My approach to Enterprise UX.

APPROACH

Turning a Vision into a Reality

I love the challenge of establishing UX as an enterprise business discipline. Here is my approach to turning this vision into a reality and applying UX strategies that influence change and champion the user.

UX Maturity Model

You reach maturity when UX becomes a measurable and repeatable enterprise business discipline. The basis of my maturity model is the belief that the UX process bridges gaps between organizational functions. In particular, business, design, and technology.

Organizations have different UX needs and levels of maturity. Below is a model I created depicting critical success factors. These help me with assessing UX maturity, identifying gaps between business disciplines, defining processes for design and research, and the formation of a UX vision and framework.


success factor 01

Assessment


success factor 02

Team Development


success factor 03

UX Frameworks


success factor 04

UX Processes


success factor 05

Business Discipline


success factor 06

Omnichannel

UX Enterprise Framework

The UX Enterprise Framework includes sets of ideas, values, and practices that support the UX needs of an organization. Below are the four I use as a foundation when creating frameworks.

set 01

Support

Supports the organization by providing UX leadership, mentorship, services, research, people, processes, technology, and environments that foster innovation.

set 02

Evangelize

Promote the benefits of UX through presentations, websites, workshops, publications, reward programs, and training.

set 03

Continuity

Create a contiguous ecosystem of experiences across digital and physical channels by providing a common design language, style guides, documentation/artifact standards, design patterns, and a UX library.

set 04

Principles

Fundamental values that champion users and customers and create experiences that are valuable, usable, desirable, and meaningful.



Be altruistic in your designs. Your customers will recognize and appreciate what you do for them.

UX Services

Every discipline could benefit from UX. For example, in many cases I’ve learned that QA is not brought in early enough in product development life cycles, especially in waterfall environments. This tactic causes delays in functional and performance testing. The solution is to ensure that they and other important functions have a seat available for early discussions. Additionally, QA has benefitted from UX artifacts because it has expedited test planning.

The above example is just one of many that demonstrates how a robust set of services could help with the delivery of experiences. Below are the key services I believe a mature UX discipline should provide when creating physical and digital experiences across all form factors.

Strategy

Defines and plans the approach of translating visions, goals, or concepts into user experiences.

UX Research

Plans and creates studies to add context and user insight into the UX design process.

Usability

Creates user experiences that are efficient, effective, and satisfying.

Visual Design

Applies iconography, typography, color, contrast, alignment, and proximity to experiences.

Content Strategy

Plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful and usable content.

Information Architecture

Focus on organizing, structuring, and labeling experiences in an efficient, effective, and sustainable way.

Interaction Design

Takes mental models and translates them into conceptual and interaction models.

Prototyping

An early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concepts or processes.

UX Workshops

Brainstorming activities that foster environments of collaboration across all business functions.

UX Roles

Often, organizations think of UX as either being web, UI, graphic and in some instances, print design (yes, true story). It is my responsibility to address these misconceptions diplomatically and inform leadership that UX encompasses all of these disciplines along with others and that unicorns only exist in fairy tales.

Below are roles that are essential for high-performing UX teams along with some of their practices.

UX Researcher

Research Strategy
Usability Studies
Heuristic Evaluation
Surveys
Interviews
Personas

Interaction Designer

Interaction Modeling
Mental Modeling
Usability
Journey Maps
Wireframes
Prototypes

Visual Designer

User Interface (UI)
Brand Strategy
Color Theory
Typography
Iconography
Style Guides

Content Strategist

Content Mapping
Content Development
Editing & Proofreading
Page Development
Web Governance
Accessibility

Information Architect

Logical Architectures
Navigation Systems
Organization Schemes
Search Schemes
Taxonomies
Label Systems

UX Strategist

Assessment
Vision
Objectives
Planning
Measurement
Execution

UX Process

UX is a repeatable and measurable user-centric process that aligns the goals of the business with the needs of the users and creates valuable, usable, and desirable experiences. My approach to this process is to adapt it to the organization’s product development life cycle, hence, increasing the likelihood of adoption.

Here's my approach to applying UX to standard product design phases and development methodologies:

Strategy

Collaborate with cross-functional stakeholders in developing requirements, planning, and execution of the UX Process.

Discover

Gain insight on user's behaviors, attitudes, feelings, and emotions towards your business models, services, and brand. Discover competitive landscapes that provide opportunities for identifying differentiators.

Define

Leverage discovery findings into proposed solutions and mental models. These mental models get translated into conceptual models, which includes information architecture.

Design

Translate conceptual models into interaction models that integrate usability and design best practices. Communicates design through sketches, wireframes, and prototypes and checks for technical feasibility.

Prototype

Creates physical or digital models for the purpose of POCs, collaboration, and most importantly, validation.

UX Research

UX Research performs usability studies for validation of effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, mental models, and conceptual models. The most important part of UX.

Development

Provides artifacts that reduce ambiguity between business and design provides traceability to requirements and collaborates on technical feasibility tradeoffs.

QA/UAT/Launch

UX collaborates with QA and UAT in measuring performance, cross-platform testing, and of course, quality. After all, you can’t have a world-class experience without world-class performance.

Post Launch

Gathers benchmark engagement and conversion metrics and works on improving them through analysis, usability studies, and redesigns.


UX is a user-centric approach to creating experiences, and if your UX program does not include user research, it's not UX.

UX Research

In UX Research, you apply various methods to add user insight into the design process. Research is needed to foster innovation, establish facts, find problems and provide you with the evidence necessary to influence change.

UX Research Framework

There is a common misconception that market research is equivalent to UX research. Albeit, there are many overlaps, UX research is not about what people say they will do. Rather, UX research is more about observation and user behavior.

Another way to put it is that market research provides data that informs design, while UX research provides data that drives design. The synergy between both functions creates a framework, which provides an absolute and robust set of insights that result in superior experiences for your users.

Here is a baseline framework I created that combines both market and UX research into a set of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Quantitative Research

Market Segmentation
Demographics
Surveys
Analytics Analysis
A/B Testing
Heuristic Evaluation
Customer Care Logs

Qualitative Research

Eye Tracking
Collaging
Card Sorting
Participatory Design
Moderated/Un-moderated Studies
Ethnographic Field Studies
Focus Groups

UX Research Process

ROI-driven organizations feel that UX research is costly. What they fail to realize is that process abandonment or low customer adoption of their products is even more. Timeline-driven organizations believe that UX research takes too long when in reality, designing, developing, and launching the wrong product is far more time-consuming. Sadly in both environments, UX research is entirely disregarded.

My approach to influencing leadership to adopt UX research is to create a streamlined process that reduces associated time and cost. Below is an example of such process.

phase 01

Discover

Partners with cross-functional teams to determine relevant questions, assumptions, metrics and user insights are for a given project.

phase 02

Plan

Addresses the method, time, and resources needed for gaining user insights.

phase 03

Validate

Executes planned research method to uncover user insights and metrics predetermined during the discovery phase.

phase 04

Analyze

Compile research data, answer questions, and address assumptions and present as metrics and user insights that will drive design.



A good experience is usable, a better one is usable and valuable, but the best experiences are usable, valuable, and desirable.

UX Metrics

Measuring UX is a vital practice of the UX process that many organizations struggle with performing. Reasons could be that the knowledge-vs-doing gap is too wide to overcome, misunderstood, or UX professionals have not been exposed to it correctly. If UX is to become a business discipline, then one must speak the language of business and be able to measure success and its impact on ROI and conversions.

The metrics that are of specific interest to me are engagement, conversion, and usability. These work in synergy to help measure the value, usability, and desirability of your products. An increase in any of these leads to profitability.

Below are the sets of metrics that I rely on for measuring the success of UX:

Metrics 01

Usability

Usability metrics measures the efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction of an experience. These are typically owned and acquired by UX Research teams via usability studies, surveys, and analytic tools.

Metrics 02

Engagement

Engagement metrics measures a user's response and depth of attention when interacting with your experiences. Marketing, Innovation, or UX teams typically own these and are acquired via usability studies, surveys, analytic tools, SEO, and SEM.

Metrics 03

Conversion

Conversion metrics measures the completion of a desired goal. Marketing teams typically own these and are acquired via analytic tools, SEO, or SEM. An increase in usability and engagement leads to improved conversions, and an increase in conversions leads to the success of UX.

Future Vision

UX is ever evolving and requires constant vigilance. What’s relevant today may not be tomorrow. A common mistake UX designers make is that they design for the immediate need and forgo scalability. As part of my UX strategy, I always seek out opportunities for growing and extending the life cycle of an experience.

Below are some areas of growth that require careful consideration when creating a vision for the experiences you are designing.

Future 01

Customer Experience

Whereas UX designs for human-to-object interactions, CX designs for human-to-human. It's imperative that CX and UX work in close collaboration to design for omnichannel.

Future 02

Omnichannel

Omnichannel refers to the contiguous ecosystem of customer & user experiences across physical and digital spaces. This concept reinforces the brand experience leading to profits and customer loyalty.

Future 03

Digital Strategy

Your user strategy should include how users find you on the web (SEO and SEM), how they interact with your brand (Social Media), and how they use your websites (Analytics).

Future 04

Internet of Things

As experiences and services are more distributed and connected to multiple form factors and at different scales, it is important that UX and CX design be a part of the design of the internet of things.



UX is not about thinking you're right. It's about getting it right.

Some Final Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to read my approach to UX. I hope you enjoyed it. As user-centric design grows in gravitas, it’s important for us to become a united front in championing our users. On that note, I encourage you to provide feedback or suggestions you may have about my approach. Also, please feel free to email me your questions should you have any at josevader@gmail.com, or share it on Twitter.

Feel free to download My UX Process as an image .