2 minute read

Two chief direction for UX strategy (correlates with the two roles for design leaders, leadership and management):

  • Looking at practice and people, focused on improving the team, getting better at practices. Scaling, ops drive this. About increasing maturity for the team and the broader organization.
  • Looking at the purpose and product, focused on improving the product, providing better experiences. Vision, UX outcomes drive this.

Both these perspectives need to be aligned with each other (prioritizing maturity improvement to drive product strategy) and support broader business goals. Strategy can be also aimed at influencing business goals on the longer term, like increasing user-centeredness.

Why do you need a UX strategy?

  • Get more proactive
  • Make the value UX delivers to the organization clearer


  • Jared Spool’s article, The Making of an Organization-Changing UX Strategy:
    • UX strategy creates value by improving the UX of a product or service. There are other types of strategies that create value for the organization.
    • Three components:
      • What’s the improved experience for our users, the specific outcomes we are going for?
      • What’s the increased benefit for the company?
      • What resources we need to achieve the outcomes, what do we need to change in the organization?
  • Liam Friedland’s article, Culture eats UX strategy for breakfast:
    • Strategy drives what culture we end up with, and culture enables what strategy we can execute.
    • Strategy is just one piece of UX culture, which should also contain:
      • research program (generative and evaluative),
      • innovation program (contribute more strategic work by creating new value for users),
      • design program (the design work teams are engaged the most),
      • operations (making the team and team members effective),
      • relationships and alliances (engaging with peers in engineering and product at the minimum on leadership levels up to C-level),
      • evangelization + promotion (internally to talk about how design works and what value it delivers, externally to customers, industry analysts, broader design community),
      • growing people (leadership and technical competences).
  • Jared Spool’s article, The Experience Vision: A Self-Fulfilling UX Strategy:
    • Experience visions are the flag in the distance we rally the rest of the organization to march towards.
    • How we get there, the UX strategy tells us.
    • Going towards a vision both shifts the types of work the design team is asked to do, and the outcomes designers drive.
    • Vision provides clarity for design leaders to talk about.
  • Jeff Gothelf’s talk on the The Product Management + User Experience Virtual Conference in 2016 titled There is no such thing as UX strategy:
    • Since UX people struggle with how to get a seat at the table, they want to differentiate themselves with creating a UX strategy.
    • Since this is strategy, we don’t want tactical things, more a plan or rather the intention of a plan.
    • If you work with cross-functional teams, having multiple strategies is confusing, decreases alignment between team members.
    • But then there should be an overall strategy, rather then discipline based strategy. A holistic, product strategy. This would still answer many UX questions, like who are the users, what behavior changes we are looking at.