Thanks to all of you who participated in my recent survey around User Experience. I surveyed a small group, none of whom were UX practioners. The goal was to better understand how User Experience is used by professionals in business settings.
- Who is using UX (Roles)?
- What elements of UX are they using, and to what end?
- What are the key takeaways how and why they see UX helping them become more successful?
I received responses from 60 of you, with good representation across different roles and companies (Independent Consultants, Agency, Startup, Midsize, Enterprise)
The primary motivations fell into the following categories:
Change Culture: Customer-centric workflows, processes and mindsets
Business Results: Leverage UX best practices for my company, client or business
Gain Skills: Learn UX skills to improve service/product
Who is using UX
Several roles see the role of UX as Important or Critical for a wide variety of reasons.
The overall response wasn’t surprising, however, I was surprised by the wider than expected distribution of roles. Delivering a good UX does not seem to be limited to experience creators.
Elements of UX being used, by role-groups
As I analyzed roles and UX usage, a natural grouping emerged in terms of how UX is leveraged.
- Implementors (Development, Tech Architecture)
- Creators (Designers, Content Creators)
- Utilizers (Marketers, Planners, Product Leads)
- Overseers (Account, Program, Analytics)
- Executive Roles (Agency Presidents, Brand Managers, CMO/CIOs)
Here are how different UX elements are used by each of the groups listed above.
Role: Executive Oversight
The 7 themes below illustrate how and why the folks in the survey are using different elements of UX in their professional lives.
While there were specific differences across roles, I was able to pull out broad themes that applied across the board. There will of course be differences in relative importance from one role to another.
1. Tell great stories to move people to action
Overview: Deliver brand experiences through stories that engage prospects and customers alike, and create action.
Goal: Increase interactions, acquisitions and referrals.
- “Increase conversion. Deliver a memorable experience.Tell great product stories. Reinforce the brand.”
- “Solve pure user delight and simplicity”
- “More engaging content, with tangible results (for my clients)”
- “Repeat visitation and sharing…that supports development and donations”
2. Understand user actions to create better (and predictable) outcomes
Overview: Understand user behavior, actions and inactions through customer journeys, user research and observation.
Goal: Clarity on ‘users’ and their actions. Optimize UI design and KPIs across relevant marketing stages, platforms and channels.
- “Identify & define what customers are trying to do … and how can we make them more successful”
- “Establish the fastest, most intuitive and controlled path for user”
- “Better UX = better products = better KPIs = everybody wins!”
3. Simplify Decision making in complex situations/multiple stakeholders *
Overview: Create a common vision/language within teams that have different agendas and motivations, by focusing on customer understanding and needs, and achievable business opportunities. This helps overcome internally-focused thinking, biases and egotism.
Goal: Single approach and language
- “Time is the most valuable resource. Cut the BS.”
- “Get people from multiple disciplines with different incentives on the same page.”
- “UX helps me to argue for better design overall. UX also helps to manage the chaos of internal departments with clients.”
- “Making trade-offs easy to understand and, once a decision is reached, making associated actions crystal clear (order, timing, evaluation, etc.).”
4. Speed Up the Process
Overview: Develop a simple, repeatable and efficient framework/process that delivers measurable outcomes (business and customer).
Goal: Reduce cost, time to market.
- “More effective workflow to help projects complete faster, which will help us realize revenue goals”
- “Better productivity and increased profitability”
- “Less ‘chasing of cats’, get more agreement on my success or failure”
5. Get an Edge for my company/client/business *
Overview: Deliver a better, clearer experience than the competion. Helps agencies and companies stand out in crowded marketplaces.
Goal: A differentiated experience (design, positioning, features) for our service/product/brand
- “Differentiation. Elevating product in the marketplace.”
- “Differentiated service offering, more successful integrated campaigns, more business and awards!”
- “Design standards have been raised immensely with products like Uber, AirBnb. Design is critical to compete in this environment”
6. Get an Edge for me
Overview: Learn UX skills, specifically user behavior and UI Design principles, to create success within current roles, and a spring-board for career growth.
Goal: Hack my career
- “I’ll be associated with a wildly successful product.”
- “A better ability to coordinate and lead UX work will have a big positive impact on my career”
- “By diving deeper, having a solid UX grounding as a high level account person gives me very relevant, speciality skills that helps me do a better job, and offer more to my agencies.”
7. Personal Fulfillment
Overview: Happiness, personal satisfaction especially when it comes to helping others are perhaps our strongest intrinsic motivators.
Goal: Make a difference, leave a legacy
- “Support the organization I believe in, and happen to work for”
- “Build something amazing. I want to be proud of our rocket ship when it takes off and I want to hopefully, close out my career with this”
- “Being good at what you do and understanding the space you work in is crucial to career success but almost personal fulfillment.”
- “Career of course…and personal desire to create intuitive visually satisfying interfaces.”
A big thank you to those of you who took the survey and provided thoughtful and detailed answers. I will be using this to create a content calendar.
Didn’t take the Survey? Email me with topics I should cover with some context on how that helps you.
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