An interview with Gerry McGovern

About Gerry McGovern

Gerry is the founder and CEO of Customer Carewords, located in Ireland. He is widely regarded as the number one worldwide authority on helping large organizations create more customer-focused websites. Gerry has spoken, written and consulted extensively on web content management issues since 1994. His new book, The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, was published in 2010. In 2006, The Irish Times described him as one of five visionaries who had had a major impact on the development of the Web. (The other four were Tim O'Reilly, Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, and Nicholas Negroponte.) In 2006, he received the Educational Contribution award from the Irish Internet Association. Gerry has written four books. In 1999, Gerry published The Caring Economy (Blackhall Publishing). In 2001, he published two books with Financial Times Prentice Hall, entitled: Content Critical and The Web Content Style Guide. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Nua, a developer of content management software and solutions. In 1996, Nua received the Best Overall World Wide Web Business Achievement award from the European Union. Gerry holds a Management Science degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and lives in Dublin, Ireland.


Main points

  • Customers are now very demanding which leads companies and stakeholders to change their priorities in terms of investment in design and research.
  • UX people are on the winning side, the right side to be at in this time and age.
  • Researchers should not speak the research language with stakeholders. Instead, they should develop empathy toward their stakeholders and talk about what matters to them. They care about results.
  • Talk about the outputs, not the inputs, of research.
  • The first thing you should do research on is your boss.
  • Stop whining, “why won’t they listen?”.
  • Researchers have great stories to tell.
  • Don’t look for opportunities for research. Instead, look for opportunities to make people’s lives easier, to be more collaborative, to be more efficient, etc.