User Focus

By Progression

The mindset that defaults to thinking about the needs of a user primarily, advocating for them and building real users into their everyday work

Level 1

Can describe the typical user and some of their needs and problems. Works to observe users regularly

  • Advocating to others: You take steps as part of your personal design process to establish and represent real users.

  • Data gathering: You're regularly using the resources you have access to to learn more about your user.

Level 2

Regularly in contact with users, and actively advocates for them as part of the design process

  • Advocating to others: You reframe work that you and peers take on from a user-focused point of view. You ensure that every conversation you have with your team involves user needs.

  • Data gathering: You look for user data outside your immediate reach to further flesh out user needs. You improve and iterate on your user's needs over time.

Level 3

Actively organises for teams around them to participate in user-focused development, advocating for the user at all stages

  • Advocating to others: Your design process involves the user from the first stage to the last. You question projects that ignore the user and push for better definition of outcomes. Your process has changed how your team works.

  • Data gathering: You push for more of a user focus for yourself and your team, either enabling or actively organising research and data-gathering that wasn't previously happening.

Level 4

Ensures that their entire organisation is customer-focused, actively designing better communication of and empathy with user needs through all channels

  • Advocating to others: You establish user focus as a practice in at least one team, and are actively working to build practice into a wider organisation. Teams in your organisation spend time and money on research where there wasn't any before.

  • Data gathering: You establish user focus in all projects under your command, wrangling budget and resource to ensure that data gathering is an essential part of the process of developing product.

Level 5

Has put in place and enforced process which forces their organisation or business to design for their users, resulting in material changes in company strategy

  • Advocating to others: The entire organisation can explain their customer-types and what problems they're solving. You're an advocate externally and have built the reputation of your company as user-focused.

  • Data gathering: You establish industry-recognised methods for creating and using user insight across your organisation. Because of you, projects won't start without qualitative and quantitative user data.

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