UX Strategy is a Long Game, But Worth Every Moment

Jared M. Spool
4 min readAug 14, 2019

UX Strategy with Jared Spool, a Center Centre — UIE newsletter focused on bringing UX to a strategic level inside your organization.

When I talk with UX design leaders about implementing UX strategies, the biggest surprise they have is how long it takes before they’ll see results. They’re shocked (and a little disappointed) when I tell them it’s likely they won’t see any real movement for months. It could even be years before they’re close to accomplishing their objectives.

In today’s world, we’re always trying to do things fast. The shift from waterfall to Agile pushed us to think in terms of sprints that only last a few weeks.

We used to take a year or more to ship a new release of a product. Now new releases go out quarterly, monthly, or even daily. (Some organizations release new features multiple times per day.) The notion that we’d take a year or more to implement a UX strategy can seem like forever against the backdrop of today’s fast-moving product and service delivery efforts.

Implementing a UX strategy takes time.

When we think about implementing a round of usability testing or producing wireframes for a design, we’re used to those activities taking a few weeks or maybe a month to do, if there’s a lot of work. Those are tactical UX activities. A project’s tactical UX activities are what we do to improve the design of a specific product or service.

UX strategy is different from UX tactics. UX strategy is how we improve the design of all the products and services. It’s about systemic change across the organization.

For example, if we’re introducing a strategy to drive more decisions from user research, we need to go beyond a single research study. Instead, we need to consider how continual research will influence every decision. Building a continual research capability is a big job.

UX strategy involves significant changes in our organization. Those changes will take time to come to fruition.

The importance of end goals, baselines, and champions

A good UX strategy has an end goal in mind. The end goal is how we’ll know when our strategy has…

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Jared M. Spool

Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre - UIE. Helping designers everywhere help their organizations deliver well-designed products and services.