Creating a Sustainable Advantage with UX and Design

The decisions people make during the design process can be quite baffling at times. Constantly pondering these mistakes can certainly feel like a curse when you’ve gained considerable experience within the user experience (UX) industry.

UX and design create a powerful combination of form and function. As you compete for a place within the market, putting an emphasis on design can certainly help you propel your software development company forward. Having useful products and services no longer cut it. Rather, they have to be holistic, connected, and pleasing to use.

How UX and Design Propels Growth

Many companies are now investing in building user experience design to propel growth and help them stay ahead of their competition. Here are a few reasons why and how UX and design give companies a competitive edge:

Improves the market fit of offerings. Products and services created through thorough user research and study are more resilient in the market.

Promotes a bias towards innovation. Great design and experience require constant reinvention, which in turn promotes innovation.

Creates systems of experience, not products. Patterns and inconsistencies in various business processes are easy to observe once you take a look at the whole instead of individual products and services.

Resonates emotionally with customers. Customers stay engaged with intuitive, visually-pleasing interfaces instead of the utilitarian when using digital tools.

Integrating Design and UX into Your Core Strategy

Invest in Building User Research Capability

To facilitate a shift towards becoming more user and design-centric, it is important that you invest in improving your user or customer research capabilities. Building an understanding, not just on a personal level, but throughout your organization is paramount. However, individuals involved in the research should not be the only touchpoints. Rather, everyone inside the organization should have some exposure to real customer pain points and experiences, even if it is the UX research group leading the charge on spreading awareness throughout the organization.

Executive Representation for Design and Customers

Top-level executive sponsorship and support is one of the key determining factors in ensuring the success of integrating design into an organization. When you have this kind of support, it becomes a signal to the organization that design is important, which helps forge a clear path for the organization. With this type of sponsorship, it is important that the executive is able to represent both design and the customers, e.g. a Chief Digital Officer or a Chief Customer Officer. Of course, the position doesn’t have to come with those titles. But it is of utmost importance that a person high up enough within the organization has real decision-making authority to affect change.

Reduce the Personal Cost of Curiosity and Experimentation

Having a focus on design can drive innovation. However, innovations often die outside of the incubator where they often thrive. But exploration is necessary in order to build a strong, design-focused organization. For this, you must create a culture where exploration, as well as experimentation,  is not only safe but also encourage. That way, innovations flourish.

Embed Designers and Design-Thinkers across the Organization

Design often becomes just an afterthought for some organizations. For others, it functions merely as a service to other cogs in the organizational machine. But it is never really considered a driving course. But to take full advantage of your investment in design, you must make sure those fully committed to design are embedded in various facets across the organization. Incorporating design and design-thinking talent across different areas in the company ensures your teams will prioritize, operate, and deliver based on design.

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