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XLAs Explained: How We Design Experience

Design Team

A key component in managing experience through XLAs is designing the experience we want to provide to our employees/ customers. By the time we come to this stage in our experience management journey, we will have understood where experience is lacking and are now looking to measure these areas so that we can improve. To design experience means to create an XLA around a focus area that allows us regular insight into the experience of said area so that we can manage the experience going forward. Let's take an example of an organisation who knows their employees are currently having a poor experience with company-provided laptops. Because of this, they want to design a more positive experience by measuring the areas people are having the most frustrating experience with. How can this organisation design a more positive experience? We're glad you asked:

Identify Current Experience Wants and Needs

We mentioned that by the time it comes to more in-depth XLA and experience design tasks, the experience wants and needs of your employees/customers will already by understood. The truth is that designing experience starts from the very moment an organisations get serious about changing the experience they currently provide. By looking into the wants and needs of those people we want to support with XLAs, possibly via interviews or responses to existing surveys, we are identifying the kind of experience they want; in other words, putting together a picture of the kind of experience to design.

Craft Sentiment Indicator Questions to Measure Experience

Team Discussion

Now we know what the experience needed/wanted is, the organisation has the XLA focus area to design a better experience around. They can now begin designing sentiment indicator questions that will measure employee experience of the key areas our XLA surrounds. Using our example of employees having a poor experience with company provided laptops, the organisation may ask questions such as:

  • How do you feel about the battery life of your laptop?

  • Please rate how you feel about your laptop being able to support your productivity.

  • Please score your happiness/unhappiness with the performance of your laptop.

By crafting questions around particular factors that are contributing to experience in a certain area, an organisation is designing experience. To start, they have the established experience to measure, but as time goes on and sentiment data comes in, the organisation can act upon their findings and improve/manage the experience in this area, thereby designing the experience for their employees. Here we see the essence of designing an experience: putting the pieces together so that an organisation has visibility and thereby the power the influence and manage experience.

However, questions and their sentiment data are often not enough to really pinpoint the precise factors contributing to poor experience. Organisations should now look to other indicators that provide context behind sentiment and enable us to add extra features onto our designed experience.

Look to Other Indicators that can Measure Experience

Other indicators refer to data points that the organisation has access to that can grant them operational, technical or other insights into the XLA focus area that are sentiment based. In our example above, we suggested questions relating to an employees laptop and how it support their productivity. An organisation may have access to device health metrics surrounding battery life or crashes occurring on particular apps. Having this data to hand immediately points to where the poor sentiment is arising, and enables quick decision making on how we design experience, thus providing an organisation with more insight on how they should be designing their experience and improving it for their employees.

By following these steps we have identified what the experience wants and needs are and understood how experience can be measured, enabling organisations to design the right experience for their organisation. There is much more to designing experience than what we have covered however. What is presented here are summaries of three steps of the XLA Design Methodology, designed by out partners at Experience Collab. The XLA design methodology enables organisations to build the right experience management metrics for them. The key framework to designing the right experience for your employees/customers, the XLA design methodology is covered in our Experience Practitioner course, also created by Experience Collab. See all upcoming Experience Practitioner courses and learn how you can define the right experience for your employees or customers. Alternatively, if you would like an introduction to designing XLAs, our own Designing XLAs course may be what you're looking for.

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