What Is User Experience Strategy, Anyway?

UX Strategy

UX Strategy - torchlight“Strategy” can be a difficult term to define. Many people have a different understanding of what strategy really is, and it can be difficult to articulate the output of a product’s strategy phase or for product development as a whole. While exact definitions are endlessly debatable, in this article I aim to articulate the meaning of user experience (UX) strategy as the design of products and services with a focus on the end user.

The Difference Between Strategy, Business Strategy, Product Strategy, and UX Strategy

User experience strategy builds upon an organization’s business and product strategies through a shared vision for a product or service from the end user’s perspective. UX strategy can also extend beyond a single product to create a vision for what a customer’s interaction with your company will be like across multiple products and touch points over time.

User Experience Strategy Components

A UX strategy has four primary components:

  • Where are you now? Define the value you're delivering to your users today, identify known issues, and explore ways your product can realize what the business hopes to achieve.
  • Where do you want to be? Specify the purpose of what you're building and what needs it will address. Identify opportunities to enhance your product and the guiding principles that will inform product design decisions. Explore all phases of a user's interaction with your product to identify how all product components will fit together.
  • How will you get there? Plan the development of your product to accommodate continual enhancements while maintaining cohesion across the experience. Translate your plan into tangible requirements.
  • How will you measure success? Define what success looks like for your product and what methods will be used to validate your product's success.

Benefits of Creating a User Experience Strategy

Understanding where you are today and where you want to be in the future helps to ensure that your product provides value and achieves your business goals. Creating a UX strategy helps to:

  • Get your entire team to buy into the experience you're creating
  • Clarify abstract design thinking
  • ap design and development decisions back to the agreed-upon vision
  • Reduce time spent building components that don't contribute to user or business value

While defining a strategy up-front can be a strong influence to the rest of the product development process, your strategy should be flexible and adaptable as ideas and your approach evolve. Most important, strategy should be seen as a constant visible presence that feeds into all product design decisions, rather than a single step in the product development process.

For more information, download the full white paper "What Is User Experience Strategy, Anyway?"

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