How to Personalize Your UX Service Offering

by Stuart Ridgway, Original Music for Film and Television.  I originally wrote this article for Excella.com on May 19, 2016.

As we continue to grow at Excella, we strive to fine tune our UX service. It’s not enough to provide UX services merely as adjuncts to development projects. Our aim is to build a UX practice that inspires our clients as well as our staff. This is not off the shelf UX!

Developing a UX Strategy

If you are building your own UX practice, here are the steps we followed at Excella as well as several lessons learned.

Building on the successes of the last few years, we gathered the collective insights from our professionals to personalize the UX services Excella provides. Of course, we always provide customized solutions for our clients, but now we’re refining our practice to connect more personally with our staff. We aim to become inspired by the causes they care about.

Focus on Impact

Excella is committed to bringing positive impact to its clients and that’s a great starting point for improving upon our UX services. Capitalizing on that commitment, we used a combination of design methodologies, a design thinking workshop, and a design studio, to gather many different ideas from our designers.

Starting with the design thinking workshop, we asked our UX designers about the most satisfying projects that they’ve worked on and also about the altruistic causes that are important to them. Why did these projects have a positive impact? Why are these causes inspiring? We looked for parallels and connections to find what really drives them.

Find Themes

We then had an exercise, modeled on design studio practices, where we asked the designers to group the projects and the causes into themes. Some designers find satisfaction continuing to grow as UX professionals and sharing the knowledge they’ve acquired. Others are inspired by truly understanding what people need to improve their lives and acting on it. All of the designers see UX as a calling inside and outside of Excella by:

  • “Making the inaccessible accessible”
  • “Being multi-disciplined”
  • “Relishing in projects that have positive impacts on others”

Integrate Themes

To put these ideas into action, the UX staff are applying these themes to the daily work done with our clients. First, we strive to make ourselves redundant by elevating junior UX staff and ensuring they are skilled enough to carry out more challenging tasks. Second, we work to identify the underlying causes that drive our clients and their customers – beyond the stated business goals. Finally, we foster an environment where our staff embraces the values of good UX and understand how it is intertwined with their own work.

Improving Excella’s UX service offering is not a static exercise – we have only just begun. We will always strive to make our services more personally meaningful for all of the company. As we integrate these themes into our work, we will continue to look for opportunities to infuse great UX practices throughout all of Excella’s service.

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Stuart Ridgway composes original music for film and television.  You can find out more about his music and the Emmy Award winning television shows he works on at Pyramid Digital Productions, Inc.
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