From September to November: Design at Société Générale, Doing the UX & the Bullshit Gap

machine-a-clic-levee-de-fondsIt’s been 3 months since my latest monthly blog post… 👼 Here are 9 articles I found most interesting in that time: some articles about working on website user experience, others more generally about marketing, entrepreneurship or strategy.

I read this article with interest as I am eagerly trying to understand the best ways to have marketing & IT collaborate in a company like ours, WiSEED. It’s not always easy. Reading this post from October’s (ex-Lendix) CTO has been eye opening for me, for many reasons that I don’t want to elaborate on here. But beyond the content, I believe it is great to have experts, managers, directors… who write and share their experience to help others.

This screenshot is indirectly linked with the article, titled “An interaction designer tries to make a bank transfer” and written by… an interaction designer. The latter shares his experience and thoughts about transferring money from a UK bank account to another UK bank account, using “UK’s first online-only bank.” From failing login processes to physical ID-verification devices and awkward customer-support chats, the article illustrates how important – and difficult – it is to make experiences seamless.

A propos making financial operations look & feel desirable 🙂 In Vision’s great blog shares another of it’s clients’ stories. Here, it is an interview of the French bank’s Director of User Experience and Design (we’re talking about “Société Générale Global Banking & Investor Solutions,” whose mission is to provide financial services for corporations and financial institutions, so it’s B2B, B2B2C and internal audiences, not regular banking customers like you & me). Great to read about her frustrations as an user when she worked at SG, to becoming an “undercover designer” and eventually developing and scaling an entire design practice at the bank.

A cool article about the discrepancy between theory (research > identify insight or need > create appropriate product > market it in a way that naturally resonates) and practice (deliver on a variety of metrics instantly, prepare for the future, analyze the past, energize your team and agencies, increase revenue…) for marketers. It’s a short but important article about the messiness of a marketer’s work environment. I’ve never felt unhappy or overwhelmed, don’t get me wrong, but it’s great reading that what we’re taught in B-school is not the way daily operations work 🙂

This is not a ranking, one of these over-simplifying formats that make the web so poor on quality content sometimes, but a list of “50 people who have reached the highest-level marketing position within a given company—CMO title or equivalent—and who are driving brand and business growth.” I found a great interest in this piece because it shows a fabulous diversity in terms of background, job roles and approaches to marketing.

In this post, Fabricio Teixeira, Design Director at Work & Co and founder of the UX Collective blog, shares some of the misunderstandings that can appear when user experience professionals talk to marketers (like me) or other stakeholders. Probably a very useful article for designers (statement + “What they meant” + “Where the misconception is”) but also for people like who are still/always learning to collaborate despite not having the same roles and backgrounds.

In October, NY Mag’s Alex Blumberg published this long – for web standards – interview of Andrew Mason, the founder of Groupon. I remember reading job posts back in the days (something like 5, 6, 7 years ago) in which the company described itself as the fastest ever growing startup… Groupon still exists and still hires, but it’s not the same company as the one that was described in these job posts. “The whole experience now seems like this fever dream that almost happened to someone else” Mason says. Great interview.

It is very striking for me to see how fast and far the news of a successful fundraising round travels in the press, and how much it is taken as a proxy for startup success (of course, startup failures also have significant coverage, like negative news in general). Actual data on fundraising rounds is scarce, but Avolta Partners has found that the difference between the amount announced in the media and the money actually raised is somewhere around 20-30%; up to 51% in e-commerce. A massive, PR-effective bullshit gap, Wydden explains!

Last, an article about how operations can influence the products & services that a company offers, a really demand-driven way of approaching business. This article is about how Uber Eats, Deliveroo and others have massively been filling supply/demand gaps that they are the only ones to be able to identify due to the massive data they process. We have such a restaurant/kitchen just across the street of where we live, and it’s packed with delivery bikes & scooters since it has opened (a date we can’t really determine as there has never been a real store front).

Thanks for reading this blog!

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