This month in Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses how objectives and key results (OKRs) can inform UX design. The panel explores how the use of OKRs differs from traditional requirements gathering. Our panelists then discuss the relationship between OKRs and product strategy and common pitfalls of using OKRs.
We also recommend a couple of books that could help you apply OKRs in your work. Finally, I discuss the importance of keeping business needs in mind. Read More
Everyone’s a design strategist these days—and that’s a problem.
Beginning in the late 2000s, companies decided that design thinking was the next Six Sigma, and executives rushed to the promised land of creativity for the business masses. In the aftermath, businesses lost sight of the benefits of real design strategy, preferring instead to accept design thinking’s perceived limitations—which are outlined in Bruce Nussbaum’s “Design Thinking Is a Failed Experiment. So What’s Next?” In doing so, many people, including those in our own UX industry, seem to have lost the true meaning of design strategy. I’m on a quest to find it.
Over the years, I have heard countless descriptions of design strategy. It’s branding or graphic design or good packaging. It’s applying user-centered design. It’s “whatever Apple is doing.” It’s using some combination of a good / better / best or razor / razor blade model. All of these definitions are wrong—or at least not holistic enough to define the field. I’ve come to realize that there are actually two types of design strategy, which is probably contributing to the confusion. While each type can exist independently within a company, they work more effectively as two parts of a concerted whole. Read More
This month, my question to our Ask UXmatters experts surfaced a common area of confusion among UX professionals: the difference between UX strategy and UX design strategy. As a consequence, the focus of our experts’ answers differs somewhat. Some of our experts more broadly address the soft skills that are essential to conveying strategy to executives—whether UX strategy or design strategy. The answers of other experts focus more on how to convey design strategy to executives, covering both the soft skills this requires, as well as some elements of design strategy that it is important to communicate.
Therefore, in this column, we’ll first briefly define UX strategy and design strategy and describe some differences between these two types of strategy. Then, we’ll consider soft skills that are essential to conveying strategy to executives. We’ll provide an overview of some soft skills that are particularly important for UX designers who are conveying strategy. We’ll cover presenting strategy to executives in some depth. Finally, we’ll look at a particular approach that is helpful in communicating design strategy. Read More