Natalie Kurz has spent the last 20 years helping elevate digital experiences from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Her unique skill set bridges the gap between strategy and execution, manager and designer, analytical and creative thinker. She’s led a wide breadth of projects for a slew of industries, most notably working on applications, mobile experiences, and product development for the healthcare, tourism, government, financial, and nonprofit sectors.
Most recently she’s been dedicated to civic tech, spending 3.5 years as an innovation fellow at the CFPB and currently leading projects for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, GSA, Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Tax Court as the Director of UX at Flexion Inc. She’s previously presented on UX, content strategy, and agile practices at Chicago Camps, edUI, 18F Speaker Series, Agile Government Leadership, IA Summit, and G2 Xchange podcasts.
UX Camp Spring 2021
Conscious Uncoupling — Innovative Ways to Separate User Habits from User Needs
When modernizing a legacy system, it’s easy to just recreate what exists—only a little better. This is an especially dangerous trap when the users equate what they need with what they already have. But what happens when your users don’t understand why they’re doing things a certain way? When their behavior is so ingrained that they can’t differentiate the what from the why?
When trying to understand current processes and uncover user needs for the new system, we encountered a wall of dogma separating our research team from the real problems users were trying to solve or the tasks they really needed to accomplish. It was nearly impossible for users to articulate why they were doing things — other than saying that was the way they had always done it. So how do you break habitual behaviors and get buy in from your users for changes that challenge their beliefs?
In this talk, we’ll share our experience uncovering user needs that are buried under layers of habit and complacencies. Participants will learn how to keep asking why until you get to the root of the need by using an outcomes-first approach to help users understand the difference between what they do (and why!) and what they truly need.