Aldrich Huang: The 5 insights CxOs Should Know About User Experience Strategy In The Business Circle

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Here are certain things we, CxOs commonly hear all the time:

“We waste the development cost to build up wrong product for our clients”

“We try to do cost saving by reducing our call center’s cost”

“We make wrong design decisions?”

Let’s face it, we are all familiar with such situations and then we think — “I wish we could change that around……” or “We should have taken another step earlier….”

1. UX is a Solution Provider to Risk Management

I have personal experience as a legal counsel before. The following are some facts I figured out that showed me the similarities between a legal and UX career.

l Listen to clients/users to understand what they want

l Figure out the main issue of the current situation

l Understand the budget (time and money) requirements

l Provide the best solution to fix the main issue

l Risk management

With my personal experiences, the other skill I’ve learned from both careers are “Using simple words to communicate”. As legal a counsel and UX practitioner, we all try to understand a user’s behavior and what he or she wants. This is crucial to predict what we can do more for our clients. We also need to understand that we are solution providers and we should not confuse our clients with too many ‘technical terms’.

In the field of UX, we can dig deeper into insights about how the users feel and what they want. It also means that we can avoid reducing developmentwaste and risk of building the wrong product for users as compared to spending extra cost to adjust the products to re-build.

“Better UX will bring joy to your users” is always my core mindset when I am working with my clients. Satisfied clients can help in further increasing your clientele through word of mouth. This would also mean reduced costs in the form of less support calls being made to satisfied customers.

2. UX is not only part of design, it is the key to increasing ROI

According to IEEE spectrum report, “Why Projects Fail so Often” there are 12 common factors out of which one-fourth of them are directly related to UX:

l Badly defined system requirements

l Poor communication among customers, developers, and users

l Stakeholder politics

It is obvious that if we don’t understand the “players” including colleagues, users, and stakeholders, we can fail easily. But what can we do to “understand” these “emotions, goals and missions and benefits.”

By understanding what users want and by fulfilling their requirements, we can boost revenue and conversion rate. By understanding how to satisfy clients, we will have more loyal clients and can build the long term competence of the company. Understanding the goals and missions of different departments, we will reduce communication cost and improve efficiency within organization. Understanding the purposes and benefits of different stakeholders, we will increase business to business satisfaction.

3. UX Vital for Success in Marketing 4.0

In the recent 10 years, most of people must have heard that User Experience (UX) is really important, especially when you have more and more colleagues with UX as their position title. But why? Several times I’ve mentioned before that Philip Kotler, the author of the book Marketing 4.0, mentioned that “not only is the product, service, and solution important to success, the experience is now just as important as some shopping is done online, and experience can either sway customers into or out of purchases.” This means that experience is one of keys to success for any business.

Most people want to understand what user experience really means and the concept of UX to improve their current working performance. This is a very interesting topic as people who are not UXers think UX is related to designers, and they don’t need to understand UX. That is partially right! UX designers currently are popular positions in the world, but different from User Interface Designers. User Experience strategy is not only for UX designers, but for all. In fact, User Experience Strategy is a process of the decision-making process with user-centric mindset.

4. UX is the Science to tell you “WHY”

I would strongly recommend all of you to spend time understanding the meaning of User Experience Strategy. By tracking marketing performance such as conversion rate, churn rate or user sources, we have become familiar with using quantitative data. In other words, User Experience research and the data we collect are qualitative data.

What is difference between quantitative and qualitative data?

“Quantitative data tells you what happened and qualitative data tells you WHY.”

For example, the data from Google Analytics shows “the users from specific country, out of which 70% of them find the website through organic search, but only stay on the site for less than 30 seconds.” If you are C-levels or Marketers, it’s really weird right? What did you learn from the data? It is what happened about current situation. Do you know why? Probably not. We may use trial and error to figure out which way is the best.

After doing deep UX research from users, one of the users mentioned “It’s hard for me to use when I enter the website as its language was English, but I’m not an English speaker. I’m not interested in digging deeper”. Obviously, you get WHY by the user’s personal feedback that we call qualitative data.

The trend to build up/optimize a UX strategy is combined with quantitative and qualitative data to make right decision.

5. UX is the Professional Process in Improvement and Optimization

With UXTesting teams, we provide 5 steps to help our clients improve and optimize efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction within organization. These 5 steps are Discuss, Define, Testing, Validate and Deliver. We use generative and evaluative validation points to repeatedly align targets and de-risk investment.

With Discussion, we need to talk with the clients to find the right flow to measure or match their goal and mission, and make decisions about workflow valuation. After that, we need to define the prospective user’s case and then executing testing. Validating the data is one of key points of this process, learn and get insight from data then deliver the solution/feedback.

I remember one of our clients hired me as a UX consultant 1 year ago and I did the “employees’ interview” definitely. The mission of this project was to improve efficiency between different departments and make internal software easy to use. After reviewing the data, I got the insight that “People belonging to different backgrounds seldom use easy terms to communicate, even when they have a project management tool to track, some of them still don’t understand each other and feel frustrated by this communication barrier”. So what did I do about this situation? I recommend the CEO to reorganize the company to assign someone who is good at “listening” to different departments and host weekly meeting with all of them.

After that, the company increased in efficiency in the project development and debug process by 33%.

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