“Conducting” the user experience

According to Wikipedia: “Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble.[1]

Similarly, a UX specialist should harness the talents and skills of the various service teams to facilitate a shared goal of a delivering a consistent and delightful experience. Like great music, the best outcomes occur when all the elements are in tune.

What’s the role of the Experience Strategy?

As the conductor of an orchestra leads his ensemble to create music with unity and harmony, the UX specialist should lead the team in order to create an experience that meets user expectations and help the team to remain focused. In a recent UXPA talk about UX strategy, Tim Loo, Strategy director at Foolproof explained the Experience Strategy as follows:

  • The Experience Strategy must FIT with the brand values, business strategy, business model and user expectations according to brand promise.
  • The Experience Strategy should ALIGN all channels to deliver a consistent experience to the target audience.
  • The Experience Strategy should help the team to keep FOCUSED AND ACCOUNTABLE, helping to define priorities, where to spend the money and effort and how to measure success.
  • Experience Strategy should help organisations to understand WHY they are doing what they are doing, what´s the purpose behind the strategy and the actions to be taken.

How is an Experience Strategy defined?

A great UX specialist will ask the right questions at the right time to help people to define the problem, think differently, challenge limiting beliefs, define measurable goals and come up with creative solutions and achievable plans.

Business strategy, coaching and innovation workshops all use similar questions to help stakeholders to identify the gap between where they are and where they want to be. The added value of a UX strategist is his expertise in understanding customers through user research and to use visual tools to deliver genuine insights to the stakeholders in order to collaboratively create the best solutions.

Tim Loo explained the process as follow:

Question UX visual tools
Where are we today? Customer journey mapping and video to explain the user experience when interacting with the organisation.

A video may become viral easily and might start the customer experience transformation within the company by motivating employees to take actions

Where do we want to get to? Design principles to facilitate the decision-making process and prioritisation.

Storytelling to explain the experience we want to create.

What do we need to do? Ideation tools, co-creation workshops to engage stakeholders and generate collaboration across silos within the organisation.
What´s the plan? Priority matrix, roadmaps and prototypes should be used to simplify, focus on the core of the product and bring it down to its essence.
How will we know that we are on the right track? Define measurable goals that could be monitored and validated through user research such as surveys and user testing.

Conclusion

Truly great performances are achieved when the whole orchestra is brought together to work collaboratively by a skilled conductor who understands how to focus the strengths of each performer to shape the overall sound. A skilled UX specialist will seek to “conduct” teams in a similar manner, with the aim to achieve equally delightful experiences across touch points.

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