The role of user experience (UX) designers continues to broaden and encompass more responsibilities. There is often, therefore, a pressing need for UX strategies that provide well-defined goals, a logical roadmap, and helpful guidelines. So what comprises the ideal UX strategy? And how do the stages of UX strategy and UX design compare? First, let’s take a brief look at how a typical UX process works and how strategy and design deliver a great final product. 

What is the UX process? 

The UX process is a collection of stages that any product, software, service, website, or app has to be ready and optimized for the end-user. The process can encompass everything from interface design to usability testing and can take a couple of weeks to a couple of years. Often the UX process will flow from one stage to another, e.g., from Research to Strategy to Design to Testing. Each step will help create, measure, and refine the user experience to ensure it is standard. 

What is UX design? 

UX design is the stage where the design team creates software, products, or services that provide users with a great experience. The design team aims to create something relevant and necessary that stands above the designs of their competitors. UX design will involve consideration of many aspects, including branding, function, usability, integration, and, most obviously, design. 

What is UX strategy? 

A UX strategy is a plan that sets how the UX team intends to refine and tailor the user’s experience to ensure a satisfying outcome in line with the company’s overall goals and objectives. UX strategy will usually occur after the research for the product, service, website, app, or software has been completed, but the designs have been built. The difference between UX design and UX strategy is their time during the UX process, the personnel used, and the objectives. The design stage becomes easier when you have a detailed and well-planned UX strategy.

When creating a UX strategy, team members will brainstorm, produce customer journey maps, develop wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, and conceptualize the user flow. A successful UX strategy will be the result of a combination of Human Elements (stakeholders, developers, engineers, and designers), Informational Elements (data, customer feedback, user interviews, and competitor research), and Desired Outcomes (design criteria, features, success metrics, and functionality).

What UX tools can you use to define UX strategy? 

Once you have an idea of how you want to pursue your UX strategy, you have to decide which tools you need to accomplish your tasks. Here is a list of the most common UX tools that can all be used to define a business-facing UX strategy:

Stakeholder interviews 

This can be the key to understanding everyone’s needs. Stakeholder interviews allow you to determine the project’s goals and consider all the relevant factors. 

User interviews

 User interviews will allow you to appreciate the impact of the user experience and enable teams to strategize in a way that considers a variety of users. You can follow an evaluative approach or inferential approach, and both will bring you one step close to understanding your user. 

Prototyping tools 

Prototyping tools will help clarify the UX requirements and maximize your UX process’s design potential. These tools will help you delve into the details and emerge with a well-thought-through UX. 

Competitive analysis tool

Understand your competitor. A comprehensive competitive analysis tool that looks at your rival’s products, websites, and software will ensure that you can gain a competitive edge. 

Google’s HEART framework

This is a sophisticated tool for understanding and improving the UX of any product. HEART stands for Happiness, Engagement, Adoption, Retention, and Task Success. This helps teams approach UX from several angles and provides designers with several useful metrics for success. It has helped Google succeed, and many other companies will also benefit from implementing the framework. 

Sector expert interviews

 Gather as much relevant information from experts as possible. This is particularly helpful if designing a product, service, or software for an unfamiliar industry. 

Concept maps

 Visualize the UX team’s models during the design process. Concept maps are a simple tool that can be relied on even when dealing with complex technical phases. These tools can form part of the UX process and help define a comprehensive UX strategy. Of course, the ideal UX process will differ from one company to the next, but using these kinds of tools will be expected throughout various successful UX teams. 

How do you create the ideal UX Process? Learn about UX strategy, why it’s important, how it compares to UX Design, and the UX tools you can use to succeed. Get in touch with our UX experts to learn more about crafting the ideal UX process and how UX works at Radiant.