It’s difficult to create a good user experience in a vacuum. There has to be absolute clarity on the approach that will be taken for the design process. Otherwise, the resulting UX would not be aligned with business goals and may not be able to achieve the intended objectives.
That is why it’s so important to create a User Experience Strategy. It helps provide an understanding of what features need to be prioritized and what needs to be cut in order to achieve a UX that’s actually going to be useful to the product’s audience.
What is User Experience Strategy?
Simply put, a User Experience Strategy is a plan for the development of a digital product. It defines the approach that the development teams need to take so that the product does what it needs to do in a manner that’s intuitive for users.
Any work that's carried out in the absence of a plan just risks stretching the team too thin. It would not be wise to have them trying to provide a solution for every single use case, one that may not even be relevant to the product by a long shot.
The end result could just be a product that tries to be something for everyone but ends up being something that’s useful for no one.
Businesses need a solid User Experience Strategy to define what sort of a user experience they intend to create. It needs to be highly specific, focusing on every single touchpoint where the user will interact and that needs to be reconciled with the organization's vision, the needs of the user and the technical limitations of the product.
5 things every UX strategy needs
- Audience Research
The very first step is to ascertain the needs of the user. It's impossible to create a solid User Experience Strategy if there's no firm understanding of what the user demands and expectations are.
This requires thorough audience research through multiple channels as well as feedback from the key stakeholders.
The stakeholders need to have a say at this stage because they have their own idea of what the final product should look like. This is where it can be figured out if there’s any difference between the two and how to best overcome it.
- User Scenarios
Now that an idea has been formed of what the product is going to look like and what it's intended audience is, next comes the task of creating user scenarios. These scenarios will provide a sense of how different users will interact with the product. This is done to get a sense of what the user flow is going to look like. A seamless user flow is crucial for a good user experience.
- Design Layout
This is where the product starts to take shape. Having formed an understanding of what the need for the product is and how users will interact with it, the developers can then get started on drawing up the actual layout. Things are at the exploration stage here so many different wireframes will be considered before prototypes are created.
- Content Voice
A digital product can have all of the swanky visuals in the world but it won’t really provide a great user experience unless there’s written content that's in sync with the design. The voice needs to match the overall aesthetic of the product. UX writers exist for this very purpose, they can help create content that’s in line with the usability objectives.
- Product Testing
It's impossible to create a great user experience without putting it through several rounds of usability testing. This is done to weed out any inconsistencies that exist in the entire design thinking process. Teams need to carry out A/B testing to make their assessments. Testing can also be carried out through user surveys and polls.
Creating a UX strategy from scratch
Step 1: Understand the problem
Your product is looking to solve a problem or fill a need in the market. To create a viable UX strategy, it’s always a great idea to first gain an understanding of the problem:
- Why exactly might users be interested in your product?
- What shortcomings do existing products in this category have?
- How can your product cut through the noise and emerge as the best option for users?
It's best to collect as much information about this as possible at this stage. This will make it easier to think about the solutions down the line. After all, you can't really present a solution unless you don't really identify what the problem is in the first place.
Step 2: Design Touchpoints
There can be many different points through which a user comes in contact with your product. A holistic UX strategy will give due consideration to all of these different touchpoints, keeping in mind that many different devices and platforms through which users may interact with the product.
A great way to design touchpoints is to use what's called a touchpoints matrix. This concept was proposed by Gianluca Brugnoli, a designer at Frog Design, as a means to map out a user's journey through the product.
Step 3: Validated User Research
A misconception that a lot of people often have is that if they build a product, the users will come. The stakeholders often don't verify if what they hold to be valuable is actually recognized as such by users. It's quite easy for a product to fail if there's no validated user research to back its UX strategy.
User research enables you to verify that your value proposition resonates with users, that your intended audience does see the value in your product. Without this research, you're simply operating under the assumption that users will see the value that you see.
How does UX strategy help you develop your product?
A solid UX strategy takes a lot of guesswork out of the development process. You have a firm understanding of what need your product needs to fill, what features it needs to have in order to be competitive, what the users are looking for, how receptive they would be to the product at a particular price point, for example, and exactly how you need to go about the design process.
It prevents you from flying blind which is hardly the right way to develop a product. Without the UX strategy, you’d be assuming that whatever you’re building has value and it helps solve a problem for users.
If it doesn’t, then your product is not going to perform well, which would result in the loss of both time and money.
Let’s not forget that your brand’s reputation is also on the line. A failed product launch can cast such a long shadow on your brand that it may be difficult to get out from under it. That’s an outcome that’s best avoided.
UX strategy also gives you confidence
It’s hard to have confidence in your product if there’s no comprehensive UX strategy to speak of. There’s no data to base your decisions on, no understanding of the competitive landscape and no insight on user scenarios. This makes any further iterations of the product extremely difficult since there’s not a solid base underneath.
Going ahead with your project without it would be akin to a gamble. You’d be investing a significant amount of resources on the hope that the product that ends up being made does well, when there’s no research and no data to suggest that it actually has a shot of even capturing users’ attention.
On the contrary, if a robust UX strategy is developed for the product from the get go, and there’s complete clarity in what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how best to fulfill the needs of the user, then even cost overruns might not faze you. There would be complete confidence in the product, in its value proposition and in its ability to fill a gap in the market, thereby resulting in success for you.
Secure solid UX strategy for your digital product
Need more detail on how to create a solid UX strategy? Get in touch with the UX experts at Zibtek. It's one of the world's leading software development companies that has worked with both Fortune 500 companies and startups alike.
Zibtek has offices in Salt Lake City, Utah and a global network of talented professionals that are all managed from within the United States.
Its user experience design experts have decades of experience developing apps and services that help your brand enhance its interaction with the target customers. The firm's UX consulting service provides a unique and creative design that's tailored to each client. Its experts have perfected the process of delivering UX services by following established design standards, workflows, and guidelines. Customers receive the product that they need created by expert designers within the set timeframe. Reach out to the team at Zibtek today and they’ll be happy to help you secure a robust User Experience Strategy for your product.