How to improve your UX capability

If you’ve read our recent strategy blog articles, you’ll know we’ve always believed — with plenty of supporting evidence — that Customer Experience (CX) is the only strong, defendable way to lead in your market.

Great experience has no ceiling and is hard to copy. Your CX can be light years ahead of your competition and there’s often little they can do about it. Who wouldn’t want to be in this leading position?

For almost 20 years, Nomensa’s focus has been on improving User Experience (UX) — the many digital experiences that contribute to CX. These days, digital channels and online journeys are a key part of most organisations. So, improving UX to its maximum potential is always enough to drive an organisation’s CX head and shoulders above its peers (it also helps that there’s lots of UX mediocrity out there to make you look even better). Your KPIs will also reflect your experience improvements, because many digitally-influenced KPIs are simply trailing indicators of UX.

But, we hear you say: “It’s all not that simple. We’ve been investing in UX for years, and we’re still just average in our market.” 

Or maybe: “We’re doing lots of UX, but the overall customer experience is so disjointed.” 

Other organisations tell us: “We do usability test after usability test, but what’s it really doing to our KPIs?”

And you’re right. Just “doing UX” is not the answer (if it was, there would be a lot more great experiences out there).

To deliver great UX—and this is the key idea—you must first ensure you’re capable of delivering great UX. You must get your entire organisation strategically aligned on the importance of experience and get everybody working in the same direction. You must explicitly build your UX capability.

A world-class marathon runner does not show up at the start line without being capable of winning. And so it is with UX.

If your team’s UX skills aren’t up to the task, management aren’t interested in UX, you’re measuring the wrong things about your UX performance, you haven’t got the tools you need to collaborate on UX, you’re not using the correct UX activity for each situation or your UX team members aren’t respected internally—whatever the issues are, you’re causing what our colleague Charlie Martin calls ‘Experience Drag’. Your UX capability is hindered. You’re trying to race forwards and deliver great UX, but culture or management or operations are slowing you down.

So rather than work harder against that Experience Drag, you should instead improve your UX capability so you can perform more smoothly and effortlessly. And ‘smoothly and effortlessly’ are qualities you can associate with great companies that deliver an incredible customer experience.

This is where the Experience Assessment comes in. It’s a new service from Nomensa, based on assessing hundreds of clients and identifying the common barriers to UX excellence. We’ve been shaping it for almost two years, and we’re excited to share it in three forms, from a free tool anyone can use up to a full service for accelerated UX improvement.

What is it? An Experience Assessment is an independent, objective analysis of your organisation’s UX capability. It uses a suite of analysis questions and tools so we can score your organisation on what we call the Six Scales of UX: Activities, Skills, Infrastructure, Integration, Performance and Leadership.

If you get a low score on any scale, we know what to recommend. That’s because the scales split up the large world of UX into chunks that are far more manageable and addressable. Low score in Activities? Let’s sharpen up your UX project processes and upskill your team. Low score in Performance? Let’s take a look at your customer feedback strategy, and review how you analyse online journeys. There are clear ways to improve your UX capability no matter where the gaps are identified.

And there are additional benefits to the assessment. The Six Scales split neatly into what we call two dimensions: Business Management (your planning of UX) and Design Management (your execution of UX). Using your scores for each dimension, we narrow down your organisation to one of four Experience Types. This makes things even easier for you, because each Experience Type has a clear path forwards to UX capability excellence (and it’s also easy to communicate to colleagues and wavering stakeholders).

We mentioned earlier that there are three forms of the Experience Assessment. The first is a unique tool you can use immediately.

Start your free Experience Assessment

You can get your indicative scores for the Experience Assessment for free and in just 15 minutes. We’ll ask you some questions, deliver your scores in the Six Scales of UX and tell you your Experience Type.

We say ‘indicative scores’ because the free tool will only capture your own opinion—not that of your entire organisation—and doesn’t use the full set of assessment questions and tools. For this comprehensive, objective analysis, you’ll need the full Experience Assessment service. You can contact us to discuss how the full service can be tailored to your needs.

In between these two offerings is a team-focused assessment. If your organisation isn’t ready for the full Experience Assessment but you want, say, to take your team’s UX activity to its maximum capability, the one-day Experience Assessment Workshop is for you.

Our aim with the Experience Assessment is to help more organisations realise their ambition of great experiences for their customers, with all the financial benefits and rewards that entails. If you’d like to identify the best solution for your needs, reach out to our team at any time.

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