Every design project should be grounded in a UX and design strategy. A strategy helps the people executing the project know when they are going in the right direction, and gives them a framework to measure success.
UX and design strategies, business strategies, and technical strategies must all work in tandem, and together make up the overall product strategy. There are many similarities between UX strategy and business strategy, so why do we need both? The UX strategy communicates the product strategy from a different point of view, and uses a different lens. It communicates overall direction using a design language and the voice of the users.
The case study below is one example of a project I worked on where a user-centered design strategy was the foundation of the project, and it had a huge impact on the final execution.
"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
~ Sun Tzu
CASE STUDY | UX Strategy for a Prominent Cloud Storage Service
The goal of this project was to discover the current state, key differentiators, user needs, and areas for improvement regarding user onboarding of our client's cloud storage service. The user researcher and I were tasked with creating a research based UX and design strategy, and then executing and validating that strategy through iterative design and usability testing.
I was responsible for the competitive audit and findings, creating research-based design principles, and documenting and presenting the final design strategy. I observed and supported all user research activities.
Key Activities + Outcomes
Extensive competitive audit spanning 4 services, 3 operating systems, 5 devices, and 3 app interfaces.
Analyzed audit data from all competitors and translated into meaningful findings, to include:
Identified primary touch points and value proposition at each touch point.
Compared all sign-in and first time login user flows.
Compared how each service engaged users over time.
Summarized key differentiators and opportunities.
onboarding flows comparison
Interviewed 20 users regarding their knowledge and use of cloud based storage services. Observed them setting up and using various cloud storage services.
Converted research findings into quantitative and qualitative findings and recommendations, customer experience map, and personas.
Personas + Customer Experience Map
Using research findings, created four personas as well as a customer experience map showing user motivations, opportunities, and level of engagement from sign-up through 1st month of use.
The personas and customer experience maps offer more palatable representations of the user research, and were used to inform the design principles and strategy, and to qualify designs during the execution phase.
Converted all user research and competitive audit findings into high level, solution agnostic, strategic design principles.
Design principles are strategic, but do offer a more tactical representation of the design strategy. They were used throughout the project to inform and validate the designs during the execution phase.