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May 26, 2023

E284 - A Chief Trust Officer Could be a User Centered Superpower

This week's podcast episode introduces the role of a chief trust officer and dives into community questions such as how to know if UI/UX design is the right fit, validating leadership ideas, and UX researchers taking on non-UX related work. Tune in for expert insights and advice.

#podcast #chieftrustofficer #UIUXdesign #leadershipideas #UXresearchers #expertadvice #communityquestions #podcastepisode #digitalstrategy

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Recorded live on May 25, 2023, hosted by Nick Roome with Barry Kirby.

Check out the latest from our sister podcast - 1202 The Human Factors Podcast -on Driving the CIEHF - An interview with the CEO Ben Peachey:




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[00:00:00] Nick Roome: Yes. Hello, it is episode 284. We're recording this episode live on May 25th, 2023. This is Human Factors cast. I am your host, Nick Rome. Joined the day by Mr. Berry Kirby. Hello and good evening. Hey, that person who used to come into the show notes to write leg little funny names for us, come back. We like those.


Welcome to the show tonight. We got a great lineup. We'll be discussing the role of this new thing. The chief trust officer later will be answering some questions from our community, such as how can I determine if if UX and UI design is the right career path for me? And talks about validating ideas from leadership and do companies hire UX researchers for research work that isn't specifically related to ux.


All that and more, but first got some programming notes and a community update here. As I mentioned last week on the show, safe and Effective followed our. Show it launched. It's out there. You can go and listen to it. Woohoo. It's it's out anywhere. You are listening to Human Factors Cast right now.


You can find safe and effective. And if you want to go to the website, safe effective, that's safe effective It's funny because there's, it's e, it's S A F E F E C, right? So if you look at all of them, there's this F E F E C in the, anyway go type out safe effective and you'll see what I'm talking about there.


The first episode's out, they do a regulatory re. Heidi does a regulatory roundup with Janet Crasser and. It's a great talk and there's even some familiar voices in there. Let's say that. And that's enough of a tease. Barry. I'm dying to know though, what's going on over at 1202. So


[00:01:43] Barry Kirby: at 1202, we've got the interview with the Chief Executive Officer Ben Peachy.


He's, I keep on saying he's new. He's been in post now for about six, seven months. And he's the guy who is driving all of my whims of my ideas and is the person who has to tell me, no, Barry, we can't do that. So he gives us an insight into what he, what it's like doing for his role, why he wanted to do the job, and the background into his previous roles and his previous drivers, and which kind of influences the decisions that he makes today and why he is doing what he's doing.


It's really good, really interesting. And you get to learn a lot about really the man behind the CEO as it well, it's


[00:02:20] Nick Roome: great. So are you saying that he's the brains and you're the bran? You make it happen? Oh,


[00:02:24] Barry Kirby: unfortunately, he's the brains and the bran. I think I'm just like largely a figurehead.


Okay. You said, there you go. Says what he tell what says what Ben tells me to say.


[00:02:33] Nick Roome: There's that. All right. We know why you're here. You're here for the news, so let's get into it.


That's right. This is the part of the show all about human factors news. Mr. Berry, what is the news story this week?


[00:02:44] Barry Kirby: So this week we are introducing the Chief Trust Officer according to Deloitte research. The concept of trust is becoming increasingly important for organizations in the digital age where misinformation, cyber attacks, and rapid digital transformation at commonplace.


Trustworthy companies outperform their competitors by up to four times, and employees who trust their employers are more motivated at work despite these benefits. Only 19% of organizations have dedicated C-suite leader focused on building trust. This gap has led to the emergence of the role of chief trust officer, or CT little r o or ciro, however you wanna pronounce that who can help organizations build trust across the organization and partner ecosystems.


However, the need for a citro has not always been apparent and their emergencies response to the growing importance of trust building in the face of media, polarization, geopolitical uncertainty, and the scrutiny of data. CIRO or C T R O can help organizations earn and maintain trust and be an effective differentiator, competitive differentiator.


Overall, the trust of trust, the o, the role of trust in employee engagement, customer loyalty, and financial performance is becoming increasingly important. Practitioners in human factors need to contr, contribute to this emerging field to ensure organizations learn to build trustworthy products and systems that can support the growth of the business.


Nick, the killer question here is, are we gonna get a citro in the next human factors cast, C-suite, C-suite meeting?


[00:04:17] Nick Roome: Yeah, of course. We have a C-suite meeting here at Human Factors cast. There's executives and corporate head figure heads and all that stuff. Yeah. No look, here's the thing is that I don't know how to answer to your question.


I, are we establishing trust with our listeners? I hope so. I hope you keep coming back every week because you trust our opinion or you trust what we bring to the table. This story is quite interesting to me because when I first read it, I was like, I, okay, let me actually read my notes verbatim here in the show notes.


At first, I was like, rolling eyes emoji. And then I was like, thinking emoji. But I truly, this did have me going, okay, tr we need another C-suite role here. Pay them way, way too much money to do the things that they do. But this could be a huge thing for user facing teams. So ux ultimately this could be a great thing for the end user because this report is advocating for the creation of these roles to help better get consumers to trust a product or brand.


And. To me, this got me thinking about several different ways to tackle this one, but the most interesting piece that I thought of is right now you have tech CEOs who are out to protect their company. And you can imagine that anyone in the C-suite would probably do that, but what if they started throwing out these citros, or let's just call 'em cilantros, just put a couple extra words in there.


I'll have Chad, g p t come up with something in just a second for that. But I think if you put these guys out in front of a government official test testimony type thing, where you know you have they can talk about it from that end user perspective in a way that. Is not necessarily a business decision.


The, their role in this thing might be business related in the sense that trust drives business, but ultimately they could talk about it from what is happening at an end user perspective. And to me, this would be someone who would live even above a director of UX or something like that.


And you could have UX and product and marketing and sales and everybody reporting to this ciro or under this citro or, whatever you wanna call it. And it's just an interesting addition that this is something that we're starting to think about. And it's really exciting actually, when you think about it from this perspective that, okay, trust is really important from a consumer standpoint.


And why is that? It's because trust is a seminal human factors tenant. Barry I'm okay. I'm reading your first word there. What are your thoughts on this?


[00:07:09] Barry Kirby: So I think this has the potential to be interesting and to be potentially do some good stuff. But given where we're at the moment, could it just be perceived as all a bit woke?


And is it, could it be perceived as just being a reaction to where we're at today? And the fact that it, it has the opportunity to be seen as just a fluffy cloud of a job now. And I think this is quite interesting when, certainly in the United States, you've got some poli political things going on that is, seems to be very woke or anti woke and driven in both them ways.


And so this is where this sort of role could get get shrunk. Here in the UK we have roles, senior roles that are things like diversity officers and things like that, and chiefs of diversity that a lot of people, some people see, yes, that's a great idea and a great role, but get lost in the woke or anti woke reaction.


So I sort of caveat that with, I don't think we should worry or I don't think I would like us not to worry too much about that. Sorry, actually if it's the right thing to do. But we also know that we, public perception is quite key in C-Suite roles. So that other way I think this is. I was very similar to you in, when I read your reaction to go, is this war?


Is, are we gonna told for this? Is this just and then the more you read it and actually it's the first time in a long time, I've gone and read the article and then gone reread, read the report behind it because I was like, okay, where can this go? And as long as they're given the opportunity to do the job and support it, to do it properly, actually it could be quite cool.


Because it's not just a people role. I think we've got a huge opportunity here, as you quite rightly say the ux the side of it. But actually it is not just about people within the company, but it's company two company. It's external perceptions com coming to the public and all that sort of stuff.


And it can encompass a lot of things that we probably just find uncomfortable. But is it also a technology role? So we're talking about. Trust in technology. Can we trust the information that is going in and out of our systems? Can we trust the information within? And so you could actually say that there is a a technology role in this to make sure that the technology we're using within a company is trusted.


The stuff that we are giving out can be trusted. So there could be a good technology piece. It's obviously there's down to psychology there. So once you start bringing in the technology and the psychology, that's a human factors role, isn't it? Because that's what we do. And then we also go on and say that human factors is the thing that glues projects together.


Maybe this citro HF fee type role might be the thing that actually gels a lot of companies together at the C-suite level. And it's the possibly the first role I think I've seen that actually would suit an HF professional to go to, to go directing directly into the C-suite. Which is interesting.


So yeah, I've gone from a position of really just another woke no woke thing to do that too, actually. This could be quite cool.


[00:10:11] Nick Roome: Yeah, I so really quick, can we just call it cilantro and the chief Intelligence Analysis Trust Officer, you


[00:10:19] Barry Kirby: didn't listen to a word I said to you. You've just been playing around with chat G P T to come up with a new new term.


[00:10:23] Nick Roome: No, I listen to, I listened to you. You said woke, and then you said what? You had the same reaction I did, so I just shorthanded it. But yeah, I think you're right. The fact that a human factors practitioner could step into this role is is absolute. I agree with that. Yes. 100%. Because if you think about this in terms of a strategic leadership position within organizations the piece that's interesting to me is that.


We as human factors practitioners would be the advocate for the user. There would be I fear that this role would transition from something along the lines of chief trust officer to from trying to build and maintain trust among the users to something along the lines of how do we generate the most trust but maybe not have their best interest at heart?


So there's an interest. There's But, how do we use their data for nefarious purposes? There's, there could be a ton of twists to this role that could make this bad. Absolutely. Yeah. I guess it's what I'm saying. And this could be something great for I, I think genuinely a lot of people in UX and human factors have the user's best interest at heart.


When they come forward with a suggestion, they say users wanna do X because of these motivations. And I think when you introduce business decisions into those things, sometimes those business decisions get in the way of the user goals. We're not gonna let them do that because that would mean less money for us.


Does that mean that the chief trust officer would then that role would be compromised in a similar way? Because at the C-suite, your goal is to maintain the company in a profitable manner. And I think the interesting thing to this is that is, is some of the stats behind this, right? The research is showing that these companies that are deemed trustworthy by consumers outperform their competitors.


And the metric by which is the, I guess the factor by which they are outperforming their competitors is quite astounding. Four times those that are trustworthy, four times or I should say up to four times, outperform their competitors up to four times. That's a huge number. And so if you think about if companies were smart about this they would hire somebody who truly does have the user's best interest at heart, and it would be a conversation.


But the other thing, sorry, my, my thoughts are all over the place because I just thought of something else. You have, what you don't have today is an advocate for the user at the C-suite level, which is just insane to me to think that you have a boardroom reading meeting with the C-Suite executives, and in there someone says, no, we can't do that, because the user would not trust our product if we made that business decision.


And that is something insane that doesn't exist today. There might be folks that have that sort of thought or have introduced things like from a technology perspective, you can think like CTO O. Tech officer that, that, bubbles stuff up from UX or whatever, and said some research says blah, blah, blah, but they aren't an advocate.


They're just like repeating research that's happened. So I just think that would be really cool to have that user advocate at the table in those C-suite meetings. I don't know, that's just one thought that came to mind. I'm bit babbling. Go. No


[00:14:03] Barry Kirby: it's interesting, isn't it? Because I think there is, and this could go to the actual true point of understanding the definition of what this c C T R O, the ciro is going to do because trust appears in many places within a company.


And I would challenge to a certain extent that I think the C-suite already Does what they do in the best interests of the customer. Now I'm using the word customer that is different from client. From user. Yeah. Because the customer is generally the person who's paying the money. The user generally doesn't pay the cash unless they're buying the product themselves.


So then therefore they end up being the customer.


[00:14:42] Nick Roome: They can be the same and they can be different. Yeah, you're right.


[00:14:44] Barry Kirby: Exactly right. So if you are buying something large, so say government is buying something, the user is definitely not the customer. The customer is the person who hands. In fact, you might I've been in situations where you've got more than one customer, which is gets terribly frustrating.


So actually, Who is the, where is the trust being built at that point? It's gonna be with the current C-suite is as you possibly you two is gonna be trying to build trust with the customer, with the person who's handing over the cash in the theory that they're not gonna hand over the cash unless they trust that it's either the job has either been done or is going to be done.


And so that's where that, that, that trust needs to lie. So would this, would A C T R O go in and how would they change that dynamic, if anything? So with the user and the customer, but I guess on a wider level as well, is there's also the internal trust issue. The trust between C-suite and employees all up and down the business.


There's a lot of talk now around just culture and the application of just culture. In fact, we've, I've done at least what, two, if not three interviews on that couple episodes. Yeah. And we've had, at the end of E H F 2023, we had a basically a panel discussion on ju trust culture and just culture.


And therefore would just culture be something that actually the seat the ciro is gonna, would be in charge of. Cause it's in their, that is in their best interest. That is the sort of thing that they'll be pushing. Again, you've got the idea about trust in in process. You've got trust in technologies, you've got things like that.


I think that the breadth of things that the Citra could be involved in, have influence in could be huge. And if it wasn't huge, If they couldn't get into all the different places where trust exists and is required, then they would then be useless without we do it. So there is an element of that.


So if you have that, they I guess there's talk about if you don't have trust already, if you don't have trust in organization, you couldn't just appoint Ciro and say we've got a citro now and therefore everybody trusts us. What would they have at their disposal? So if we have the the C-suite for human factors cast, we walk into the room and say we need to build, we need to build trust.


What could this citro actually do to do that? What sort of, I don't know. What things do you think that they would have to have at their disposal in terms of tools to be able to do this sort of stuff?


[00:17:18] Nick Roome: Yeah, no, this is interesting. And this really gets at the C-suite level decision making that happens versus the like the UX level where they're in the weeds with the user.


I think the first thing that comes to my mind, the biggest tool that the Ciro would have over what exists today is what I described previously, that seat at the table. Yep. That is the biggest CUDL by which they wield that could make the biggest impact. If, and here's the other thing that Citro has to have as much say as any other C-suite that, that's sitting on that bench.


Because what happens today is you'll have in, in corporate, you'll have Folks lower down the totem pole that will advocate and say no, the user can't, blah, blah, blah whatever the thing is. And yeah, that gets processed, that gets, that message gets changed and altered and pushed up the line and then relayed.


But if that chief trust officer is at the table and can relay those things directly to the others that are making the decisions, that is the biggest tool that they have. And so when I think about tools from an executive standpoint, I don't think of necessarily oh, they're sitting there and they're using, survey Monkey to, to do these things.


I think of the tools internally and externally that they have. So internal market research, UX research, they have any. Point of interaction with another, with a user or a customer. I think both of those factor into trust. And like we said, those can be the same. Those can be different. But I think their job is to synthesize everything from across the different perspectives.


So you have sales, you have marketing, you have onboarding, you depending on the product, right? You have all these different types of things. You have ux, you have product managers who might go out and actually talk with folks too. And so anytime you have a lot of different moving parts and pieces, there's going to be various opinions on how to do certain things.


And that chief trust officer's role will be to take the tools that he has, i e these various factions or segments of the business. Take that information, process it. And then relay that at the top level. And then those decisions then get propagated down in such a way that you're not building a product that is gonna be bad for the user in some way, shape, or form.


And I think this also does another huge thing that maybe a whole lot of people aren't paying attention to, or maybe it's mentioned, I did read the report, but I didn't see any mention of the the reducing risk piece of this. Where if you introduce a chief trust officer and have that user advocate at that high level, you're then reducing risk that you're going to build the wrong thing.


That's what UX has traditionally done right is to reduce risk in terms of building a product, but that's sometimes more focused around. The decisions about how to implement something, not necessarily the decisions on whether something's right or not. Of course there's the discovery phases, but they aren't ultimately the ones that are making that call.


In a lot of situations, you have product or even the c e O that is driving directives down from the top, but having somebody like the Citro cilantro, you have them at the top making help, help making these decisions. I just think it's so powerful and it's an underrated thing that reducing that risk could have for a company and then that ultimately just builds more trust with the end user or the customer, whoever you're trying to target in that, with that decision.


That I think just, I don't think this is gonna solve all of our problems. Let me be clear. Facebook hires a citro for meta and like they're not gonna use our data differently. I don't think they're still gonna sell it, but. There might be some changes on our end that is like goodwill towards us that says, Hey, we we're gonna de-anonymize your data and we're gonna, actually take out these few things that make it really clear who you are to them.


That, that would build trust. I don't


[00:21:40] Barry Kirby: know, maybe, I, part of me says, I think that you're not gonna get to a C-suite role. Let's face it, the, I dunno, the, would it be that a, this citra would get into the C-suite? You don't get C-suite role without being a business animal of some description that you know you're going to, the first job of business is business.


And I don't care what role you do, the first job of job, first job of business is always business. If the business is not there, nobody's got a job. No, you haven't got a product, it's completely pointless. You become this citro. Now if the right sort of person is selected, the right sort of person is trained.


So like we, we propose a hu somebody with a human factors background, that would be great. Not the only fruit, but generally a good thing out there. But if they didn't and they just appointed almost anybody the last IT officer or something like that that could really strongly influence and flavor what the CIT actually does.


Because again, we are assuming that that they will have a usability or a a user focus. I'm not exactly convinced that they will, I think they, ideally from our perspective, that would happen. But would they, is there potential there for just saying okay, we're going to have we are going to deliver a lot of these.


Initiatives within the company. We're gonna have, popcorn Friday. We, cuz we also know that fairly simple things please employees. And, because generally if your hard worked, I remember being part of a company that suddenly decided to offer free coffee. The coffee the coffee machine.


You got three free coffees a day outta the vending machine. And and suddenly morale from the business went up massively. And I was like, literally all I've done is given you 3, 3, 3 cups of coffee that were fairly rubbish anyway. The, and now you think they're the best thing since I bread. That is that, imagine that on a trust perspective.


Do, is that going to actually work? I'm trying to play that the the counter, the devil's advocate in this, because Yeah. Is it, that is if the role, I think there, there's potential for this role to be done badly, in, in the same way as we've seen some companies go, we've got a a senior director of carbon or offsetting or climate or, whatever, so that you turn around and say, what are you doing about climate change?


We've got a vice president, we've got a, we've got a C-Suite member in charge of that. And still, we there's reports coming through today about certain companies that are actually worse off now than what they did. So healthy dose practice, I think, however, taking at face value, it could still be, I guess then if they do bring in these rightness issue the right sort communications as well. Cause communications is absolutely key. But I think you alluded to it earlier the potential for this to provide value for the company. Because I think some of the research in the report shows if you buy from a brand and you trust that brand a lot, you get quality product, but actually the brand itself, you think that's, I trust that brand.


80% of people who buy stuff from them are gonna go back and do it again and again. Which is, there's some products you buy, you don't actually know what brand it is, you know where you got it from, does the job great, but you don't really care. But actually, if you get a brand that you think actually they're good that it's good solid product, I trust what they're doing and I trust them to go and buy something else from them that maybe is a bit more edgy or something like that, then that's gonna work.


Similarly if you are in work and you've, we talked about just culture within the organization. If you trust your employer to be making the right decisions and make it work. If you trust your employees, 79% of employees will feel more, more motivated at work or will actually feel motivated at work.


That those two stats in themselves should encourage more trustworthy organizations or the focus and development of trust within the organizations, you would've thought.


[00:25:38] Nick Roome: Yeah, the the thing for me is that you're talking about it and I alluded to it earlier, I, what I don't want to see this type of role reduced to, I shouldn't say reduced to because it would be a huge boon for the company, is this change equals this percentage increase in trust.


What is the least amount of things that we can get away with that would increase the trust? How do we combine these in a way that still gets us the most profit and the most trust? It's maximizing that profit to trust ratio. And that sucks. That sucks. If you think about it from that perspective that just sucks.


And hopefully it's not that Hopefully. I think good citros, good cilantros will be the ones that don't leave. A bad taste in your mouth will be the one because cilantro the didn't land


[00:26:34] Barry Kirby: this your old night, isn't it?


[00:26:37] Nick Roome: It is the, the thing here is that like when you have yeah, when you have a, when you have a searo that is advocating for things like.


Effective communication between the company and its customers, or its users or, the even to the product side, like the reliability of a product. Hey, this thing is breaking all the time. We need to fix these types of things so that way the users trust our product to work a little bit more.


And then the other thing is this would have if done correctly, oversight into even PR decisions. You think about messaging and how things like integrity are important to people and the honesty, fairness, all that stuff. If a company comes out and says and creates a message about something that's happened that is also trusting or that is also touching trust.


And of course we've already mentioned sort of the empathy about a user, customer perspective. And then the other things that at least come to my mind about what impacts trust with a company or things like how transparent they are with, I don't know, things like their data practices or I don't know their actions and decisions about product and things like that.


Like why are they making these business decisions? There are other things that I can think of too, like the competency of a company. How consistent their products are over time. If you get a phone from a company one time and it's great and then you get a phone from 'em, the next generation and it sucks.


That's not gonna contribute to your trust within them, and then there's obviously like other things, like your past experiences that's not something so much that they can alter, but they can start forming new experiences that then build that trust over time. I had a bad experience with an Apple a long time ago.


I don't like using Max. I have one for work, but I don't like using it. And so but do I trust the company? No, I don't trust any tech company, but that's just me. So I don't know. I think the biggest thing though, like for me as a consumer is like the benevolence of it.


When you know that company has your best interest in mind, right? Like they, they are ultimately there for you. That makes me feel good. There's a couple of to be clear, there's a couple of like products that I use that ultimately, I truly feel like I am the center of their universe when it comes to making decisions.


I. And it's the should be to be absolutely clear. It's like the companies with like smaller user bases, and it's a lot of companies like like the one that we're using right now for streaming this and the one that we use for our website and those types of things where truly the user base is very small.


But anytime I've had an interaction with the c e o of these companies, like that's how small they are. It's been truly to understand what my needs are and not necessarily obviously they want my money, but it's truly they're trying to build a product for me and that's what ultimately keeps me subscribing to these things.


So I just hope that it doesn't equate into Let's take a look at the spreadsheet. If we were to be ex more transparent about these initiatives, that would increase, trust and in by 30%. But, and that would be a marginal business cost.


[00:30:06] Barry Kirby: Go ahead. But isn't that what they've gotta do?


And the, and I guess this goes into how do you measure trust? Because, you could argue that they bringing the citra, the cilantro and say the seen it they, they bring it in and it's just a fancy PR stunt. We've seen, as I alluded to earlier, there's other things that have come in that people go, oh, it's just what it is.


But also the situ has got a job on that C-suite to convince the rest of the business that it's worth doing. And the only way you can do that, cause the only language the business truly understands, whether it's big or small, is bottom line. If you are not breaking, even if you are not making a profit, whether you are a private limited company, whether you are your publicly, your shares out on the market, whatever it is, you need to be making the money, the profit to make it worthwhile.


So you are not gonna invest in stuff if it loses you money. So the ciro has gotta turn around and say they, they're gotta make a business case. They've gotta turn around and say, the investing in this campaign, investing in my team, which is actually something else that we should probably briefly touch upon.


What, what would the Citra team look like? But they've gotta turn around to the rest is C-suite and say a bit like what we have to do in a human factors at a human factors level. None of you get what I'm talking about. None of you get this human factors stuff. None of you get really get this, trust, this ciro stuff.


But if you do this, here's some numbers, here's some figures. Here's an argument that says it's going to be good for the bottom line. It's going to add value to the business in some way because otherwise you just wouldn't do it. Now I think we are moving into this, into a time into into a state of civilization where we're at, where people do value trust.


In an organization, people do value how people treat their employees. People do value what does the diversity look like within a business which will might affect particularly more middle class people, maybe slightly class people who've got the ability to choose where to spend their money, might choose to spend their money in more ethic, ethically oriented businesses, et cetera, et cetera.


But I think that's it again going back to the main point is how do we actually then measure trust? Do we have to do do all the, keep on doing all these questionnaires that we get every time we buy a product? Do you trust this company? Is it a question in the questionnaire? Is it something that we have to do sort of mystery shopper type things with?


Is there a measure of trust out there? I don't think there is. I think there it is a it's a subjective. It's a subjective measure based on the feeling that might not stand up to actual scrutiny or fact. But it's something we're gonna have to get a grip of for, to make this


[00:32:43] Nick Roome: work. Yeah I think there are plenty of ways to measure trust.


You have that, like within the trust and automation field or, there's a couple I can think of off the top of my head. I think consumer trust is different. And I know that there are plenty of ways to measure that. It would be interesting I'm actually skimming the article right now to see if there's any mention of measure or how they how they gathered that.


And I'm not seeing anything. Maybe you can do some quick searches too,


[00:33:12] Barry Kirby: but like there, there wasn't tell you that's why I bought the point.


[00:33:16] Nick Roome: Yeah. I think I. There are, they're using the de I trust framework, which is measuring it presumably against five core tenants, which is looking at leading by example, delivering with excellence, performing with distinctions, securing the foundation, amplifying core values.


But really they're this, it's this yin and yang between competence and intent. Yeah. And I think that's how they're using it. But again, this,


[00:33:45] Barry Kirby: there's, that isn't a measure. So the delo trust framework was brought in as a a way of explaining, it's a bit like what we do in human factors when you turn around and say what does human factors look like?


We've got the cool diagrams. So they turn around and it's still the sub elements of it are still very subjective. So it's not an, it's not an objective measured framework in order to do it. Cuz to measure things like, conduct do you have good conduct? Yes. No measures skilled, one to 10.


Do you have authentic re resilient leadership? That's subjective because it's your if you did a 360 review on that, it would be, you'd get very different reviews, et cetera, et cetera.


[00:34:23] Nick Roome: But if, yeah, but I think that's the point, is that it's that subjectivity is the measurement, right?




[00:34:29] Barry Kirby: if you are coming in with that and because if you measure the level of leadership within our human factors Cascade C-Suite, I measure it. And so the lab members measure it, it would, everybody will come up with a different number. Everyone come up with a different opinion b based on their perspective.


And that's the issue here as well, is the different people have the different measures. So it is a subjective measure. There's no, the true signs behind it doesn't work. In it's, it is a me frame. What you couldn't come out with a seven, whatever a seven means and then compare that against another company in a, on a by like comparison.


[00:35:06] Nick Roome: Sure. Yeah. I disagree. I think there are probably not, maybe not with this one, but I think there are some measures out there that we could certainly look at it. And I think this is really just offering ultimately just a different way to look at who's at the table at that C-suite. So I just looked at the time, and we've been talking about this for some time, so let's, yeah let's do some final thoughts here.


Barry, what are your final thoughts on the Chief Trust officer?


[00:35:30] Barry Kirby: I think it's got, it's a role with a lot of potential as long as it doesn't get lost in Ry. And I think it's, if it's given the right bounds and ideas, I think it'd be interesting to see how that role develops.


[00:35:41] Nick Roome: Yeah. For me, my final thoughts, don't mess this up, don't f this up like this is, this has the potential to truly be a transformative role and that there's a reason why I chose the word could for the title of this episode.


A Chief trust officer could be a user-centered superpower, but that's only if we treat that role from the user perspective. And who knows, maybe they'll deve develop some empathy along the way and. And it'll be the friends that we made along the way. Huge thank you to our patrons and all of you for selecting our topic this week.


And thank you to our friends over m i t Tech Review for our news story. If you wanna follow along, we do post the links to the original articles on our weekly roundups in our blog. You can also join us on Discord for more discussion on these stories and more. If you wanna vote on these, of course, you can always visit our Patreon.


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So it's time once again for us to embarrass ourselves. And I will do it this week. Greetings folks. It's your magnificent podcast host here trying to sound suave and sophisticated to make this announcement of utmost importance available. Now on our Patreon page, you can decide what the heck we talk about.


Okay. I know what you're thinking. Why should you care? Let me tell you. By choosing the news, you can help determine what we chat about on future episodes of this fabulous human factors cast show. This is your time to shine, folks. Your voice matters. Feel like a politician. And don't worry, we're not gonna hold this poll hostage or anything.


Anyone can participate. Yes, even you suspicious listener in the back over there. You can finally let your voice be heard. So what are you waiting for? Head over to our Patreon page. Cast your vote on the exciting topics that you want us to talk about. And hey, if you don't like any of the choices, feel free to submit your own ideas.


We're down for whatever. And may, maybe not for whatever, but let's make it happen. People, let's choose the news. Let's rock this. Human factors cast together. What'd you think, Barry? Did I nail


[00:39:53] Barry Kirby: it? That wa that was interesting. What I was just reading through and I suddenly realized that cuz it, it suggested putting various sounds in the way we could have done most of the sounds.


Oh really? Yeah. Shoot. If I'd been more switched on. We next week, we'll think about and cues and stuff. Cause you wanted like tons of crickets chirping and we could have done this,


[00:40:13] Nick Roome: but that, that would've been great. I missed it, so I'm sorry about, all right thanks for being on the ball.


All right, get into this next part of the show.


It came from,


ah, yes. It's that fable part of the program. It came from. This is where we search all over the internet to bring you topics that you're all talking about. That's you, that's the community. If you find any of these answers useful, give us a like where if you're watching or listening to help other people find this content or find these answers because they're useful to you, they might be useful to somebody else.


All right. This first one up here tonight is by mall, the great eight. At on the UX research subreddit, they write, how do I know UX is for me? They write, am I a good fit for UX as an inquisitive, empathetic, creative, and introverted individual with a love for design, psychology and computers? I'm not sure if this field is right for me.


Further, furthermore, tend to prefer working alone and striving prefer for perfection. Should I pursue UX internships to see if it's appropriate for me? Can I be a good uxr even if I only have two projects on my resume? Is it necessary for me to have a portfolio for internships? Barry let's take this let's take this one by one here.


What are your thoughts on this? Does, do you think this person would be a good fit for ux?


[00:41:30] Barry Kirby: I think in terms of the characteristics they suggest, then yes, I think they certainly seem to have half of the right ingredients, but that they've only highlighted half of the job. Because it's not just about the role itself or UX design, but actually where you are doing it.


So you could trick yourself in for that job, but you also gotta think about the team fit, the cultural behavior and that all needs to fit cuz the you, they say that they are introverted. Inquisitive, empathetic. You've gotta make sure that the team you join will allow you to utilize your your personal characteristics to the best of their ability.


Yeah. I just crack on, but the only person who can tell you whether it's actually any good for you is you. And the only way you're gonna find out is by going to do it. You might hate it, not drama, find another job.


[00:42:21] Nick Roome: Yeah, for me it's, yes, welcome to the UX stuff. We got cookies in the back.


You're right, they do have I think they have everything of the making here. And I don't know if necessarily researcher is the job, but maybe analyst, data analyst. Because if you come and you look at data, that's something that you can still be empathetic and inquisitive and creative about the way in which you display data or show those things, right?


And so if you're working on you, you could be a researcher and just focus on the data and various larger companies will have the segmented out where you can actually, somebody goes out and talks to 'em and maybe they come back and research it, but then you have other data analysts looking at things.


So there's a fit for you somewhere. I dunno. Absolutely. Alright, let's get into this next one. Panzi Triple zero on the UX research subreddit. They write impact equals validating every single idea that leadership has. They write as somebody working in a UX research role, I am interested in understanding the nature of my job.


I've noticed that there's some senior UXers seem to focus on validating every idea that comes from leadership rather than uncovering insights from quality research. Should I be doing the same to please my stakeholders or is there any merit in approaching research in a more open and unbiased way? How can I balance the need to phase please my stakeholders with the desire to produce quality research?


Barry, I thought this was a really interesting question. Curious on your thoughts here? Yeah,


[00:43:50] Barry Kirby: it's interesting cuz we get into we've done it a bit tonight. You get into this almost combative role that that your managers, the managers above you are not interested in what you've gotta say and are not interested in users and things.


And that's not, I don't think that's the case. I think they've just got different drivers cuz seniors, I mean they're stakeholders too. They're stakeholders within your project. If you are. If you're not producing what you need to produce and you're not producing the right information, the product will fail and the company will fail.


Now it might not be that they're not saying what you want to, what you want to hear, and you're right that seniors leadership will come out with drives or ideas that they want to happen, but that's why they're senior. That's why they've, they're up, that they've got up that tree is they're directing overall strategy for the company.


You are delivering a small part of, or maybe even a large part of that strategy. And see how it fits. Fundamentally I'll use this with caution, but I gotta say they're not idiots. Most of them are not idiots. You get exceptions. But they've probably got insights on logic that you are just not seeing.


And that's what there is part of your job. Is if you think your, what your research is showing needs to be communicated better or needs to be taken notice of because you are seeing something that will affect the overall strategy, that will change the direction of the company in some way, small or large.


Actually the is on you to make sure that you com it's no good just having good quality research. You've gotta be able to communicate it as well. And sometimes part of the job is just knowing which pick, which battle to fight. Some battles you really want to die in a ditch for, and others actually you, there is not enough time in the world and not enough life in you to fight every battle.


So pick what you do. So I guess slightly devil's advocate, but yeah, seniors need a bit of love too.


[00:45:38] Nick Roome: Yeah. Look, ultimately a job is a job. And so if you are instructed to just validate, then you know how exactly what you were saying, Barry, pick your battles. How much do you want to Be antagonistic towards a coworker about a disagreement.


And is it worth your job potentially if you know an HR complaint gets filed because you're battling it out? I think ultimately your role here is to advocate for the user. And I think that's true no matter which research that you're doing. And I, it could absolutely be the sense, and it will depend on your company too, of like how you approach these problems.


Are you, it sounds like they're definitely more post hoc analysis of decisions that have already been made versus that discovery phase of trying to figure out what it is that the users need. And there's, you can, you could do both. The thing with this is that there, it, there seems to be a bias towards validation and I think you can either validate or invalidate these assumptions.


And I think both are valuable. If you come to the table and say, here you go this is what we wanted to test. And it actually came back that the users don't want this thing. There you go. That's I my job is done. I've told you what you wanted to hear. We tested your hypothesis. It didn't come back and we needed a change course.


Okay. If we had, if you had me in on the discovery phase a little bit earlier, we could have figured this out before we had made the decision to do this. But that's a, another battle that you can pick. I know that some companies use UX as a patch rather than a preventative. They use it as the aspirin rather than the the, the stretching or whatever.


I don't know. I can't think of a good analogy there. Okay. Let's get into this last one here. This one's by Austin Baldy. On the UX research subreddit our company's hiring UX researchers to do research work that isn't UX related. All these questions related to Night Barry, and they're all along the same lines that we talked about with the story, which is why I thought they were good.


This person writes as someone who works in UX research, have you ever been asked by your company to do research that isn't related to UX work? Is this a normal thing? How can you tell if you're being taken advantage of or asked to do something outside of your expertise? Would appreciate any advice or insights from those who have found themselves in a similar situation, Barry.


[00:47:57] Barry Kirby: Yeah. There's a good chance you will. The researcher skill or the u particularly ux, so a researcher skill isn't just focused around ux. Yes, you're taken on to do UX and you expect to do a hundred percent UX work. But sometimes you know, you, them skills are transferrable.


They're relevant elsewhere. So if you are. In a position where the management comes and says, actually, could you come and do this bit of research for us? Then in many ways, that's a compliment. You've got skills that can crack and undo. Is it something that's normal? Is it something that I've been asked to do?


Yes and yes. And the big thing I think I would pull out of this is be selfish about it. What are you going to learn from this? Are you applying your skills in another new environment that I is actually gonna give you a new bunch of insight and experience that then suddenly finds its way onto your CV and makes you imminently more employable?


Or you can go and say, hold on a second. I've been doing my UX role and I've been doing this. You need to pay me more money. Or is it just something that is just a bit of a waste of time? If they're wasting your time or you feel your time is being wasted, then and you cannot resolve that, then you can go and have a chat with them and say, actually, I don't think I'm doing the right thing.


And they're, or terribly sorry, we thought you might like to do, have the conversation. If you're not having the conversation, you're in the wrong job and bail. But I love taking on opportunities like that. Cause you do genuinely making yourself more employable on the whole. Nick, what about you?


What do you think


[00:49:21] Nick Roome: a job, as a job, your role is to act as an advocate for the user. But if they put you on research you can like you said, Barry, you can still use some of those skills. The funny thing is in the show notes here, I have the same exact answer for this one that I did for the last one.


But I think there's, with doing research on a topic like I. I tend to think of it as secondary research, right? So if you're working on a product and they have you doing research on, I don't know, something like code that, is that, does that fit your skillset? It may or may not, but the thing for me is like, how does it ultimately relate to the user?


And if I am looking at other things going on in the industry, maybe doing like competitive analysis, I still consider that like UX work. If it's like market research, I still consider that UX work cuz I can ask questions that get at that, the more difficult thing comes when it's truly completely absent of user feedback or when it's secondary research that doesn't touch your product in any way.


But then again, I wouldn't understand why you'd be doing secondary research on something that doesn't touch your product at all. And so for me, it's all part of the job. It's not necessarily like they're putting me on research task for something unrelated. Unless they're like the thing the thing would be like, okay Nick, you know nothing about Figma.


I want you to go figure out how to use the third party plugin. I know nothing about coding either, so I'm just gonna go do this thing and figure it out. And I'm not touching the users, but I get Figma skills. So there's that. So that would be the way I think about it. Yeah. Alright. And it's time for the show where we just do one more thing.


Barry, what is your one more thing this week?


[00:50:58] Barry Kirby: So this week I had a rather strange but really quite cool experience where I got to present my first external keynote as president of the C I H F which was to the Iranian Occupational Health and Safety Conference, which I thought was really neat.


Cause I woke up in the morning went and did that conference, then I had morning coffee and I went to do my day job because I imagine it was obviously a remote conference. But it was really good fun. It was, it. It was an interesting thing that I've learned about keynotes when you give a keynote.


Cause normally if you go and give a presentation at a conference or something you're either given them one on your paper or you've got a topic or something like that. Whereas this was just would like you to do do a keynote speech. Great. What sort of topic would you like me to do it on?


Whatever you think we'd like to hear. Okay. So I did, I talked for a significant period of time about the challenges facing us in the human factors industry with rising number of requirements and not enough people to do the job and therefore how that's going to be a put us in a poor situation further down the line.


So it was good fun. So I hope I can do more of that sort of thing. I thought it was a lot better, lot more interesting than I thought it was gonna be. Nick, what about you? What was your, one more thing.


[00:52:04] Nick Roome: Was that recorded? Can I have that? I, if I'd love to hear that


[00:52:08] Barry Kirby: doc. It might have been if not, I could pro I've still got my slides so I could probably rejig something.


All right. And you


[00:52:16] Nick Roome: well from yeah. Would love that. So for me the, I have been in a weird spot since coming back from vacation. I mentioned in the pre-show that I have a note that says to mention burnout. When I greet discord again. There's and another interesting thing that's going on too is that I had a depressive bout as I came back from my vacation, and this is there's, this is tough to talk about, but there's I find joy in doing some things right, like playing video games after my son has gone to bed and.


There, there have been two games that have come out recently. One Star Wars Jedi phone Jedi survivor. And that one I beat before I went on vacation was gonna come back and was like, yes, I'm ready to play this. I am going to 100% it. I haven't had the drive. I've found more joy in, in watching like these short YouTube clips that just take seconds.


And I haven't played it in like a week. And then of course there the, there's the other big game here, ti Tears of the Kingdom. And this, I was actually having a chat with one of our lab mates, Alex, about this, where this game is like three times bigger than its previous game. It's the news elder game.


And it's like there's so much to do. And for somebody who's neuro divergent and needs like check boxes to click off and direction to be able to drive how I enjoy a game. There's like the game is truly free reign and is very open and you can go anywhere and do anything at any time. And it's all up to you.


And in a lot of ways a lot of people are very positive on this game. This game has got positive reviews all around. I am feeling so overwhelmed and just have I wanna get back to it. And I've got past the first area and I'm like, there's so much to do. And so I'm like super overwhelmed and it's just not a good feeling to, to want to play or want to do something and just have it fight you back when it doesn't mold with how you're thinking. So if anyone else is experiencing that I empathize with you and Hopefully it'll get better. But not to end on a downer, but that's it for today, everyone. If you like this episode, enjoy some of the discussion about I don't know, c-suite executives.


Then or UX or maybe all that. I'll encourage you at all to go listen to episode 2 77 where we talk about the point of user stories. Comment wherever you're listening with what you think of the story this week for more in-depth discussion, you can always join us on our Discord community. Visit our official website, sign up for our newsletter, stay up to date with all the latest human factors news, and of course, you can always vote on our next news story on our Patreon.


If you like what you hear, you wanna support the show, there's a couple things you can do. One, wherever you're at right now, leave us a five star review. We love those. We love hearing from you two, and that is free for you to do, by the way. Two wherever you're at, if you have friends if you have friends like Barry has a lot of friends, tell your friends about us, that helps us grow a lot.


And three of you have money and you wanna give us some, just a buck gets you in the door with Patreon. And truly, all of your support really does go back into the production of this show. We couldn't do it without you, and we truly appreciate all the support. As always, links to all of our socials and our website are in the description of this episode.


Mr. Barry Kirby, thank you for being on the show today. Where can our listeners go and find you if they wanna talk about a little green seasoning? A


[00:55:30] Barry Kirby: little cilantro? Yeah. Okay. If you wanna come and chat to me all over social media, I'm generally there on easy to find, but on Twitter, I'm Buzz Onk and I'm there on LinkedIn and then other sort of places.


Please wanna hear me talk to interesting people in and around the human factors community. Then you want to head over to 1202, the Human Factors Podcast, which is 12 two


[00:55:50] Nick Roome: I guess cilantro is more of an herb. Sorry about that. As for me, I've been your host Nick Roam. You can find me on Discord and across social media at Nick underscore Rome.


Thanks again for tuning into Human Factors Cast. Until next time it depends.



Barry KirbyProfile Photo

Barry Kirby

Managing Director

A human factors practitioner, based in Wales, UK. MD of K Sharp, Fellow of the CIEHF and a bit of a gadget geek.