UX Strategy Blueprint
Originally posted on Experiencing Information:
How do we consistently create UX strategy? Tough question.
Part of the problem is in the fuzziness of the term “strategy” itself. Many people blur it with detailed planning. Others consider strategy to be in-depth investigation, such as market research or competitor comparisons. Or, it gets conflated with vision or ambition.
None of these is strategy.
Strategy is about uncovering the key challenges in a situation and devising a way of coordinating effort to overcome them for a desired outcome. It’s an interlocking set of choices that aligns activity and shows causality: if we do this, then we expect to see that.
Analysis and planning, while necessary inputs and outputs in the strategy creation process, are not the core of strategy. You can’t analyze your way to strategy: the answers don’t magically emerge from data. And detailed roadmaps don’t provide the rationale for the activity they organize. Strategy does. It connects analysis and planning with an intentional logic that guides decision making.
I was asked to determine why the clickthrough rate on an eNewsletter was decreasing in recent months. As with many such questions, BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model is a great place to start:
B = M + A + T
Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger
Some behaviors are more difficult to perform; or, in the case of product design, elicit from users. Regardless of the difficulty, their must be adequate motivation for the user to perform the task, the user must have the physical/mental/emotional ability to perform the task, and there must be a trigger to prompt the execution of the task. Additionally, all three of these must occur at the same time in order for the behavior to occur.
If the combined weight of these three factors does not meet the difficulty threshold for the task (at the time the the task needs to be performed), then the behavior will not occur. For example, imagine you want to wake up an hour earlier than usual in order to exercise:
Continue reading “Why are my users losing interest?”
More is better, right? Not really. Barry Schwartz has written an entire book on the subject, entitled The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less. In his book, Schwartz highlights two major drawbacks to having more choice:
- More options create decision paralysis
- We are ultimately less satisfied with the choices we make
More options create decision paralysis
Daniel Kahneman, another psychologist, is most well known for writing Thinking: Fast and Slow which popularized a dual process model explaining perception and decision making in two distinct systems:
Not exactly creative names, but they serve their purpose.
Continue reading “The Paradox of Choice”
I talk a fair bit about designing for the “best experience” and supporting fluffy concepts like “flow“, but only a lucky few of us live in a world where we can actually do that. For the rest of us, there are always limitations–both human (e.g. office politics, leadership mandates, etc.) and system (e.g. time or business constraints)–that prevent us from being able to actually create those experiences.
So that means you have to do one of two things:
- Design only what you can realistically build right now
- Design the best experience and then scale that back to something that viable
Continue reading “Scaling back to viable”
Yes, UX stands for User Experience, but what is it? In another post on communicating hard truths, I said that the user experience is the culmination of every interaction a user has with a product or interface. Ok, so what makes an experience good or bad? I would posit that the difference between a good and bad UX is how obvious the interface is to the user.
A good user experience supports Flow.
Continue reading “What makes UX good?”