UX Strategy Book Review

April 7, 2024 Length: 4 min Back to Posts

I spend most of my time these days doing development. It would be nice to focus on UI/UX things more, but that isn’t always where business priorities are at. UX Strategy: How to devise innovative digital products that people want was book recommendation that came across on my LinkedIn feed. The concept of “UX strategy” intrigued me, so I decided to give the book a read and extract any useful insights it might offer.

UX Strategy Definition

The definition of “UX strategy” is how businesses can deliver value to their customers. Most UX books focus on topics like user journeys and working with teams to decide how screens will flow. This book spends more time making sure there is a market for the business. This UX strategy definition combines a few roles that smaller companies might not have: UI designer, business analyst, and market research.

Guerilla User Research

The few chapters that go over her research process is the most interesting part of this book. How do you find and question people on a shoestring budget. From there, question people and find out how successful the product might be. The author goes into great detail with how to find people, scheduling a location, then drilling the prospective customers with questions. With the ultimate goal to see how successful the new product will be.

This sounds like this process of interviewing people isn’t done very much by the people that are starting a business. An idea pops into their head, it sounds good to them, and they start wanting to implement it and build something.

The Elephant in the room

Much of this book is tied to a company called “TradeYa”. I looked it up on CrunchBase to see how successful it was since I have never heard of it. A California startup that hasn’t seemed to go anywhere since 2012. According to a website called Tracxn, the startup company is categorized as deadpooled.

This word excited me a bit and took me down a rabbit hole. It effectively just means the company is defunct and not operating and originated from a popular super hero.

The whole failed company aspect puts a damper on things as I progressed through it. For a book that is mostly about business development and developing a great product for customers, the end product that was delivered didn’t seem to hit the mark. I am sure it is possible the lack of adoption and success isn’t tied to the UX, it was hard to get it out of my mind. Every time the company name is mentioned, a voice in the back of my mind said “oh no, not another reference to this failed company”.

The overuse of the word “UX” in modern design

The author seems to understand the customer and product better than the business owner does in many examples. I am surprised so many people just have a hunch about a business and want to instantly start building out an applicaton.

One realization is that the word “UX” is a word that is thrown around way to often as a panacea for products. Just adding the word UX to anything doesn’t inherently have value. Every product or service has people involved in it. Thinking about the customer/user is good, but so it a lot of other things in a business. To understand what the scope of a business is, we really need to start adding more words like the following

  • SD (sales design) - how can the product/design change to improve sales
  • ED (employee design) - how can the product/design change to make employees lives easier
  • BD (business design) - how can the business process be improve based with improvements to technology
  • …insert other departments or aspects of how a business operates

Overall the book was interesting in spots, but not worth reading through the 270+ pages.

Hi, I'm Scott

I mostly keep this blog to help me remember things. Writing is also a great way to understand things at a deeper level. I would highly recommend it if you don't write at all.