Leading Products Lead with UX

Jeff LeBlanc


Jeff is Director of User Experience for ICS. He has extensive experience developing custom Qt solutions with a strong focus on applying human factors principles to UX design.

By Jeff LeBlanc | Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Join us for The Business of UX 2014 in San Francisco

If you are in San Francisco Nov 6, 2014, please join us for The Business of UX 2014 Summit . This event is a one-day opportunity for product and engineering management professionals to connect and learn about the business impact of UX on your product development. We will have expert speakers and panelists and real-world examples of how leading products really do lead with UX first. Register before Oct 31 and save

What is the real business value of UX?

Well, that is the big question for many in this age of customer-focused organizations.

It is simple, really.

It is all about them, the customer.

Customers have more power than ever before and they drive your business – period. For any company to advance its products and have a competitive advantage – there is only one concern and it is the end-user, your customer.

Do you know what they want?

Well, just ask them.

This is the power of what is behind User Experience (UX) design. What if you had the answers to the toughest questions before you built your product – do you think that would make an impact? We think so, and so do many others. Leading with UX can help you build a leading product. How, you ask? Read on.

In his book, The Innovator’s Dilemma (1), Professor Clayton Christensen separates new technology into two segments: sustaining and disruptive. Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. Disruptive technology may not yet have a practical application and its value, is often dismissed. That is until people begin to catch up. Every so often, a disruptive technology comes along and changes everything.

Steve Jobs understood this concept and he was one of many who came onto the scene when personal computing was coming of age. His vision for the future at that time was that personal computing would become a force of social and economic change. He was right. He also wanted to improve the experiences and the lives of the people who would interact with that technology.

Steve Jobs did just that. 

We are not Steve Jobs. We can however, learn from him. Jobs defined the computer age, mastering digital technology by simplifying complex, highly engineered products and making them easy to use, engaging and beautiful. He revolutionized the way people come to expect to use technology as is evident with the release of the iPhone.

This is where User Experience comes in.

Most products are in the sustaining category, existing products with incremental improvements. In order to advance – product development must undergo a disruptive force. That force is applying UX first, before development even starts. To make a business impact with the products you have now, a customer’s experience with your product will determine the outcome of your commercial success.

According to an independent analysis of findings from the Design Management Institute, What is the Real Value of Design?, (2) this article addresses the financial performance of specific design-centric companies. It explores why companies that lead with design outperform the market by a significant margin.

The real value of UX is when it is applied upfront to guide the product development process. A new perspective within product management planning is needed to shift and rethink what is possible - and deliver what matters – to the customer. 

If you want to learn more about design-driven value, read the article. Then, when you decide you want to become a design-centric company – contact us about UX.

  

Jan Caggiano, Co-author

Join us for The Business of UX 2014 in San Francisco

If you are in San Francisco Nov 6, 2014, please join us for The Business of UX 2014 Summit . This event is a one-day opportunity for product and engineering management professionals to connect and learn about the business impact of UX on your product development. We will have expert speakers and panelists and real-world examples of how leading products really do lead with UX first. Register before Oct 31 and save

 

References

1. Christensen Clayton, The Innovator’s Dilemma, accessed October 24, 2014, http://www.claytonchristensen.com/books/the-innovators-dilemma/

2. Rae, Jeneanne, What is the Real Value of Design? (Design Management Institute: DMI: Review, 2014) accessed October 24, 2014 http://motivstrategies.com/files/DMI_Review-What_is_the_Real_Value_of_Design_Jeneanne_Rae_Motiv_Strategies-WEB.pdf

 



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