Chapter 7. Creating the Right Environment for Data-Aware Design

WE ALL KNOW THAT the environment in which we work has a huge impact on our behavior, the expectations we have of ourselves and of others, and our ability to produce great work. If you’re planning to adopt a data-aware approach to your design work, then taking the steps to create a healthy environment to support that effort is going to be as important as the tactical work we’ve outlined in the previous chapters. Although we’ve been focusing primarily on A/B testing methodology, many of the things that we outline in this chapter are applicable to creating an environment that supports all forms of data collection and analysis: “big” data and “small data,” qualitative data and quantitative data.

The strategic and programmatic capture, management, and analysis of user data has not always been considered integral to design practice. However, as we have argued in earlier chapters, we believe that designers have a strategic role to play in the design of data capture and analysis, and we also believe that designers can play a key strategic role in the design of data culture and communication strategies and practices. Carefully collected and analyzed data allows you to bring your users’ voice into the conversation in a grounded way. In some sense, the data is a representation of some facet of your users, of what they need and don’t need, of what they care about and when.

Creating a shared data-aware culture and ...

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