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Friday, January 14, 2011

The 7 Habits for Highly Effective Websites

by Ammneh Azeim @ nForm User Experience

Recently I read Stephen R. Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective people”. As I read his book, it occurred to me that a lot of these habits can be applied to website management using the user experience efforts and practices. These habits seem like common sense, but a lot of common sense is not a common practice. Sometimes we have to say the actions out loud to make them become part of our practice.
  • Habit # 1: Be proactive: Covey talks about this habit in the following words: “Your life doesn't just ‘happen’. Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours.
  • Habit # 2: Begin with end in mind: As Covey says, habit two is based on imagination — the ability to envision what you cannot see with your eyes at the outset. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice.
  • Habit # 3: Put first things, first: In user-experience projects, prioritization activities are very important. Priorities are established based on the users’ needs.
  • Habit # 4: Think win-win: Think Win-Win isn't about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.
  • Habit # 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood: So seriously, do I need to say anything here? It’s one of the basic underlying techniques in the user- experience field. We use this technique liberally during our user research, and design phases. It’s a very important habit in the UX field.
  • Habit # 6: Synergize: Covey explains this habit this way: “Synergy means ‘two heads are better than one.’ Synergizing is the habit of creative co-operation. It is teamwork, open-mindedness and the adventure of finding new solutions to old problems.”
  • Habit # 7: Sharpen the saw: The last but not the least habit Covey recommends for highly effective people is to sharpen the saw, by taking time off from the daily routine, learning something new, taking a break and coming back more effective.
On the same shelf:
  • The 7 Habits for Highly Effective Websites @ Sitecore