A UX strategy or user experience strategy should be just as vital to your brand as its overall mission statement. We will look at what exactly makes up a UX strategy, why it is so important to have one, and cover the basic steps that should go into putting one together.
What Is a UX Strategy?
A UX strategy is a detailed plan for how to align the user experience (UX) of a brand’s customers with the overall objectives and goals of the company. A good UX strategy requires a well-defined goal for the ideal user experience, a good understanding of the expectations and needs of customers, and a clear plan of what needs to happen to fulfill these targets and satisfy users.
UX strategies should also include information about what competitors are doing and a clear analysis of how a brand is performing compared to how it should be performing.
Why Is it Important to Have a UX Strategy?
A UX Strategy helps to unify the goals for user experience with the targets of the business so that designers can make decisions that are in the best interests of both parties. It also enables the organization, and its stakeholders, to play a more significant part in the development process.
A strong UX strategy allows clients and stakeholders to see exactly what UX development teams are working on and highlights the importance of UX design decisions for them. It can help justify the time, effort, and money spent on getting design decisions right. Providing a good user experience is incredibly important, as it leads to increased sales, customer loyalty and can even reduce development costs.
Image sourced from econsultancy.com
By including well-defined, measurable goals, a UX strategy can help businesses to know when key targets have been achieved. This also provides data that can be used to measure past performance and set realistic targets for future growth. These metrics will be useful, especially if you look to add a product management consulting expert to your business.
A good UX strategy helps all teams in an organization to work towards the same goals and steers all areas of the organization towards achieving targets that are beneficial for the business but also line up with the needs of the customer.
How to Create a Strong UX Strategy
There are several crucial steps that all organizations should follow when crafting their UX strategy.
The first step is to look at the current state of the company, the product, and the market in general. Assessing the challenges of the business will help advise a relevant and actionable UX strategy, which will confidently inform your UX design. If there is already an overall business plan in place, this should be considered when drawing up the UX strategy to ensure that the goals of the business are held in as high regard as the needs of the customer.
Once you know the current state of the business and the market in general, you can use that information to set goals. These could be how you wish your company to be perceived, what gap in the market you want to fill, or how many users you want to accumulate. For example, if you are selling an ai photo editor, it would be beneficial for your company to be seen as technology experts, who are providing a unique product. The key when setting goals is to make them specific and realistic. They should be measurable, wherever possible, so that you can determine how successful you have been in achieving them.
Define Focus Areas
The next step is to determine your areas of focus. You should consider your user personas, which are snapshots of your target demographics. Understanding these will help you to develop features and make design choices that will most appeal to your users. You should also hone in on which areas of the UX design need priority.
These include aspects such as the visual design, interface design, and the accessibility of the experience. It may not always be possible to combine all the desired elements of the UX experience into a single, functioning app. Therefore, determining which areas are most important to your users and business is important. It will let you properly carve out your niche in the market.
Image sourced from interaction-design.org
Creating guidelines as part of your UX strategy helps everybody stay on the same page. By having a set of preferred methods for solving problems (such as forgetting your login password), approaching decisions, etc., you can be sure that all the work is moving the brand in the same direction towards the goal.
These guidelines can be relatively simple, such as adopting a mobile-first approach. It will ensure that any design decisions taken are focused on making the user experience best on a mobile device. If you’re developing a virtual PBX system, you may choose to make future-proofing and cross-platform support key areas of focus.
Once your guidelines are in place, you can focus on creating a more detailed plan for how development should proceed. It will be a sequence of steps that need to be undertaken to produce the final product while meeting the needs of users and the business. Don’t forget to use video watermarking or other methods to protect your designs from piracy.
Having a plan will allow everybody involved in development to keep track of how work is progressing. It provides a good way to assign tasks and delegate work while ensuring that work is undertaken in the correct sequence. Enterprise communication tools help ensure that members of different teams work in unison.
Review and Update
As new technologies and practices are introduced, the way UX is developed can change rapidly, especially if you're working with a machine learning product or similar technology. You should also be mindful of shifts in the market that can change the needs of your users. Therefore, a good UX strategy should be adaptable to change.
Check in at each review point to ensure that you are meeting your targets and that your targets are still relevant. If they’re not, you shouldn't be afraid to change them. An overly rigid strategy can make your brand irrelevant, as providing a good UX experience is critical to success.
Image sourced from uxdesign.cc
Create Your UX Strategy Today
A strong UX strategy informs your design choices, helps your UX designers stay on track, and generally unifies the whole process of conceptualizing and designing new digital products.
Do your research, set realistic targets, and create a detailed plan that will help guide development. Most importantly, remember that your UX strategy is there to bring together the needs of your business and the needs of your customers. If you’re interested in upskilling in tech or changing your career, why not look at Ironhack’s UX/UI design bootcamps?
About the Author
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered communication platform providing cloud collaboration solutions for better and easier team collaboration through products like Dialpad's virtual call center software. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Grace has also written for other domains such as VMblog and nTask. Here is her LinkedIn.