How UX Strategy can bring value to your design
What is UX Strategy?
Designing memorable experiences is not an easy task without a guide map. UX designer/team has to broaden their frame of sources, including brand touchpoints, the users, and their customer journey.
The first important thing they do is research, which is obvious. The second most important thing is forming a UX strategy. In simple terms, UX Strategy is a document that outlines the goals and guidelines of UX for the product or service. Think of UX strategy as a way for UX designers/teams to align their focus on presenting a delightful experience in areas that the users value the most.
The reality is, organizations with tight budgets and strict timelines must understand that developing is product is time-consuming and expensive. That is why, coming up with a UX Strategy in the initial stages of the project can help make sure the UX designer/team does not waste energy, time, or money developing products or features they aren’t sure users would utilize.
Humans are emotional – a species bound by habits. Therefore, any new service or product with an enticing value proposition will get the user’s attention. And this is where many websites or apps fail to solve problems that users don’t have. UX Strategy as an approach can challenge the stakeholder’s understanding of its target users, depending upon research.
UX strategy roadmap
UX strategy roadmap is like a blueprint to achieve the site goals for the product: a series of activities that build upon one another, such as –
- Stakeholder interviews
- Competitive analysis
- User requirements
- Design thinking
- Product validation
The outcome of a UX strategy is an efficient process to create a delightful user experience that meets the business goals set by the organization.
The above example of a UX strategy roadmap covers six months and is divided into quarters. Granular dates are avoided as the UX strategy roadmap provides a general summary of what is expected from the UX designer/team in the mentioned timeframe. This UX strategy roadmap includes initiatives for
- User experience
- User interface
- User research
Design and usability are essential elements for any product or service, and an applied UX strategy roadmap can help UX designer/team prioritize and organize accordingly. Developing a UX strategy roadmap in the initial stages of the product development process also guarantees that the organization’s goals around creating a delightful user experience take center.
UX strategy by Invision
During my research, I came across this blog on Invision about creating a UX strategy guide for helping designers make better decisions by Alex Souza. Before you move forward in this section, I suggest you download the UX Strategy Guide here.
This UX strategy guide can help UX designers/teams in the following four categories –
Understanding the problem
The first category of the UX strategy guide marked in light blue is about:
- Understanding the problem(s)
- Problem(s) that can be solved
- Challenges to overcome the problem(s)
- Differences in current solutions
- How to measure success
The better the research, the easier it becomes to brainstorm ideas to look for potential solutions and user benefits to minimize risk.
Who is the user? How does it benefit him/her?
The second category of the UX strategy guide marked in light green surmises the user and determines the expected benefits. UX research and UX design personas come into play here apart from interacting with the users in real-time to understand their needs.
The third category of the UX strategy guide is marked in light yellow. After the necessary information is collected from the previous two categories, this section records multiple brainstormed ideas.
Prioritizing the essential
The fourth category of the UX strategy guide is marked in light orange.
This segment deals with risk analysis for various features that are propitious to both users and the organization. Multiple hypotheses are observed with minimized risk carried out by the UX designer/teams accordingly whereas high-risk hypotheses are either listed for future iterations or discarded.
The major step
It is an MCQ with four specific questions about each category. Depending on the answer, the UX designer/team would either move forward or go back to the drawing board.
Invision is one of the best prototyping tools, and the website does provide insightful blogs written by some of the best in the business. I would also recommend UX Planet for UX strategy, as it is a one-stop shop for everything UX.
UX strategy conference
Every year, the UX strategy conference offers its attendees a chance to stay aligned with new trends and meet like-minded people in their fields. However, 2020 turned out to be a curveball. The pandemic led to such an uproar that it canceled several UX strategy conferences (s).
But does that stop designers from this challenge thrown their way? I think not! In the last year, several UX strategy conferences (s) have undergone digital transformations, offering an opportunity to stay inspired and obtain a valuable perspective without leaving the house.
Below is a list of UX Strategy conference(s) that have gone remote. So whether it’s a solo or team effort, It’s time to charge your devices and get ready to stay updated. These are some of the best UX strategy conferences (s) that you should look out for in and around Asia:
UXDX APAC 2021
UXDX is an event that brings together intellectuals to share solutions to challenges faced by multiple projects. UXDX APAC 2021 is happening on the 4th and 5th of March 2021. You can book your ticket by clicking on the link above.
UX STRAT Asia
The first UX Strategy conference, presented multiple methodologies aligning ux designer means with the strategy and goals of the organization. You can click here to sign-up for more details on UX STRAT Asia 2021.
Design Research 2021
Design Research 2021 is a 3-day virtual event dedicated to design research, where speakers would talk about planning, strategy, analysis, and usage. It is conducted by UX AUSTRALIA and starts on 17th March 2021. You can click here to register.
CHIuXiD is an ecosystem where UX Gurus and intellectuals from Southeast Asia and beyond meet, participate, and collaborate on the latest UX insights in diverse industries. Dates for the conference are yet to be announced. So you can check out their website to remain updated.
UX strategy jobs
Many people confuse UX design and UX strategy as both the profiles overlap each other; however, they are NOT the same, period. The critical difference lies in each profile’s priorities – the UX designer manages the end user’s experience. In contrast, a UX strategist makes sure that the UX designer/team’s work is meeting the needs of the organization.
After speaking to a few UX strategists on LinkedIn, I have narrowed down some of the primary responsibilities expected from a UX strategist:
- Understand the goals of the client’s organization.
- Define the needs of the target audience.
- Conduct research, analysis, and interviews.
- Generate unique solutions by balancing business strategy with research insights.
- Create and present strategy abstracts and decks.
- Incorporate research into a strategic approach.
- Provide acumens on user behavior and determine design changes.
- Take what are the 3 phases of human-centered design to leading project(s).
- Formulate concepts into a strategic roadmap such as process flows, user journey maps, wireframes, and characteristics of low fidelity wireframes, etc. to guide the UX designer/team.
- Arrange project(s), communicate, and manage tasks to deliver projects on time.
- Collaborate with UX designer/team and developer, ensuring the vision, design, and implementation are aligned.
- Perform audits to analyze data from various measurement tools.
- Identify potential future opportunities.
As an aspirant, you can google UX strategy jobs to find several organizations looking for suitable candidates on multiple job portals like Glassdoor, Naukri, Monster, Indeed, etc. Remember, as a UX strategist; you should look at different variants and determine the right design that will create a delightful user experience from the users. A few ways of achieving this goal are by
- Work on your soft, research, and verbal skills
- Promote innovation and design thinking.
- Follow brilliant design patterns to understand what enamors the user.
- Attend workshops to stay updated.
- Pick up a UX strategy course.
Understanding UX strategy can help you guide the UX designer/team and help the organization remain on point. It’s imperative to collect data from various sources leading to delightful experiences.
Understand this, just like design thinking, UX strategy is also a way of formalizing thoughts to find innovative solutions. Benefiting from a UX Strategy can bring enormous value to the designs. Remember, you don’t have to develop the perfect plan; instead, invest time in research, analyze the data, learn from it, and iterate something that users would value. DO NOT be afraid to take risks and fail; it is just part of the process.