Our talk discusses how UX design can gain strategic relevance within organisations. We present a case study on an evaluation program at Nokia called UX123. In the program, lead products and services are evaluated using UX heuristics and direct competitor comparisons. Tangible results show that UX123 has made UX, and the investment it needs a factor in decision making beyond the Design organisation in R&D, marketing and portfolio planning. This talk will not focus on the UX methods adapted in UX123 (Rantavuo&Roto, 2013, CHI) but instead we focus on practices formed and competences required.
We claim that UX123 has become relevant to decision making beyond the design unit because it has combined UX design evaluation with discussion on strategy and the product portfolio, drawing from research on competitors’ strategies and product portfolios. The target is to not only influence designers and design unit decision making, but also stakeholder units that have an effect on how design is executed. This requires targeted, well considered communications and relationship managing.We argue that any UX design team can gain strategic relevance through these practices, but it may involve expanding the notion of what is in the scope of the UX design profession, and adopting tasks and practices not usually associated with it.