Subsistence UX, Resolution UX, Gain UX or Advantage UX ?
What do companies require, what are clients getting and can they tell the difference in the level of UX or do they just not call again?
What results do clients get from UX?
There is a major problem with user experience UX as it evolves, many project teams are not underwriting their solutions with User Requirements or recent and Client Specific UX Research but are relying on past patterns. In turn this has caused the creation of streams or levels of UX capability and delivery;
- Subsistence UX – reusing patterns with no user requirements or client specific research
- Resolution UX – resolving migration from one interactive experience to another without losing the current customer base
- Gain UX – quick wins driven from User Requirements
- Advantage UX – strategic advantage, being ahead of the market
Pattern based UX has been added by major software by companies who build static interaction libraries for front end development tools, as if everything in user experience and interactive systems can be or should be limited to the same interactive behaviours as every other system!
When I commission a digital system for a client, I would want to know what has been used already and who else has the same thing. If we are just paying for a template why are the costs the same as paying for innovation and design?
Pattern based user experience, where the person (interaction designer, visual designer, UI developer) providing the service has not conducted User Requirements gathering and UX research. The result of this type of UX is survival but it does not support growth as it was not conceived by understanding the clients end customers. Many practitioners would not consider this UX at all, but it is what lots of clients are being sold as UX.
Fixing basic problems with a user experience would at first glance appear easy, but in fact it’s more difficult than working on a green field project, because no matter how bad the experience is, people have become use to it. With existing users involved projects are not a fix problem, they become a fix and migration problem. UX people should be asking themselves ‘how do I in UX facilitate users moving from one experience to another?’ This requires a mixture of analytics and user workshops (group work) to rapidly find a common interactive language for the systems target audience. Noted examples of change without user engagement or requirements was the M&S website change where senior people in the company actual told their customers to get over it in televised interviews, I know many people who have never gone back and never will.
Understanding the motivation, desires and needs of targeted users in defining User requirements adding to the project requirements to enable gain type UX. This type of UX is front loaded (quick wins) on to projects to establish clarity of focus that enables the adoption and rapid integration of complex interactive systems.
Advantage based UX, is like Gain in that the focus is the user, but at a strategic and architectural level. Almost everyone you ask at the strategic level will say ‘yes we focus on the user’ but they don’t think like the user, they think like someone selling or engaging with the user and are not objective.
Advantage based UX has the rights to questions the reason for projects, by asking ‘what benefit does the user get from this? does this reduce our trusted brand status? etc.’ Advantage is always set by being where there market is, often before they know that where they are themselves. How? By modelling user logic, user behaviours, user interaction, external factors upon personas and target markets it’s really complex, that’s why so few people and companies do it.
You sometimes don’t get what you pay for
Did you get the impact you were promised, by UX? What kind of UX were you expecting? Did it deliver to your KPI’s and did you really monitor your baseline, change and BAU? If not you won’t know what you achieved and your company may need to do the project again in a few years. If you’d like your project audited for User KPI’s and UX just let me know.