Every team, company and project is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all UX approach. Therefore, in order to help our clients achieve outstanding user experience, we consult on 3 levels: strategic, tactical and operational.

We create custom strategies for a wide range of industries with the goal of establishing a human-centred way of working within a company. From companies to start-ups and large corporations, we deal with organizations that face very different challenges. However, the goal is always the same: To build a sustainable business with great products. And the best way to achieve this nowadays is to offer an outstanding customer experience. In order to maintain this focus, it is crucial to integrate a customer-centered mindset into every aspect of a company. However, the organizational challenges vary, depending on the company’s culture and its type of business. This is why we tackle UX on three different levels, whether it be in a new, existing or growing business setting.

The Strategic Level:Establish UX

The strategic level deals with assessing the specific parameters of a company environment in order to establish UX. We have to take into account factors such as company size and working culture to establish a solid UX plan. For example, in the context of start-ups, it is possible to establish a user-centred or human-centred way of working within the company from the very beginning. The challenge for start-ups is to keep a user-centered focus as the business grows. The challenges grow as organizations become more complex. In fact, the risk of falling behind in the race for best-possible customer experience is greatest for large, established multinational corporations. This is especially true of the ones who deal with projects at an enterprise level (B2E), with other businesses (B2B) and directly with consumers (B2C).

One of our partners, Kursat Ozenc, has established a solution to one of the hardest challenges: changing a company’s culture. Ozenc works at the Ritual Design Lab, a design and research initiative at Stanford d.school. His approach to this problem is outlined in his publication “Rituals for Work”. Ozenc’s ground-breaking method consists of integrating the know-how and functionality of rituals into design work. He actually suggests using rituals as a “tool” to design improved processes in a work culture. For example, he suggests “designing” the way a new project starts within an organization with use of rituals. This increases employee engagement, team performance, and shared purpose within organizations.
“Rituals for Work” by Kursat Ozenc, Ph.D. and Margaret Hagan, Ph.D.
The following example describes a phased approach to increase the ROI of UX and the level of maturity of Human-Centered Design within a large organization, the adidas Group.
“Institutionalization of Human-Centered Design at adidas Group” by Leo Glomann and Lucie Grudno

The Tactical Level:Customer-Centered Product Management

Each client incorporates UX-driven product management to a different extent. Often, there is a focus on the customer at the strategic level, but it is not executed properly at the tactical level. Conceptual baselines such as Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design and Lean Start-up need to become tangible within a company’s environment. We create tailor-made strategies for companies by adapting standard conceptual baselines to company-specific factors. The goal is to adapt product management to a customer-centred reality within a company.

The Operational Level:Integrated Development and UX Activities

We use agile development methodologies like Scrum to implement software within digital project settings. Approaches like Design Thinking or Human-Centered Design are mindsets or ways of working on a conceptual level. There are many ways to make these approaches work on a practical level too but a very common challenge amongst digital teams is the integration of agile development and UX approaches.

Once again, there’s no one-size fits all. Some see “UX” as conceptual pre-work, prior to any development efforts. This, by definition, is not agile because there is little leeway for change during the development process. Others approach UX as a service, meaning the UX personnel is not an integral part of the Scrum team. This goes against the Scrum philosophy and typically results in additional efforts in communication and alignment. The common advice is that UX representatives should be equal Scrum team members and actively participate in Scrum ceremonies. Although the benefit of this is indisputable, it does not solve the actual issue. How might agile development and UX efforts work pragmatically hand-in-hand throughout the complete process? This question is answered by our model called “Human-Centered Agile Workflow” (HCAW). It is coined as process model for true integration of customer-centered conception and agile development.
“Introducing ‘Human-Centered Agile Workflow’ (HCAW) – An Agile Conception and Development Process Model” by Leo Glomann for LINC