When designing a digital product, the team often faces the problem of task prioritization. In other words, you should clearly understand what value your product carries and what problems it should solve. But, here’s the question: how? Nowadays, the design of a site or an application is responsible for 50% of the product's success. And the first impression, which is the most important, is mainly affected by UX. So, how to find the right UX solution and not to screw it up?
Why is UX strategy so crucial?
As we said above, the UX strategy is a kind of connection between designers and business objectives. The well-thought-out plan gives specialists an understanding of how exactly the product will interact with users and bring them value.
A strategy is obligatory in order to avoid numerous issues that you and your users will encounter in the future. Let’s consider an example. Suppose that your target audience is wide enough and includes different age groups. Now, let's think about how people of different ages perceive color schemes in a particular product. Older people won’t be happy to interact with bright and contrasting backgrounds and fonts. Plus, small text and objects (images, buttons) will make using your app or site uncomfortable. On the contrary, overly large elements can cause irritation among young users. This is a rough example, but the main point should be clear. The UX strategy is required to avoid such scenarios. It should clearly explain the product’s layout (all components) and how it should carry its value to the users.
An accurate UX strategy will allow your product to remain valuable and respond to the new demands of the market. Without it, your product will quickly become obsolete or lose its value in the eyes of consumers. That is why the approach should be brainstormed by all team members, including designers and stakeholders. Only with such cooperation, you can achieve the best result.
How to create a UX strategy
Basically, developing a UX strategy is all about research. Moreover, the more extensive it is, the better. In fact, you need to listen to all parties and draw the right conclusions. First of all, interview the key stakeholders (investors, mentors, decision-makers, etc.) to get their vision of the product. Also, you must work out joint metrics and KPIs that will be closely monitored and become indicators of success.
Technical workers, mainly designers who will do all the ‘hard’ work, are the second most important group of interviewees. It is necessary to properly convey the vision of the product, its technical characteristics, etc. The general concept of product promotion is also being developed in collaboration with designers.
And finally, focus on users, of course. Survey your target audience to understand how they see your product’s usability. What do they expect from the site or application? And how exactly will it help them overcome challenges? If you already have a working product, you should track the interaction of users with your product. Click-map, heat-map, email surveys — there are many tools to accomplish that.
Testing is the next crucial step. Once the strategy and design are developed, all processes must be tested before the actual launch. Think about delivering an MVP first. Often, it doesn't include a full-fledged design, but at this stage, you can still test the concept of your strategy. In addition to the MVP, you have a lot of tools such as analytics, logs, feature requests or A/B testing.
Careful preparation doesn't guarantee your strategy's success, but will significantly increase your chances. Now, let's observe a few interesting features that should be considered. You can treat them as your goals at the stage of strategy development.
Your UX strategy features and goals
It seems that goals define the UX strategy better than features or must-haves. So, what are they?
Focus on the majority. This mostly relates to the design part, but the rule can also be applied to other components. Your aim is to cover at least 80% of your users. It is simply impossible to fit the individual demands of each particular customer into one strategy. This is because the design will become too complicated and it will be difficult to maintain the performance at a proper level.
Be consistent. Try to be guided by the customer’s logic. This way, you can make your product intuitive and easy to use. It isn't necessary to go over the top here. The best solutions should come with seamless performance.
Need for Speed. It’s all about optimization. If the website or application is slow in operation, you come up with the desire to instantly close it and never use it again. Your product is expected to show high performance, this is obvious. Often, users think that slow operation indicates the low quality of your product as a whole.
It's never too late to make adjustments
UX strategy development is a process of constant improvements. It is impossible to invest some effort in your product once and leave it as it is. If you expect your product to be competitive in the market for a long time and remain relevant to the user’s needs, you should always be aware of its performance and make all the necessary updates in time.