Recently, I picked up a book by Jamie Levy, titled UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want. I began reading it this past weekend and was very impressed with several aspects of the book, including a unique way to look at UX design – the 4-tenets of UX Strategy. User Experience is a buzz-word these days and can mean a variety of things; however, when designing digital experiences UX must remain central to all designed systems. Incorporating a UX Strategy early, and referring to it often during the iterative design cycle, will make for a better end product. Levy’s book examines the intersection of business strategy and UX design and how to incorporate each into a design cycle.
Often teams that are responsible with designing digital experiences lack cohesion, especially when spread apart across the world. Front end designers often design experiences in a void, apart from marketing teams and back end developers. Business strategists are usually never, or minimally, involved in the process of designing until a product is at or near completion. This is where Levy’s book becomes interesting.
Allow me to paraphrase Levy - having a strategy means having a methodology to connect normally disparate dots together, in a logical process which can be replicated. Furthermore, strategy requires you to examine the past, analyze the present, and make predictions about the future. Strategic practitioners must be inquisitive, objective, and fearless. They need to be able to take risks and understand the problem and issues at hand. Designers are strategists, and UX Strategy lies at the intersection of UX Design and Business Strategy. When done well, a solid UX Strategy can provide much success when designing digital experiences.
Digital experiences are built to solve a problem, and in doing so, most create delightful experiences along the way. Sometimes the experience doesn’t quite match the given problem and provides a less than stellar solution. There is a disconnect between the problem and the solution. Often times, teams suggest a new “look and feel” be designed to solve the problem, when in actuality the need to add a UX Strategy combines design and business strategy.
UX strategy begins before any designing commences. A UX strategy is a process that must begin first. “It’s a vision of a solution that needs to be validated with real potential customers to prove that it’s desired in the marketplace… UX strategy is the ‘Big Picture.’ It is the high-level plan to achieve one or more business goals under conditions of uncertainty.” 
Levy introduces the four tenets of ux strategyBusiness Strategy
This is the top-line version of the company and the reason why the company exists. This includes core competencies and offerings of the business. A clear understanding of the businesses’ guiding principles and how the company positions itself amongst the competition. Understanding these principles provides a framework upon which to design digital products.
Differentiation is pinnacle. UX differentiation is the digital product game changer. Providing a unique and novel digital solution, different from the competition, ensures adoption.
Value innovation occurs when the business aligns newness with utility and price, creating a new, unique and novel solution which is cost effective. The business must pursue differentiation and by creating value innovation, they have met this demand.
Validated User Research
User research is used to ensure the designers and business strategy are ‘on the right track’ with regards to the value proposition of the digital solution. This is where Key Lime Interactive can help your company ensure the product is meeting the market's expectations and user experiences are simplistic and delightful.
Killer UX Design
Excellent UX design occurs when the designers:
1. Work collaboratively with stakeholders at the idea’s inception.
2. Determine key moments and features that are crucial to the digital experience.
3. Learn and know everything about the market space and identify UX opportunities that can be exploited.
4. Talk directly to end users to discover and validate primary utility.
5. Understand all touchpoints with the users across the journey of the digital experience.
Incorporating a UX strategy into your business can mark a difference. For example, Key Lime Interactive was asked by a large retailer to assist them with creating their UX Strategy for the year. We conducted stakeholder interviews and group workshops to assist the greater team at identifying UX Strategies and goals for the year. By using these four tenets as a basis to develop the UX Strategy, Key Lime was able to assist at devising a strategy that made everyone on the greater team understand the goals of the digital experience.
Let Key Lime Interactive help you devise a UX Strategy by conducting an on-site UX Strategy workshop with C-level and decision makers, which can assist in creating a roadmap your company can follow when designing digital experiences. A solid UX experience is more than simply a well-designed system, it addresses all needs of the end-user across the journey with your system.
 Levy, Jamie. UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want. p. 7
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