Corporal UX Maturity

Find out your corporal UX

level with this survey.

THE STARTING POINT

As UX Supervisor, one of my mandates is to continuously improve the overall standing of UX within the studio. I was thinking, apart from trainings, presentations and workshops, how can I do that? Also, what exactly needs the most urgent improvement and which groups of people would benefit from this the most? All of them, obviously, but idealism aside, there had to be a way to determine the status quo.

Luckily, during my training in London by the Nielsen Norman Group, I had the chance to meet Kara Pernice, the Senior Vice President at the NN/g. In one of her presentations, she talked about the eight stages of UX maturity a corporation can reach, starting from the total ignorance towards user needs to the ultimately user-needs driven corporal strategy... and all the steps of UX-evolution that come between that.

And the coolest thing about it was, there was even a way how to find out on which stage a company is and also how to support it in order to reach the next step of this UX maturity.

THE SETUP

So after communicating the benefits of such a survey with top management, I reached out to Kara Pernice and discussed the purchase and setup for the survey. Our company would answer to the survey, but the NN/g would analyze the results, so it was a thrilling collaboration on our side.

First, I needed to figure out, who our participants should be, from whom I would get appropriate feedback that would be representative to determine nominal-actual comparison of our current status quo in terms of UX.

In the end, I decided to aim for designers, user researchers, creative directors, top management and producers, as I expected those groups to be either directly involved into UX processes or being in the position to enable UX improvement within the company.

THE STARTING POINT

As UX Supervisor, one of my mandates is to continuously improve the overall standing of UX within the studio. I was thinking, apart from trainings, presentations and workshops, how can I do that? Also, what exactly needs the most urgent improvement and which groups of people would benefit from this the most? All of them, obviously, but idealism aside, there had to be a way to determine the status quo.

Luckily, during my training in London by the Nielsen Norman Group, I had the chance to meet Kara Pernice, the Senior Vice President at the NN/g. In one of her presentations, she talked about the eight stages of UX maturity a corporation can reach, starting from the total ignorance towards user needs to the ultimately user-needs driven corporal strategy... and all the steps of UX-evolution that come between that.

And the coolest thing about it was, there was even a way how to find out on which stage a company is and also how to support it in order to reach the next step of this UX maturity.

THE SETUP

So after communicating the benefits of such a survey with top management, I reached out to Kara Pernice and discussed the purchase and setup for the survey. Our company would answer to the survey, but the NN/g would analyze the results, so it was a thrilling collaboration on our side.

First, I needed to figure out, who our participants should be, from whom I would get appropriate feedback that would be representative to determine nominal-actual comparison of our current status quo in terms of UX.

In the end, I decided to aim for designers, user researchers, creative directors, top management and producers, as I expected those groups to be either directly involved into UX processes or being in the position to enable UX improvement within the company.

Early Maturity Stages

Advanced Maturity Levels

1.Hostility toward usability

3.Skunkworks UX

5.Managed usability

7.Integrated UCD

2.Developer-centerd

4.Dedicated UX budget

6.Systematic UX process

8.User-driven corporation

This chart is based on the corporate UX maturity by NN/g.

THE SURVEY

The actual survey was set up online by NN/g and consisted of 16 questions in total.

The participants were invited to access it via email that also offered additional information about the intention of the survey and our envisioned learning. The run time for the survey was set to two weeks with two reminder-notifications for those, who did not submit the survey yet. In the end, only around the half of the participants submitted the survey, which was a bit disappointing, however it already helped me to get an overview about how UX was viewed in general in the company.

KEY-LEARNINGS & NEXT STEPS

Even though the participation number was limited, I gained some interesting insights.

First of all the results (that I cannot share here for obvious reasons :) varied significantly depending on the group. So while they were pretty high among top management or the user reasearch-participants, they were much lower among the group of designers and producers. This lead to the assumption that while we have a decent UX positioning, however, people involved in direct development don't know much about it or cannot utilize UX services properly.

Two main UX topics to improve in the future:

 

1. Improve the overall visibility of UX services within the company, so everybody knows where to request support and what kind of services can be provided for different phases of the project life cycle.

2. Support teams hands-on and help producers to plan and integrate iterative processes during development, to make UX a tangible, present and plannable part of the process and not only an optional nice-to-have.

And since this process is still in progress, this is as far as I can share for now. But updates will follow in the future... In the meantime, feel free to find out more about the different UX maturity stages described in the articles by NN/g.

© 2019 by Iva Randelshofer, MA, UXC