ConveyUX: Good UX is Good Business

by February 27, 2024

In her Good UX is Good Business talk at Convey UX Amy Lanfear outlined the journey the Microsoft Security team's joint UX group underwent to make their business impact clear to executives. Here are my notes from her talk:

  • In January 2022, a brand new division was been formed at Microsoft for all the security products and they decided to centralize UX.
  • The ultimate goal for the engineering executives was to drive business impact. So how can the UX team show their value toward that end?
  • To communicate that impact, the UX team had to speak a language that engineering executives understood: data.
  • How do you start to apply data in everything that you're doing? OKRs. They're a methodology for tracking goals that are methods-based and help drive accountability.
  • The team articulate objective statements for culture, quality, operational excellence, and a few others.
  • For each, they asked why does it really matter? Why do we think it's important? Perhaps usability, accessibility, productivity, customer loyalty, etc.
  • Executives might not look at the world the same way. Their drivers are about revenue and driving the business forward. So how do you connect these two outlooks?
  • Set a hypothesis that products with high-performing UX metrics are going to build stronger business results. To prove it, they set about measuring their OKRs.
  • One objective was to deliver quality experiences that are easy to use, human-centered, and accessible and grounded ourselves in three metrics.
  • Accessibility should be a C grade or higher. Ease of use, the SEQ score should be a six or higher on a seven-point scale. And so on...
  • The problem was each UX team measured things differently. Some measured NPS. Some measured ask completion. It was just all over the map.
  • The Common UX Measurement Framework was started to make sure all product teams measure like things in like ways.
  • Then across designers, researchers, technical PMs, software developers, data scientists, they got to shared goals and a common scorecard that was reviewed quarterly review.
  • In the review, the why questions that only humans can ask and answer are discussed. In this meeting, shining a light on winning scenarios helps other teams ask, what are you doing?
  • But UX metrics weren't enough. It was the data correlation with business metrics that mattered like support incidents, CSAT, NPS, public perception, internal efficiencies.
  • the team just finished a pilot project that showed a 12% reduction in support over three months' time.
  • Now the team is using their data insights to shift left, which means let's get problems right upstream, versus wait for problems, and then only have to fix them later downstream.
  • Basically it's about bringing quality assurance closer to the beginning stage of the development cycle.
  • The next step is get UX metrics into the product launch readiness criteria.<./li>
  • Though the things that we measure today will be different tomorrow because the experiences will be different tomorrow, this framework still holds true. The metrics might change because with new experiences come new things to measure and in different ways.