Welcome to the Friday interview! Each month we bring you a short interview with a person we work with or find inspirational. Today we speak with Jedidiah Fugle, Director of Strategy and Operations at roboboogie.
1) How do you describe what you do?
My agency, roboboogie, specializes in optimizing digital experiences. My contribution to that is two-pronged: I function as both Director of Strategy and Operations. In my operational work, I help to refine our internal process as we grow. In my strategic role, I head up client relationships where we partner closely with innovative marketers to help them do more with their customer data. My specialty comes in the optimization space, as I help frame up campaigns to identify opportunities, run A/B tests and validate new designs. It’s a sweet blend of creative ideation, analytics and UX – a brilliant spot for my left/right brain combo way of thinking.
2) What is a belief regarding the industry that you have that others in your field might not agree with?
That numbers aren’t everything. Everywhere you look these days (admittedly including our own site) you will find “DATA” plastered on everything. I am a huge proponent toward the shift to educated, scientific decision making, but data isn’t the only answer. The universal approach to data is becoming more and more healthy, and yet in the analytics space it is easy to slip into looking for data to support a hypothesis – a backwards approach that abandons a holistic view to optimizing for a healthy, effective digital experience. I believe any good UX stems from three places – data stories, user stories and industry best practice. Data is a major component, but qualitative feedback and real-life experience (just a little intuition) should hold equal weight..
3) What is a skillset that you use every day, but never thought you would have to?
I grew up in a science household. Both of my parents taught Biology, Anatomy, Chemistry and Zoology at the high school and collegiate level. It meant I grew up seeing the world through a “scientific-method” lens. Everything had a cause and causation, and the idea of identifying and eliminating variables to understand the world around us was as common as talking about what was for dinner, or the next family vacation. I didn’t think setting up experiments, controlling variables and calculating statistical significance would be in my day-to-day vocabulary, but somehow I’ve ended up coming full circle…
4) How do you approach solving problems?
I’m a huge fan of what I call “the T-ball approach.” It’s pretty simple. A couple team-members map out the problem at hand to make sure all angles of the challenge are understood and clear. Then one person goes off to find an 80%-of-the-way solution. The challenge, and partial solution, are then brought to a broader team to hash out the last leg of problem solving – effectively “t-balling” the problem for the team to knock out of the park collaboratively. This is a common practice in ideation, UX and analysis phases for us at roboboogie.
5) What is your advice for turning a strategic idea into reality?
Collaborate. Every good idea that turns reality has a dreamer and a do-er involved. Everyone has a natural inclination towards one or the other, partner up with the opposite to make things happen. Own the roles and appreciate each other – one doesn’t have a job without the other.