How to Combine Experience Design with Business Strategy?

In my design studies at Code University I had a Design Strategy module. In the project scope I’ve read and learned about design strategies from all different aspects. In the end I’ve focused on “Experience Design” and “Business Strategy”  then I’ve felt the need to connect them, so in this short post I’m sharing a timeline plan for how to connect both strategies together in an ongoing project. To deep dive in both areas you can read UX Strategy by Jaime Levy book and Experience Design by Marc Hassenzahl. My model is more about how to apply those strategies together in a real life project.

 

In the chart above there are all the steps of Experience Design and Business Strategy which I’ve tried to put in order with the most making sense way to me. 

Basically there some process in those categories where I put them together:

  • Where it makes more sense to focus on Experience Design,
  • Where it makes more sense to focus on Business Strategy, 
  • Where it makes more sense to do them together (e.g. Prototyping)
  • Where it makes more sense to do them at the same time separately. 

 

One can also do experience design process first and then go to business strategy process for building a company around the product but when I’ve read through the Business Strategy process which I’ve extracted from UX Strategy book (Levy, 2015) it seemed to me some steps of Business Strategy are highly interconnected with Experience Design process. 

So here I am explaining the chart above and how would one apply it in a real project, it seems good on paper but again it’s just a hypothesis for now. I’m not going to give details for each process since they were explained in Experience Design and Business Strategy chapter, instead I’m explaining them short and hypothetical way for a possible real life application.  

 

Step 1: Gathering Experiences and Designing a Business Model

  • (ED) Choosing a methodology to build our research
  • (ED) Narrative Interviews
  • (ED) Patterns out of Interviews & Synthesis of Information
  • (ED) Creating Hypotheses 
  • (ED) Digital Diary Studies & Cultural Probes
  • (BS) Business Model Construction with Business Model Canvas
  • (BS) Value Innovation Chain

Here in the first part we are choosing our methodology for Experience Design and after getting through all steps we have qualitative insights over people’s behaviour, hypothesis for solving a problem for people which aims to create a positive experience for them.

After we have those insights we are filling the Business Model Canvas and now we have a hypothesis for both an experience and a business. Just as a reminder, as I’ve explained in early chapter this business model canvas is not a final business proposition but just a hypothesis we create before getting through all the steps of our Business Strategy process to have a better result in the end.

So with this new process instead of creating a fully hypothetical Business Model Canvas we can use our insights from the first steps of Experience Design to get inspired and know more about our future users. 

 

Step 2: Experience Story Creation and Business Discovery

  • (ED) Creating Experience Stories
  • (BS) Validating the Value Proposition
  • (BS) Conducting Competitive Research
  • (BS) Value Innovation Discovery Techniques 
  • (BS) Business Models & Value Innovation

 

After we have insights from the first part of Experience Design process now we are creating an experience story to visualise the experience of people in real life. Here we don’t create a product or prototype yet but just an experience story. I think this coming from higher level to actualisation style of Experience Design approach really aligns with the Business Strategy process. 

When we have the experience story we have a story of people in real life where we can place our future product. Now we know the “WHY” and “HOW” of our product but still didn’t design the real product, with this flexibility we can go to Business Strategy again and finish the steps to have our business model and value innovation at hand. These findings will also support “WHY” and “HOW” of our Experience Design.

 

Step 3: Designing the Experience & Business Strategy Tests

  • (ED) Designing the Experience
  • (ED) Creating a Product Prototype & (BS) Creating Prototypes for Experiments
  • (BS) Testing Product/Market Fit by Prototypes

Now we have a better knowledge of our business strategy and experience design. With this clarity we can design our experience and product prototype. I believe this can empower experience designers to have more arguments against their stakeholders since we are not just relying on experiences of people but also the business aspect of our desired product. 

After we have the prototype we can do the product/market fit tests. Here Experience Design will power the Business Strategy process with a more meaningful product hopefully. 

Step 4: Experience Design Evaluation and Iterating Business Strategy

  • (ED) Evaluate the Designed Experience
  • (BS) Solution Prototype Reality Check
  • (BS) Designing for Conversation
  • (BS) Using the Funnel Matrix Tool
  • (BS) Conducting Suspect Stage Experiments With Landing Pages

This step is more about evaluation and growing our business. We can separate the Experience Design and Business Strategy from now on since they are not interconnected as much as they do in the previous processes. 

So we are evaluating our prototype with experience design perspective but also now we can check if our solution is still aligned with our initial business strategy.

Last three steps of Business Strategy is more going into the marketing aspect of our strategy but still knowing more about who we are designing for and why will help more in this process too. I believe Experience Design and Business Strategy can feed each other well if applied together, looking forward to test this strategy in my further projects! 

 

Resources:

-UX Strategy, Jaime Levy, 2015
-Experience Design: Technology for All the Right Reasons, Marc Hassenzahl, 2010
-Cover Photo by Zane Lee on Unsplash

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