UX maturity describes an organization’s or a product team’s capability to meet business goals that are related to usability or user experience. A UX maturity model is a framework that enables organizations to assess the quality and effectiveness of their user research processes and practice. A UX maturity model helps organizations and product teams understand where they are and what to strive for.
For a more humorous twist on UX maturity, see Objections to UX – and rebuttals.
Overview of this page
- Business goal,
- Business strategy,
- UX strategy,
- UX tactics,
- UX maturity,
- UX maturity level,
- UX maturity model,
Definition: A description of what a company expects to accomplish over a specific period of time.
Note: Businesses outline their goals in their business strategies. Goals might pertain to the company as a whole, departments, employees, customers, etc.
Examples of business goals for a fictitious airline, Gamma Airlines:
- Offer the best service among competing airlines; the competing airlines are Alpha Airlines and Beta Airlines
- Increase profits by cutting costs
- Win young travelers
- Increase the market share among 18-28 year old people from 25% to 50%
- Win frequent travelers
- Create efficient and sustainable operating platforms
Definition: A long-range plan for helping the business achieve specific business goals.
Note: Strategy is about changing something
The core of any strategy is:
A. Where are we now?
B. Where do we want to be in 3 years?
C. What are the right tactics to get from A to B?
D. Once we have reached B, how will we prove it to our colleagues?
E. What might stop us, and how will we overcome that?
Definition: A long-range plan for helping the business achieve specific business goals through UX activities.
A UX strategy can be about
- A strategy specific for the company’s products and services.
- How to position UX within the organization, for example increase usability maturity
Examples of UX strategies that correspond to the business goals for Gamma Airlines above:
- Measure the customer experience of Alpha, Beta and Gamma Airlines. Identify pain points for Gamma Airlines and how they can be relieved
- Participate in the conception, design and implementation of the UX of the required automation tools to ensure that they are usable for the target groups.
- Make the UX for 18-28 year old people particularly usable and attractive
- Make the UX for frequent travelers very efficient
- Regularly measure the time-on-task for key tasks in each operating platform. Where needed, suggest improvements
Example of a helpful UX strategy
A bit of context: Alice works as a UX researcher for Gamma Airlines. From field studies, Alice learns that usability defects in Gamma’s booking system are causing people to miss high-margin “flight extras”. This aligns with the current cross-sell/up-sell strategy.
Strategy: Alice proposes a series of studies with representative customers based on her personas to identify and remove specific obstacles to profit here.
For more details and further examples of strategies, read the paper “A UX Stratega – A Fictitious but Realistic Example of a UX Strategy” by Rolf Molich, 7 pages.
Example of a poor strategy
“Our strategy is collaborative growth
We will lead a customer-focused effort of the market through our use of digital business and internet of things ecosystem to build a cloud-based revolution.
By being both innovative and open, we will drive competitive advantage throughout the organization. Synergies between our data leaders and agile culture will enable us to capture the upside by becoming networked in a big data world.
These transformations coupled with disruptive insight from data due to our digital first platform will create a learning organization through value and efficiency.”
Credit: Sophie Dennis
Examples of UX tactics: Create personas based on user research; create user requirements and discuss them with stakeholders; create user journey maps and discuss them with stakeholders; create prototypes and usability test them; implement human centered design lifecycle.
Definition: The level of understanding and implementation of a systematic human-centered design process within an organisation or a development team.
Note: UX maturity is described in more detail on a separate page, which includes a number of usable UX maturity models.
UX maturity level
Definition: A number of specific process or organizational characteristics that precisely and usably describe a level of understanding and implementation of a systematic human-centered design process within an organisation or a development team.
Note: The description of each UX maturity level must be so precise and usable that it enables an organization or external, neutral assessors to determine if the organization or a product team has reached this UX maturity level.
UX maturity model
Definition: A framework that enables organizations to assess the quality and effectiveness of their user research processes and practice.
Notes: Technically speaking, a UX maturity model is an ordered collection of UX maturity levels that cover the full spectrum of UX maturity levels from lowest to highest UX maturity.
A UX maturity model helps organizations and product teams understand where they are and what to strive for.
UX maturity models often have six UX maturity levels.
Management’s true commitment to usability and user experience is important for a high UX maturity. Many managers will say that they are committed to usability. However, there is a tremendous difference between paying lip service to commitment and true commitment. The following quote puts it nicely: