Comment: dan k. (Feb 10, 2009)
i think you're right about "people" and how they don't typically engage with things they don't like. but stakeholders often need to or are required to engage with the unliked or unlikeable. for example, a 2-hour UI spec walkthrough is often an inherently unlikeable activity for our stakeholders.
the gap between the level of engagement stakeholders *should* be at w/r/t the planning and structural design phases of a project and the actual level of engagement they attain is sometimes a very deep chasm. the thing i wrestle with is where the UX practitioner's responsibility lies relative to that gap, and if the stuff we prepare for the purpose of attaining optimal stakeholder engagement makes all or just most of the difference in the width and depth of that gap.
Comment: Lou (Feb 12, 2009)
Dan, interesting point about stakeholders. I wonder if we're talking about different types of stakeholders though? I'm talking about making users into stakeholders, rather than engaging with stakeholders who are AKA business owners or product managers. Are we on the same page?
Comment: dan klyn (Feb 12, 2009)
I *think* we're on the same page. But perhaps not. I may be projecting.
When you talked about the expansion and intensification of stake-holding as being accomplished (in part) by "blurring the lines between user and provider" ... I loved that.
Users' capacity for engagement being at least in some ways a function of delight, and stakeholding being a function of or reinforced by engagement ... I'm trackin with all of that, too.
But I think where your focus was on what it means for users' level of engagement when the lines between their stake and the provider's stake become blurry or are intentionally blurred, your piece left me focusing on what all that might mean for providers. Especially if we return to the delight piece, and what you observed about the difficulty with engaging stuff we don't like.
Making users into stakeholders. Yes. And how about moving in the the other direction also and making stakeholders into users?
Comment: Lou Rosenfeld (Feb 12, 2009)
I love that direction!
But I'm more interested in the converse: users=>stakeholders. I don't see this as a stated goal in many projects, and I'm wondering why not. Isn't it the end-all of just about all of our projects (with the possible exception of those with captive audiences)?
Comment: Alis Whitman (Feb 13, 2009)
We have build products with stakeholder involvement from the ground up. Stakeholder engagement soars when you find the "point of pain". It is amazing how detailed, concise and insightful user feedback becomes when someone realizes that what you are building will...
a. Optimize their future work flow/bottom line.
b. Reflect their expertise in it's functionality and makeup.
Thanks for the thoughtful "pun". I don't like the idea of our users coming at me with a knife and fork, but I can roll with it + Alis
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