Experience Design

The Business Value of Experience Design (Series Introduction)

Whether you’re checking your bank balance, getting an oil change, or enjoying another curbside pickup for Taco Tuesday, everyone loves a great customer experience.  And if you’re on the other side of that exchange, everyone wants to make their customers happy and coming back for more.  But a great customer experience is not a matter of timing and luck. It takes deliberate, thoughtful planning to orchestrate the right people, processes, products, and, yes, technologies to do it well and consistently. This is especially true for digital experiences where the user experience will dominate the customer experience more than any single factor. Customers want a well-thought-out, engaging user experience that solves their problems and helps them get things done.  It’s not always easy for brands and companies to deliver on these customer expectations, but it’s well worth it.

Perficient’s Digital Strategy and Experience Design teams are missioned with helping our clients deliver the best possible customer experience with their digital investments. It is why we’ve invested in strategy and design teams, in design labs and studios, in tools and methods, and in constantly finding new ways to do it better. It also means taking an active role in understanding what problems and opportunities our clients – some of the best brands and companies in the world – are trying to solve. We recently completed an in-depth research study to reset on a few assumptions and take stock of the experience design profession. We had one big question:

What is the business value of experience design?

We’re excited to share some of our study results in a blog series we’re kicking off here. But first, some background on our research approach.  Our goal was to understand which aspects of experience design make the most difference in accomplishing an organization’s digital experience mission. We started by developing our customer’s voices from 102 companies across eight unique industries, each with fairly large digital experience footprints and dedicated experience design teams. Our participants fell into four job categories: Executives who sponsor the work, Product Owners who define it, UX and Design professionals who design it, and technology professionals who bring it to life.

To further understand what organizations go through to deliver digital experiences, we broke these roles down even further into their collective experience design tasks and responsibilities – known as Jobs-to-be-Done in our methodology. The experience design burden is broad, and it starts with finding new opportunities and markets, deciding which features and functionality customers need, and advocating for customers and users.  Teams need to build organizational consensus and alignment and justify investments in digital products before they can actually create them. Finally, those products and experiences need to communicate brand identity, drive sales and revenue growth, and drive customer loyalty and satisfaction. In case you were looking for a job description, you’re welcome!

After exhaustive surveys and follow-on interviews, we arrived at the most important aspects of experience design that drive an organization’s digital mission. There are too many tasks to mention and far too many aspects to consider in every situation. Still, these eight stand out as the aspects that every organization truly serious about digital experience need to master:

Revealing how users think, perceive, and interact with digital products and how those product experiences help make their lives easier.

Ensuring that every user interaction builds and delivers on the business outcomes that the company is investing in.

Applying the unique demands and challenges that the industry category brings to remain competitive and relevant.

A collaborative approach to design that is pragmatic, inclusive, and moves fast to show valuable purpose to the company and its customers. ​

Bringing diverse and fresh ideas and perspectives to help the organization think outside of the box and future-proof its investments.

Understanding both the limitations and the possibilities of the underlying technologies to drive an optimal product experience.

Translating brand identities into digital products while understanding that the experiences they produce will have an equal or greater impact on brand perception.

Using the power of creativity to stir excitement, reduce anxiety, and express its values helps it stand out from the competition.

In my next eight blog posts, I will detail what it takes to build these capabilities and exactly why they work to drive the best digital experience possible.

Read the full series here

About the Author

Jim Hertzfeld is Principal and Chief Strategist for Perficient, and works with clients to make their customers and shareholders happy through insanely great digital experiences.

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