Thursday, December 5, 2013

UX as Part of Strategy

User Experience Design needs to Touch Customers' Mind and Heart.

Compared to traditional companies in industrial era,  digital organizations are outside-in and customer-centric, compared to traditional strategy, digital strategy needs to add more special ingredients. While strategic design differentiates one company’s products/services from competition and increases competitive uniqueness significantly, so, should UX-‘User Experience’ be part of strategy?

UX should be part of every aspect of business. If UX is not part of the strategic effort, then the chance of success diminishes dramatically. Delivering great experiences starts with research and strategic insights, with the findings and ideas flowing through conception, design, development, production and quality assurance.Without the strategic insight that UX offers, the best you can hope for is to design the wrong thing.

UX is all about putting design-led thinking into strategy. Think about how important is contextual research and prototyping in helping think strategically. So the question is irrelevant when you deeply understand what you are catering to the boardroom. If UX teams have been put inside the functional silos only, it will disassemble design approach, weakening UX effectiveness, both at the strategic and creative levels.

Despite how UX team is structured in real life, the best practice is to have it connected to a strategy/business unit. It can directly belong to that unit or at least have a dotted line there. For some, UX is closer to commerce and strategy in the process, in others it is closer to creative design. It’s all about board level buy-in. Where can your UX activities gain the most support and ultimate revenues? It is important to remember that UX is practiced in many different guises and that fitness for function is ultimately important. 

UX is a disruptive force in business culture, and is at odds with traditional industry model of organization, that breaks projects into stages in a production pipeline. In digital organizations, more cross-disciplinary teams work with Agile methodologies to develop a product or service over its lifespan. In that model, UX would play an equally important role throughout the life of the project.

UX needs to be well aligned with the business side of things. Though depending on the business model, UX belongs to different teams and has varying degrees of the strategic impact, it needs to have well alignment with business, because it provides more opportunity for moving up the pipeline and influencing strategy and direction. The strategic design effectiveness can be improved through a collaborative effort to improve processes and provide visibility across the teams

UX Talent is versatile and comfortable to work cross-functionally. UXers should have a fundamental understanding of user experience and have a fundamental grasp of design principles. This means as UX professionals, either need to exist and practice within the multiple business areas, or be centralized (internally or externally) and able to interface with those business areas on an equal footing, as well as to make UX strategically relevant cross company.

Therefore, UX needs to be one of the unique ingredients in strategy in order for businesses to transform into a customer-experience driven digital organization, UX teams need to work collaboratively with the strategy team, and design thinking  needs to be well embedded into business culture, key business processes, and all business perspectives as well.


hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

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