UX stands for user experience - which should give a pretty big clue as to what this job consists of. A UX designer should be able to create digital experiences designed with the users in mind - and understanding them is pretty key to getting that part right. If you want a little more information on what exactly this consists of - you can check out our landing page here for more of a breakdown.
There are plenty of best practices and UX conventions that one can rely on when designing anything from a platform to an eCommerce experience (you can see some of the high level considerations we recommend here) - but depending on the client’s target demographic some decisions may require more insight into the user. At the end of the day, the UX designer's role is to problem solve, so researching and coming up with a strategy is the ultimate way to ensure success.
Different generations and cultures have different experiences when it comes to what they expect from a system, and ensuring you understand this is imperative to getting the UX experience right for them - and if you try to please everyone then you’re likely to end up pleasing no one.
Jumping in without a strategy is like jumping into a pool where you don’t know how deep it is. You could keep on going down and down with an endless amount of possibilities without ever reaching the bottom. Understanding the route you’re going to take to get the information you need from the client is necessary to create something for the business and their users - and this is essentially a UX strategy.
It’s basically a plan for how to keep a user’s experience inline with the overall objectives for the business. This way the business can keep on track for their goals and KPI’s, while staying true to their brand identity and keeping their users happy.
Some of the most important parts of defining a UX strategy are:
Defining the ultimate goal and having all stakeholders in agreement with it
Having a detailed and documented understanding of the user (ideally qualitative and quantitative)
Having a clear understanding of the companies current struggles and performance in the market
A plan of what is needed to obtain the goal and meet the metrics
A way of measuring success and allowing for iterations in the future.
One of the most important aspects is understanding your user. Whether you gain this knowledge through hosting workshops, taking interviews, running user tests or extensive research - mapping out the information you still need and the best way to obtain it is key. Which brings us to the next point.
Workshops are one of the best ways to get a lot of information from the client in one go. Depending on the needs the particulars of the workshop can vary. At story of AMS we host anything from a couple hour workshops, to full days or multiple days - depending on the scope of the project brief and the needs of the client.
Workshops help the designer get to know your business and your business goals, which ultimately enables the route forward for a successful UX strategy and understanding what information you need to get from the target user.
Talking to your audience should be a bit of a no-brainer but is often overlooked. Having these conversations, or even better, getting feedback from existing users, means you can create experiences that are truly tailored to them. As mentioned earlier, a UX designer’s role is to problem solve - and so understanding what the problems are direct from the user makes this role a lot easier. Another element of this is also diving into research and fact checking assumptions with data. Whether the client has analytics tracking installed or if you need to do some groundwork here yourself - this is feedback less so from the users mouth, but rather from their actions.
Testing the product once you’re done with the users is a sure fire way to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Whether in prototype form or with intended iterations after the first build, any form of testing and learning is only going to ensure the longevity and long term UX strategy for your digital platform for the product. We know testing takes time, but it’s such an important step that should always be factored into timelines and project scopes to ensure success for all parties.
So in summary, All of these elements lead to having a better understanding of the market the business is in, and the user that is in the market - as they are ultimately the ones who will be using the system you are creating for them. Taking time to fact check, research and do it right from the start is going to make the rest of your job facilitating and action a UX strategy a lot easier.
Do you need some help with your UX strategy? We would love to hear from you.