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I am lucky enough to be spending a few days in the Nevada desert at SAP TechEd and d-code 2014 in Las Vegas. Yesterday I sat in on a roundtable/panel discussion hosted by Michael Falk covering UX Strategy Implementation. The participants (including Damean Chen) had some great experiences of implementing a UX strategy at their organisations. In this quick bog post I’d like summarise some of the key points that I took away from the session.

Understand the User Journey

Everyone agreed that this was of paramount importance. There is no substitute to getting to know real users, not proxies, not people who “think” they know what the users want, but real honest to god users of the system. Understand them, understand their needs, wants and hopes, spend time with them and build “a day in the life” scenario and you will be much more successful.

It’s not all about the User Interface

In fact the UI is only one piece of the puzzle albeit an important one. An example of something that greatly effects the UX is Single-Sign-On (SSO). It’s just something that when it works everyone is happy. It’s a bit like the war on terror, get it right and you get no praise but get it wrong and you’ll know about it… fast.

Have a UX Centre of Excellence

Sounds scary eh..? A UX COE… boo! But seriously having somewhere to turn for guidance and direction to make the right choices and provide UX services is the right thing to do. It provides consistency and governance, driving forward your UX strategy.

Be Agile

Oh no, not agile… really. Yes really… in fact it makes perfect sense, being agile means you try stuff out early (on real users) and get their feedback, then you fix stuff and make it better and test it out again (on real users), then rinse and repeat. Duh… simple.

Start Early

Start usability testing with the design (hey this can fit in with being agile… see above). Fixing stuff in the design is much easier than fixing it in the code after User Acceptance Testing just before go live. Do yourself a favour start early.

Expect to have a Cross Functional Team

Good UX is the intersection of Human Values (People), Technology and Business Goals. Guess what to be successful you need to have people from all 3 of these areas in your team – think of them as your 3 musketeers!

Pick something that will have Real Business Impact (credit to Jocelyn Dart for this insight)

It’s tempting to start small and easy (e.g. Leave Request) – do a proof of concept and see what happens hoping it will drive wider adoption. But be careful, you’re better off choosing something that has a real impact on your business, something that matters, improving something that matters, something that people use a lot will give you way more bang for your buck. It may be a bit more risky but hey we’re in Vegas so roll the dice baby.

I’m afraid I had to leave the session before the end due to another commitment I needed to run to so there are no doubt more golden nuggets of wisdom I missed out on. Thanks to everyone on that panel, it was great. Please add your thoughts and comments below

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