By Jack O’Grady
Every business needs a UX strategy. But few businesses have any idea what that means. And honestly, a lot of the people touting it don’t know what it means either.
In the modern age, where consumers can only spare businesses seven seconds or less to catch their attention, UX – or user experience – has been crowned the new king of marketing. Brands have become less of service-providers and more experience-centers.
Think of it this way: Consumers don’t just prefer Spotify because of the music – there are so many options now that could never be the case.They flock to that provider because the experience it provides is consistent and well-designed. In an increasingly-competitive market, the differentiator is design.
What makes a great design?
Surprisingly, not aesthetics.
In fact, the worst thing a brand could do after deciding to invest in UX is start doodling the kind of slick designs they think are going to bring in new viewers. That’s committing the greatest mistake in this whole process because they’re working on what they think consumers want.
It’s just a few steps away from investing hours and hours of work into a stylish design that no one knows how to use.
When it comes down to basics, great UX does not start with aesthetics. It starts with strategy.
Developing a UX Strategy
Here’s the good news: Making a UX strategy has a lot in common with making a business plan. The best way to define it is by merging business strategy with design thinking.
Let’s look past the buzzwords to get at what that really means.
UX isn’t just there to look cool; it guides a customer’s experience of the brand and should communicate that brand’s core values through its design.
To get started building a UX strategy, consider answering these questions first:
- What’s the question?
- Every product answers a question. It’s important to put time into developing the question that the UX must answer, as it will be central to the entire process. Identify the problem the brand wants to solve and make sure the end-product actually solves that problem.
- What is the value proposition?
- This should be easy because the brand should already know its original value proposition. To revise it for UX, consider exactly what the brand offers, whether it be convenience, speed, information, etc. And once that has been put down in a clear way, keep it at the center of the design. Every aspect of the UX needs to deliver on the value proposition.
- Who is the customer segment?
- Who will be using this digital service? What are their specific wants and needs relative to the business and how can the design cater toward them?
Validating the UX Strategy
No matter how much work goes into answering the questions above, a UX strategy isn’t worth anything unless it’s validated by user research.
Research is especially important to UX because it’s become such an expensive undertaking. Brands should avoid wasting time and money developing a slick design by putting as much time into crafting and validating a strategy with user research beforehand. Instead of playing a guessing game, create cheap, low-fidelity prototypes of the design and ask consumers for their opinions.
What all this leads to is a succinct, UX strategy that lays the foundations for game-changing UX design.
At 1893 Brand Studio, we practice what we preach. Our designers know UX inside and out, starting with strategy all the way to designs that wow consumers and keep them engaged with the brand. That’s the difference that knowing your craft makes. Contact us today to get started.