How do you bridge the large knowledge gap between user experience design and business strategy? This practical book introduces lightweight strategy tools and techniques that will help both your design team and your client come to a shared understanding of the digital product you want to build.
With this step-by-step guide, you'll learn how to achieve online success by focusing on customer discovery techniques and disruptive innovation that offers more value than existing market alternatives. You'll get several case studies, including Airbnb, along with interviews with UX strategists from different work environments (startup, agency, and enterprise) about their roles and experience.
With this book, UX designers, product stakeholders, and startup founders will learn how to: • Conduct a competitive analysis on the online marketplace • Perform guerrilla user research for your MVP • Design for conversion and develop a funnel matrix for understanding customer acquisition • Extract innovative online opportunities from market research • Validate customer research with continuous feedback loops • Adapt traditional and contemporary business approaches (such as Lean Startup) to implement a successful strategy
Jaime Levy is a product strategist, author, and public speaker based in Los Angeles and Berlin. The 2nd edition of her book "UX Strategy" was published by O'Reilly Media in April 2021.
Her consultancy JaimeLevy.com helps business leaders and internal teams transform their product visions into innovative digital solutions that customers want. Jaime offers in-house training, conducts public/private workshops, and speaks at design and innovation conferences worldwide.
For more than 30 years, Jaime has been a pioneer in the creation of game-changing digital products and services. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies and award-winning agencies, leading the UX on projects in the entertainment, healthcare, finance, and technology sectors.
Jaime has taught product design and strategy courses and lectured at universities including the University of Southern California, New York University, Claremont Graduate University, Royal College of Art, University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, and the University of Oxford. You can find Jaime online at jaimelevy.com or follow her on LinkedIn or Twitter @jaimerlevy.
I've been a UX Designer for three years now. As I've mastered things like usability, web best practices, information architecture, and more, I've felt like something is still missing from my projects.
Enter UX Strategy. This book covers lots of great techniques for "doing" UX Strategy work, and through those techniques, I've gotten a great understanding of what it is. The author, Jaime Levy, does a great job of giving examples and walking the reader through sample work -- she is a brilliant teacher. The more experienced people at my agency have been talking for a long time about things like personas and competitive research, but I haven't truly gotten it until I read this book.
The examples are truly great. There are a few projects that come up over and over again, including some assigned work she's given to some of her students. Seeing her students walk through the process, and make some understandable mistakes, is a great way for me to learn to spot these things when I'm doing them. Too often in this industry, someone throws you a deck or another deliverable, says "do it like this", and that's the end. Seeing people walking through the processes, and learning from them, is so, so educational.
After reading it, I can only describe myself as "fired up" about UX Strategy. I want to kick off my next client project asking -- but when are we going to talk to users? How are we going to validate these assumptions? She paints a crystal clear picture of what UX Strategy is, why it matters, and how to do it. Any UX practitioner, or anyone else involved in the strategy & development process, could learn and be inspired by this book.
Kudos to Levy for tackling the challenge of defining what constitutes "UX strategy." Every organization I've been a part of--agency- and client-side--has recognized the need for UX strategy (without necessarily calling it that) but executed with pain, confusion, and questionable results. The most valuable parts of Levy's discussion are the parts that are almost-said: that UX strategy might be the result of failures of other, older disciplines (business strategy, brand, UX design proper) and that UX strategy is perhaps synonymous with simply well-rounded experience as a design professional, which as UX has exploded is ironically harder to find. In other words, I wanted Levy to say the harder things, rather than explain to me the differences between quantitative and qualitative data and how to make good with cafe staff when using their space for research.
The book ends with four long interviews with people identifying as UX strategists. It’s easily the best part of the book, a plaster cast of the field anno 2015.
Unfortunately, there is no escape of the terminological debate on UX design, interaction design, product design, business strategy; not even in this my review. What I see in this book is downplaying “design”, which I’d say is inherently strategic and doesn’t need the label “strategic” slapped on it. In this relatively new field (quicksand) of experience-something we surely try to establish an identity and a personal brand, and we have a whole variety of backgrounds, perspectives and job descriptions to it. This is what this terminological debate often boils down to.
The book left me thinking that UX strategy as described by Levy is synonymous to well-executed product strategy or any kind of “design” including "UX design.” I say well-executed for a reason. You might want to introduce “UX strategy” when you see that your product and business strategies failed to be user-centric, while your user-centric design failed to be strategic.
Geoff Katz, one of the practitioners interviewed for the book, said: "UX strategy is really an essential component of product definition.” — Boom. Put this quote on the book cover, please.
In the words of Jaime Levy: "UX design and UX strategy are two different things. When you are doing design, you are creating something. When you are doing strategy, you are coming up with a game plan before creating something. One way to explain it is to just substitute the word 'product' for 'user experience.’” — Firstly, “UX design” here reads like "interaction design” (and interaction designers would argue that they are much more strategic than that). Secondly, you might as well leave this “product” there instead of “user experience”, and it will fit just fine.
According to Peter Merholz, one of the four interviewees, "There is such a thing as UX strategy because product strategy and business strategy have failed in the prior decades to account for the user needs and awareness. To make sure that the user and the user experience was appropriately beneficial, we had to develop this thing called UX strategy. In an ideal world you wouldn’t need UX strategy, because it would just be a component of your product or business strategy."
I'd agree with this, making one terminological correction: we shouldn’t be talking about “UX strategy" because "UX design", or "experience design”, is inherently strategic — if the job is done well.
This book, as a product, is made quite well. It is clearly structured and illustrated with detailed examples; there are some good stories there. The books describes a fairly typical good UX design process, and it does it well.
I hear reviewers say, the examples are all too detailed sometimes. Indeed, the person interested in the subject of UX strategy does not necessarily want to read a few pages on how to choose a coffee shop suitable for conducting interviews. On the other hand, as there is no standard career path for people who identify as UX designers or strategists, you never know where they are lacking knowledge and experience.
I realize this is still a draft, but I think there is something fundamentally flawed with a book about understanding users that has no apparent idea who the target readership is. Current draft fluctuates between gloss-overs of contemporary business books (mostly a mix of Valley and business jargon), and frankly silly things like explaining how to conduct an internet search. Scattershot, and needs a lot of work.
This book is a result of Jamie's experience in the UX field for so many years. She covered UX discipline at a high-level with valuable arguments and also brought detailed-oriented examples.
PROS: 1. Real life examples and arguments that can be applied, tested and developed. 2. Strong guidelines for those who are interested following UX career. 3. Step by step approach in applying different methodologies.
CONS: 1. Some arguments left unclear. 2. The images are too small to be read. 3. The product examples are quite old.
I maybe confused what the term "UX strategy" means. This book is more a game plan or methodology on how to get started designing / creating an innovative product. More useful for small companies or startups working on a complete product than somebody working inside an established product on a feature or product part. It covers a few specific methods (like user interviews, guerilla research and funnel matrix) and describes their connections to each other and meaning. The strength of the book is more the tons of personal stories Jamie shares and not the rigorous description of methods.
This book suffers from not having a clear target audience.
At times it seems to be aimed toward UX practitioners wanting to learn about business strategy. These sections were useful to me. For example, one that I was able to put into practice right away explained how to adapt a customer development tool called a "funnel matrix" to UX context, using it to track levels of user engagement with the rows and various aspects of the customer experience provided by different internal teams with the columns. Some of the suggestions of how to approach a competitive analysis (such as distinguishing whether competitor compete on the value proposition, the user group, or both) were useful as well.
Less useful to me were the parts where the book seems to be aimed toward business strategists who know little-to-nothing about UX. To a day-to-day practitioner of UX, sections called "Analytics Tools for UX Dummies" and "Cool Tools for Interactive Prototypes" were so much empty cruft.
A complete guide to being a practical strategic designer, especially when you need to help entrepreneurs in the validation of a business idea.
It is a book with strong examples of what we should and should not do in phases of discovery, many years of UX experience condensed into one lovely book.
Finally, Jaime Levy's career is admirable, showing us the entrepreneurial side of him, which many designers have in many moments of our lives, and for making us understand the importance of being deeply involved in business perspectives and decisions as designers.
(PRO) Easy to read, updated version including more details about Discovery and Remote research. Contains examples and templates for research scripts and data analysis. Has good extra reading recommendations for books.
(CON) Hard to figure out from the text which activity is in the UX responsibility versus Product Management, Marketing, etc.
For a experienced professional, a lot of this is familiar as expected. The true value is the structure Jamie provided, as only good professors seem to be capable of. Taking the practical experience and turning into it a training circuit that new practitioners can upskill on. good read for anyone in product development but is not a researcher.
I join those reviewers who have already expressed high enthusiasm for this 2nd edition of UX Strategy. UX Strategy is a very well written book! I read the entire book. Awarded to me during a webinar raffle, it took several sittings to finish .
It is densely packed with vital definitions, essential concepts, and explicit directions to help the reader pursue an effective UX strategy. The specific words and phrases used to communicate are superbly spot-on, occasionally accompanied by a friendly piece of coach-like advice such as “Don’t get sloppy….”
Author Levy tackles the needed blend of art and science to address topics such as category creation, indirect competition, and two-sided markets. She points out that a new product could come from uniquely combining components from very different and unrelated businesses.
Whether the reader is situated at a startup, contemplating starting one, or employed at an enterprise, it is likely that UX Strategy will help them become more fluent in conceptualizing UX strategy and become a super sleuth as they conduct customer research. Since Levy knows, especially from her vast experience, that this work is not done in isolation, she remembers to point out ways to make collaboration easier for UX teams and she explains techniques for unfolding recommendations to stakeholders and clients.
Levy helps the reader digest the book’s contents by providing Recaps and Lessons Learned. She identifies the steps that are crucial to take. There are many of those! She advises how to properly gather data and then distill it to its most key elements.
Further assistance is provided to the reader by mentioning in which specific future chapters certain concepts will be discussed or expanded on and by also reminding the reader of which prior chapter contained coverage of the topic.
Each carefully selected contributing book, article, and post referenced is noted at the bottom of the pertinent page and again in the Appendix.
To further assist the reader in this entire process, online access to the UX Strategy Toolkit provides the opportunity to take more steps to insightful results.
Over time and from various settings, I have had occasion to sense that UX as a field has some chronic ambiguity of where it fits in the organizational chart of a company. If UX practitioners implement the strategies in this book, they may be able to lift some of that fog. So, don’t wait - get this book and read it!
The chapter about competition research is almost entirely an explanation of basic Google searching and spreadsheet filling. I highly doubt that the target audience of this book needs 50 pages of explanation on how to do this. Given a brief on the column headers, the process is pretty self-evident.
The book also has A LOT of long-winded stories, page after page, illustrating points that could have been made and explained in less than a paragraph.
A waste of time. I am sure that there are more substantial books about the topic out there.
UX Strategy is defined by the author as the intersection of user experience design and business strategy. He shows how UX Strategy is critical for our time and it's a must have for new products, services and solutions. He gives techniques related to Value Proposition, Competitive Research, Value Innovation, Prototyping, Guerrilla User Research and designing for conversion. A great book for everyone in search for Customer-oriented solutions.
It's funny to see reviews saying the interviews at the end are the best part of the book, because I found them to be the least useful (likely because I don't aim to be a strategist, I just want to incorporate these techniques in the work I already do). That's humans for ya.
Anyway, reading this book gave me clear action items I plan to apply to two upcoming projects.
By melding business strategy and user-experience design, you can create products that soar above the competition. This process begins with an approach to business that clearly defines your competitive advantage and results in a product that’s both uniquely desirable and flawlessly designed.
Imagine a future innovation by asking yourself a few simple questions.
Coming up with a groundbreaking business idea is no cakewalk, but you can jump-start the process by considering a few questions:
What features from existing products can I adopt, splice together and transform into something better?
How can I integrate separate user experiences into a single product that would become the one-stop shop for a certain task? Instagram is a good example as the standard for sharing photos and videos.
What product could bring together two different user segments to negotiate deals that were not possible before? Airbnb is the obvious example here, since it succeeded in uniting hosts and visitors in unprecedented ways.
Consider these questions for yourself and put your best ideas to the test!
Wasn't sure if I was going to learn much after the first chapter, as I've been reading a lot of UX books lately and thought this was just going to be a cursory overview of all the steps involved in design. And it was an overview without getting into too much of the details. But what I did learn was how to really think about the business aspect. Other books told me how to go through the motions of the competitive analysis but this book actually tells you how to think about the competitors and what they really offer so that you can place yourself for maximum competitive advantage. And it was a novel idea to me that you can check user traffic to competitors to see how many users they reach. I also really liked the emphasis on quick and dirty prototyping, even if that means "Wizard of Ozing" it. Being the man behind the curtain manually making things happen so that you don't need engineers to write a whole fancy backend for you prior to testing your value proposition. This was an easy read; I finished it in a few days.
While this book presented a thorough process for product design, the processes are more applicable to creative frameworks that are not embracing agile and scrum. The ideas in this book heavily apply to corporate in-house design spaces, where the process requires more effort to align creative services with business strategy. In that sense it's a great book for bridging the gap between those spaces, but it's less applicable to HCD (Human Centered Design) and UD (Universal Design) frameworks, of which user-focused strategy that aligns with business goals is a core tenant.
So in reading this book, I think there is a very specific audience that can greatly benefit from the contents, but if you are already familiar with creative process, Kirkpatrick's model of evaluation would be more useful in integrating ways into the creative process which can demonstrate value by creating alignment with business strategy (all while the project process is unfolding).
I wish there more UX books aimed at business apps and Intra-company work processes. So much of the material is about costumer-facing work, and the constraints on internal use apps are so different. So much of my work is about enhancing or editing existing business processes, and so much UX material is about making something new or experimental from scratch. This book covers the latter well, the former hardly at all. I recommend this book as a smart add-on the Lean Startup, if you're thinking about public-facing product development. It just didn't have enough that I could apply to our work in internal use business apps and workflow automation though.
Es un buen libro para comprender que, a medida que se avanza en el seniority, hay que estar al tanto de muchas más variables que afectarán a un producto. Me gustó que en algunos capítulo se utiliza el formato de manual para entender cómo hacer el mejor benchmarking posible para sacarle provecho, cómo usar un funnel matrix o analizar métricas. También me sentí identificada cuando comentó que los CJM nunca le han parecido demasiado útiles por el gran tiempo que toma hacerlos y lo difíciles de entender, mientras que un flowchart puede sernos de mayor utilidad para comunicarnos entre equipos. El último capítulo con entrevistas lo encontré muy valioso también.
Great read to learn more about the "strategy" part that basically happens before execution. "UX strategy" is a bit misleading in the sense that any strategy should address the user experience, which is noted in the end of the book.
However, the clear instructions on several activities such as guerilla user testing, competitive analysis and research all while referencing a real world project ("Airbnb for weddings") is what made this book worth 5 stars to me. I already recommended it to colleagues who aren't quite sure how to find their product market fit.
This book is for the most part a compilation of existing knowledge on all the processes that precede the task of actually getting down to design something. It serves as a quick primer to systematically nail down the problem to be solved and its validated solution space.
It was somewhat disappointing to read this book as someone with moderate experience in UX design because it did not offer any mind-blowing revelations. Although, I liked that it reminded me of the importance of deliberating on the problem-solution fit aspect before attempting to design anything.... yet another time!
Incredibly helpful (yet simple!) book for anyone who is anyhow dealing with creating products - designers (ux, ui, product - doesn't matter), product owners, business analysts, entrepreneurs, start-up founders... This is gold. Jaime lays out her experience (own method for creating product strategy) and lots of practical tips. Mixed with down to earth approach, it results in a really hands-on book, that not only talks about product strategy, but gives the detailed recipe, how to create one. Be sure to read second edition as it has a lot of references to remote work in covid/post-covid era.
Read the tools, not the concept The book itself haunted me as a reminder of the Lean Startup concepts. However, I finished the book with a feeling that something was missing. I suppose the name itself UX Strategy, I do not know if it reflects entirely the author's proposal, even understanding its intentions. The combination of the two concepts makes sense, but the name applied etymologically I think causes a slight confusion. There are good tips and good notes throughout the book.
Great application techniques and a lot of examples. Michael Porter's ideas dominate, which I really liked - him being one of my personal favourite. By melding business strategy and user-experience design, you can create products that soar above the competition. This process begins with an approach to business that clearly defines your competitive advantage and results in a product that’s both uniquely desirable and flawlessly designed.
A staple if you're interested in user-centric design and research.
I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in design at all.
Fairly startup focused and not as much as implementing UX design into existing older school approaches with designer focused design.
Only wish was that there was more content on how to conduct research - specifically as far as figuring out who from existing users for an existing platform to engage with, what kinds of questions to ask, etc..
Um livro sobre abordagem para criação de produtos digitais e melhores experiências do usuário. O livro conta com um "manual" de como começar um processo de design, com embasamento em pesquisa até o final de entrega de feedback. Logo no início nos damos conta de como fazer cada etapa claramente explicada, com exemplos e benefícios para cada situação. Ao final, conta com feedbacks de outros de como outros profissionais entraram na área de UX Designer.
This is an interesting book that, in my opinion, combines UX Design with marketing. The UX strategy is positioned as a separate domain or higher part of UX but the main idea is that as an UX Designer you need to understand the business and do your research.
To summarize the book: as an UX Designer you have to have in mind both the business and the end user.