How to start thinking about UX Strategy in your Company
Having been involved in usability and the user experience industry for almost 10 years; it has been interesting to observe how awareness of user experience has grown and how the industry has changed and matured somewhat over the years.
Having moved from setting up usability lab and selling the benefits of usability testing to then becoming part of 14 strong mature UX team in a large company, I had assumed that most companies now understand UX and have established UX practices. Not so. In fact, in my current role as an UX consultant we speak to many companies who are just at the beginning of their UX Journey. They look to us for support in setting up UX processes within their organisations and advice on how they can encourage a culture of UX within their company. Below are some of my tips on how to start thinking about UX in your company.
Developing a UX Strategy
- Know your current practice: where you are at the moment and where you are not. Take a honest look at current processes and highlight any barriers or broken linkages within your department/organisation. These are all opportunities to improve.
- Measures: Take stock of what measures and KPI’s you are using to monitor and measure success. Understand what success means in different contexts.
- Create a shared understanding of UX: What it means to you and your team and what you think it should mean to your organisation as a whole. How can it help everyone achieve business goals? Create and communicate a shared UX Vision.
- Get training on knowledge gaps: To help you start with sound UX practices and processes right from the beginning.
- Create a plan: of where you want to get to and how you are going to get there. Lobby business partners for support
- Allocate a budget; no matter how small, do not try and start ‘on the cheap’ testing or research. Commit to running robust quality UX processes that are worth investing in.
- Start small; Pick one project where you have a good relationship with the business team and use that to pilot a new process.
- Celebrate successes: Show the business what you have done in your wireframes or customer research, show them the processes or insights (particularly if video of customer feedback) and how the product has changed as a result
“A usability test can produce all wonders of information, yet if the people making the design decisions aren’t aware of what happened, the test has failed” Steve Krug
- Paint the office walls: with UX artifacts such as wireframes, designs, principles, customer feedback. It is amazing how interested in UX your visitors will become.
- Leave your defensiveness at the door and embrace a culture of trial and error. Both with your designs and your testing methodologies. As researchers we see all feedback as learning which not only helps improve our UX methods but also the overall user experience.
And finally remember, take heart…