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Jan 26, 2022

UX maturity: Ready for a human-centric digital transformation?

From new business models to improved customer orientation and new leadership approaches: To benefit from digital transformation, many companies are currently rethinking not only their products, but also their ways of working. The key to a successful transformation to the digital world lies in the user experience (UX). But where does your company stand in terms of UX? By determining the maturity level of UX, that is "UX Maturity", you create the foundation for the planned and sustainable anchoring of UX in the digital enterprise – and thus the prerequisite for your successful digital transformation.

To successfully master the digital transformation, you need to fundamentally change your company. This requires a human-centric, differentiated view of your business processes. Always considering the central question: How would you like to benefit from digital transformation? For example, it is not a matter of digitizing the entire customer communication. Especially in B2B, personal contacts remain important. To ensure that communication with customers, users, employees and partners is a positive digital experience, the focus must be on people. The starting point for this is the individual ACTUAL state of your company. To determine this, you first need to know your company's UX maturity. With it, you create a solid foundation for digital transformation.

Why UX? And what does UX maturity want to achieve?

Before you check where you stand in terms of UX, you have to define the importance of UX in your company. The central question is: What would you like to achieve using UX in your company? UX offers different functions, and depending on the market, economic conditions and competitive situation, other goals are desirable: Quality optimization, idea generation, customer loyalty, differentiation from the competition or presentation of the brand. Realizing all areas at the highest level is something your company can hardly afford to do! Depending on your current and target market position, you will receive a customized requirements profile with different priorities related to the six functions.

Targeted transformation

To achieve your goal, you must first check whether working methods, ways of thinking and company structures already support you in this. What is the potential? What can you build on? Where do you need to close gaps? Looking at the following five dimensions will show you how prepared your company is for UX. With the agile UX maturity model, we determine the maturity level in different dimensions and accompany your change process. To ensure your that you quickly improve, we are not fixated on determining a specific level, but rather identifying potentials and developing action-oriented measures.

News CB UX Maturity 935

1. Which are the reasons for change?

Change needs an increase in value as a motivator. The justification for this is provided by the intended business impact. This shows why it is worthwhile to establish UX. It must be transparent for your company, what function UX fulfills for your company, and why you use UX to be successful. The key question here is: What would you like to achieve with UX? A common understanding of this will help you to make decisions from a single source along a common line. The following questions help to outline the ACTUAL situation of your business impact: Can (design) experts in the company clearly state what added value (or even USP) is created by UX compared to your market competitors? Is this knowledge transparent within the company?

2. What does leadership look like?

Leadership must be actively practiced in the company for transformation to have the desired effect. The focus of leadership is on handling with any form of influence – whether through roles, knowledge & competence, experience or personality. The guiding question is: How can you empower with leadership and enable your employees to behave in a human-centered way that puts customers and users at the center? This involves reducing silos of competences, bringing about more interdisciplinary decisions, and bringing them closer to customers and users. The following questions will help you determine the current status: Is the vision the result of research and market data? Are there company-wide goals? Do individual departments and project teams have goals? How are decisions made in your company (process) and communicated (transparency)?

3. Decisions in a human-centered way

User centricity includes the tools and methods that help you successfully implement UX. The core question is: How can you facilitate human-centered behavior for your employees that puts customers and users at the center? What disciplines/departments are there in your company? Which UX and product management functions are available internally? How diverse are the disciplines? For example, how easy is it to access appropriate study participants for research activities to expand your knowledge of users? How is knowledge harnessed and organized for the entire company to make targeted decisions?

In addition to design tools, this also includes structural requirements: Are the touchpoints for your company transparent? Is there a target group definition? Do you receive regular and transparent customer feedback? Is usage behavior sent back to product development from the field?

4. Which resources do you have?

A necessary condition for successful change is empowerment. This includes the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the employees, as well as the working conditions to be able to use these individual competencies effectively. In addition to design tools, this is also about the working environment and available resources. The core question is: How can you facilitate human-centered behavior for your employees that puts customers and users at the center?

5. Do you have the right infrastructure?

The motivation is high, your knowledge and skills are as well. Excellent. However, triggers are also always needed to initiate new behaviors. Especially in the transition phase, when the team cannot yet rely on habits and rituals, you will have to rely on external triggers. The infrastructure creates these necessary triggers via processes, spatial conditions such as creative areas, with fixed structures and meetings such as dailies, to encourage employees to adopt the learned new behaviors at the right time. In addition to the activities within the process, roles and responsibilities are also critical to success. How do your processes work in your company? How well does the process allow for cross-disciplinary exchange? Who is involved? How do the various stakeholders work together?

The time is ripe? – Let's go!

By defining and prioritizing your UX goals and determining the current state, you create the foundation for your individual roadmap towards more experience design – and ensure the success of your digital transformation. Once the UX maturity level is outlined, for example with a User Centricity Workshop, you can derive subgoals for the first year. In practice, a first step is usually to create a sense of urgency (in the sense of John Kotter's “sense of urgency) for the declared goals and functions within your company.

As a UX pioneer from the very beginning, we accompany your digital transformation. We show you how to integrate the user perspective more strongly and anchor agile, human-centered thinking at all levels of your company. So that you can embody the benefits of digital transformation. Are you ready?

The authors

Dr. Jan Seifert

As Lead User Experience at UID, Jan has extensive experience in all phases of human-centered development. Depending on the project requirements, the qualified psychologist carries out the process himself, guides it or implements it. Jan shares his knowledge and practical experience in presentations and lectures.

Kathrin Seigel

Whether social media, PR concept, journalist inquiry or trade fair company – Kathrin designs UID's communication with the Corporate Communications team. As a qualified pedagogue, communications scientist and northern personality in the team, her motto is "We can do everything. Even speaking High German!"