Identifying Companies That Place User Experience at the Core
There is a very good barometer for your knowing whether you are working with an organization that includes user experience as part of its core strategy. When you meet with stakeholders within such organizations, they will never tell you that they want an application, product, or service that is “fast, easy, and intuitive.” They will never tell you that their offering has to be “sexy.” These types of useless platitudes do not inform design and really have no place when it comes to discussing strategy. In an organization that puts user experience at its core, stakeholders will instead be very specific about what they want the outcome of a product or service offering to be. They will tell you what experience they want to provide to their customers and why, in exacting detail.
Of course, every company wants their product or service to be fast, easy to use, and easy to understand. If a company has a solid business strategy around an experience they are crafting, these outcomes occur naturally. You will also find that an experience-driven company’s concept of an experience is not limited just to an application or user interface. When the business strategy is the experience, stakeholders think about and discuss the end-to-end experience.
For example, consider the Starbucks Coffee application and its mobile-ordering concept. The experience is not just about the ordering process in the mobile app. It is about walking into a Starbucks to pick up your order as well. When designing this app experience, Starbucks made a conscious decision to emulate the physical experience of walking into a store and placing an order. The difference with the mobile-ordering process is that they have streamlined the experience while keeping the simplicity of the in-store ordering process. Again, this is about the execution of the their core business strategy around delivering a simple, fast, and easy experience for their customers.