20 April 2020  4 min read

How to make sure user experience is in the room when management works on product strategy?

UX designer is working on the user experience process

User experience often holds the most significant opportunity for product growth. The growth has many meanings; it can be a pool of registered users or the level of revenue that the product generates. 

There is no doubt that excellent product experience is a flywheel to product performance. 

Whenever it is an app or website or a smartwatch, UI and UX play an essential role in turning us into loyal customers. We love the experience; we come back. When the end-user deal with weak experience, then they abandon the product and move to the competitor shop.

UX folks help companies translate customers' needs to touchpoints. They know how to design the customer journey and make the expectation a reality. Being specific, these people understand how to shape particular features, so we feel great while we are using a specific product or service. 

User experience geeks also understand how the UX design process should look like, so the company management can scale the experience design.

Get user experience involved in product strategy design.

Designing a user experience strategy will navigate product teams through the complexity of market needs. Product teams will not waste time, money, and energy on useless features development. 

There is one condition that needs to be imposed: company management needs to make sure that user experience is "in the room" when executives talk about product strategy. 

How to make it possible:

Separate user experience designers team

Having a designers team led by an executive who has frequent contact with the company CEO helps a lot. User experience folks need a voice, as they carry a lot of information, which is essential to the product performance. At the same time, they need support in boosting the message into the CEO office. 

Motivate high-level executives to study experience design

User experience might look like a minor subject, which, as many aspects of the business should sit somewhere at the tactic level. The truth is that touchpoints communicate overall experience. If the car has a poorly designed dashboard, the driver will criticize a brand as a whole. It is beneficial to make a list of the best strategic workshops and suggest them as part of the senior executives' development program. When they go back to offices, they will start to spread the word about user experience importance.

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Big questions open great conversations.

Experience designers can influence where the conversation starts and ends. If you are seeking a connection between a customer journey and a company strategy, you will eventually magnetize high-level executives. Your inquisitiveness will deliver results. People want to answer your questions, and finally, you will find yourself sitting in CEO or CIO office talking about your user experience strategy.

Metric driven approach brings a spotlight.

I remember working with an eCommerce platform that helps to increase the conversion of home appliances manufacturers. One of my recommendations was to change the reporting dashboard. This particular touchpoint didn't help to keep churn under control. The manufacturers' strategy is simple, sell more equipment and get great endorsements online. The reporting part enabled them to understand how they are doing. I dove in, and understand how the dashboard influence churn and few other NPS factors. Then, I asked the user experience folks to step in and design improvements. What happened afterward? Board of directors expected the briefing because they have heard from executives that UX people are working on substantial change.

Related: How to measure the success of digital products?

Creativity helps to make people uncomfortable.

Get your designers to generate ideas and shoot them to managers. How is this app doing in your channel? What do you think about plotting Artificial Intelligence into account checking? Did you think about integrating with Slack? 

Questions call for answers. They energize people and extend brainpower. Prepare the list of questions, which are strategic type, and start shooting them at meetings. See what gets sticky and which executive is interested in exploring possible answers. It will be your scent for further conversations. 

How the user experience change the bottom line?

I think it is a great question, which UX geeks should ask themselves. I highly recommend abandoning nice to have elements and put "changers" on the first plan. By "changers," I mean everything that is in the user experience strategy, that influence sales, revenue, churn, acquisition, retention, and referrals. Make sure executives know you work on these elements. How to inform them? Leverage internal newsletters, walls, company Slack, but also spread the information, so your boss understands what is going on. He / She will carry it with him to the Board meetings.

Conclusion

Don't waste UX team to pixel-push and to "make this pretty." User experience can make a massive impact on product performance. On one side, executives need to understand how important it is to have a user experience strategy in place and take care of experience design. On the other hand, UI and UX people need to catch the attention of those who are leaders. Be brave, be bold, and always connect user journey to dollars. Executives will eventually ask you to participate in their meetings.

Related: How to convince your executives and get your product roadmap approval

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