Posted on: DEC 23, 2020
Any UX or UI designer is somewhat familiar with the new member of the family: the UX strategist. UX strategy is the result of applying a UX design mindset to other areas of business development. In other words, a UX strategist is a business strategist with a focus on user experience. A UX strategist is in charge of developing and maintaining product-market fit for the business, ensuring the alignment of the product development with the business strategy, and keeping the design team focused on creating products with a user-centered approach. So, how would you know you have what it takes to be a User Experience Strategist?
Well, to start, you need to learn to follow your UX gut: know so much about UX design that you can create designs with your eyes closed. UX design should feel like your skin, just another part of your body. Next, you want to have a deep understanding of human psychology. As a UX designer, everything you do is already people-focused, but as a UX strategist, you should feel as if you were in their shoes or reading their mind. Also, since UX strategy is the marriage of business strategy and UX design, you definitely need to know and understand the business. A UX strategist understands that as in a marriage, sometimes compromises will be required between UX design and business strategy; and will know which one to prioritize and when.
Another essential tool in the UX strategist kit is a keen eye for good design. As a UX designer, you are probably always nurturing your creative mind, but a UX strategist would set that mind free and open it to other types of designs. The more you absorb and learn from all designs the easier it will become to provide the best designs for your users.
And that brings us to our last tip: have an inquisitive mind. This tip might be the last but it could be the most important. Constantly asking “how” and “why” is the foundation for all the other skills we mentioned earlier, and what set you on this journey to be a great UX strategist. It is the foundation to understand people better, make better decisions in business, and improve your user experience design skills.
Now that you have an idea of what it will take to be a great UX strategist, remember that learning takes practice and that you will not acquire all of these skills overnight. Remember also that becoming a UX strategist doesn’t take away your UX design skills; it only adds to them. So, as you grow as a UX strategist, don’t be surprised if you become a better UX designer too. You can find examples of how to apply these tips in this blog post from Matcha Design Labs’ (MDL) CEO Avani Miriyala.