UX Advantage with Jared Spool & Karen McGrane

What does it take to create a culture of design? How does putting user experience first change the way organizations work? At UX Advantage, Jared Spool & Karen McGrane interviewed inspirational pioneers who deliver user experience as a competitive advantage to their organization. The UX Advantage Podcast traces the journey to that event with short bursts of insight.

Episode #12 Infusing MasterCard with UX

January 15, 2016  ·  40 minutes

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Karen Pascoe provides an example of what sweeping corporate change can look like when a company like MasterCard puts creativity, innovation, and its users at the top of its priority list.

Full Transcript

Karen Pascoe: ...when you're dealing with mobile payments in particular, it's really around figuring out that you're you. That you can conduct the transaction. For instance, Apple Pay which is using our technology is really about securing that you're you. That you're financial institution knows who you are. And you can tap and pay, and you can go, and you can be secure around all that. That's interesting. We're doing a lot of outreach into the developer communities. MasterCard is doing something that it's not really known for, not really famous for, which is opening up APIs, and software development kits to third party developers.
We're running a hackathon series. It's called the "Masters of Code." The grand finale will be in Silicon Valley, later this fall. That's been a 10 city tour internationally around. Really reaching out to the startup developer community, and introducing MasterCard's payment capabilities, security, flight capabilities, out to the world at large. The third major area I'm working on, is really around mobile money. Personal payments is really what we call it, but we've got really broad applications for that. For instance in Nigeria, the national ID card is running on MasterCard technology.
Payments and identity, are really coming hand in hand. We're working a lot to really empower, and drive things around financial inclusion.
Jared Spool: You were brought in by the CEO, who before you got there was already sold on what you were going to do.
Karen Pascoe: A number of the executives that I spent time with...my first three months were spent on the corporate headquarters campus, which is in Purchase, New York. It's about an hour north, of New York City. We work every day, or most days, out of what we call our New York City ted cab, which is near Union Square. I'm in 5th Avenue and 17th Street, right by Union Square, Farmers' Market, and Hip lunches, and things like that. I spent about three months getting to know the leadership, the various different divisions of MasterCard.
As I went around and met with operating committee members, or some of the executive staff, I was the most popular new hire and purchase. They said, "Oh my god. We really need you." Some of them said, "We had a hand in getting you." There were a lot of people claiming credit for my role, being created.
Jared: Why disillusion them of anything different?
[laughter]
Jared: Because you have all this buy in from these major executives at the CEO level, what makes that different than other jobs you've had?
Karen Pascoe: Sponsorship is huge, especially when you're trying to drive change to set some contexts. MasterCard on one hand, is one of the world's top 20 most recognizable global brands. That's incredibly strong, to build on. I was the first strategic UX hire, at MasterCard.
All MasterCard really had, was a small usability testing team that sat within our technology in the organization. It's a sea of change to really bring user centricity, customer centricity, design thinking, right, service design thinking into an organization that has the customer at heart. But often times, they think about the customer, they think about our merchants and they think about our issuers, but they don't necessarily think about the end consumer who's using the product.
Because MasterCard's a B2B2C company, so we work and we have the core products and all the payment rails and capabilities, but our issuing banks provide that credit card out to the consumer via the marketing and they handle the 1-800 numbers and things like that. Working in conjunction with that, so being, while sponsored to drive this new way of thinking into an organization's huge, and gives it a lot of tailwinds.
Jared: Does that make your job easy?
Karen Pascoe: Oh, no. Driving change, Bill Scott, my dear friend, is laughing up here, because we've been through a whole change agent tree a time before. Driving change in a large organization requires a lot of skills. You need to be evangelical. You need to be a subject matter expert. Sometimes you need to be a visionary leader. Sometimes you need to give somebody a kick in the pants. Sometimes you need to do some arm twisting.
But the most important thing that you need to do every day is roll up your sleeves and partner with people and align. Right? Get together and have a shared way of thinking. Figuring out how you're going to norm with these different skill sets and disciplines, working together.
How can you help them understand that your objectives are really aligned?
Jared: That idea of alignment is one that isn't a theme that we hear a lot in the UX world. We hear a lot of, we understand design, they don't understand design. We do the design thinking, they don't do the design thinking.
But alignment is very much more of a give and take type of thing. Does that make this harder or easier, particularly when you have the executive support? How often, it's like, "Oh, I'm not going to align with you. I'm going to call in the air cover from the CEO and we're going to do it my way."
Karen Pascoe: Some battles have been incredibly easy. At about the four, four and a half month mark, we were having some challenges in delivery, and we were really struggling. We were in St. Louis, where we've got a major operating center, you had two day offsite, I had dinner with my boss. I said, "We need to go Agile. These are the five things that we need to do." That was the easiest win ever. Within two weeks, he said, "So it is written. So it's told. We're going agile, and we're three-quarters in right now, and we're really starting to see the change."
"We're past the first quarter where everybody curses behind closed doors, and it's getting far more effective." Easy, easy battle. Awesome! Harder battle is that our managers know how to manage in a waterfall context.
And they're used to making a demand around which quarter they're going to get what, with a fairly elaborate feature set. Getting customer centricity woven into our executives' fabric, decision making and management processes is going to be a journey for us. It's not they don't want to be sensitive to consumers.
They really do have the consumers' best interests at heart, but MasterCard really understands how to cut a major deal, and work it with very senior decision makers at an organization.
What my executives aren't used to doing is spending time in an usability lab, and saying, "Oh, oh. That's what's happening with the design. Now I understand why you need a little bit more time to work that through."
Those are the new kinds of muscles and DNA that we need to build into the organization, and we also need to build more technology awareness, and technology understanding, on the part of the executives, who've really had a different toolkit, historically.
Karen McGrane: Can you say a little bit more about how that transition, that agile has gone. You're what, two, three quarters...
[crosstalk]
Karen Pascoe: Three quarters in.
Jared: How do you know when you're done? [laughs] Three quarters into the plan, or three quarters into reality?
Karen Pascoe: Three quarters into the transformation. I'll send some contacts from MasterCard, as an organization. MasterCard's big operations and technology processing were...We were on a big processing network, and we have multiple sites, but the center for it is in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Saint Louis, Missouri is not exactly a hotbed of presentation layer, customer-responsive development. We do have MasterCard Labs, it's been around for about six years, it's all over the globe, it's our R&D arm, where they're cowboys.
They do super-fast stuff, they hack some incredible innovations that my team really takes and puts that more into scale. On the one hand, we've gotten the cowboys, who are great, and then we have the settlers who know a core system, but what we're building in New York City is this real muscle around being customer-responsive, being agile, minimum buyable product, ship, test and learn. Getting those capabilities out there, and how to really apply those abilities to a business like MasterCard, where we've got two billion consumer accounts in 220 countries and we transact in 150 currencies over millions and millions of merchant locations.
How do we bring that innovation toolkit into a business where it's financial, it's regulated, it's got really big scale, and how do we manage it? It's getting our leadership comfortable with test and learn. Figuring out how we can do experimentation is really part of the learning.
Karen McGrane: You've had big roles in several other larger firms. What's different about this role? What's different about MasterCard?
Karen Pascoe: One of the biggest things is really leadership and culture. MasterCard has an incredibly successful business, but they were really slow in digital.
The leadership team said, "We're not really where we want to be in digital. We've got to figure this out." A lot of companies, when they go the route of trying to understand design, and putting it into their practices, they'll higher some young, mid-level designer with a lot of energy and hope for the best. If they're lucky, companies will get these really good, strong people who have this incredible career opportunity to grow management skills as well as their design practice. God bless us, anybody who's gotten one of those roles. They're awesome for your career. MasterCard knew that it needed to move big, so MasterCard took a step back, and they said, "OK. What do we need to do, in order to win in this space?" They thought really long and hard about where they were going to put innovation.
They didn't want to put it in California, because the corporate headquarters is in Purchase, New York. That didn't make any sense, and it was really about, "How can we attract the digital talent that we need. So that we can have that formula that we've heard that works, and put the product people and the developers and the designers all in the same space, and let them collaborate?"
The thoughtfulness of the decision making was huge. When I was having my interviews, the first person who interviewed me told me about the spaces. They were looking at the space, and he was like, "You know, I didn't like that one. It didn't have enough natural light." I was thinking out loud; I was like, "An executive is telling me how important natural light is in the space that they're going to select for the team." I was like, "Hmm, that's really thoughtful."
Karen McGrane: Steve Turbek talked a little bit about what it's like to work in an organization that has a really strong remit around the customer experience and how a user experience team fits into that whole puzzle that touches so many other silos in the organization.
Can you say a little bit about how that works at MasterCard, how that works for you?
Karen Pascoe: Yeah. My roles, my day job, as I see it, is really user experience and user experience design, which could be thought of as the design for the digital touch points. We think about it more holistically as designing the servicing experience right from end to end. In February, I was tapped on the shoulder, by my boss's boss. He said, "I need to work on customer experience. I need to get that right." I've got a partner, Cindy Chastain, and two other people well-placed in the organization. He said, "You guys are it. You're going to help us figure out customer experience for MasterCard."
It's Customer for us, because it could be a merchant, it could be an issuer, it could be a consumer. It could be a digital giant, as we do work with them as well. It's also the interplay in-between customers and consumers and how do we facilitate that and make that happen. We've been working on this for a while and have been reporting up to our leadership saying, "Here's all the strengths that we've got to build on, but here's the gaps." Customer journey mapping, customer journey management, that's really important, and we're not doing it. It's not because the teams don't want to do it. It's that the teams don't know how to do it. Then customer experience measurement. If you don't measure your experience, you can't manage your experience. How do you know where to improve? As of today, we've gotten a bunch of headcount, re-prioritized.
And have been given a fairly sizable budget going into 2016 that we think we're pretty much going to secure to take the conversation forward. It's nice when a company puts its money where its mouth is.
Jared Spool: Because I've been having this conversation a lot lately, what is MasterCard's definition of the difference between user experience and customer experience?
Karen Pascoe: I'll use the more historical big company definition of customer experience as this yesterday, really talking about how user experience and customer experience are coming together. A lot of times, customer experience organizations have sat within operations functions within companies.
They're like the down 10 percent people. They're going to ship the locations of people to save on cost. They're going to optimize it, make sure that a cost center for a company is at the lowest unit cost possible. That's really the trade-off around customer experience.
If customer experience is run by people whose largely cost motivated, you've taken this channel of talking to and listening to your customer and you've said, "You're going to be reactive."
When you start looking at user experience skill sets and user experience DNA...the MBAs have been talking a good game around this for a while, but really, they're more strategists.
UX people really know how to make sure you've got a good experience from end to end and have that humility, and humanity, and empathy, and warmth, and activism as need be to make sure that that experience is better. When we net out at MasterCard of the definition of customer experience, it'd really be a fusing of the two.
Jared: You mentioned that you're in the process of building a team, so you're not like Stephen with 320 people yet?
Karen Pascoe: No.
Jared: What has that process been like for you, and how have you had to change the way MasterCard thinks about hiring to do what you think needs to be done?
Karen Pascoe: It's a really good thing I know a lot of people [laughs] , first and foremost. A really interesting time in user experience. I'm back in New York City for this role. I was in California at my time at PayPal. User experience has never been more on fire. New York has never been more on fire, with all the start-up activity that's going on. You're not only competing for the best talent with digital agencies, you're competing against the hottest start-up, which a lot of the kids really want to start their career in a start-up these days for some interesting reasons.
You have to let them know that starting your career at MasterCard is going to be starting a world-class carer in user experience in a team that's not even a year and a half old. I've been doing a lot of work outreach with the community. I've been doing a lot of speaking. I'll continue doing that. I've been working with the local groups UXPA and IxDA in New York to really foster relationships there and letting people know you're going to do good work here. It's going to be interesting. You're going to be well-sponsored.
We can provide a couple of things on the enterprise side that you really won't get in an agency. A spec that I tend to like to hire off of is I like to hire people out of digital agencies who want to do something else. They spent a fair amount of time there, they've got great mileage, their skills are really at a premium.
In addition to their skills, their tactical skills being at a premium, people on the agency side have excellent people skills, their consultative skills. Listen to what you need, not what you want. Being on the enterprise, you have an opportunity to have better work/life balance.
You have the opportunity to invest in people's careers over a long haul, and you have an opportunity to do things that...the agency business can be a fair-weather friend business at times.
Karen McGrane: Talk about how that translates into how you manage your team. Are you managed like you're an in-house agency? Do you have a charge-back system? How do you staff out people who work for you onto projects?
Karen Pascoe: My team is small. Right now, we're about 12 people. We'll be not quite 20 by the end of the year and growing a little bit more. I don't want to have 300 people. I really don't think I need it for what I need to do, and smaller is better. Small with a great team, is always going to pay more dividends than a large and mediocre team. Sometimes you have a large, good team and you have mediocre processes that make it hard for great people to do great work. It's a good foundation. I, personally, am not a huge fan of the big charge-back model internally.
I work on a budget. We've been going through our budget cycle right now. I find out October exactly how much I get to grow next year. It's not quite clear, but I know I get to grow. That's all I've heard. What I do is I align my resources on the most critical strategic priorities for MasterCard and emerging payments.
That's what I do. If you're not the most important strategic priority, you can come to me, and we can talk about it, and I can pull in a vendor externally. I can look to do some staff augmentation, but my core, my base internally, works on our most important stuff. The stuff that really needs to have staying power in the market. This is really about investing in the talent that's going to be able to produce outsize returns from an experience perspective because they know it. They've lived and breathed our business.
Jared: Who decides what the most important stuff is?
Karen Pascoe: It's pretty clear from my boss. He runs all the emerging payments. Our strategy's really clear. Our priorities are really clear. Aligning accordingly.
Karen McGrane: Can you talk a little bit about how you would use outside agencies, or how you would bring in freelancers, or other capability. Do you use them for strategic projects, and how do you assure they're aligned and don't walk out the door with all your valuable insights?
Karen Pascoe: Great question. How I've been using external agencies is going to continue to morph over time, and I'll probably settle it when I'm at somewhere between the two and three year mark, as the team gets closer to critical mass and scale. When I started, I had no team. My first hire came onboard close to six months after I did, as I was getting acclimated. My onboarding process was long, and they wanted it to be long. They wanted me to get to understand the company, and the business, and the various operating divisions, and how they worked. And get really networked, and get networked globally. At the beginning, I was using vendors because I didn't have a team, and the agency needed to be my team. It's starting to shift where, in some cases, I've got discrete projects, and then I've got agencies that are all ready under the procurement process.
Because we're a big company. We work with them. I've got some great partners on that front. That's helpful, but what I'm finding I want to move into, and some of our partners are more comfortable with this, and some of our partners are less comfortable with this is, we're going Agile. That's it, Lean UX and Agile, a combination of that, so if I'm driving strategically what our experiences are and how they're coming together, I really want people who can work on a co-create basis with us, out of our studio. They don't need to be there five days a week. They can have some time in their own nest, and that's OK, but given that, I really want vendors who are local, that work with us in New York City, which we've got a great capability there, but also who can work with us in a Lean and Agile fashion.
The agency business hasn't quite read Jeff Gothelf's book, or really taken it to heart, and they're still in the deliverables business. I'm in the outcomes business. I don't need big reports. I don't need funky little deliverables. I don't really want to pay for them. I want outcomes that I'm delivering for my customers, and I really want partners who can work with me on that. We're at this inflection point of companies, like MasterCard, in it to win it, and really building these internal teams, and that's not going to stop. The nature of how we work with our partners who have valued skills, and capacity, and things to bring to the table that are really important, how's that arrangement going to evolve over time?
Jared: The shift to Agile that you're doing, MasterCard's never done this before, so you get to dictate an Agile process that has design built in, versus the more common transition path, which is engineering, development, IT, decides that they're going to go Agile. They use an out-of-the-book Agile process that never mentions the design once, and then you have to figure out how to work that. That's got to be a fascinating way. Have you been able to carve that. Your experience at PayPal, and other places, helped you learn those lessons?
Karen Pascoe: Yeah. My first transmission was at JP Morgan, and this was some time ago, so by the time I got to PayPal I already had a good toolkit for it. Then, at MasterCard, I was like, "We totally need to go Agile. This is a mess."
Jared: You need the new mess. The old mess isn't going to work. [laughs]
Karen Pascoe: Yeah. There are a series of Agile practices and cadences at MasterCard, that already exist, but I would say that they're low on the Agile maturity scale. People knew sprints, and they know stand-ups, and they know all the vernacular of it. What they're not necessarily doing is embodying the values of Agile. Especially the values of Agile that are really critical to customer responsiveness. We're retrospecting on our major delivery right now. We're pulling everybody in, and so we're having some challenges on delivery. That's great that we're choosing to come together and retrospect on them. When you're in a Waterfall shop, you have lessons learned after this really big, long, painful failure. Everybody spends a lot of time going like that, and finger-pointing, and that's not productive. They're highly politicized, and sanitized, and all that. It's not helping the teams on the ground learn in real-time how to get better. With some of the recent challenges that we've had, we've instituted this cross-functional team retrospective, on a weekly basis, and it's getting good. It's getting good. It's getting productive. I've been setting the tone for it of, "What did we learn? How could we do better as a team?" The culture of learning is really coming into play in the shared problem solving in between development and design. We have legacy systems and a legacy code base, so we've got challenges that we'll need to work through continually. But the spirit of partnership and the spirit of collaboration is getting far better. Our developers are getting to the point where they're really understanding, "I can't do this for this state. I'm recognizing how important it is. Here's the things that we need to shift around in the priorities for us to get this done." Those are all the micro-changes that are happening on the ground, which is really going to make us critical to our success overall.
Karen McGrane: Let's go to some questions from the audience. A reminder that we are taking session questions through Slack. If you're not on Slack and want to be, it's a great place. There's a lot of fun stuff going on there. If you need help with it, Lauren or Sean can help you, but that's where the questions get to come from. The first one up is going to be Mark Privette.
Jared: He's over there, I think.
Karen McGrane: There he is. Steve Torbeck has one that we'll do after Mark, if you want to run a mic over to him.
Mark Privette: I'm curious what's the tipping point that made UX, or the whole CX picture, so important to the CEO of MasterCard?
Karen Pascoe: Our CEO has really been visionary in understanding that the digital transformation is a really critical inflection point for the payments business, and really getting that if you are going to have a customer experience in the age of Apple, and Google, and Facebook, and companies that obsess about the customer.
That was a really critical part of it. That's one part. The second part is with the rise of digital all around our business, there was certainly some learning that this is an opportunity where we really needed to invest to get better.
Karen McGrane: Steve Turbek is in the back there.
Steve Turbek: Thanks, Karen. This has been great. I have one question about, you're dealing with really complex environments with all financial services, but often there are usability problems with the product itself. I'd love to hear how you guys are using user experience to make the basic function of a credit card experience with an end customer easier to understand?
Karen Pascoe: The physical card?
Steve: I mean like the ease, and rates, and stuff like that people have. In some cases, it's very complicated. I was very curious what you guys were thinking about.
Jared: I have a similar question which is when you're working on emerging technologies, is your user mostly the merchants who are using this, or financial institutions, or is it the end customer who owns the card?
Karen Pascoe: It's a really good question. I need to design for the ecosystem. With the way MasterCard plays in commerce, Fidelity is a customer, PayPal is a customer, Cap One is a customer, the first experience I might design, the first thing that comes to mind, the top set of use cases that I'm going to be looking at, are consumer use cases. We might start with what a MasterPath branded experience might be, but quite frankly, the majority of MasterPath customers aren't coming directly, B to C, from MasterCard. They're coming from CitiBank or they're coming from our different issuers in all the different markets that we support.
When I go deeper, past the early conceptual phases and shaking it out through a couple of rounds of usability, then what we're starting to look at right now is really what is the provisioning process from a customer to a consumer? How do all those layers work? We've been doing a lot of work around the checkout experience, which is really engaging with merchants, and what do we need to do for merchants?
In a way, I need to design for all of it. There's different parts of the puzzle that I'm working at various periods of time. It's really making it a win-win-win experience, that we're enabling our customers to deliver to consumers a secured commerce experience that's ubiquitous and works the same everywhere.
And it's highly secure, that they can use it at all the merchants that they want to to get things to enable their life.
Karen McGrane: I'd like to follow-up on that tangentially. One thing that I've heard people say about applying for UX jobs in the financial services industry is that it's all super-wonky, boring stuff.
Karen Pascoe: [laughs]
Karen McGrane: How do you recruit for the right people, particularly if you're recruiting out of a market that I know, which is the New York agency market. How do you find people who not want to do that work, but are good at doing that work?
Karen Pascoe: Who's your selfies? A show of hands if your selfies. Nobody likes selfies? We're doing some really interesting things around biometrics. We've taken a stage in a company that takes a biometric based on the unique signature of your pulse. We're obviously doing work with fingerprints, which are known biometrics, and voice, and other things, but the latest innovation that we're in pilot right now is what we call selfie pay, or the hashtag on social feeds or around it, so really interesting ways of identifying the consumer.
The consumer wants to authenticate a transaction that they've done, then they take a selfie, they need to blink, and it goes and matches and verifies to their picture on file. This is future stuff that's happening, that we're doing, so that when people start to think about payments and commerce experience, it gets a lot different than what might be a traditional financial institutional/mobile banking context.
And they see the importance of experience into our business, overall, and really tend to see the opportunity.
Karen McGrane: Let's go to Katy, right here.
Jared: Where's Katy?
Karen McGrane: She's right there.
Jared: While we're going to Katy, you mentioned earlier about the executive who was super-concerned about natural light. That's strikingly different than many executives I've met, who really are super-concerned about keeping people in the dark.
Karen Pascoe: [laughs] Strikingly different.
Jared: Yes.
Karen Pascoe: Strikingly different.
Jared: Katy?
Katy: Before we had online services, a credit card was really marketing campaign, piece of plastic, statement in the mail. I'm curious how you've worked to integrate UX with the traditional customer experience functions that exist within MasterCard and how your message is resonated there?
Karen Pascoe: A lot of times with us, we don't issue the credit card. MasterCard doesn't issue credit cards to any consumers. That all happens through your issuing bank. We're really taking a look at the notion of making you digital by default.
We're doing a lot of work, and we will be doing a lot of work, over it's probably going to be about the next year-and-a-half, maybe even two years, is really looking at our core consumer base that gets issued this plastic card. A plastic card is really representing your account credentials. It's what you have, the ability to pay, based on what your credit worthiness is to the issuer who's got your account with that, in conjunction with MasterCard.
And the processing network, and all that, and Apple Pays, MX, when you tap and pay, or Android Pay, or Samsung Pay, or any of the pays that are coming out, that are riding on our rails. We think that there's a really great opportunity to understand this end-to-end experience in the context of how the physical world and the digital world from payments are really starting to come together.
There's an opportunity to educate consumers who want to understand online commerce in a more seamless, streamlined and safe way that we're really shooting towards with a lot of the technologies that we're working on right now. We're really looking at, philosophically, for a North Star is, "How can we make the digital world as safe and seamless as the physical world?" From being provisioned a card, to being provisioned your digital capabilities, to using your digital capabilities, to getting reported on. And to having something that consumers think is critically important, which is really financial control. How do you have control over what you're spending, and making sure that you can monitor things effectively? That's a longer conversation that we're looking at that's really interesting.
Where can you rethink a physical touch-point, and make it a digital touch-point, but not from a cost-savings perspective, from a consumer-benefit perspective.
Karen McGrane: Let's go to Justin Powell next. Where's Justin? Oh, there he is.
Justin Powell: This question is about the most important step. Jerry hinted at it. I was curious if your team helped support, because sometimes these priority matrixes don't have an experience vision casting, or something like that. I didn't know if you guys supported upward, or if you told, "This is the most important step."
Karen Pascoe: Oh, yeah! We're totally supporting upward. Let me explain that a couple of ways. We're still a fairly new team, and I'm still lighter than I'd like to be on user research. You have generative user research, genitive research and evaluative research.
We're doing a lot of evaluative, we're doing a lot of usability studies, and we've got the wheel going on that. We need to do more generative work overall. The more we build up insights, the more we're driving the conversation around the what. That's a big part of it. Then the second thing we're doing as...I'm starting to hit critical mass with the team. With our agile transformation, we've really got two sets of user stories that are running. The first is combine, where, how we're defining it at MasterCard, it's the open-ended stories. It doesn't need to run within a two-week sprint. The teams can take them and elaborate them in an open-ended fashion, as long as they need to, and when the teams are ready to flip it over into a sprint, then it's the hamster wheel that you're running and racing in your sprint to get it done in your two-week cycle. Having the blend of the combine allows us the opportunity to elaborate the stories, and that can drive into a level of prioritization, and we can say, "They really like how this worked out." We've got the opportunity to really get ahead of it, and really drive the direction of the product, or take a time out, or pause, or keep it in combine until we feel like we've got it in right, in terms of what we need to do.
Karen McGrane: Let's take one last question from Collin.
Jared: While we're waiting for Collin, I was curious. How hard was it to get executives to sit in on usability tests the first time?
Karen Pascoe: We haven't yet.
Jared: Oh, OK.
Karen Pascoe: Yeah. That's a work in progress. We're doing some guerrilla. We're taking into it. We have a usability lab that's been blessed in our space, we've taken an additional floor in New York City, and that's going to come online about midyear in 2016, maybe the second quarter.
We haven't subjected them to it yet, it's really been the product executives who've come in, but I can't wait. We're putting the usability lab on our most prominent floor in our New York facility, where we take all of our customers around. It's going to be super easy for me to run studies when I know that they're going to be in town. It's going to be a real game changer for us. That, and having it in our facility when it's set up. Right now we're doing lab testing, we're doing some guerrilla testing. It's really hard to get our execs there on an interim basis, but when we have the facility in New York, our developers are going to work out of the lab. Whatever Scrum team's working on it. We'll be able to pipe it into Saint Louis, Purchase, London, any of our other major operating locations, to have multiple viewing sites through our telecom.
Collin: It sounds like MasterCard has a lot of great new UX initiatives that are new to the company on the go. I was wondering how the company measures its return on investment for building brand new user experience teams, making user experience design a priority in ways that it never had before.
Karen Pascoe: I don't think that MasterCard sees it in the context of user experience in isolation. There's probably a couple of terms that could be used interchangeably that we're not really cognizant that we're using interchangeably.
Customer centricity, customer responsiveness, innovation, user experience, digital. All of those terms really mean, "I'm going to clearly understand a customer paying point. I'm going to work iteratively to take that customer paying point, and make it better."
That is supporting our digital efforts overall. The investment for MasterCard, located in Purchase, New York, to take three, now four floors in New York City, to staff up and collocate presentation layer development, some full-stack engineers, user experience, user research.
Our MasterCard labs has capability in there, as well, as our product teams, and really put all those functions under one roof. Four floors in Manhattan, I'd say that's a pretty sizeable investment. It's really reinforcing that digital is an area for us that we really need to win for our business over the long haul.
Karen McGrane: With that, thank you. This has been amazing. I really appreciate your coming out.
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