UXPA Opening Speech at the tenth anniversary conference | We persist because we believe

2013-12-30


Firstly, I'll share with you some of this year’s data, which shows our industry is developing in full swing. Thanks to the 892 fellows for being with us today. This number exceeds the number of seats in the conference hall. There are more than 730 fixed seats in the hall and with some additional seats, the total number of seats is over 750. Some people are still on their way here. Every year, we will send out some VIP invitations. We hope to invite truly important people from the industry. They may been trepreneurs, senior directors, VPs, and even CEOs. We hope to help our practitioners promote senior corporate managers' thoughts on use rexperience from the industry's perspective. 186 companies have attended this year’s conference and 80% of them attended previous years'.


On November 22,2013, User Friendly 2013 was held at the Shanghai International Convention Center.2013 marks the tenth year since UXPA China became an NGO and NPO. Jason Huang, as UXPA China's co-founder and chairman, made an opening speech and hosted the forum‘Design Management: CEO Talking about User Experience’.The opening speech was made as follows.


Good morning, everyone. It's hard to image it has been ten years. We held the first User Friendly conference in Beijing ten years ago. I wonder if any of you attended the first conference? Ok, probably less than ten people then.Thank you for supporting UXPA China.


It's also been ten years since I entered the industry in 2003, and the last year for me being UXPA China's Chairman. Surviving for ten years is no easy feat. If any of you have worked in UI design before, you may have attended some of UI China's small forums, which have totally disappeared now. Only UXPA China has survived. There are three main reasons for this. First, we have a very,very excellent team. Second, user experience, which we have always persisted in, is not just about UI and interactive design as some people think. For example, today, many people talk about service design, which is mostly promoting the development of experience in industry and enterprises. Thirdly, we have survived for ten years. In China, only a few non-governmental organizations can maintain longevity by focusing on one thing without governmental support for ten years. We hope to build the conference into a special platform for the user experience industry.


Firstly, I'll share with you some of this year's data, which shows our industry is developing in full swing. Thanks to the 892 fellows for being with us today. This number exceeds the number of seats in the conference hall. There are more than 730 fixed seats in the hall and with some additional seats, the total number of seats is over 750. Some people are still on their way here. Every year, we will send out some VIP invitations. We hope to invite truly important people from the industry. They may be entrepreneurs, senior directors, VPs, and even CEOs. We hope to help our practitioners promote senior corporate managers' thoughts on user experience from the industry's perspective. 186 companies have attended this year's conference and 80% of them attended previous years'.


Today, I'd like to share with you some of my experience and I'd also like to thank many people. Thank those of you working as a conference volunteer, project volunteer or a director of the association to organize the UXPA China conference. I also would like to thank many companies for your support in making the conference possible. For instance,the director of your company may have spent much energy organizing the conference. So this event wouldn't have happened without your support. Over the next ten minutes, I will share with you what UXPA China has done in 2013. The first being the facelift of UXPA's official website, which was overseen by Vice Chairman Liu Yijun. The second is the Chinese User Experience Design Award for students, through which we hope to offer students a practical exercise before they work with a company. It is the fifth year of running the award and our director Zhong Chengdong is responsible for its success. The students in the first row are from this year's winning teams. We hope to bring these senior and junior fellows together to improve their practical capabilities. We have 52 expert judges from different enterprises. They evaluate the students' work with in six to eight months and discuss their overall results. This year, a total of 280 student teams participated in the contest. Tomorrow afternoon, they will have a face-to-face competition to fight for the top three places. The day after tomorrow, Sunday morning, we will hold an award ceremony. A special surprise this year is that there are students from overseas Chinese schools in Singapore and Taiwan participating in the team. We can see that the whole process lasts a long time because we've carried out 105 telephone screenings and there are also offline campaigns. The third is the book in your participants Box.  It's published by UXPA China and the Publishing House of thr Electronics Industry. We collected many excellent articles to be published as a corpus. It is the first book about this industry in China. The industry and academic articles were contributed, screened and documented in strict accordance with our requirements. Our director Dai Linong is responsible for it. There are many themes in the book, such as design thinking, user research and interaction design. I t's the joint result of UXPA China and ten editors-in-chief from different industries. It is of great significance. Also, there is a simple single page in your pack. It's industry research that we conducted in 2013. You might have seen many industry research reports on the Internet, which tell you the per-capita wage of the user experience industry and the average working years of practitioners. UXPA wants to make differentiated research and to be different from others. In this way, we can do meaningful things with limited resources. In this year's research, we interviewed user experience directors and managers from over 30 enterprises to learn about the problems they have encountered in the industry and how they look at the relationship between products and user experience, etc.  It's more like a qualitative interview. An electronic version will be issued after the conference. Our host, director Tao Rong and I are responsible for a corporate user experience maturity model. We analyzed the development stages of user experience and the horizontal aspects, which could be used to evaluate whether a user experience plan is proper or not. This is a method for evaluation. If any of the companies present want to evaluate your user experience, you can contact UXPA China. We will send volunteers to help you with that.

The fourth is about our branches. We had 9 branches prior to 2003, including Shenzhen and Hangzhou, but they all disappeared. Why?  It's because there wasn't a mechanism to ensure sustainable contribution from branch volunteers. Anything is short lived without a mechanism. This year, we began to reconsider the branch system. We are considering setting up a regional branch instead of a municipal one. At present, we have two branches, a Southwestern China branch and a Southern China branch,which are located in Chengdu and Shenzhen respectively. If any of you are willing to join us as a volunteer,you can communicate with our branch. Next year is our 11th year, when a change will be made to our entire team. Next year's User Friendly Annual Conference will be held in Wuxi. Wuxi has a famous design university, Jiangnan University, which offers high-quality graduates. The conference will open around the middle of November 2014.


In the next half an hour, I'll sincerely share with you my experience of the past ten years. I've worked on the platform for ten years. I've worked for other companies and now run my own. I mainly want to share with you my view on the development and trends of the industry.


First, I'd like to talk about innovation. Almost every company talks about innovation. There are many kinds of innovation. For example, MIUI and the social product WeChat, are they innovative products? Of course they are,not unlike Weibo. Many people have been to Haidilao Hot Pot. Is it an innovation? Yes, it is. It cooperates with Huawei to offer video dinners. This is innovation. Alipay launched Yu'E Bao, similar to banks launching a financial product. Is it an innovation? Yes, it is an innovation for ordinary consumers because it a very, very simple product. We always think that financial products are very complicated, involving contract-signing. These are all innovations of different kinds.


What makes innovation? Different people have a different answer. Lately, Internet thinking is being talked about a lot, especially by industry giants. But who knows what Internet thinking is? Nobody knows. I don't know either, because so far, I haven't heard of its definition. When today's industry giants or successful companies are talking about Internet thinking, they are actually talking about user experience and customer experience. No one raises user experience to the level of Internet thinking. This is an issue of cognition. When I look at it now, there is a risk in the user experience industry. That is, we talk about it in general terms. There are similar terms like Internet thinking and UI, but what is exactly user experience? Different people have different views. How many of you bought the book Lean Startup? Many successful CEOs like Zhou Hongyi, dianping.com's Zhou Tao bought it. I searched the term‘lean startup’at Wikipedia about its origin. Wikipedia shows that when someone gathers some entrepreneurs and businessmen to discuss a problem - how can we make a product that truly creates value, instead of a rubbish one? At last, they wrote a book ‘Lean Startup'. Now, it's recommended by all Internet companies. The essence of the book is that we should first make something for measurement and research, and then learn quickly about new knowledge such as ideas and data to solve any problems we encounter. Look at this figure. It's the same as user design we talked about seven or eight years ago, but many people separated design from products. If you work with a company for three or five years, you'll know that design and products are inseparable. You'll find that they should be delicately combined. The industry is now facing huge pressure, and raises high requirements for cross discipline. For a new Internet company, if you are not quick, not cooperative, then it's impossible for you to make a successful product. So, being collaborative, or diversified in experience innovation, is emphasized. Any kind of thinking, whether it be Internet thinking or not, is user or customer centric. I think many of you, entrepreneurs or researchers or designers, agree with me that this is a core concept, a way of product innovation and service innovation and the most basic concept to be followed.

When we think about it this way, I discover a problem. It seems that UXPA doesn't have a cognitive system that can be spread. Today, we have a very famous book ‘The Elements of User Experience’by Jesse James. It contains a famous structure chart, showing you how to design a product. What are the first and second steps? They are a thinking of structure cognition. Without it, it's impossible for you to work in a team. Yesterday, I had a chat with Jesse James. I asked him why he didn't write a new book. He said he always wrote about industry issues or big issues. He hoped to solve many people's issues and let them know they could design user experiences in such a way. Do you see the cognition structure of customer experience and user experience spread on Weibo or We Chat? No. Many people may say don't we have design thinking? Doesn't  IDEO have design thinking? Many Western business schools offer a course about design thinking and how to achieve business innovation and management from the perspective of design. Personally, I don't think it's hard to understand the concept of design thinking. Just like the book ‘The Elements of User Experience', it is easy to understand. The term‘design’, like the Internet, emphasizes means. In my opinion, we are all making various innovations in all product sectors, such as consumers experience innovation and tangible visual interfaces. For example, we just mentioned UI, interactive UI or just visual UI. It's more that you offer services through the form of a product after you determine what it is you need and what work you need to do. Then you are told, this product is better than that one. For me, this is the most basic level. As for the second level, let's take Yu'E Bao as an example. When you make Yu'E Bao, do your interactive designers participate in product planning, discussion, or the product's user positioning? Many companies are talking about product positioning, business models and experience models, but how many practitioners participate in it? This may not be a problem of the UI, but a problem of innovation. Some products are very complicated. Banks, for example, have mobile banks, tablet banks and ATMs and there are different kinds of machines in a bank branch. You see this is not a simple product; all of these are channels. How can we offer good user experiences by integrating these channels? I know online banks do a good job in this respect, but offline banks don't. This is what consumers dislike.So, service design and service plans are emphasized. One day, when you are able to participate in this, it's important for you to discuss with your VP, or even general manager about non-UI content. Why I do it this way and how I differentiate it from other products. If I do it this year, can I start it all over again? When you design cross-channel services, it's inevitable to involve business and discussions. This is how we do user experience in the perspective of enterprises and business.


Your CEO may say to you‘I give you so much money and so many people; can you make a plan or not?' Many companies such as McKinsey and IBM, why are they so great? Is it because they have many great staff? No, because they sell ideas. If a company's design team has no a particular UI designer, then the company has a problem. We've all heard of the term 'responsive design'. Here, I'd like to show you a picture. I've seen it on the Internet. Many designers don't think that entrepreneurs and businessmen understand design, maybe 80% of designers in China. But as a designer, what do you do in your company every day? UI design,or anything else? If you don't have a way to convince your colleagues, your product manager and boss, except burying yourself in work, then you'll feel it's cruel in your company, because if you can't convince them, why should they listen to you? You shouldn't only be interested in how entrepreneurs think about user design. If you are to cooperate with them, as a user experience designer, do you understand their stuff? User experience is no longer a pure design thing. That's why we just mentioned the term 'responsive design'. We recently separated our wireless department from PC department. Let's talk about how to do responsive design on a PC. You may ask what responsive design is. Most people say,' I want a responsive screen resolution of my cell phone.' A second example,many people have tablets and cell phones. But they are different and have different functions. Another example, if I was your bank's user for three years. Every day, I would login your online bank and see the same website pages, 90% of which are useless to me. It has been three years. Can you not offer me those things I don't need? Responsive design means to be responsive to the user. So, when we see some new terms, can we think about it further? The interface is a means to deliver content and functions to the terminal, that is, understanding of consumers. If you always say that your boss doesn't understand you, let's still use the example of responsive design. You may think this is a UI thing, just about UI. But the boss thinks about user innovation. The truly ultimate product is not only the Internet. The Internet, as an information platform, can only promote innovation in traditional industries when it's combined with user experience-oriented thinking. Most of us know that the above-mentioned three companies are making non-traditional products. I work on payment and public comment products, etc. There may be competition in the future. Only by combining the Internet with user experience can we help traditional industries with innovation.

Now, I'll share my personal view on finance. Finance is not just about banks; a company like Alibaba is also a financial company. Today, you will emphasize verticality when you make financial products, but do you really understand consumers? Not about their age. For example, can you understand me? I am on a business trip and want to use the mobile bank. I don't know about you, but my U-Shield has been kept in my drawer for a year. Since you want to make financial innovations, do you have a comprehensive understanding about consumers? Have you studied what they are doing with your products, interfaces and channel services? If you want to make innovations, you have to know about your consumers. But you can't do as they tell you. You should use your understanding about them, your judgment and your perception of the society to shape a good product,a good design. This is what we made for a bank. For example, if a bank wants a cross-bank account management product, what should you think about? How does the management product work at different channels, such as online banks, mobile banks and ATMs? How can the product offer a smooth experience? Then, you make a product based on the above understanding. Don't start with a 12 grid to combine information and functions. Many people ask what a flat design is. Many say iOS7 is flat. Except being flat, are the functions and structure flat, or the function and information flat? Let's think further. If you can help a customer design tablets, phones, ATMs and VTMs, then can you make the bank outlet less unpleasant? Every time I enter a bank outlet, there is always much stuff handed out to me and a long queue. I have no choice but to read advertisements when waiting in the queue. I am a golden card user. Can you offer me other services? Can you send me a form to my mobile phone, so I can fill it out in advance? This is actually an O2O case. What is O2O? That is how you link online and offline things together from the consumers' perspective. At our keynote speech, Eight helped Apple Stores make a complete service design. When you truly think about a bank, there are ATMs and large outlets except mobile banks, online banks and tablet banks. When you enter these channels, what do they look like? Is there anything to interact with you? All these can be interpreted as the communication, contact point and channels between banks and consumers.


Next, let's move to travel. If you are a little familiar with the tourism industry, you'll know that hotel groups are intensely competing with OTO companies. A consumer may say, 'My reservation is canceled, but I still have to pay you. ' Ctrip says, ' I'll refund it to you. 'And hotels think about how to differentiate from Ctrip. Consumers can only make reservations through Ctrip, which doesn't offer following services. But hotels can. Look at this picture. Suppose I am a consumer and I plan to take a holiday. First, I have the idea. Then I check on We Chat and Weibo to select a destination for travel. Then, I compare prices and make reservations. When I get there, I can't find it, so I wait in a queue for breakfast. I can't make reservations for breakfast. I have to make a phone call. This is a complete experience. You can look at hotel companies and O2O companies from this perspective. There's another thing. A company always separates its wireless services from PC services, let alone online and offline services. As I see it, both the hotel and airline industries are working on this. Ctrip will face more competition in the future. They may also provide a reservation process to offer the same user experience as O2O. Think about the members and think about whether they can buy various things through your channel. Or is it just like a meaningless membership card?


Now, let's look at cars. Many people have seen Tesla cars. Tesla has many user designers. I think the most amazing thing is the super large screen. Then, we went to Hong Kong and found that the taxis were installed with many mobile phones. Why are there so many mobile phones? They have various functions. It can't be an innovation just because a facility is added to the car. Is it possible that MIUI, Android and iPhone can have the same function as a new touch screen in a car? Because not all people can afford such a car. We should think about a problem from a new perspective, from the perspective of services. Of course, there are many industries thinking like this, such as healthcare, education and retail industries and home appliance companies such as Midea. So, you see user experience becomes a complicated thing, not just about UI. The value of user experience has been recognized by many enterprises. User experience is very complicated, especially in a large company. There are many different production lines for cross-platform, cross-scenario and cross-channel products. This is a complex thing. Don't think that UI alone is innovation. We believe that much change needs to be made, not just innovation.


What does everyone think? Truly user experience-based innovation involves three aspects - business, technology and design. The bulb in the middle, I think, is still an experience to consumers. Whether it be UI experience or customer service experience, it's offered to us by integrating with technology and business. So, I summarize this into one sentence, products are not isolated. My house, TV, mobile phone, tablet, car, school and office are all small circles, where different equipment cooperates with each other. You have to understand consumers and find the entry point. You can't do it all at a time.You have to find the entry point and use it. Some companies say they make mobile phones, so they start with GUI. Sorry, MIUI has done it. Why is MIUI so successful? Is it because its UI is better? It was not very good at first. You need to make a long-term investment in user experience and optimize it over and over again. Then,you can make it good. Recently, I've paid attention to anything good internationally. Many people think they know a lot. For example, I work with the healthcare industry, so I am only interested in what the healthcare and related industries say. Why should I listen to what the automobile industry has to say? In our circle, some vertical activities have been recently held especially for healthcare, finance and home appliance industries. There will be more in the future. I don't think it's hard to image what China will be like in one or two years. I believe we will have such a thing.


My colleagues who worked on UXPA with me know that our goal is to establish a NGO. To achieve this, the first thing is, can we remain independent? Can we be professional and prevent it from being influenced by other things? With the help of the Guanghua Foundation, we have an 85% chance. Second, I have been in the industry for ten years. I wonder in the next two or three years, if I will have the chance and ability to write a book, which will include hundreds of cases and my understanding to help newcomers of the industry. I think such a book will be useful. Books are a means of publicity. Many people use Weibo, but its profits are very low. Another thing is our business dream. If you ever work with a big company, you'll know that many international companies classify international design companies or other industry design companies as second-class, because it seems that all previous industry designs will gradually become a price competition. Can we have one or two local consulting companies like Huawei and CITIC being classified as first-class companies? We can't let foreign companies become Chinese experts with foreign experience. Nowadays, many people want to leave a big company and start their own business. There are many projects. If you enter the circle, there's definitely opportunity for you. But three or five years later, only a few can become a branded company. If you are willing to do such a thing, then you need to persist.


So, what's your dream? During the golden time of the industry, the answer is ultimately in your own hands. Thank you!


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