TLF Gems Newsletter November 2022

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

Pressure is a privilege

Billie Jean King

Are you the leading brand in your market? The one all prospects could name? The one everyone else is gunning for? Lucky you. As Billie Jean King pointed out, it's a privilege to feel this kind of pressure.

Or are you the plucky underdog? The challenger? The one who's trying harder?

As our Top Read this time points out, the important thing is that you're clear on where you stand, what you stand for, and what your proposition is. What kind of customers are you targeting? Are you meeting their needs (as measured by CSAT or NPS) better than anyone else? Concentrate on that and everything else will fall into place.

Thanks for reading,


Here are 7 things we think are worth your time this month

Tracking the Impact of Research

A persuasive post arguing that we should be more systematic in tracking and recording the impact of research (the article concentrates on UX Research, but it applies more generally), and proposing a framework for doing so. "If we don’t track the ways in which user research has impact, we risk not knowing whether we had impact at all."

Read: Tracking the Impact of Research

4 Myths About In-Person Work

Interesting article criticising some common myths about in-person learning events, and outlining some principles for effective in-person working. "To make the most of those in-person opportunities for connection, we need to make them voluntary, strategic, and intentional..."

Read: 4 Myths About In-Person Work

Opposites Create Each Other

Thought-provoking blog from Dave Trott about how the roles we cast each other in are traps for ourselves as well as other people. How do people in your organisation see customers? Or frontline staff? "If we carry on treating consumers like mugs, we are forced into behaving like charlatans. If we carry on treating them like fools, we are forced to produce rubbish."

Read: Opposites Create Each Other

Managing Qualitative Coding

Analysing qualitative data can feel frustratingly idiosyncratic. This blog makes a good case for the importance of having a consistent and documented approach to your work, whatever tools you use to do it. "If you are not careful, the coding framework itself can become an impediment to understanding the data, rather than a tool to help unravel it."

Read: Managing Qualitative Coding

3 Things That Keep People Motivated

Great post summarising what we know about the psychology of motivation. Neither salary (alone) nor table football are the answer! The keys are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. "When people have the ability to determine how they work, the means to judge their progress and the feeling that their work helps other people, they can’t help but be motivated to get to work."

Read: 3 Things That Keep People Motivated

Inventing Icons

I loved this Twitter thread from MoMA sharing pictures of Susan Kare's notebook. Kare was employee #10 at Apple, an artist with no experience of computers. Before she got the job she bought a cheap grid notebook, and sketched some 32x32 pixel icons for commands and applications (scissors for "cut", a book for text, a brush for MacPaint). At Apple she refined and extended these to create the visual language and personality of the Macintosh GUI. "Little pictures and symbols made that computer accessible."

Read: Inventing Icons

Top Reads: Positioning

This is a classic marketing book, a very easy read, and one that has a lot to say about customer experience strategy if you look at it the right way. Although the book focuses on marketing strategy, the idea of creating a clear, differentiated, proposition for a target group of customers is central to CX strategy too. "...positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect."

Top Reads: Positioning

If you'd ever like to have a look at our list of past Top Reads, they're all catalogued on our website here - enough reading to keep anyone going for a while!