User Experience (UX) Strategy

More brands are relying on user experience (UX) designers to create quality experiences at every brand touchpoint. As the role of UX designers broadens, having well-defined goals and project guidelines becomes more important than ever. This is the point where UX strategy comes in. A UX strategy could be defined as “a detailed plan for how to keep a user’s experience with a brand in line with the overall goals and objectives of the company”. It outlines what kind of brand experience users have at the moment, what is the aim and how to get there. UX strategy is the most effective when utilized across all departments. This approach ensures that all customer touch points are addressed and accounted for. 

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UX strategy is important for various reasons. The value of UX strategy could be condensed into these 4 main points:

(1) UX strategy helps see the benefit of UX design. Quality UX design has a direct positive impact on ROI and product success. According to the Design Management Institute, design-led companies have 50% more loyal customers, a 41% higher market share and a 46% higher competitive advantage compared to companies that do not base their product decisions on design.

(2) UX strategy provides a clear initiative and success measure. A user’s experience with a product can be re-designed in many different ways. Launching a project with well-defined and measurable goals can prevent wasting energy and resources. A UX strategy gives a clear-cut, company-wide idea of goals and how to achieve them as well as a quantifiable assessment when the goals have been met.

(3) UX gives a company-wide understanding of the user. A designer mainly focuses on creating user-friendly products, while top executives are more concerned with reaching company targets like ROIs, profit margins and total revenue. Drafting a UX strategy can help bridge the gap between user-centered product design and overall business goals. This creates a company-wide awareness of user needs, company objectives and action plans.

(4) UX strategy aligns brand promise with the actual customer experience. When a brand’s promise does not reflect the actual user experience, users are more likely to abandon the product. A UX strategy can help compare what a brand is promising to what the user experience is really like. It can also highlight what actions should be taken to synchronize the brand promise and user experience.  

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A successful UX strategy could be built by following these 6 steps:

(1) Maintain a user-centered approach. When you are setting goals of your UX strategy, stay user-focused. A UX strategy should focus on aligning the company’s goals with UX design.

(2) Prioritize users over profits. While the business must be profitable, ensure that your UX strategy does not prioritize profits over users. For example, do not make it difficult for users to opt-out of your service. Make sure that the user experience you offer is transparent. 

(3) Define a UX roadmap. Interview stakeholders and users to define a long-term UX roadmap.

(4) Set up realistic goals. Clearly define your UX strategy goals and avoid broad or vague ideas. For example, instead of saying “increase user signups”, set a specific objective such as “increase user signups by 15% annually”. Base your goals on the actual data.

(5) Define circumstances of use. Collect specific user data (who, what, when, where and why) to define the environment where users use your products. The more data you will have about your end-user and their environment, the better designers can utilize these data when designing the user experience.

(6) Review and update your UX strategy. Skillful UX strategists consider adapting to new technologies, market shifts, new legislation and other things that disrupt their plans. Review your UX strategy annually to see if you are on the right path to meet your long-term goals. Having evaluated last year’s performance, you might update your goals or set new ones.

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References:  Camren Browne, |