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Is your design YOU-centred, or USER-centred?

Understand where you are at; start where you are at. Design is meant to be about the customer; the consumer; the experiencer...yet all too often products and solutions are created from a viewpoint that is YOU-centred (*your company* way of seeing things, *your* ideas), rather than USER-centred.

Sure, YOU-centred design can be good design, but USER-centred design is where things get really exciting and where great digital products are born…

Shifting the design focus from YOU to the USER creates space for you to set aside your own point of view and see through the eyes of the customer; to see a problem from a different angle; to build on ideas in new ways; or to challenge the status quo.

Flipping the script

Making the switch is all about your business making a decision to put its customers in the centre of their processes and committing resources and time to build up this capability. A great place to start is by understanding your organisation's level of user experience maturity (‘UX Maturity’). UX Maturity is quickly becoming a well-known barometer of innovation, and for good reason. It encompasses your desire and ability to successfully deliver user-centred design – including the quality and consistency of your research and design processes, resources, tools and operations, as well as how you strengthen UX through leadership and culture.

Simply put: your level of UX Maturity dictates how easy you find it to make business decisions and shape your business around your USERS and their feedback.

To do so we need to move from a place of designing a solution and simply handing it to our customers; to placing the customer at the centre of our decisions around what they'd like us to design in the first place!

Understand where you are at; start where you are at

So - if trying to either define or solve a problem in an obvious, conventional way, will often lead to an obvious, conventional result - how do we make the switch?

A good place to start is assessing where you currently sit on the 6 stage UX-Maturity Model from Nielsen Norman Group, ranging from stage 1, where UX is ignored or non-existent, through to stage 6, where dedication to UX at all levels of the business leads to deep insights and exceptional products with loyal customers.

This handy, free quiz takes just minutes to complete and will give you a good idea of your organization’s UX maturity. (Click here to complete the quiz.)

Understanding where you’re at is key to planning how you’ll improve. Remember - proactive action leads to incremental progress.

If you’re at a lower stage, focusing on building UX awareness and education is key to laying a solid foundation. If you’re further up, the focus might be on building a culture of support for UX, gathering more momentum around UX priorities, or establishing user-centred outcome metrics.

Build strength from within

If it all sounds like hard work - remember that this approach is good for more than just design. When customers and their insights have true influence on business decisions and solutions, it’s not just the customer that reaps the benefits – the whole organisation does. Those operating at Stage 6 perform a massive 70% better in terms of revenue and experience a 50% increase in customer satisfaction according to The New Design Frontier Report (Invison).

Building UX capacity has the power to transform your products, your processes, your people, and your business, so as tempting as it may be, it’s not something to ‘hire in’ at the beginning of a project and then think you’re done.

Successful innovation needs continuous investment and the backing of the people behind it, and how can people back something they’re not a part of? The best way to win their support is to involve them in the UX process from whoa to go by making it part of the culture to see things through the eyes of the customer.

High UX Maturity truly is your launch pad for incredible innovation both now and in the future, so focusing on raising the level and infusing this knowledge and skills in your team is ultimately worth the time and investment.

Can we help?

At Osynlig, we’re all about people. Our team of deeply passionate, talented designers, developers and strategists are fuelled by a desire to create user experiences that people understand and love to use.

We are a local design partner with a global presence, driven by our vision to help people to unleash collaborative innovation to create businesses, products and services that solve meaningful problems and create positive impacts for people and the world.

For help with building your organisation’s UX Maturity from within, please get in touch.

Want to know more?

Talk to Pablo Dunovits, XD Director