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How to Combine Experience Design & Business Strategy?

How to Combine Experience Design & Business Strategy?


Experience Design is in short designing for the experience of human beings not the product features or usability of them and business strategy is everything you need today to make an idea reality. In my studies at Code University, I’ve worked with the Experience Design model than had a course on Design Strategies. While I was writing about Experience Design and Business Strategy I felt a need to connect their processes for my future projects so I came up with a chart. This is what all of this post is about.

To deep dive into both areas, you can read UX Strategy by Jaime Levy book and Experience Design by Marc Hassenzahl. My process chart is more about how to apply those strategies together in a real-life project and the timing of them. Also to understand emerging of Experience Design you can read this article by Marion Bàyle.

In this “fork” chart there are all the steps necessary for both E.D. and B.S. and some of them are so similar.

In the chart above there are all the steps of Experience Design and Business Strategy which I’ve tried to put in an order with the most making sense way to me.

Basically there some process in those categories where I put them together:

  • Where it makes more sense to focus on Experience Design,
  • Where it makes more sense to focus on Business Strategy,
  • Where it makes more sense to do them together (e.g. Prototyping)
  • Where it makes more sense to do them at the same time separately.

One can also do experience design process first and then go to business strategy process for building a company around the product but when I’ve read through the Business Strategy process which I’ve extracted from UX Strategy book (Levy, 2015) it seemed to me some steps of Business Strategy are highly interconnected with Experience Design process.

So here I am explaining the chart above and how would one apply it in a real project, it seems good on paper but again it’s just a hypothesis for now. I’m not going to give details for each process since they were explained in the Experience Design and Business Strategy chapter, instead I’m explaining to them the short and hypothetical ways for a possible real-life application.

Step 1: Gathering Experiences and Designing a Business Model

First Step
  • (ED) Choosing a methodology to build our research
  • (ED) Narrative Interviews
  • (ED) Patterns out of Interviews & Synthesis of Information
  • (ED) Creating Hypotheses
  • (ED) Digital Diary Studies & Cultural Probes
  • (BS) Business Model Construction with Business Model Canvas
  • (BS) Value Innovation Chain

Here in the first part, we are choosing our methodology for Experience Design and after getting through all steps we have qualitative insights over people’s behavior, hypothesis for solving a problem for people which aims to create a positive experience for them.

After we have those insights we are filling the Business Model Canvas and now we have a hypothesis for both an experience and a business. Just as a reminder, as I’ve explained in the early chapter this business model canvas is not a final business proposition but just a hypothesis we create before getting through all the steps of our Business Strategy process to have a better result in the end.

So with this new process instead of creating a fully hypothetical Business Model Canvas, we can use our insights from the first steps of Experience Design to get inspired and know more about our future users.

Step 2: Experience Story Creation and Business Discovery

Second Step
  • (ED) Creating Experience Stories
  • (BS) Validating the Value Proposition
  • (BS) Conducting Competitive Research
  • (BS) Value Innovation Discovery Techniques
  • (BS) Business Models & Value Innovation

After we have insights from the first part of the Experience Design process now we are creating an experience story to visualize the experience of people in real life. Here we don’t create a product or prototype yet but just an experience story. I think this coming from a higher level to actualization style of Experience Design approach really aligns with the Business Strategy process.

When we have the experience story we have a story of people in real life where we can place our future product. Now we know the “WHY” and “HOW” of our product but still didn’t design the real product, with this flexibility we can go to Business Strategy again and finish the steps to have our business model and value innovation at hand. These findings will also support “WHY” and “HOW” of our Experience Design.

Step 3: Designing the Experience & Business Strategy Tests

Third Step
  • (ED) Designing the Experience
  • (ED) Creating a Product Prototype & (BS) Creating Prototypes for Experiments
  • (BS) Testing Product/Market Fit by Prototypes

Now we have a better knowledge of our business strategy and experience design. With this clarity, we can design our experience and product prototype. I believe this can empower experience designers to have more arguments against their stakeholders since we are not just relying on experiences of people but also on the business aspect of our desired product.

After we have the prototype we can do the product/market fit tests. Here Experience Design will power the Business Strategy process with a more meaningful product hopefully.

Step 4: Experience Design Evaluation and Iterating Business Strategy

4rd the Final Step
  • (ED) Evaluate the Designed Experience
  • (BS) Solution Prototype Reality Check
  • (BS) Designing for Conversation
  • (BS) Using the Funnel Matrix Tool
  • (BS) Conducting Suspect Stage Experiments With Landing Pages

This step is more about evaluation and growing our business. We can separate the Experience Design and Business Strategy from now on since they are not interconnected as much as they do in the previous processes.

So we are evaluating our prototype with experience design perspective but also now we can check if our solution is still aligned with our initial business strategy.

The last three steps of Business Strategy are more going into the marketing aspect of our strategy but still knowing more about who we are designing for and why it will help more in this process too. I believe Experience Design and Business Strategy can feed each other well if applied together, looking forward to testing this strategy in my further projects!



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