Venture capitalists (VCs) are now investing significant funding in applications that help businesses to evaluate, measure, and improve their product user experiences. On October 15, 2015, leading UX research and testing SaaS platform UserZoom received $34 million in venture financing, led by TC Growth Partners, with investments from Trident Capital, and StepStone Group. This momentous event demonstrates how important user experience has become to the success of products and the businesses that make them. This is exciting news for the UX community! So we thought this would be the perfect time to interview Alfonso de la Nuez, CEO of UserZoom, who is shown in Figure 1. (If you’re wondering why Alfonso has a basketball poised on the tip of his finger, he won a full scholarship to play on the Varsity basketball team at San Jose State University and is still passionate about the game.) Read More
Welcome to Strategy Matters, my new column on UXmatters, which will focus on answering these essential questions: How should we define UX strategy today? Where is it going? As UX professionals, how can we better develop ourselves and those who have yet to find their home in this field? Building on that premise, I’d like to put out a few disclaimers as I kick off this column:
I think I’m a UX Strategist… This is how I have chosen to define myself and what I can offer to the field of User Experience. I share this self-affixed title with many others, but there’s really no saying who is or who isn’t a UX Strategist, because there’s no accepted definition or criteria for the role. How anyone can claim to be a UX Strategist without feeling some degree of Imposter Syndrome escapes me. But if I look at my peers who I feel most closely affiliated with—and the things that interest us and the types of work that we seek and do for clients—I’m an Experience Strategist. (I’ll take the U out for now and explain that in an upcoming column.) However, like many or even most others with this title, there are deficiencies in my skillset and experience that some could argue disqualify me from making this assertion. And that’s because…
In our increasingly connected world of 2012, we have more ways of continually learning to better understand, communicate, live, and work with each other, both locally and globally. The old boundaries, borders, and divisions are slowly disappearing, and established systems are starting to break down, making it challenging to learn what this new world means to all of us.
When it is easy to become a friend of someone who does not live in our neighborhood or even our country, our assumptions about other people start to change. Similarly, the UX research and design professions are seeing a shift that edges us beyond the boundaries within which we live and work, forcing us to look outside our window when designing and improving the products and services we work on. Read More