Jully 18, 2022
How to Build an Effective UX Design Strategy?
A well-defined UX strategy is as important as your organization’s mission statement. A user experience strategy helps guide the UX team when conceiving and designing new digital products. Now we discuss How to Build an Effective UX Design Strategy?
What is a UX strategy?
A user experience strategy is a plan that aligns the UX goals with the product and the organization. It defines how the company wants its customers to experience brand and product interactions, so UX designers always consider the business strategy and its users when making decisions.
A company should consider the following when formulating a UX strategy:
- How does the company define its user experience with the brand?
- How did UX Design align With Product Strategy?
- How does user experience align with business objectives?
- Detailed user personas from qualitative and quantitative data including behavior, expectations, and user needs.
- Market trends influence user experience.
- Competitor Analysis.
- Current product performance against future targets.
- Define, prioritize and execute product goals, objectives and KPIs.
- User Research Methodology.
- Reporting the results to stakeholders.
Importance of a UX Strategy
A design thinking process primarily focuses on the user, and rightfully so. But, without a UX design strategy, designers lose sight of the brand and its goals. A UX strategy brings the organization and user into the designer’s focus to align product and brand experiences.
A UX strategy ensures that the organization and its stakeholders have a say during the research, design process, and usability testing.
Here are five reasons why having a UX strategy is imperative.
- Keeps stakeholders updated on user experience and benefits of UX design.
- UX Research and Design Process Outline.
- Defines how UX success can be measured.
- Gives an understanding of and importance of user experience design to the whole organization.
- Aligns the brand promise with the user experience.
Where to begin with a UX strategy?
Creating a UX strategy begins with a discovery process of data research and interviewing relevant people, including:
- Primary Stakeholder.
- Secondary Stakeholder.
- current users
- Beta Tester
- Subject Matter Experts
- Competing users of digital products
- Industry data
Your primary stakeholders are the people responsible for the product. The primary stakeholders will be the CEO and CTO in most startups, while more established businesses may have many C-suite members you must involve.
Primary stakeholders typically want to know how the user experience will impact growth, cash flow, business value, and profitability.
Examples of questions to ask primary stakeholders include:
- Why have we selected this revenue model?
- What do you see as the biggest concern regarding user experience and why?
- What do you think is working better?
- How do you believe that this product compares with its competitors?
- Which metrics would you like to see improve?
Bonus Tip: Do your research on what each primary stakeholder is most focused on, and ask questions relevant to their role in the business. This understanding will give you meaningful feedback at the discovery stage.
Secondary stakeholders are people responsible for managing the department and achieving the organization’s objectives. These stakeholders are important because they understand the company’s limitations and challenges—which ultimately affect the user experience.
Secondary stakeholders include product managers, marketing leads, lead reservists, executives, and other department heads who influence or depend on the product’s user experience.
When interviewing secondary stakeholders, outline the C-suite’s expectations and concerns first. That way, you can explore ways to improve the user experience that align with higher-level instruction. You should also focus on the role and responsibility of each secondary stakeholder and how it affects users.
Make sure you keep your questions aligned with the stakeholder’s area of interest. Anything beyond this carries a high risk of misleading information and views.
The current user
If your product already exists, you can interview current users to get a customer’s perspective of real-world usage.
Try to avoid paying for these interviews; This can influence their opinions and views. Try to keep your interactions to a minimum – preferably one call/meeting within 20 minutes.
When contacting users, explain your role and that you are researching ways to improve the product.
Tips for Interviewing Existing Users:
- Set up the meeting with at least three users. After five or so, the first four of you will start hearing the same thing.
- Invite other team members.
- Build rapport by asking them how they found the product and what features they use most.
- Instead of just asking about feelings and preferences, ask about behaviors. For example, “What do you do when…” instead of “How do you feel…”. Open-ended questions provide more meaningful responses than binary yes/no questions.
- Prepare a list of questions to use as a guide, but don’t stick to a strict script like you would during user research or usability testing. Leave room for deviance and explore feedback you might not have considered.
- Ask plenty of follow-up questions when you begin discussing the product. No answers are cut and dry. If a complaint starts but then doesn’t go anywhere, pursue it. Find out what is causing the sadness. Do it for something that sparks your curiosity.
Interviewing beta testers is often the most challenging part of figuring out a UX strategy because these people are less invested in a new product than users of more established products.
A beta tester may be frustrated by bugs or the lack of features of a new product. So, you have to go beyond those problems to find the real struggles and problems your product is trying to solve.
Be compassionate. Ask the user about their usage so far, their problems, frustrations, and product wishes. Emphasize that your purpose is to improve the product experience and that you can’t do it without them.
Subject matter expert
Subject matter experts can help provide context for the complex market, product, or user data. Examples of subject specialists include:
- Experienced Visual Designer
- Programming/Technical Specialists
- Behavioral Psychologists
- Users are researchers
- Information scientists
- Project Managers
- Successful Startup Founder
- Business Consultant
Competitor product users
Understanding your competitive advantage and how it affects your UX strategy is important. You can do this by researching how users feel about your competitor’s product.
A quick and easy way to find user pain points is to read reviews of your competitor. There are three valuable resources to look for competitor reviews:
- Apple App Store
- Google Play Store
If your product has a browser extension, also check browser stores, such as the Google Chrome Web Store
Find parallels with your product and note common complaints. Also, look at positive feedback to see what delights customers.
Comparing analytics data with user feedback can give you context on patterns and behaviors.
For example, if you have a lot of drop-offs during signups and users say they struggle to navigate the signup flow, there’s a clear relationship between feedback and data.
Event-tracking tools like KISSMetrics and predictive behavior tools like MadKudu can help determine what user feedback is most meaningful.
At UXPin, we use Madkudu to map user behavior for our purchase flow in order to find ways to optimize the process and remove any roadblocks.
Some special tips for creating a UX strategy
Here are some tips to consider when developing a UX strategy.
1 – Maintain a user-centered approach
Always be user-centric when setting goals for your UX strategy. A UX strategy is about aligning company goals with UX design, not finding ways to enrich the business at the expense of the user.
2 – Prioritize users over profit
The user experience should always be transparent. Although businesses need to make money, make sure your UX strategy doesn’t put profits over users. For example, do not hide or make it difficult for a user to cancel or opt-out of service.
3 – Define the company’s user experience roadmap
Use stakeholder interviews and user interviews to define the company’s long-term roadmap for product design and user experience.
4 – Create specific and realistic goals
Use your UX design strategy discovery to identify your product design aspirations based on:
Be clear about the goals of your UX strategy and avoid broad or vague aspirations. Instead of “Increase user signups,” define a specific objective, “Increase user signups by 15% annually.” Make sure these goals are realistic and based on real data rather than intuition.
5 – Define the use case
Define the situations and environments in which customers use your products (who, what, when, where, why). Don’t hesitate to provide as much detail as possible about your users and their environment—this will help designers empathize with users when thinking about the user experience.
6 – Review and update your strategy
The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “The only thing constant is change.” This statement couldn’t be more true for the fast-paced tech and UX industry.
Don’t forget to get your free copy of The Field Guide to UX Strategy, which will help you define, document, execute, and test your UX strategy with proven methods through practice.
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