UIEtips: Deriving Design Strategy from Market Maturity, Part 1

Jared Spool

June 18th, 2009

Once I understood how the Market Maturity model worked, life became much easier. The theory, which describes how organizations prioritize user experience over time, makes it easy to know what to suggest to team managers.

Using the model is easy. First, you ask a few questions to determine where the organization’s products are relative to their market maturity. The theory then tells you what recommendations are most likely to get attention.

For example, getting resources to conduct in-depth user research on users and scenarios is much easier in stage 3 (experience) than it is in stage 1 (technology) and stage 2 (features). In those stages, it’s easier to find a corporate champion for feature-focused, lightweight research.

This UIEtips contains part one of a two-part article on the Market Maturity model. I describe the first two stages, sharing how to identify if that’s where your team is, and what project priorities will make the most sense. I hope you enjoy it.

Read today’s UIEtips article.

The Market Maturity model is just one of several perspectives  I’m sharing at the upcoming UIE Roadshow: Secrets Behind Designing Great User Experiences. There’s still room in the Seattle, Denver, and DC full-day workshops. Register with the promotion code SHOW09 and get $75 off the price. 

Is your team dealing with stage 1 (technology) or stage 2 (features) issues? If so, what’s your strategy been? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them with us below. 

2 Responses to “UIEtips: Deriving Design Strategy from Market Maturity, Part 1”

  1. jeanne Says:

    Thanks for this article, it was timely for me becuase i’m the designer you mentioned in the begining of the article! -Recently I was wondered if anyone had seen any studies out there to describe why IT application builders do not integrate user experience design into their design process. Your comment about market maturity -stage 1 – Technology is Worth the Pain, resonated with me. I work in the government sector, and the notion of no competitors puts it all into perspective for me. For government applications, it’s a service to the public, or internal government employees. Generally there’s no competition products, there’s seems to be no incentive to make it more usable.The Federal government in most cases doesn’t require usability as part of their service level agreement, and their IT life cycle management excludes UX design activities as a requirement, so for the IT contractor building for the government, there seems to be no immediate incentive to build more usable designs. It’s so sad most of federal goverment is in Stage 1, so sad. Hopefully with the new administration that will begin to change.

  2. rs Says:

    Love your writing, this is a wonderful tool. I will always have trouble with the stage names, however, as to me the stage names are not consistent. As presented, the stages fall out like this:
    STAGE DRIVER FOCUS
    1-Technology Initiation Technology
    2-Features Competition Features
    3-Experience Experience Simplicity
    4-Commodity Commodity Integration

    So the first two stages are named for the focus, the second two for the driver. (Oh look, this is also a demonstration of how helpful charts can be for information architecture.)

    Thanks for being the industry spearhead and glue. You keep usability moving forward. Keep up the good work.

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