Design thinking is a process of designing systems by centering on the user and developing and delivering the best possible solution and experience. Generally, UX is applied to products. However, there is no reason why it couldn’t be used for an agency’s information governance (IG) program and its Laserfiche implementation. Many IG implementation conversations start with the tool Laserfiche. Design thinking redirects the conversation to users, what they’re trying to achieve, and what problems they have.
One of the common issues when an organization crafts an IG strategy is that it’s often difficult to gain buy-in from individual employees. IG is such a macro scheme, but without staff cooperation, it’s impossible to be compliant. Moreover, individuals may not understand what governance is, its importance, or how it will affect their duties. Developing a user-centered design approach for your IG program can help mitigate these factors and demonstrate to individual staff members that their needs are taken into account during the development and implementation of the program.
Design thinking must be introduced from the beginning of the product, ideally during the requirements and discovery phase. Here are some steps to begin integrating design thinking into your IG practice.
Observe- Start by watching users at work to increase our understanding of their preferences or experience with any existing IG process. If you find non-compliant practices, ask users why. They may have a practical reason.
Sketch out the real problem-As the “implementer,” you must use observation to clarify the problem with the current IG processes. Often employees develop blindspots to obvious or simple IG process fixes because “that’s how things have always been done.”
Deliberate and conceptualize- It must feel safe for the users to suggest ideas. However, it also requires that ideas stand up to being challenged.
Prototype, test, and iterate- As soon as possible, build a short version of the IG process. Continue to work with your users by letting them test and offer feedback—which will make its way into the product. Design thinking should be iterative. This process also fosters trust between you and your user because they see their suggestions implemented.
Having a user-friendly IG program is critical to ensure compliance. When employees can easily understand and use the IG guidance, it is more likely that they will successfully follow policies, whether it relates to keeping records and information for the required retention period, protecting documents subject to legal hold, ensuring personal information is adequately deleted or de-identified, or assisting in e-discovery. Putting the time and effort into a focused and user-centric IG program will have lasting benefits for the organization. If you are interested in reading about design thinking, I recommend, Design Thinking at Work: How Innovative Organizations are Embracing Design.