Learning Strategies to Learn Faster, Remember More and be More Productive ( Mental Kevin Horsley Unlimited Memor. UX Strategy and Strategic UX. Charles B. Kreitzberg, PhD. Principal, Cognetics Interactive ser Experience (UX) and its close relative Customer Experience (CX) . The UX Strategy Guide (opens PDF) is meant to help designers understand and use both the Lean UX Canvas and the UX Strategy Blueprint.
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An experience strategy is that collection of activities that an organization chooses to undertake to deliver a series of (positive, exceptional) interactions which. UX Strategy + Design: Usable Interface Design Boosts a Product's User Adoption . Client: The Sente Group. Report Type: Case Study. Industries: Aerospace. Week 1 Unit 1: Introduction to the SAP UX Strategy Video Lectures Introduction to the SAP UX Strategy Exercises (optional) Course structure Weekly Assignment.
They do this by verifying products through user testing. From there, a revised product can be rolled out, its success can be measured and further feedback can be incorporated. Just take Facebook. Instead, he tested it within the confines of Harvard University. For instance, they included new emojis and added a call feature. However, even an incredible product will fail without awesome UX design. After all, UX is what a customer feels when she uses your app or website.
The best user experiences fully engage customers, making them love your product. Airbnb is a great example. The interface of this vacation-rental platform is incredibly straightforward. By focusing on UX design, Airbnb achieved the overall goal of all good UX: to acquire and bind customers through a captivating experience.
The idea is great, but who are these soon-to-be-married couples? A great way to answer this essential question is to form provisional personas — tools to help you define your value proposition. More specifically, a provisional persona is a sketch, created by you or your team, of a potential user.
First, choose a name for your persona and assign him a picture. Then list his level of education, age, salary, job and any other relevant pieces of information. From there you can detail his behavior: What devices does he use? Does he have much free time? What does he value? And finally, lay out his needs and goals by asking yourself two questions: What is he trying to achieve and what motivates him? Rather, you should also collect real data about them by interviewing users in the real world.
This process is all about testing your assumptions against the facts by conducting a variety of mini experiments.
Now test those hypotheses by asking real people the same questions you asked your provisional personas. For instance, you could go to a mall and interview men with kids. Here are some questions you might ask: Was it difficult to find a good venue? What tools did you use? After conducting such interviews, the next step is to evaluate the results. After all, understanding how other companies have succeeded or failed will help you build your competitive advantage. This process is a little bit like peeling an onion; the more layers you peel away, the closer you get to the core of what you want.
After all, discovering this special something is your ticket to the blue ocean of untapped market potential. In the case of the wedding planning app, you might search for existing online services that organize weddings. For starters, you could research how much they cost and what they offer. From there, you could take a closer look at when they were created and how they are funded.
UX Strategy Summary
This information, as well as much more, can be found on sites like techcrunch. Next, ask yourself how these companies make money. Is it through advertising, like on Facebook? Or through a subscriber plan?
And finally, look at how much traffic they get by using free services like compete. For mobile apps, you can use App Annie or Mopapp. For instance, you can sort the traffic column from highest to lowest and see which sites perform the best. You can also break your competition down into two categories, direct competitors and indirect competitors.
Direct competitors target exactly the same customer segment as you and deliver the same or a similar product. Indirect competitors, on the other hand, have either a similar product but a different target audience or the same audience and a different product. After all, to truly succeed, a product should focus on the experiences that are absolutely essential for users.
To define these, you can think about which aspects of your product differentiate it from the competition. In other words, where does your competitive advantage lie? For instance, in the case of Twitter, the key experience of the app is the ability to send a character message.
But also keep in mind that your product may have multiple advantages. Sometimes, a user registered with the service.
UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products That People Want
Sometimes, they even came back. But over the course of 18 months, no one booked a treatment center through their website. Their investors and business partners were getting anxious.
Still, they had a lot of features and functionality built in to their interface to help users make the best decision possible. After all, they needed to meet the growing concerns of their business partners, and because they had a lot of entrenched functionality, they felt it would be easy for my team to just build off of it.
They needed a new UX strategy. In the context of the digital age, a team identifies that fixed point as the goal of their game plan and then sets course for it. This traditional business strategy approach can work to galvanize a team in a large slow-moving enterprise.
But what if your solution is an innovative digital product about to be launched in a fast-moving consumer market full of uncertainties? This requires an agile process — one that is variable and iterative with continuous feedback loops at several points along the way. UX design and UX strategy are two different things. When you are doing design, you are creating something.
When you are doing strategy, you are coming up with a game plan before creating something. She thinks about how much the product will cost to make and be priced to sell at, and how it will be distributed to different customer segments. In contrast, a product designer actually fabricates the thing. They are two separate disciplines. Too often, I have seen UX designers work on products without being informed of the overall business strategy.
The people who design the real-world shopping experience of a brick-and-mortar Target as well as the products in that store are thinking about a very different set of issues than the people designing Target. But UX strategy goes beyond just one digital product or online experience. It spans dozens of different digital products, services, and platforms; it interconnects all members of a digital interface family.
For more on this, see Chapter 9 in the book UX Strategy. It has a fantastic brand. These products were consistent with the Google brand strategy, but they failed to stand up to public scrutiny on their own. When these products debuted, they baffled users and failed to acquire them.
Another important thing to remember is that a solid UX design no longer differentiates brands.
For companies such as Google, users assume the UX will be good. As the company grows and expands its digital properties, you need to constantly pivot and shift your game plan, baking your strategy into all online services effectively, reliably, and without friction.
A product needs a good UX no matter what. UX strategy is the process that should be started first, before the design or development of a digital product begins. The purpose of any strategy is to create a game plan that looks at your current position and then helps you get to where you actually want to be.
Your strategy should play to your strengths and be mindful of your weaknesses. A solid strategy is the difference between success and failure.
In the digital-product world, chaos — time delays, increased costs, and bad user experiences—get exacerbated when there is no shared product vision among team members.
Like any good general, you need to develop that strategy. This is why the client allowed my team to put the redesign on pause. We conducted guerrilla user research using a Minimum Viable Product MVP prototype with the clients sitting at the table.
Instead, they had built a business model that needed a direct marketing channel targeted at an affluent customer segment. We experimented on new value propositions by testing customer acquisition with landing pages.
Sure, many of the findings were super depressing for the client. For instance, when I was 10 years old, I believed the way my mom got cash was by going to a bank, signing a slip of paper, and then receiving the funds from the teller. But if you were to ask my year-old son how to get cash, he would tell you to go to the supermarket and ask the cashier to give you some when you pay for your groceries.
The mental model for getting cash is very different from the mental model. Stale mental models are overturned. Life is disrupted for the better! This is why I love working with startups, because entrepreneurs are the biggest risk takers of them all. They quit their day jobs and go all in on one big idea that they are passionate about.
Our software engineer was just that type of person — after a difficult personal experience, he wanted to solve a problem so that others would not have to experience his pain.
He wanted to change a mental model. Devising new products to solve serious dilemmas is not for the faint of heart. You must be passionate and at least a little crazy to run headlong into all the obstacles that inevitably will get in the way.
And this passion is not limited to entrepreneurs who quit their day jobs. It also emboldens people who have titles like product manager, UX designer, or developer. These are people who also are passionate about using technology to devise products that customers want. When you bring these types of people together, you have the necessary means to potentially make magic happen and destroy outdated mental models.
Because time on earth is finite, why else would you want to build anything else? As a UX strategist, I am paid to help my clients face dilemmas and chase dreams. This is why solid problem-solving skills are absolutely critical to mastering UX strategy. Strategy goes beyond the abstract nature of design and into the land of critical thinking. Critical thinking is disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.
Product stakeholders and entrepreneurs use the critical thinking in a UX strategy to help them connect the dots among all the points — the customers, their needs, and the solution they all want to solve using technology. It is in this way that UX strategists need to be equally passionate about technology, because the Internet continues to offer consumers an endless supply of digital options. Every click, swipe, and hover is a decision that users are able to make. They have choices — a gazillion of them — to download or not download, like or deride, share or forget, complete or cancel.
You need to know what features to offer and how people actually use them.
You need to understand all of the latest and upcoming devices, platforms, and apps so that you can consider their application for your solutions. You and your team need to do everything you can to ensure that Alice will fall down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland.
Are you ready to jump? And to keep me from forgetting this, I have the sticker shown in Figure on my laptop lid. Or, at the very least is a much better alternative to current solutions found in the online marketplace? To achieve that disruption, we need a framework from which to connect all the dots that will build a cohesive UX strategy.
Think of it as a primer to get you and your team thinking like a UX strategist. This is where teams dig deep into research to reveal key information about the product they want to build. In this way, the attorneys try to avoid surprises, and you, as a product maker, should also want to strategically do just that.
My first chance to practice UX strategy occurred in Along with the other team leads, I flew into Chicago to kick-off our discovery phase. Or, I was given a flimsy project brief with pretty comps that stated what the final product should accomplish. From there, I made a site or application map that catered to a specific set of user scenarios that enabled those interactions.
Based on these documents, I could only infer whether my creation solved the problem or not because it was typically too late at that point to challenge the rationale behind the product vision. I was just supposed to design it on time and on budget.
Mark used consensus-building techniques such as affinity maps, dot voting, and forced ranking  to help us understand all the different parts—content and critical functionality—that would make up the system we had to digitize. This discovery opportunity helped us the stakeholders and product team in examining our goals to make a better platform for the millions of devoted Oprah fans in the world. One week later, after all the workshops, the product team and I presented the discovery brief defining the product vision.
The brief contained typical deliverables such as user personas, concept map analyses, and a recommended feature list. Because the stakeholders were anxious to get started, they immediately approved it. Our digital team was off and running on the implementation phase, which took over six months of emotionally fueled hand-offs. There were hundreds of pages of wireframes and functional specifications traded between stakeholders, designers, and developers.
But the discovery brief was never referenced again. The personas and proposed solution were never validated by existing customers. The stakeholders went back to fighting for whatever prime real estate they could grab for their particular business units.
Yet, there was something good that came out of that discovery phase for me: I was a UX designer who finally got a taste of what a UX strategy could potentially be. I was ruined. A full year later, the redesigned site launched. I never looked at it because I had moved onto to another interactive agency HUGE with other high-profile clients.
In my new position, I was able to focus my energy more directly on the discovery phase of projects in which user research and business strategy were given more weight. I also had a seat at the table to help shape the UX strategy and decide how a product vision should be implemented.
I no longer had to feel fraudulent for spending so many waking hours building products for which I lacked a deep understanding of the customer segment and the business model. Because when everyone shares a product vision, you and your team really have a chance at changing the rules of the game for your product, company, and future customers.
However, I do want to acknowledge that my methodology is my version of UX strategy and might be different from other strategists.
So, with all that said, cue the drum roll to introduce my UX strategy framework, as presented in Figure These are the four tenets that make up my framework. I have seen them in play every day since my first discovery phase. Lessons Learned The discovery phase is where UX strategy begins.
UX Strategy is based on four tenets: business strategy, value innovation, validated user research, and killer UX design. The output of the discovery phase should be based on empirical data, such as getting direct input from target users before going straight from an idea to wireframes and development.
How a team executes a discovery phase can be the deciding factor between how a product will ultimately deliver real value through a killer UX and create real value for the stakeholders. Tenet 1: Business Strategy Business strategy is the top-line vision of the company. It is why the company exists. It ensures the long-term growth and sustainability of the organization. It is the basis for the core competencies and offerings, which are the products. In this book, I will use the term products to include both products and services.
The business strategy is what gives product makers the direction to grow in the marketplace while beating the competition. For this to happen, the business mustcontinually identify and utilize a competitive advantage. In his classic book, Competitive Advantage,  Michael E. Porter lays out the two most common ways to achieve a competitive advantage: cost leadership and differentiation.
The advantage behind cost leadership comes from offering the lowest price for products in a particular industry. Whether it is the cheapest car, television, or hamburger, this was the traditional way that companies achieved dominance in the marketplace. After all, allowing the private sector to compete without government regulation is what free market economy is all about! I mean, look at the rampant success of stores such as Walmart and Target. They can offer consumers the best prices and widest selection of merchandise.
But what happens when prices hit rock bottom? Then, the battle needs to be about what makes the product better. Because we are product inventors planning to build disruptive technologies, this is where our actual power lies.
With differentiation, the advantage is based on a new or unique product or a unique aspect of the product for which customers will pay a premium because of its perceived value. It starts the moment a customer steps into the store and ends when that person tosses his cup and sleeve into the trash. Today, a UX differentiation is the digital product game changer. Differentiated user experiences have completely revolutionized the way we communicate with the world.
Consider what the world was like before micro-blogging. When it was released in , Twitter confounded users with their character limit. But the limit turned out to be a valuable perk, especially with respect to updates.
When Hurricane Sandy pounded the East Coast in , the power went out, but more than 20 million Tweets occurred between users, residents in the storm, and media and government outlets. Another tool that has distinguished itself from the competition with a UX differentiation is the map app Waze.
It combines social traffic with GPS navigation, thereby allowing users to find the quickest route of the moment to their destination. By merely driving around with Waze open, users passively contribute traffic and other road data to the network. Users also can take a more active role by sharing road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other hazards along the way, helping to give other users in the area a heads-up about what surprises might ahead of them.
Now, Waze still offers its distinct UX to its users, but its data is also channeled into Google Maps. A UX competitive advantage is important to understand in this brave new world of technology. Traditionally, the purpose of a competitive advantage was to make a product that was self-sufficient through a revenue stream.
A revenue stream is how the company gets paid. And when a customer pays more for the product than what it costs to make, value is created for the stakeholders.
Instead, the goal of many entrepreneurs is mass adoption. Facebook won the field because, a it offered a differentiated UX that was perceived by users as more valuable, and b everyone adopted it. From that point, Facebook innovated a new kind of business model that relied on monetizing its user data for selling targeted advertising. Waze made a lot of money by selling access to its devoted users, and Google will make a lot of money because so many users continue to use both the Waze and Google Maps apps.
Nor does it just rely on a ridiculous amount of users adopting it. This is something often lost on young tech entrepreneurs. These game-changing companies experimented, tested and failed before they hit on and innovated the right one. And if, like me, you worked on the Web when the Dotcom bubble burst in the s, you have first-hand experience of all of the risks involved in creating products without proven business models. The process of business model construction is foundational to a business strategy.
Instead, he encourages them to adopt a flexible business model that requires all of the key components are validated using empirical, customer-facing discovery methods. In their seminal book Business Model Generation,  authors Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur deconstruct each of the nine essential building blocks of a business model so that visionaries can systematically think through the logic of how the company will eventually make money.
Blank also refers to this tool in his own work on business-model creation. They are as follows see also Figure : Customer segments—Who are the customers? What are their behaviors?
What are their needs and goals? Value propositions—What value either qualitative or quantitative do we promise to deliver?
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Channels—How will we reach our customer segment? Is it online or offline? Customer relationships—How are we going to acquire and retain our customers? Revenue streams—How does the business earn revenue from the value proposition? Are the customers going to pay for it?
Or are there other options? Key resources—What unique strategic assets must the business have to make the product work? Is it content, capital, or patents?Difficulty with the checkout process Reason 2: How to use cards, animations, and other flat design techniques for deeper interactivity.
Learn about all the steps your startup needs to take to grow from good UX. In my new position, I was able to focus my energy more directly on the discovery phase of projects in which user research and business strategy were given more weight. Building Accessible Websites by Joe Clark. This process is a little bit like peeling an onion; the more layers you peel away, the closer you get to the core of what you want.
After all, UX is what a customer feels when she uses your app or website. A glimpse inside the mind of one of the important figures of modernist design.
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