Book Review: UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want

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ux strategy book

There’s a big difference between UX design and UX strategy. Well, maybe not BIG. But definitely a difference in the way you approach problems and solve them.

UX Strategy by Jaime Levy is an O’Reilly book focusing on user experience strategy for developers, designers, and project leaders. You can learn everything about UX strategy from this book including what it is and how to apply it to your digital work.

Everyone from designers to entrepreneurs can learn something from this book. It tackles problems from many angles and the writing is super easy to consume regardless of your background.

You can understand the value of UX strategy without doing any work in UX design. The strategy is the ground work that should be done on every project before doing anything else.

Book Contents

This book covers 312 pages with excessive detail in user experience strategy for digital design. Interfaces are the future and this book’s author Jaime Levy knows that interactive experiences pave the way to success.

You get ten detailed chapters with one final “wrapping up” chapter followed by an index. Each chapter covers one overarching UX strategy or technique in greater detail.

Here’s a list of all the chapters:

  1. What Is UX Strategy?
  2. The Four Tenets of UX Strategy
  3. Validating the Value Proposition
  4. Conducting Competitive Research
  5. Conducting Competitive Analysis
  6. Storyboarding Value Innovation
  7. Creating Prototypes for Experiments
  8. Conducting Guerrilla User Research
  9. Designing for Conversion
  10. Strategists in the Wild
  11. Denouement

The basic idea of UX strategy is to consider user experience design insofar as it affects the KPIs and business goals. The user experience should align perfectly with what users should be doing to funnel through and complete your desired objectives.

Jaime talks about testing ideas to see if they’re valuable before launch. She covers research and analysis for UX testing and how you should go about this based on your project’s goals.

Experiments, live case studies, and real-world metrics are all discussed. The ultimate goal is conversion. This means guiding users into doing whatever they need to be doing(or whatever you need them to be doing).

Too many UX books have been published with not enough substance. Jaime’s book offers a breath of fresh air because it’s one of the most detailed and practical UX books I’ve ever read.

Jaime even offers her own custom UX Strategy Toolkit which you can download from the book’s website. It’s sent via e-mail and includes all the tools of the trade you need to implement the techniques mentioned in this book.

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I can’t praise this book enough for the unique take it has on user experience.

There’s more to designing an interface than just wireframing and general prototyping. You should always take a step back and consider why you’re designing something and what the end goals are.

Jaime teaches you how to do this with real case studies and live examples. She also offers tools and resources to help on your journey to UX strategy mastery.

Pros & Cons

The strategies from storyboarding to user analysis are all straightforward enough that you can’t mess them up. Jaime’s clear style of writing makes it super easy to just dive into UX strategy, even if you have no experience in that area.

I think her live examples and techniques are the backbone of this entire book. It’s fun to learn about how UX strategy works in theory. But it’s incredibly valuable to understand how it works in practice, and more specifically how you can put it into practice.

Jaime encourages unity amongst team members and combining UX ideas with the business model to find solutions that make everyone happy. Studying metrics, building funnels, and tracking conversions are all part of this process.

The case studies and exercises illustrate how you should go about doing this in real world projects. You can also download spreadsheets and tools to help you implement these strategies—all courtesy of Jaime without any strings attached.

As you can tell these are all in the “pros” side.

It turns out I can’t really think of any cons. Maybe the book could’ve been longer?

Topics are covered in detail and Jaime has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. There isn’t much more I could ask for when it comes to an expert UX strategist sharing her tips with the world.

Who Is This For?

Anyone in the field of user experience from usability testing to business strategy and even small-time entrepreneurs should read this book. It’s for everyone. In truth, anybody who owns a business that has some digital component should read this book.

But the UX tips even go beyond the digital world to pull ideas & examples from real life. This helps entrepreneurs see that user behaviors can be predictable and guided once you know what to look for.

Web developers can also learn a lot from this book. Since UI/UX development is so crucial to the process this book can help you become more versatile. If you know how to code and you can learn practical UX techniques then you’ll be a true asset to any creative team.

I’m honestly struggling to think of any person that couldn’t benefit from this book. We’re all so accustomed to technology that it seems like interfaces run our modern lives. We all use interfaces daily but few of us know how they work or how they’re engineered from a usability perspective.

You could get value from this book even if your job has nothing to do with UI/UX or creative work. The author shares anecdotes and case studies that’ll help you understand more about what goes into the design of a website or mobile app. And I think the UX strategy principles can be extrapolated to almost anything in life.

But anyone in the business world or technology sector must have a copy of this book. Designers, developers, marketers, and business leaders alike can all learn a lot from Jaime’s writings.

Final Summary

I sadly can’t think of a single terrible thing to say about this book. I guess it would’ve been cool to have another 100 pages of strategies and techniques for developing funnels & user engagement.

But what you do get in ~300 pages is so incredible that I just can’t ask for much else. The contents in this book are valuable for everyone on a creative team, along with all entrepreneurs who have some product(s) in the tech space.

UX Strategy is the ultimate guide on user experience, business strategy, user engagement, and improving metrics/KPIs for digital interfaces. I’ve never seen another book like this and I have a feeling there won’t be another one like this for a while.

Whether you work in UX or if you’re adjacent to the UX field, or you just kinda want to learn about UX strategy, I would highly recommend this book. It goes far beyond UX design into the strategies and methodologies of building products that work.

Jaime has the experience to back up her statements and this book should be mandatory reading for every web & mobile designer/developer working in the modern world.

UX Strategy - How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want

Review Rating: 5/5
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Alex is a fullstack developer with years of experience working in digital agencies and as a freelancer. He writes about educational resources and tools for programmers building the future of the web.