When people hear “user experience strategy”, or UX strategy, the first thing that comes to mind is website design. True enough, the UX approach does include creating eye-catching and memorable visual experiences for customers, but it’s not what it’s all about. At its core is creating a roadmap that most effectively guides customers throughout their journey in a way that benefits both the business and the market.
UX Strategy is defining how you want to work as an organization, pinpointing challenges you may face along the way, and even finding ways to overcome them before they happen. It provides a solid initiative and measure of success for brands by applying best UX practices and providing a means for integrating design with your business objectives.
Understanding the difference between Strategy and Design
Before diving deeper into strategy, one thing we should look at in order to understand this system better is to determine the differences between UX strategy, UX design, and UX planning.
The primary difference between strategy and day-to-day UX design is its focus. Rather than being concerned with individual design decisions, UX strategy as a whole is an umbrella process that centers itself on understanding how the outcome should be built so that it delivers its goal successfully, while design and planning are elements that fall under strategy development. So instead of considering what webform a successful experience will include (the solution), the strategy is considering why we believe it will be successful (the reason). Exploring the a) experience and b) ways to achieve it helps business owners better address the customer needs.
Components of a successful UX strategy
Just like how an effective team is made up of different members working towards a goal, a successful UX strategy consists of 4 main components that work together by aligning customer needs and expectations with the overall business objective.
1. Business Strategy
This is the part of your UX strategy that considers the business’ strategic objectives.
Business goals, vision, mission, and values are all areas for consideration when it comes to this component. In short, it’s taking into account the brand’s identity and objectives in order to create a holistic approach for how to market the business to customers.
The ways in which these will be realized is by identifying opportunities and working together with the internal team to create high-level ideas that will set how the company is perceived (for example, “we should focus on simplicity”).
2. User Experience
This is the part of your UX strategy that considers user feedback and overall experience.
While business strategy gives you a sense of how to reach your brand goals, user experience, on the other hand, helps you determine key features that are critical to your product’s success. This is accomplished when the product interface allows its users to easily accomplish what they want to do as smoothly as possible.
This component also emphasizes how important it is to have a solid team ready to invest time in looking into each aspect of the experience to make sure everything is running fluidly. After all, weaving through all user touchpoints both online and offline to ensure an effortless experience, is not a walk in the park.
3. Visual Design
This is the part of your UX strategy that considers creating memorable, immersive, engaging visual experiences.
By putting together insights from a brand’s identity and user experience goals, you can then work on putting together an effective visual design that reflects both brand identity and UX goals to successfully target your market, as a response.
The overall design determines which brand attributes are important to convey and how your product will be perceived to provide users with the best experience. During the visual design process, information about aesthetics — such as colors, fonts, or materials, functional elements like a button’s shape or size, and behavioral elements — come into focus.
4. Data and Analytics
This is the part of your UX strategy that provides information about user experience and behavior patterns.
Experience-based decision-making (both quantitative and qualitative) is a common mindset for business owners and customers, making data and analytics an important pillar of UX strategy. User age, location, interests, and even the way they use your app or website are just some deciding factors used to constantly evolve the experience.
Diving deep into analytics also gives businesses actionable insights to increase product purchases or brand performance, either by supplementing current methods or addressing pain points to further support meeting the overall strategic goal.
Now that you’re more familiar with the 4 components that make up an effective UX strategy, it will be much easier to see how they all compliment each other to create a comprehensive strategy and a powerful framework that’s based on creativity and analytics. Embracing these aspects as one holistic approach will likely yield better designs while also benefiting your business objectives of attracting more users or upgrading existing ones with new features.
This said, how is your company approaching its UX Strategy? Are you utilizing all 4 components or just sticking to optimizing a couple of pillars?
If you need more information on how UX strategy and planning can help your business, contact Moxie Labs for a consultation today!
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