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The Value of UX and Creating a Framework for Success

Matt Sketch

“When we talk about our ability to measure value ... We are really discussing whether a project has a framework for success.”

- Karen VanHouten, Principal Information Architect at Infor

I recently attended a local Google I/O conference and one presentation really struck a chord with me. The name of the presentation was “The Dollars and Cents (Sense) of UX” by Karen VanHouten, and the topic hit close to home in how it relates to working with clients and providing maximum value for every project.

Here are three takeaways, based both on the presentation and our process here at C2, that can help create a framework for success within any project:

Know “value” means different things, to different users

This is an especially important point as we begin to align the client’s business goals with its target audiences’ goals. This is when we utilize tools like user interviews, journey maps, canvas models, user personas, and surveys to clearly define and prioritize the various goals and value propositions for a project. This is critical to making sure the UX process extends value across the full scope of the project.

You can’t understand how to provide value if you’re not involved in setting the benchmarks and KPI’s used to measure success

Getting a list of KPI’s and benchmarks from a client is great. However, if you don’t sit down and have a thoughtful discussion about why they’re valuable and make correlations to the project, your ability to measure value and provide it throughout the process becomes negligible.

If visibility, communication, and collaboration are limited, so is the amount of value you can provide

Communication strategy and ideas are imperative when framing a project for success. Processes like wireframing and prototyping are excellent for communicating intent, reinforcing strategy, and illustrating potential error points or user frustrations. When clients can understand why you’re making specific decisions, it increases confidence and makes sure value propositions are being maintained.

“Not adding value is the same as taking it away.”

- Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker