A Case for UX Transformation

A case for UX Transformation

If you know of UX maturity model, probably you have an idea of where your organization stands in terms of UX maturity. If not, there  are few surveys available which will give you an idea. Check out one from Tom Callaghan. Here is the link.

However, before jumping into UX maturity, we should have a sense of why UX is important for your organization.

Some hope that UX is a new age remedy for all product adoption problems they have and some imagine it to be a feel good factor for the organization. We have seen symptomatic UX interventions into digital products as well. For example hiring a graphic designer to change the colour palette and asking the designer to give it a 2017s kind of look… whatever that means. Remedy can be effective if the symptoms are well diagnosed. That’s where the business case lies.

If you see any of the following symptoms in your organization, there is a business case to embed UX related activities into org wide initiatives.

  1. No senior leader ownership for UX
  2. Non-standard experience across digital initiatives and products
  3. Proliferation of third party tools
  4. Poor system adoption
  5. Low user productivity
  6. Frequent errors
  7. Higher support requests
  8. Ever increasing change requests
  9. Extensive training requests from users

If you are the decision maker, the above symptoms should be good enough to get started with your UX initiative. Action item: Hire a consultant who can guide you through the UX transformation process. I am sure all of us would like to understand the ROI of such an investment. Before moving towards ROI, it is important to have some UX metrics in place. Here is a sampling of some metrics that you might consider.

  1. % Increased productivity
  2. % Decrease in cost (support/training/changes)
  3. % Increase in brand perception (Win prestigious awards)
  4. % Customer retention
  5. % impact on revenue
  6. % impact on Profit

However ROI for UX can’t be measured all the time. There are lot of assumptions based on ROI in certain business context, which might or might not be true for others.

Follows a list of ROI contexts in which various aspects of UX is covered.

  • Hard to assign accurate ROI with UX because UX doesn’t happen in isolation. Other aspects like operation, execution,  services, sales and marketing etc. influence the overall impact of UX as well.
  • IBM says you can look at a return of 10 to 100 times by making a product easy to use. Some say you need to invest 10% to 40% of your total budget on UX to get the desired result.
  • Your investment in UX research can help you in avoiding future losses by providing clear visibility into areas of opportunity. It might as well help you in deciding the fate of your product idea hence saving you lot of hard work on unnecessary features or undesired solutions.
  • Making all stakeholders converge on a unified UX philosophy can support cross domain collaboration and execution of a single vision. ROI of such an initiative is beyond monetary gain.
  • We all know that User Centric Design ensures increased adoption and user productivity, which has direct correlation with business revenue.
  • UX standards & guidelines help in reducing execution mismatches across suit of products and control the expected output.

If you are suitably prepared for UX transformation, the next question is how, when and where do you start?

While reading through some blogs, I came across Liam Friedland’s blog on UX Value Chain. He has drawn analogies between Michael Porter’s Firm Value Chain and UX. A quick extrapolation on the same line gives following insights that seem relevant

Inbound logistics: Collecting information

  • UX Activities : Workshops, User Research, Benchmark studies
  • Output: Persona, User Journey, Service design, Context, Opportunities, Benchmarks, Challenges

Operations: Building product

  • UX Activities: Workshops, Design, User validation, UX audits
  • Output: Concepts, Prototypes, Insights, Iterations, Derivation of  unique UX Standards

Outbound logistics: getting the products to customers

  • UX Activities: Support dev team, Review productised designs, Analyse user feedback
  • Output: Close watch on productization, Iterations based on dev constraints and user feedback without compromising on UX vision

Marketing: advertising and selling products and services

  • UX Activities: Design of sales and marketing Artefacts
  • Output: Demos, Social, Campaigns, Posters, Advertisements, Webinars

Service: providing additional, follow-on services to keep customers happy

  • UX Activities: Analysis of service requests,
  • Output: Identify UX challenges and opportunities and feed into operations

Once you have identified the symptoms and built a case for embedding UX across firm value chain, you must consider building a solid foundation of UX leadership and train inmates in driving the organization towards seamless UX adoption.

In the next blog I will share my thoughts on how to converge on organization wide UX orchestration.

Aurobinda Pradhan

Co-founder of PeepalDesign, RapidUX & e60Labs, Alumni of IITB, IIMB. Over 16 years of experience in designing and managing UX projects. International trainer for UX-PM (www.ux-pm.com)

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