13

Dec2012

Spotlight on the Emerging Field of UX Strategists


Creating the user intuitive experience

User strategists are an emerging trend in the growing area of web solutions.  We decided to do some research to determine what their role is specifically and how it differs from online marketing strategists, content architects, and any of the other positions that link the science of understanding user behavior with professional website design.  The reality is that most of these positions overlap to some degree and the best marketing firms and website companies make sure all bases are covered, regardless of the terminology.  Furthermore, different projects require slight modifications to the process otherwise a firm runs the risk of being a web design factory.

User strategists are not necessarily designers but they guide the design process in a way that is based on the qualitative and quantitative data they generate from users.  In other words, they are somewhat of a marriage between science and design.  A website developer may do his/her own deep discovery process but a UX can add valuable information in that step that helps to refine the web experience to be more attractive to a particular customer base.  The webpage design may be blue and white with an animated logo, but a UX Strategist could say, “This group spends significantly more time on pages containing subtle elements of green. “  They might reveal that a call to action with animation is 50% more likely to result in the desired action.

The problem with this position is that he/she must have the authority or involvement with senior level executives to enact the appropriate changes.  Presenting the changes to someone who needs to submit them to a supervisor before it goes up the chain makes it less effective within the company.  While our firm utilizes user data to make informed choices about design, sometimes we are given a specific set of parameters based on existing models and branding that may not fit with our data.  It will be interesting to see how this position evolves and it is a great opportunity for the website design service industry if we increasingly gain the respect of the decision makers.

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Skygate Media recently completed a website re-design for my business, taking it from a basic informative site, to an interactive and visually impressive site. From my first conversations with them, I felt confident they had the right skills (both technical and design), and the marketing knowledge to build a website that would attract both new and returning clients. Their turn-around time was fast and they continue to advise, update, and correspond with me about how to get my website to work for me. I highly recommend them for these reasons.

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