Things like successful marketing, unique and cutting-edge products, etc. are some of the key touchpoints to be taken into consideration if you want your company/product to have a huge success. A solid UX product should be accessible to as many type of users as it’s possible and that’s why UX designers have often have a key role in a company’s growth process and nowadays more and more companies employ UX designers to create excellent experiences for their customers at every contact point along their journey.
It is really important for the UX designer to have well-defined goals and this can be achieved by using UX strategy.
A UX strategy is a very well detailed plan of a product that helps understand target user needs and experience with every touchpoint they interact with. A UX strategy makes sure that user needs, technical capability and business value are well aligned and helps the team have a good understanding on what they want and what are the right problems to solve for target users.
Teams can create a good UX strategy that consists of several components. Some of the key elements of a UX strategy involve researching, planning, testing and validating ideas before the implementation of design and development starts.
Some key elements of a UX strategy:
- A well-defined goal on how you want your user experience to be.
- Having a detailed understanding of your user, their behaviors, needs and expectations.
- Information on what your competitors are doing and how.
- A clear image on how the company or the product is performing compared to where you want to see it in the future.
- A plan of what tasks need to be done in order to achieve the objectives.
Other approaches would include the budget, mission, target users, devices they’re using etc…
This strategy can take the form of a document containing the information learned during the discovery phase and can be used for the product team to guide them and keep the team toward the same goal.
There are a lot of reasons as why crafting a UX strategy is important and why it would help to beat the competition. Next we’ll give you some of the main values of UX strategy.
Some product owners not so updated about the importance of integrating design in software development might assume that involving designers will just cost them more money that they want.
Not true at all.
Actually, coming up with a solid UX strategy and a quality UX design can help make sure digital product teams don’t waste time on features that people won’t use and like. According to statistics, companies that use the design-approach report 50% more loyal customers, a 41% higher market share and 46% higher overall competitive advantage than companies that don’t use design approach first.
Employing a UX strategy might help clients see the importance of UX for they would see exactly what their UX team would be working on and how their company or product would benefit from it.
When you start a project that that has well defined and measurable goals you prevent resources, time and energy from being wasted on failed attempts, misdirection and design methods that are not productive. A solid UX strategy gives you and exact idea on what you want to achieve, how and a way to define when the goal has been met.
UX strategy helps keep the team in the same page about their goals and values. It can be often the bridge between user-centered product design overall business goals. A UX strategy can keep all team members, no matter their role, designer, CEO, developers etc…, aware of user needs, objectives and action plans when creating UX for their customers. This will then impact the success of the company or product. It will help to achieve the goal of aligning the experience of the user with the brand’s promised one. It would show where and what actions need to be taken so the promised product and user experience would be in sync.
Lots of methods can be used to create a UX strategy. But as we said before, at the very core involves researching, planning, testing and validating ideas before everything else. After all these steps are finished, then the design and development phases can begin.
First, you need to start collecting data about your user, plenty of it. You need to know about their current and future needs, how they percept your brand, what would they change/add and anything else that would help you on improving your brand.
Once you’re done with that then you can start combining user experience goals with the ones of your business. There are some questions that need to be asked while defining business objectives, like:
- What improvements in company process and performance can be made?
- How can we make these improvements?
- Can employee efficiency be maximized?
These are some questions that can be asked when defining business objectives within a UX strategy.
Keeping your goals specific would help to understand when they’re accomplished or not. Define your goals and keep track of them, this also would help to know if your UX design team is being effective or not. Aim for specific targets and you’ll be more likely to hit them.
When creating a UX strategy, doing a plenty of research is really an important thing. You have to do user and competitive analysis research. As we mentioned earlier you need to know your target users, devices they’re using, the problems that need to be solved - how many of them are solved and how many are not. Observe how they’re reacting to your product, ask them lots of questions about it and what they’d want to see.
You also need to know about your competition lots of information on how/what they’re doing, how they’re solving specific problems and see if you can offer something unique.
Document everything, this would be help everyone in the product team working towards the same goal.
Now that you’ve collected enough research to keep the work going, you can define your users as personas and stories based on that research. User stories can spot the difference from a user to a user and these stories can be elaborated through scenarios thus creating a user flow.
When you’re done and you think that you have a clear idea of what users want and need from your product, you can begin the visual design. After a lot of brainstorming and ideas you would expect the designers to sketch wireframes or prototypes for feedback.
After you’ve gone all the needed phases, you can finally know if your UX strategy works by applying it to the development of an actual product. By creating a minimum viable product (MVP) you can test whether your conclusion about the product, the audience, the need and the UX are the correct ones. This way you can gather feedback about the product, the way it looks and behaves and see if you can create the right product for your users.