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What is Experience Strategy?

 
One of the most common misunderstandings among business leaders is that having an Experience Strategy is optional. To survive the tech landscape in the coming years, companies have to listen to their users and create more engaging and meaningful experiences for them. User Experience is growing rapidly. Along with growth comes much debate about meaning behind terms and titles such as UX Designer, UI Designer, and Experience Strategist. Because User Experience covers such a wide landscape of knowledge and experience, the definition of the terms vary between companies and even between individual employees.

Experience Strategy, in the context of product or service design, is the actionable plan to build a more holistic experience for users. It builds upon existing business, marketing, and product strategies to create a unified user experience across all touch points. This can range from a specific product to an entire company culture shift over time.

Experience Strategists (XS) should focus on several main areas when creating an Experience Strategy. Beginning with a type of Heuristic Review, your XS should first evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your current user experience. One-on-one user interviews are an excellent way to investigate how users feel about your current user experience and gives them an opportunity to share stories about past engagements and interactions with your company.

After evaluating the state of your company's current UX, the XS should speak with stakeholders to understand where your company wants to go. They should ask questions about company goals and how they want to engage and build a relationship with their users. UX Techniques such as Competitive Analysis and Core Value Definition will allow stakeholders to understand the state of the industry and the value they offer to users. The XS will now be able to identify opportunities to enhance the user experience and will begin formulating a plan that will guide Experience principals moving forward.

Now that the Experience Strategist has identified where your company is now and where it needs to go, they will craft an Experience road map to guide your business through the rest of the journey. They will plan for better product development, cultural change, and a more delightful experience for your users. Your Experience Strategy will detail how to integrate user experience into all aspects of your company and how to achieve Experience success.

Quality control is a defining factor in an effective Experience Strategy. Measurement and testing protocol should be defined in the strategy. There is a large variety of measurement and testing techniques. Your strategist will choose techniques appropriate to your strategy. Qualitative and quantitative research methods both prove valuable. Assessing the success of your Experience Strategy over time promotes reflection and inspires continuous growth and development.

Experience Strategists will work to create a perfect hybrid of business and user success criteria. These criteria will eventually become basic requirements for all projects and systems within your company. Documentation style varies between Experience Strategists and projects. Heavy paper work is not necessary when creating an effective Experience Strategy.  A key skill for XS is the ability to summarize and present findings and strategy to the entire team/company. The XS should produce results in the form of summaries, visual presentations, storyboarding, or prototypes.

It is important to understand where your company is now before deciding where you want to be in the future. A good Experience Strategy gives companies the opportunity to improve brand perception, user adoption, cultural structure, and product success among many other things. Experience Strategy is essential to your businesses success. 

Watch this video about a great Experience Strategy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpOzQP8fwYo


 

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About The Author

UX Designer
Rikki is a UX Designer in Cardinal’s Cincinnati office and is passionate about creating awesome user experiences and developing short films.