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UX Strategy - the secret sauce that defines the pixie dust

My opening keynote at UX Riga, 2016

UX strategy is about analyzing an organization’s business strategy and outlining what needs to be done from a UX perspective to ensure that the goals of the business strategy are achieved.

In brief, UX strategy is the glue that binds the company vision (goals) with the day-to-day UX tactics (execution). Without a clear UX strategy, it is entirely possible to design killer UX concepts, yet fail miserably in the marketplace. That happens a lot.

This talk aims to help companies and designers avoid costly yet easily avoidable pitfalls.

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UX Strategy - the secret sauce that defines the pixie dust

  1. 1. UX Strategy the secret sauce that defines the pixie dust Eric Reiss @elreiss UX Riga February 25, 2016 Riga, Latvia
  2. 2. “Secret sauce” “Pixie dust”
  3. 3. Where do you start? What do you do? What is UX?
  4. 4. User experience is the sum of a series of interactions between people, devices, and events. A simple definition of “UX”
  5. 5. What is the UX of Riga? As a tourist, it looks a lot like this…
  6. 6. But if you live here, it probably looks more like this…
  7. 7. And you are aware of local events most visitors never hear about…
  8. 8. Good UX? For whom?
  9. 9. Define your UX goals Do your research
  10. 10. A couple of questions for the app folks… Do you have a successful product yet? Or are you now looking for your second successful product?
  11. 11. “This could be SOOOOO cool!”
  12. 12. “We need to build on our momentum”
  13. 13. “This could be SOOOOO cool!”
  14. 14. So, let’s talk about “strategy” and “tactics”
  15. 15. First, a war story…
  16. 16. Opening a second front in Sicily was strategic Taking Messina was strategic/tactical
  17. 17. Generals decide goals and strategies Officers decide strategies and tactics NCOs decide tactics
  18. 18. Fat guys behind rocks, skinny guys behind trees
  19. 19. So let’s make this personal… (when you are the whole army)
  20. 20. Why you do something is your goal What you do is strategic How you do it is tactical
  21. 21. Why you decided to go to a conference is a goal What event you chose to attend is strategic How you choose your sessions is tactical
  22. 22. Business plan Business strategy UX strategy Products ] ]
  23. 23. The Business Strategy • Financial goals • Market development • Action plan
  24. 24. The UX Strategy • Value proposition • Generic UX guidelines • Governance structure
  25. 25. Let’s look at these points individually
  26. 26. a clear definition of the company’s/brand’s value proposition vis-á-vis the business plan a statement of what the user experience should bring customers/clients an explanation of how your company’s products will continue to provide value in the future through UX. The value proposition
  27. 27. a clear definition of what you mean by “UX” a decision model that can help designers evaluate and priortize their ideas/work a simple list of do’s and don’ts (or questions) that relate UX decisions back to the company/brand value Generic UX guidelines
  28. 28. Let’s look at these points individually, too
  29. 29. What it is User experience is the sum of a series of interactions between people, devices, and events. What we do Coordinate interactions that we can control Acknowledge interactions beyond our control Reduce negative interactions A simple definition of “UX”
  30. 30. Can influence Cannot influence Business critical Screw it A simple decision model
  31. 31. The proposed project/feature makes things: Easier to use Easier to learn Encourages use More enjoyable Supports the value proposition Try to be specfic in the strategy document! A simple list (Yes or no? Why and how?)
  32. 32. Suggests a chain of command Who is ultimately responsible Who will do the actual work Insists on a timeline Provides rules to measure and optimize UX The governance structure
  33. 33. Keep the solution simple – don’t overthink it Keep it flexible – there is no one right way A few pointers…
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Message: your UX tactics need to be flexible enough to meet different user needs. And if you still need help...
  36. 36. A case story: The AI Factory
  37. 37. Business goal Become a premium supplier of artificial- intelligence engines for gaming Business strategy Showcase AI engines through their own selection of games Value proposition “Our AI engines make gaming more realistic and exciting” UX strategy Create the feeling that people are playing against real players, not a CPU My guesses regarding AI’s strategies
  38. 38. What’s wrong with this picture?
  39. 39. Another case story: The Mark Hopkins Hotel
  40. 40. Business goal Become the premium hotel in San Francisco Business strategy Draw on business partners to make MH services even more appealing and to attract more guests. Value proposition “The Mark Hopkins has a long tradition of great service on which we build in new, creative ways” UX strategy Make guests feel special by making the hotel’s superior service more visible and personalized. My guesses regarding MH’s strategies
  41. 41. They are not communicated correctly Not all departments are “on the same page” The senior directors are not involved at all The strategy is vague or unclear The strategy does not ensure measurability UX is considered a buzzword, not a tool UX strategies fail when:
  42. 42. Inspired by (and partly plagerized from) the great Ronnie Battista The 10 commandments of UX
  43. 43. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.
  44. 44. And finally, the secret sauce you have all been waiting for…
  45. 45. 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 1/2 cups Heinz Ketchup (use no other!) 3 tablespoons barbeque spice (Sexton, Santa Maria, whatever) 3 tablespoons vinegar 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 teaspoon fine salt 1/2 teaspoon each of: white pepper black pepper cayenne sweet chili liquid smoke (optional) Mix it all up in a pot over low heat. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir regularly. Thin with bourbon as needed. If you cannot get liquid smoke, use smoked paprika. This works well, too. If you add a little canning preservative (typically sodium benzoate), you can keep this in the refrigerator indefinitely. Do NOT use this like ketchup on a burger. You need to slather it on during the final minutes of cooking so the sugar caramelises and thereby cuts the sweetness a bit. Uncle Eric’s hog’s-breath-style BBQ sauce
  46. 46. Liels paldies!
  47. 47. Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss