In times of strife, we tend to fall back on our old tried and true methods. We cut exploration and innovation projects and focus on core business functions.

But what happens when your core business is what’s being upended? Or your customers’ needs seem to have changed overnight?

First, breathe.

Panic and anxiety have never been good bedfellows for innovation. Pressure, however, makes for great innovation! We’re entering a new era. It’s scary, but also exciting.

Then, get it out of your system.

There are two things that can really disrupt a brainstorming session—the awesome ideas that you’re so excited about that you can’t think of anything else. And, the worries that are so pressing that you can’t even conceive a new idea.

So, get them out. Write them in your journal or discuss them as a group. If you want to keep them top of mind, write them on sticky notes in your “virtual” brainstorming tool (because you’re should be working remote right now).

Your entire business model is based on your customers finding value in your product or service.

Put your customers FIRST.

Now, take stock of your customers.

UX strategy requires a good understanding of your customers. If you haven’t done it already, fill in the Enterprise Persona Canvas for each of your main customer segments (prior to the disruption). Be sure to use any existing user research, business analytics, as well as evidence from sales, marketing, and customer service.

What’s Changed?

Take a second look at each persona. Have any of the jobs these people are trying to do changed? What about their goals? Consider social, functional, and emotional goals. What about their challenges? (If you don’t know, take an educated guess and then confirm during the research phase.)

What’s Possible?

Now you can brainstorm! Seed your brainstorm with questions like:

  • How do your current features and services help your customers’ new jobs, goals, and challenges?
  • Do you need to make changes to your existing services to help them or create new features?
  • Do you need to adjust your marketing messages?
  • Are there any new customer segments that might be created through these changes?
  • What new services or features might appeal to these segments? (Now’s a good time to review those idea stickies!)

Find your next right step.

BEFORE you go ahead and implement changes from your UX strategy, how certain are you:

  • That your customer jobs are correct?
  • That someone would actually pay money for your idea?
  • That you can logistically pull it off?
  • That you can make money from the idea?

What information do you need in order to be certain enough to move forward? (Without wasting extraneous time and money on the wrong idea.)

For your lowest effort and highest reward ideas, create a Lean UX Hypothesis Statement from your Enterprise Persona Canvases:

We believe that performing this service or creating this feature for this user segment will achieve this outcome.
We’ll know this is true when we see this measurable result.

Use hypothesis statements to brainstorm what kind of test will best answer your most pressing questions.

You can:

  • Call existing customers for feedback.
  • Test the market with a splash page or email campaign.
  • Do a quick research spike on the technology you want to use.
  • Research alternate supply chain options.
  • Perform a revenue analysis.

Whatever you do, do it as quickly and cheaply as possible. Listen for any insights that you may not have considered.

Take the next step that’s right for you.

Review your learnings with your team. What changed? What are you more certain of? What information do you still need to make an informed decision or reduce uncertainty?

It’s Ok if this UX strategy exercise takes several quick rounds of question and answering before you build anything. It’s OK if you sell customers on an idea before the product is built (that would be the best way to find out if your idea is a good one!). The important thing is to make sure you take the next right step for you as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Does this seem like a lot? You don’t have to do it alone. In fact, it’s a lot easier to do it with a guide. An experienced UX Strategist can guide you through the process so you can focus on your business and your customers.

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Imaginet is your trusted technology partner who turns your business innovation ideas into reality. 20+ years | 1200+ satisfied customers | 2500+ successful engagements. Primary services include Web Application Development, Mobile App Development, and SharePoint consulting services, with additional specialties in Power BI & Business Intelligence, Office 365, Azure, Visual Studio, TFS, & Azure DevOps, Teams, Skype for Business, and more. Located in the United States and Canada with services offered worldwide. Contact us today at info@imaginet.com or 1-800-989-6022.

Adelle Rewerts

About Adelle Rewerts

Adelle is a Senior UX Consultant at Imaginet’s Canadian Headquarters. She’s been helping companies get the most value from their software applications for 20 years.

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