Customers have experiences with an organization’s products and services regardless of whether the organization is consciously managing them. A good user experience delights customers—increasing adoption, retention, loyalty, and, most important, revenue. And a poor user experience discourages customers from using a product or service and drives them to the competition—eventually, making a product offering unviable.
Smart organizations recognize that providing a good user experience for a product is an essential competitive advantage. They know it is the product’s user experience that forms their customers’ impression of the product—by both attracting and delighting customers and differentiating their product from its competitors. Just look at the user experiences consumer companies like Apple provide. Even government organizations know this is important. Check out Usability.Gov.
Because user experience has become so important to organizations’ success in the marketplace and, thus, their revenue, it is now part of their overall business strategy. Organizations should plan how to manage and measure user experience. Therefore, most organizations have some system for managing their strategy and measuring their progress toward achieving their goals. One popular system for managing and measuring strategy is Balanced Scorecard.
Balanced Scorecard is a system that aligns specific business activities to an organization’s vision and strategy. Using a scorecard helps organizations balance their strategic objectives across four perspectives:
- Financial—The Financial Perspective examines the contribution of an organization’s strategy to the bottom line. It represents the strategic objectives of an organization in terms of increasing revenue and reducing cost.
- Customer—The Customer Perspective focuses on customers’ satisfaction, which contributes to the organization’s revenue. It represents the value an organization delivers to customers, the value proposition, and the resulting customer satisfaction.
- Internal Business Processes—The Internal Process Perspective is concerned with requirements for products and services that deliver the customer value proposition. It focuses on activities and key processes that are necessary for an organization to excel at providing the value customers expect.
- Learning and Growth—The Learning and Growth Perspective focuses on the internal skills and capabilities an organization requires to support value-creating internal processes. This perspective includes employee training, the development of corporate cultural attitudes relating to both individual and corporate self-improvement, and the technological tools that support these activities.
By understanding the basics of Balanced Scorecard, you can marry your user experience activities to your organization’s overall strategy. One popular user experience design process that can help you do that is activity-centered design.
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