The origins of the term and the concept of “user experience” might go back quite a bit farther than the Clinton administration, yet for the modern web (and those that build it) UX was born in the early 90s when Donald Norman joined Apple Computer as a user experience architect. User experience, user-centered design, user-centered thinking, and all subsequent derivatives, have since driven designers and developers to build better—and for a good reason. According to the Nielsen Norman Group (uh-huh, that Norman), UX ROI was—and still is—excellent. Investing in UX is as close to a sure thing as one can get—and this is in a field famous for its volatility.
For people trying to join this user-centered thinking club, where do you start? What can you do to get in on this sound investment in a better web? You can cut to the chase and download our guide, “Becoming User-Centered: Strategies for Evaluating Your Organization’s UX Needs, Earning Buy-In, and Hiring Help” or read on and we’ll take you through seven things to consider if you’re thinking about bringing user-centered design to your organization.
1. End Users and Organizations Both Benefit
If you’ve been hesitant to introduce UX to your organization, here’s the perfect pitch: ROI in UX is good for everyone. If your products are user-centered, UX will make them more likely to satisfy the end user. And if your products satisfy the end user, they will satisfy business objectives. Better products are better for business.
2. There are UX Roles for Every Organization
No matter what your organization does, there’s a user experience role that can strengthen your position. UX can contribute to your organization in a number of ways from “generalists” to practitioners who specialize in strategy, research, usability testing, writing, or design.
3. You Can Start with Baby Steps
No one says you have to make a major long-term commitment to UX immediately. You can start small. Sit down and determine where you could use UX help and then determine what that help looks like. Focus on areas that will make the greatest impact most immediately.
4. Future UX Implementation Doesn’t Have to be Daunting
Just talking about how your organization could benefit from UX goes a long way toward making implementing UX less imposing. You will realize that taking on a UX project doesn’t have to be sprawling—launching a targeted, manageable project can add substantial value without taking too much time. Also, any sound planning or initial win early on can make future adoption and buy-in that much easier.
5. Buy-In is Paramount
You can talk—and get charged up—about implementing UX, but your enthusiasm won’t go far without organizational buy-in. You need to get stakeholders on board to adopt UX projects and practices. Recruit allies, start with a low-commitment UX project (making sure to measure the impact) and align with your organization’s goals to earn buy-in.
6. Reinforcements are Available
You don’t need to go it alone. If you’re serious about bringing UX practices to your organization, you can either hire an agency to help you tackle a project or projects or you can make a long-term hire. Each option has its pros and cons, but both free up you and your team to concentrate on other tasks.
7. It’s All about Knowledge
Regardless of where you are in your UX journey, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with as much information about UX practices, roles, products, projects, and language as you can. When it comes time to implement UX at your organization or bring a UX specialist onboard, your awareness of the possibilities will be invaluable.
Our Guide on Becoming User-Centered
If you consider these seven factors before you dive headlong into bringing UX to your organization, your path to implementation will be that much smoother. If you want extra support, request our guide, “Becoming User-Centered: Strategies for Evaluating Your Organization’s UX Needs, Earning Buy-In, and Hiring Help” below. In it, you’ll find everything you need to make implementing UX at your organization easier and more successful:
- Detailed explanations of UX roles
- A worksheet that will help you determine where your organization could use UX support
- A worksheet that will help you identify which, specific, UX skills would match well with the projects you want to launch
- A worksheet for determining UX project prioritization
- Strategies for earning organizational buy-in
- Tips for evaluating and selecting UX agencies
- Hiring materials—including interview questions, two sample job postings, and salary information for various job titles and levels