How designers use objective-driven UX design to solve business and customer problems
“If only I moved that column 5 pixels to the left.. then that would have made our design a success!” — No designer ever.
If we can all agree that the above statement is a bit nonsensical, then why does it come up so frequently? How do we get teams and organizations to stop focusing on the minutiae and, instead, focus on something bigger?
When a non-designer thinks of design, what typically comes to mind? I imagine most people conjure up images of elegant UI’s, beautiful animations, or thousands of post-it notes plastered around a room. If your organization views design this way, then you will continue to receive aesthetic and superficial feedback — becoming that truly dreaded term ‘pixel pusher’.
“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration — likely because so much bad design simply is decoration. Good design isn’t. Good design is problem-solving.”
‘The Art & Science of Web Design’ by Jeffrey Veen
Use Design to Solve Problems
Let’s be clear: a problem is not “we need more revenue”. Rather, a problem is: our customers are confused during our app’s onboarding experience, which lowers our conversion rate and NPS. Notice how we appended two objective and measurable metrics to our problem statement: conversion rate and NPS.
Therefore, our design objectives become about driving measurable goals. This has a few notable benefits:
- Your team, both business and product, will ask the right questions
- Your team can focus on what’s important and not on the minutiae
- Your team is clearly aligned with the objective
- Your team knows how to define and measure a successful deliverable
- Overall, you can design and develop much faster due to business and product alignment
Implementing Objective-Driven UX Design
- Start with defining the problem — What are you looking to solve? Is this problem worth solving? Will solving this problem positively impact the user experience and business outcomes?
- Define the metrics and expected outcomes?—?What metrics are you looking to move? Why these particular metrics? What outcomes do you expect? How long will you need to measure? How will you measure?
- Define the constraints?—?What resources do you have at your disposal? What is your timeline? What is the project scope?
- Identify the appropriate design mechanics — Not every design project requires the full suite of design tools. You should adapt your design process to most efficiently drive positive outcomes for your organization.
- Design, Test, Iterate — This would be your normal design process.
- Measure the Outcomes — Has the design solution positively impacted the metrics? Were your outcomes as expected? What was unexpected? Have you measured for long enough to know?
- Accelerate Outcomes — What can you do accelerate the outcomes? This is where you can decide to iterate on the design itself or maybe reassess the problem statement, outcomes, and constraints.