Subsistence UX, Resolution UX, Gain UX or Advantage UX ?
What do clients require, what are clients getting and can they tell the difference in the level of UX or do they just not call again?
There is a major problem with user experience UX as it evolves, many projects are not underwriting their solutions with recent and client specific UX research but are relying on past patterns. In turn this has caused the creation of streams or levels of UX capability and delivery; Subsistence UX, Resolution UX, Gain UX or Advantage UX.
Pattern based UX has been added to major software by companies who build static interaction libraries for front end development tools, as if everything in user experience and interactive systems can be or should be limited to the same interactive behaviours as every other system!
When I commission a digital system for a client, I would want to know what has been used already and who else has the same thing.
Pattern based user experience, where the person (interaction designer, visual designer, UI developer) providing the service has not conducted UX requirements gathering and UX research. The result of this type of UX is survival but it does not support growth as it was not conceived by understanding targeted users. Many practitioners would not consider this UX at all, but it is what lots of clients are being sold as UX.
Fixing basic problems with a user experience would at first glance appear easy, but in fact it’s more difficult than working on a green field project, because no matter how bad the experience is, people have become use to it. With existing users involved projects are not a fix problem, it’s becomes a fix and migration problem. UX people should be asking themselves ‘how do I in UX facilitate users moving from one experience to another?’ This requires a mixture of analytics and user workshops (group work) to rapidly find a common interactive language for the systems target audience.
Understanding the motivation, desires and needs of targeted users in defining UX requirements (changing the project/business requirements) enable gain type UX. This type of UX is front loaded (quick wins) on to projects to establish clarity of focus that enables the adoption and rapid integration of complex interactive systems.
Advantage based UX, is like Gain in that the focus is the user, but at a strategic and architectural level. Almost everyone you ask at the strategic level will say ‘yes we focus on the user’ but they don’t think like the user, they think like someone selling or engaging with the user and are not objective.
Advantage based UX has the rights to questions the reason for projects, by asking ‘what benefit does the user get from this? does this reduce our trusted brand status? etc.’ Advantage is always set by being where there market is often before they know that where they are themselves. How? By modelling user logic, user behaviours, user interaction, external factors upon personas and target markets it’s really complex, that’s why so few people and companies do it.