Driving Product Teams to Become More Design Mature

The Five Stages of UX Design Maturity

Through our research, we’ve identified five common stages that product and service teams go through, as they become more UX design mature:

Design during the dark ages

When a team is in the Dark Ages stage, they are consumed by shipping something that technically works and meets its business objectives. If they’re thinking of users at all (and often they’re not), they’re thinking: If users want it, they’ll figure it out.

Arriving at spot UX Design

Teams arriving at this second stage try, for the first time, to deliver a product with a better user experience than what they’ve delivered in the past. This is the first time the team has shown an interest in their users.

Creating an internal design agency

The UX Design as a Service stage begins when an executive invests in creating a centralized, internal design team. That team then supplies UX design resources to the product and service teams.

Embedded designers: A 24/7 design resource

In the Embedded UX Design stage, the product or service team hires their own UX professionals. These folks report directly into the team’s own management. They are no longer available for work on other products or services.

Infused UX: When non-designers design

What triggers this final stage is when the non-designers on the team start making good quality UX design decisions. Those decisions result in outcomes that are now much better than before.

Organizations benefit when teams mature

The evidence in the marketplace is clear. Organizations become more competitive when they deliver better-designed products and services.



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Jared M. Spool

Jared M. Spool

Maker of Awesomeness at @CenterCentre/@UIE. Helping designers everywhere help their organizations deliver well-designed products and services.