One of the common denominators that modern successful businesses share is their ability to embrace cross-disciplinary ideation.
In 2011, Steve Jobs said, “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”
Executives everywhere followed suit and incorporated technology, social sciences, and the arts into new business strategies once they embraced the power of cross-disciplinary thinking in producing creative solutions.
User experience (UX) design, for example, was once an afterthought. Traditionally, business leaders made decisions while designers executed their requests.
But the modus operandi is changing. Leaders now understand how incorporating good UX practices accelerates growth.
What Is UX Design?
Every time you interact with any product or service, you’re having a user experience.
And UX design considers every aspect of those interactions. For example, UX looks at how intuitive a product’s use is, how the service makes the customer feel, or how long it takes for the customer to achieve what they want to achieve.
This could include the physical aspect of a product, like how comfortable a product feels in your hand, or the mental calories spent, such as how effortless an online store is to navigate.
Something as simple as a submission/payment form on a website or app could be costing a company millions.
Expedia used UX design and discovered that one confusing form field box was costing them $12 million a year in potential profit.
And Imagescape increased online conversions by 120% by purely reducing their contact form from 11 to 4 fields.
The objective of UX is to create an ideal customer experience to inspire brand loyalty. UX designers achieve this objective through a combination of strategy, market research, design, and product development.
What is UX Strategy?
Because a single product or a service cannot serve everyone all the time, everywhere—UX strategy helps a business focus on their target audience and realign priorities and processes based on client preferences.
It’s best described as an action plan that answers the question: Does our customers’ user experience align with the company’s business objectives?
By using a series of guidelines, designers can better understand the business objectives of their organization and form a plan to make it easier to achieve said objectives.
The solution may be a whole new product, adding new features to existing products, or revamping an existing product or service.
How Is a UX Strategy Created?
All pertinent stakeholders should take part in the creation of a UX strategy.
Development of a UX strategy typically includes:
- Research and analysis of the competition
- User research
- Stakeholder interviews
The guidelines UX designers use are not specific to any particular feature of a product/service but are a collective vision of the product/service and how to create it.
This is why representatives from various departments and disciplines should collaborate in the making of a UX strategy, from upper management, sales, product management, UX design, engineering, etc.
The end goal of this strategy (using user research and stakeholder interviews) is to create a shared vision that aligns the business goals of the organization with the client perspective.
Why Does the UX Mindset Matter?
User experience plays an essential role in converting and retaining clients and can be a crucial factor when customers choose one product over another.
Incorporating a user experience mindset in the company makes customer data more visible in the decision-making process and helps provide clarity on business and project objectives.
In UX strategy, because you conduct client research before you begin design and development, the data can drive design instead of designers working based on industry assumptions.
Using customer data helps prioritize the features that solve customer problems and minimize risks.
When UX strategy is in place it becomes a compass for those working on the project to navigate by. The mentality of everyone involved shifts to ‘what would make this better for the customer’ as internal and external objectives align.
UX Strategy Requires Collaboration
UX strategy is a collaboration, from inception to creation to delivery, and when receiving feedback from clients after the product launch.
When there is no common vision from the outset, this can lead to setbacks. There’s a high risk the product will become a patchwork quilt of disparate ideas and features that affect UX for the worse.
Aligning UX with the company’s business goals and creating a shared vision ensures everyone has ownership of a product’s user experience.
This cross-disciplinary team, one that includes C-suite executives, will have a clear understanding of:
- The problem you’re solving
- Who the target audience is
- Where the company wants to go with a product
Everyone can work toward the same vision, designing what you want to achieve when users interact with the product/service.
The UX strategy creation process involves the UX process: prototyping, testing, analyzing results, and refining.
But the way UX and a business strategy intersect will depend on the company and on the type of product or service that you’re developing.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy because what works for some teams might not work for others. It’s a matter of fine-tuning the internal processes of an organization until you find the UX business strategy that fits.
For companies that lack the time, expertise, or staff to begin implementing UX into their core business strategy, third-party service providers offer experienced UX strategists that can guide the transition.
- User experience and business strategy are the junctions where a company and its customers meet
- UX strategy is about finding a solution that addresses real problems for real people within a dynamic market
- Everyone from high-level executives to designers and engineers may have an idea of what a new product should be, but what matters is what the end-user thinks
- Because users are both judge and jury, it is worthwhile to implement the proper research before development
- Integrating a UX outlook into business strategy creates meaningful customer experiences that result in customer retention and trust
Encora, a global leader in product development, helps businesses collect the data they need to create a UX strategy and also supports businesses in the creation of an innovation roadmap—a roadmap catered to the changes brought on by a UX business strategy.