A Quick Reference to User Experience Strategy and How it Can Help You Achieve Your Business Goals
What exactly is User Experience Strategy?
As it relates to websites and ecommerce, user experience strategy is a process of designing and developing interactions that provide an enjoyable human/computer experiences with a very specific goal in mind. The goal, for example, can be to create a beautiful journey from initial product view to final interaction, or it can also be to decrease the bounce rate we see from a single web page. In any case, user experience strategy has to do not just with meticulous attention to details, but also with clarity of goals and outcomes.
UX Strategy can be broken down into four common stages: research, design, implementation, and data analysis.
In the research stage, designers study the problem or opportunity in order to better understand it. They look at how people interact with a product or service and what their goals are. This informs how they design their solutions in the second stage—designing for users’ needs. In this stage, designers use their creativity to come up with solutions (for example, by sketching out concepts). The third stage is implementation where designers put together all of their work into a final product or service that they can share with others. Last in a normal process, there is data analysis. Weirdly enough, sometimes data analysis can actually be part of the first step, as some companies already have lots of data about something they are trying to accomplish. However, in this example we are starting from nothings, so you are going to have data after implementing UX and testing how it performs. The gathering of user interaction data can come from single page interaction heat maps, number of clicks, abandonment rates, click-through rates, successful requests, and any other data that can be gathered and transformed into graphs and charts helping to better understand friction points that delay an expected outcome.
I personally love the data aspect of UX strategy, if find it really fascinating. For example, I once learned that that 28% of users on a specific page abandoned the website from a specific point, mainly because they don't want to "click to accept" a disclosure's radial button that looked a bit scary.
What is the Purpose of UX Strategy?
UX strategy is not just a list of things to do. It is a process that helps you understand your users and their needs so that you can make the right decisions to achieve a “successful outcome,” as dictated by a previously established strategy.
UX strategy is not just about design and development, it's also about testing and research. In plain Manny-Quintero language, UX strategy’s purpose is to take a good stab at a predetermined objective with the purpose of conquering it. Nonetheless, UX strategy’s purpose can almost always be associated with creating an experience that fulfills the user's needs, not just making them happy.
What I love most about this fascinating field is that you very purposely try to understand users so that you can make the right decisions for them; basically predicting future actions as accurately as you can. It's about understanding people’s needs, which when done just right is not always perceived, but leaves you feeling incredibly happy and satisfied about what you just accomplished.
Some of my favorite UX strategy purposes:
-It helps to reduce bounce rates on websites.
-It improves conversion rates on e-commerce sites.
-It enhances customer experience with your service or product.
-It helps you to deliver your message more effectively through your website or app.
-It makes a meaningful and very measurable impact on a company’s revenue stream.
Creating meaningful User Experience Strategies for Your Business
As you try to anticipate and solve challenges that might arise in the design of your products or services. I find it very important to also identify opportunities for innovation and growth. In most cases there is always a precedent available to learn from, but the companies that become most memorable are usually the ones that innovate first. This does not always mean creating an earth-shattering discovery or development, it might be in the form of a tiny animation on a small element that shows you where to “click to learn more”.
It’s important to note that a user experience strategy is not the same as a business strategy. A business strategy focuses on how to grow your company, what the core principles of your business will focus on, and even who your target demographics will be. While a user experience strategy only focuses on how to create an enjoyable customer experience… and I will ad to also increase revenue. I will close this section by recognizing that you can have a meaningful user experience, and a well planed out strategy as well, but if it does not ultimately increase revenue, or at least collect data, then all you have is a selfless hobby to serve others, just because of kindness.
Conclusion: UX strategy matters and you should be investing time and money in it.
Some companies out there may not need to worry about strategy, they might actually laugh at this concept, but it is my humble opinion that a vast majority of businesses cannot afford to not think about UX strategy. After all, in the purest sense of what it means “to be in service” you are exchanging money for something that solves a problem. You may as well go the ultimate extra step, by enhancing customer satisfaction and creating loyalty by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product. It’s a process that can be applied to a broad range of disciplines.