18.01.2018

What is a user experience strategy and why do you need one?

A user experience strategy takes your business strategy and uses this to steer user experience (UX) design, ensuring that customer research and business goals are in the driving seat at all times.

What is a user experience strategy - MadBit Dublin

When designing an application or a website, it can be easy to get caught up in what you want to say, the message you want to get across and the experience you want people to have. But as the saying goes, it takes two to tango, and that is why you need to take your user’s perspective into account when designing every single one of your customer touchpoints.

A user experience strategy takes your business strategy and uses this to steer user experience (UX) design, ensuring that customer research and business goals are in the driving seat at all times.

Why you need a user experience strategy

Do you find that the moment you get to grips with one aspect of your marketing strategy there is already a new method/tool/trend/version/expectation on offer? It can be frustrating, but it can also be exciting. In the entire history of mankind, technology has never developed at such a rapid rate.

Businesses, however, can be slow to adopt new technologies or processes. Internal hierarchies, single-purpose systems and issues such as compliance or industry protocols can make change difficult to implement. Or, when a new strategy is brought in, it is made to fit within an existing structure that doesn’t complement it at all.

Any manager who has ever picked up a manual on how to stay competitive in the 21st century knows that flexibility is key to survival. But this is easier said than done, after all how do you maintain a sustainable business if everything needs to be loose enough to respond to the ceaseless winds of change?

The answer is to always have a core strategy acting as the spine for everything you do. Not only do strategies keep your goals aligned with your activities, but strategies are self-perpetuating in that they always end with a review which instigates the next list of necessary changes. This is what the nuts and bolts of ‘being flexible’ actually look like.

strategy for business - MadBit Dublin

Every aspect of your UX design is subject to external changes and requires a response if you want to stay competitive. However, rather than throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the new challenge you’re faced with, a user experience strategy will determine whether this change affects your business goals, your UX design and your customers while providing you with the information to know what direction needs to be taken next.

So, what does this look like in practice?

Key elements of a user experience strategy

Designing a strategy to drive user experience makes it possible to align your business goals with your customer touchpoints, create a harmonious experience of your offering for your customers across all touchpoints, and measure the success/failure of the changes made for better-informed decision making.

An example of a user experience strategy would be the following:

1. Determine the current user experience

Conduct a UX audit determined by current content, analytics, usability testing and customer research.

2. What would be better?

The answer to this question should be informed by your business goals, latest trends in UX design, customer research and competitor analysis, rather than intuition.

3. Create a roadmap

Outline exactly what steps would need to be taken and what resources would be required to make the necessary changes.

4. Set KPIs

These will clarify exactly what you want to achieve from your changes, so that you can measure progress and inform future decision making.

5. Obtain necessary resources

These could be tangible or intangible assets: technology, training, people, time, etc.

6. Design and test

Use the roadmap to design a clickable test version of the new user experience and have as many people possible try and review it.

7. All stations go!

Once everything is ready, begin making the decided upon step-by-step changes.

8. Monitor results and review for further improvements.

Nothing in user experience design stands still for long because technology capabilities are changing at such a rapid pace and so too is customer behaviour. Keep up, or get left behind!

Remember…

UX design should also be cool. This may seem to some like a superfluous comment to make, but we don’t think so, because ‘cool’ is valuable and what is valuable to the customer is valuable to your business. Your customers need to desire your offering; they need to like it enough to want to come back again.

But what is ‘cool’ you ask? Frictionless, intuitive UX design. This does not mean the trendiest, most disruptive user experience on the market at the moment. Instead, we mean a design that gives the customer what they want via an easy-to-use interface.

Be arty if you like – asymmetrical is very much on trend right now – but make sure it is of recognisable value to your customer and aligns with your business goals. In other words, make sure there is a user experience strategy behind it!

We’re experts in user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design and strategy. If you have a website project coming up and would like to work with a forward-thinking, responsive development agency, get in touch today.