Getting the real value from UX
In a world where technology is enabling new products and services daily, it's difficult to stand out on features alone. Your users expect that your products are accessible, easy to use, and available around the clock, from any device that they are using.
Market leaders go beyond these user's expectations, by adding more value to their experience. Whether by saving time, simplifying a complex process or even removing it altogether.
These successful projects apply User Experience (UX) research and design techniques from the beginning and throughout the entire process, defining and addressing the real customers and business needs.
UX is an approach to understand a problem from the people point of view and to design a solution to solve that problem. It's about making changes for the better, improving a product, service or organisation. Changes that although may seem small, incrementally add value.
This continuous change for the better, 'Kaizen' in Japanese, is the actual deliverables of any UX practice. As UX professionals we create journey and experience maps, do competitive analysis and undertake user research. But these are just steps in our process to creating better changes.
Marketing and selling UX is tough because many clients focus on the tangible deliverables. It's easy to focus on pretty persona documents and compelling journey maps but these are just the assets that get created on the journey to a better solution.
These assets are not the end goal of our process but merely steps on the way to create real value to the client and making real measurable changes. Delivering these kinds of assets to clients is not what UX is about, UX is about making real positive changes to the system, process or product.
Therefore, we should avoid just using parts of our process and use our holistic whole instead. This holistic approach should focus on selling informed-decision-making for the client.
Clients often want to create or make changes to an app, website or business process, but there are usually more than one stakeholders with a different vision of the problem to solve.
The UX practitioner's role is to bring the stakeholders together on a journey to discover the problem and the solution from the user point of view. The UX professional will unravel the issues and be an advocate for the users needs.
The UX and Business teams will work together, adapting new insights obtained from users research. It's this research, analytics, ideation, and exploration that leads to a more valuable outcome for both users and the business.
Communication is key to the success of the design and the final product. Having a collaborative working engagement; the key business people, developers, product owners and marketing involved in these initial stages ensures a shared vision of the product and understanding of the challenges. This help to avoid expensive reworks or unwanted features taking up valuable production time.
The real value of UX is to allow for the continuous improvement in the process, design, and development of the outcome from the customer point of view. One that aligns the Business needs and delivers a delightful, accessible, easy to use product or service. One that is accessible at any time and from any device that they are using, that the users are happy to tell others about.