Atlassian

Please describe one or more compelling examples of how empathy for users has positively affected your team’s successfulness.: 
 
  • Empathy is at the core of Atlassian and readily apparent in our company values. One such value is “Don’t #@!% the Customer” which reminds us all to care first and foremost for our customer needs.
  • Customer personas are distributed around the office and are attached to each piece of work. We also have them as posters throughout each office (Sydney, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Vietnam, Austin, etc). We update our personas on a quarterly basis with new resarch data.
  • We bring cross functional teams along to contextual inquiries and customer interviews. We run frequent user testing sessions wich are attended by the whole team.
  • Developers on support (DOS): At Atlassian, every software engineer spends between four and six weeks on a rotation within our support team. This helps the developer understand the problems that customers face day to day with our products. They return to their teams with renewed customer knowledge - they understand first hand who our customers are and the problems they face. This also helps them empathise with the personas.
  • Developers have an educated opinion about our users, and feel empowered and are able to contribute to the evolving personas. They also see the importance of using them at a feature level. The most difficult aspect of personas is adoption company-wide. The persona library at Atlassian is used by every team from HR to software delivery. We went through a very collaborative and iterative process that was very effective.
  • "Eating your own dogfood", or dogfooding, is an essential part of bringing empathy to the product. It involves using your own products, and making sure that you go through the significant user journeys regularly. All team members go through this process and make notes on anything they experience that might be improved. All our new hires go through this during their induction as well.
  • Our customer’s experiences are made visible on the design walls, where the user journeys are showcased. We use tools like the weather forecast to show experience satisfaction for example. These walls ensure everyone has a place to share their thoughts and ideas around improvement and information is available to everyone in the company. This draws on one of our values as well, "Open company, no bullshit"
  • Sparring sessions: Sparring is where we meet once a week to discuss and prove out the ideas to improve our users experience. Everyone is invited to participate.
  • Mentors introduce and share research and design methods in bootcamp classes and with our new grads during Hackhouse. There's an ongoing education around design methods to empower every team member.
  • Find out more about how we include users in a blog post about the JIRA re-design.