Tag Archives: strategy

Stop solving interaction design problems and begin solving problems with design

“As designers of interactions broaden their perspective and take a higher level view of the problem, they simultaneously make another transition: they stop solving interaction design problems and begin solving problems with design… In this capacity designers of interactions bring their design skills to bear on truly complex, systemic problems—broad in scale and scope—and have the opportunity to affect truly profound and lasting change.” – Steve Baty

This quote is from Steve’s Core77 article “The Strategic Arc of Interaction Design: Moving Towards Holistic System Design.

The Importance of a Focused User Experience Strategy

The Importance of a Focused User Experience Strategy

An important aspect of user-centered design is identifying a strategy for how you will support an experience that  addresses user needs and business goals.  It is critical to remember that you need to focus your website’s strategy based on experiences that are relevant and valuable in context of the services your organization provides.

A fictional case study illustrating the need for a focused strategy

For example, let’s say you are a startup company that aims to help make food shopping easier.

Through user research, you may identify many user needs that may feed into your website’s experience. Your research may reveal the complexity things that people need to think about in context of food shopping including cost, nutritional value, meal planning, likes and dislikes, organic vs not organic, and sales happening that week.  You may also discover things relating to the actual experience of food shopping such as trying to get things done fast when you’re in a hurry, how difficult it can be to get shopping done when you have kids running around, the lure of impulse purchasing, and trying to find everything within the store.  People may also tell you about the reasons why they go food shopping such as to prepare family meals, make something for a bake sale, or party planning.

All of these findings may generate a wide variety of ideas about what type of experience your site could support.  The question becomes, how are you going to best take your research findings and turn them into an effective strategy?

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Making a User Experience Strategy Tangible

User Experience Design begins with the definition of a user experience strategy, or a shared holistic vision for what a product or service will be from the end user’s perspective.  Before a design team can start creating a product or service’s interface and defining specific capabilities, the team needs to evaluate ideas to determine what will meet both user and business goals most effectively.  Defining a user experience strategy up front is critical to making sure that all design decisions map back to a vision that is supported by research and that has defined success criteria.

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Stop pretending content is somebody else’s problem. It’s time to make content matter.

“Until we commit to treating content as a critical asset worthy of strategic planning and meaningful investment, we’ll continue to churn out worthless content in reaction to unmeasured requests… We’ll keep failing to publish useful, usable content that people actually care about.  Stop pretending content is somebody else’s problem. Take up the torch for content strategy. Learn it. Practice it. Promote it. It’s time to make content matter.” – Kristina Halverson

Read more in Kristina’s UIE article “The Discipline of Content Strategy.”

Change your frame of perspective and take the user’s interests to heart

“We think too much about what we are trying to achieve, about what we have designed or built, and thus in terms of what it does or should do. That leads us to think in terms of controlling outcomes, or tweaking features for new behaviors… Social is happening out there, and your users do not have you or your product in mind, but their own experiences and those they share them with. Change your frame.” – Adrian Chan

Read more in Adrian’s Johnny Holland article “11 Tips on How To Apply Social Interaction Design Thinking.”

The true mark of an effective designer is the ability to answer “why?”

“Your work should have purpose—addressing actual, urgent problems that people are facing. Make sure that you can clearly articulate the core of the issue before spending an ounce of time on developing the design. The true mark of an effective designer is the ability to answer ‘why?’. Don’t waste your time solving the wrong problems.” – Whitney Hess

This quote is from Whitney’s excellent article “Guiding Principles for UX Designers.”