaucratic organization that often has trouble getting out of its own path to success. On the other hand, I also genuinely feel that you make your own opportunities and have the ability to change the situation.

When I first joined the UX team at Sears, we were considered a bottleneck in the process – part of the bureaucracy. Our team felt that we were understaffed and under appreciated. That mindset had to change in order for us to evolve. By making that shift in thinking – and proving ourselves via initiatives large and small – we changed perceptions throughout the company.

We demonstrated the impact that user experience had on small engagements such as Share This. We also tackled enormous efforts like making all of our core commerce-enabled sites liquid in a 57-day span. Through these efforts, we proved UX could be a force for change. We now partner with the Product and IT teams to define the future of the customer experience for Sears.com, Kmart.com, Craftsman.com and Kenmore.com. We are no longer passengers, we’re drivers.

What to do

I guess what I’m getting at is that you can either sit there and wish you belonged to a small, nimble, get-it-done type of team, or you can start acting like one and change your approach. One thing that works here at Sears is showing how you can make more money – it’s actually one of our three tenets. So everything we do is tied to revenue in some way – directly through conversion or indirectly through customer satisfaction.

I think everyone can be a force for change, it just depends on if you want to put in the effort. I recommend to Mr. X that he challenge himself and his co-workers to step it up. Spend time after work brainstorming ways to improve process, quality of the work and relationships with other parts of the org to streamline approvals.

And stop whining! If you don’t like the approach, do something about it or head for the door.

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