This was my question at UXSG in 2016 at the Un-conference.
A small group of people discussed the topic – we started with 7 and gained 3 or 4 during the half-hour.
We began with a show of hands for the question: ?Is ?transformation? just another buzzword??
The vote was:
Don?t know:?? 1
What drives transformation?
One person who agreed that it is a buzzword said ?but that?s OK? because we need a common language to rally around, and by engaging in a process of transformation we were identifying possibilities.
We then considered the drivers of transformation. One of our participants spoke about the need to transform in order to sustain a company. Outside pressures, competition, the need to maintain profitability, and changing fashion and demographics were all cited as reasons why transformation was necessary. A problem, however, in this instance was that a large user-base liked the traditional service, and were quite hostile towards any changes.
In essence, transformation could be forced upon us by external or environmental factors, or could arise as a need or drive from within ourselves.
Evolution or revolution?
It was generally felt that transformation seems to imply fairly radical change, but in fact it could be a gradual, evolutionary process.
We spoke about how users? resistance to change (in one case study) could be addressed. This was quite challenging, and some findings from A/B testing had been unexpected. For example, a page with 8 advertisements scored better than a page with 1 (although we did not have an opportunity to dig into possible causes for this).
What is transformation?
We did a quick affinity-mapping exercise to describe or define transformation. This is what people wrote on their Post-it notes:
? Continuing change
? It is constantly shifting
? A process for you to become better
? Changing mindset
? Paradigm shift
? Change for better or words
? It is dependent by the society
? Essentially the same as ?change?
? Keeping relevancy to our audience so they keep coming back.
We talked a little about whether ?transformation? was just a hot trend, or something that is here to stay.
Will we be talking about transformation in 5 years? time?
The importance of narrative
We then got into a discussion about value. One participant had been to Bhutan, and spoke about how the Bhutanese include happiness as a measure of their country?s success. This seemed more holistic than simply measuring traditional economic indicators. However, this may be threatened or changed by outside influences.
This led to a discussion about the importance of having a belief. If we are convinced of our own narrative, then the need for transformation is convincing.
I don?t think it?s surprising that we didn?t come to a very clear conclusion, but the themes of evolution/revolution, value, external/internal drivers, and the importance of narrative in supporting or enabling an understanding of transformation were very interesting.
We had a final wrap-up vote for the same question: ?Is ?transformation? just another buzzword??
The vote was:
Don?t know: 1
A close vote, with numbers too small to draw conclusions.
Thanks to the group of people who took part!