This will be the first post about some tools I use to track my users in my work as a UX designer & researcher. I met the Net Promoter Score years ago, as a way to (and I quote) “Track our users' satisfaction”. Since then, the NPS has been one of the tools I use not to track the global satisfaction of our users but for what it is meant to answer: Do our users recommend our app/service or not?

Some chemistry tools
Some chemistry tools

What is it, how does it work?

The NPS works with a simple question:

How likely are you to recommend our service to your friends, colleagues & family?


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Reading 21 lessons for the 21st century makes we wonder how we could develop ownership on our own data / digital identity. We tend to rely on states, but they can be quite slow to move, evolve, especially when we look at how fast the digital landscape is moving. Therefore there is perhaps a room for a personal digital identity system which would allow us to give / remove access to our personal data and to to keep those informations up to date.

First I thought about a blockchain solution, allowing us to secure our data, but then I realized how much of our “identity” is moving.


This year a lot of my reading where going around the same subject : How not to give a fuck. It’s strange that nowadays we end up reading something that should really be natural, even spontaneous. It always felt strange that we slowly switched from a world where you had the right not to care about some subjects (not even in a violent way, just not to take position), to a world of constant shoutings, personal vendettas and small wars.

So it’s strange to say it this way, but I now reclaim the right not to care about some subjects. I reclaim the right not to be enlightened enough on a subject to take any position about it, but also the right to neither know enough about it nor willing to take the time to learn about it. We’re all here for a limited time, with all our passions, subject of interest, personal fights, and it seems to me absolutely necessary to reclaim our right to decide where we invest our personal energy. Not caring about something isn’t an aggression toward the persons fighting for this thing, in fact it’s letting them more room to act, but also to be active proponent of the discussion by using their knowledge at the best. Not caring allow us to focus on the things that really matter to us, to lead our own fights. And sometimes, even if we would like it to be this way, things aren’t just all black and white, and some subjects are too dense to take position for one side or the other. …


It’s funny how this simple thing has eluded me for so many years (and still eludes me from time to time). Something as simple as saying “no”,“I won’t”, “I can’t”. I’ve spent so many years running after time, saying yes all the time, abiding to things I didn’t want to do, investing energy I didn’t have, forcing myself to be someone I wasn’t or to do things that only pulled me down further.

But I wouldn’t say it was a fear to say “no” in fact. I think it was going way deeper than not being able to say that. So I took some times to work on myself, but also to understand what I really wanted, what was the purpose I defined for my life, what were my healthy boundaries … I must say that this was the most terrifying blank page I’ve ever faced. While I did read many books about “discovering yourself” (some even joked on the amount of self-help books I was reading), I must admit that when the time came to write what were exactly “my rules”, I was staring in the void like a dead fish. …


For a decade now and with a surprising increase during the last years, I tend to encounter a lot of words used without any interest for their basic definition, thinking only about creating or increasing some “wow” factor. Those words I keep seeing? Exclusivity, Groundbreaking, Revolutionary, Unique, Innovation, … While at some point this tendency was limited to marketing (and which is part of well… their job), this spread to the general public (and I fell for this several time too).

Everytime it happens, it’s usually based on the fact that we don’t have a sufficient knowledge of the subjects, or didn’t do enough research, so we tend to use them because, from what we know they’re exact. …


Sometimes you encounter a book with which you realize a lot of things about yourself. This kind of epiphany moment was exactly what I had when reading Managing Oneself by Peter F. Drucker which shed a light on several things I encountered in my life and things I couldn’t do that everybody was at ease with and I couldn’t understand why.

When everybody’s listening to podcasts, watching endless YouTube video streams, when every recipe you can find is now presented in a video, when books are being listened too instead of read, … And that I couldn’t do any of those things. …


One thing I’ve come to realize more and more in our society, is our tendency to intervene all the time in everything, for the sake of the intervention. Things are being changed, teams are being shuffled, plans are being remade, … all the time, especially with a new-comer. While sometimes those changes can be good, most of the time they end up being quite a waste of time, energy, and human resources, while they give the impression that something is accomplished (when it’s not).

It’s interesting to find examples everywhere that, sometimes, the act of non-doing is better than changing things just for the sake of our ego. In Chinese, there’s the concept of Wu Wei, an important concept of Taoism which means non-doing or non-acting, to let things behave according to their nature, go with the flow. It’s interesting to note that the same thing was explained by the Stoics centuries ago, who put following nature as one of their core principle (if not the core principle). …


I’ve never had the feeling that I was reading that much, or that I was doing something that looked so impossible to a lot of people. But as friends asked me this question several times, I came to realize that I was indeed reading a lot more than the usual people. Of course, everyone devotes one times to what one thinks important, but it seems that nowadays a lot of people regret not being able to read more. So I’m writing this to give you some tips that I gathered along, hoping it may help you ;)

Get back to reading

I see your reading capacity as a muscle that you have to train over time. You wouldn’t try a triathlon if the last time you went out for a walk was seven years ago would you? The same goes for your reading habits, don’t get too hard on yourself first. Five years ago I realized that I hadn’t read a book in two years. Not a single one. I realized that the idea of opening a book, and finishing it, was really “frightening” me. So I decided to slowly get back on reading. …


Some days ago, I finished Siddharta by Herman Hesse, a very strange and compelling book that immediately jumped into my life changing shelf of my library. One particular passage in this book hit me with the velocity of a full-speed train :

Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.
Herman Hesse —
Siddharta

In this small excerpt of the book, Siddharta explains that every man needs to learn how to fast. Because when you face hunger, when you miss something, being in a state where you wait for it might lead you to make a lot of bad choices. This resonated a lot with me as, being subject to anxiety from time to time, I have made several decisions in my past based only on fear of the future, the unknown, the loneliness…


Just as business tend to evolve thanks to failures and improvements, I strongly think that we tend to evolve through our mistakes, our errors and regrets. But I also strongly believe that not all errors are equal, and that in each of our lives, we’re making what I call some major formative mistake. Usually we don’t realize it when we’re doing them, but when time passes by and we’re looking backward, we tend to see them clearly for what they are.

Those mistakes are deeply formative in our characters, as making them make us evolve toward a greater human being. As Nassim Nicholas Taleb said, those mistakes are making us a bit more antifragile, as we’re building on them or rather, because of them. They are easy to identify when you’re a bit distanced from them, as they usually pack a lot of regrets. You wish you had taken another decision, another path, acted differently, … But when you look how you acted after those mistakes, you also realize that you learned a lot, you’re not making the same mistake. …

About

Simon Vandereecken

UX Designer & User Researcher • Human Jukebox • Book Eater • Human After All

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