April 12, 2021

What the heck is DXD (and how can it help your business)?

Posted by Sarah Claeys

We are Emakina, the User Agency. It’s our mission to help your business evolve, with the user squarely in the centre. Knowing this, it won’t come as a big surprise that we’ve taken the strategy & advisory pillar in our service offering to the next level of user-centricity. How? By adding a brand new Digital eXperience Design (DXD) team! 

Sure, but what is DXD? 

DXD is short for Digital eXperience Design. It means exactly what is says: designing the ultimate user experience. It’s a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to define intentionally how the user will experience your branded services and products. It encompasses the entire user journey, from the first time a user comes into contact with your brand until they are a loyal customer (and beyond).  

Notice that it isn’t called Experience Making or Experience Thinking. We use the word ‘Design’ on purpose. That’s because design is not just about how things look, but the way they work. It’s about creating a solution for a specific problem, ideating with a purpose and building for maximum value. Digital Experience Design is not just a buzzword, it’s an actionable framework with a tangible output. 

How does DXD help my business?  

Fair question. Why not hire one strategist to have a deep think about your business problem and let them come up with the best solution in a couple of days? Why go through the trouble of hiring a multidisciplinary team to spend 6 to 8 weeks researching, ideating, building and testing?  

To answer that question, you need to understand how our Emakina DXD team works. Actually, the process is not very complicated. Our framework has two phases: (1) finding the most relevant problem to solve for your business and your users, then (2) defining the most meaningful solution for both. What’s special about the way we work, is that we don’t sit in an armchair for a day and then build a long PowerPoint based solely on our thoughts. On the contrary, we roll up our sleeves and we get to work.   

We start by understanding and mapping your business and the current user experience. We do that together with you, the whole DXD process is collaborative. Based on what we see, we have some hypotheses about the most relevant problems for your users, and then we go out into the world and we involve actual users. With the user data we gather, it’s easy to prioritise all the issues. Then we pick what will have the most impact on your user experience AND what will be most beneficial for your business. You now have a clear view of the problem that will make a real difference if you solve it. That’s the end of the first phase!  

This information is then used to ideate solutions together. Now you have a board full of solutions that could potentially have a great impact on your user and your business. But how do you know which one will actually work? You could pick your favourite idea based on your own gut feeling, but we recommend instead to make fact-based decisions. That’s what phase 2 is for. We build a rough version of the best ideas and then let actual users test them. This way, we quickly discover what works and what doesn’t. We select the best functioning prototype, improve it and test it again – as many times as is needed for you to feel confident that this solution will make your users happy and add value to your business. And then we launch it. That’s the end of phase 2. 

I get it, but how does that help me? 

There are 3 ways the framework of our DXD team helps your business. Firstly, a bad user experience costs you clients. When users don’t like how you make them feel, your funnel dries up faster than a wet towel in a heatwave. If that is the case, you need to find the issues and fix them, fast. You can’t afford to guess, build a solution that could or couldn’t work and pray for a good outcome when you launch. Yes, your armchair strategist could get it right. But they could also get it horribly wrong, costing you time, money and potential customers now lost forever. With the DXD methodology, we test with actual users. You go in knowing it will work. No praying, only empirical results. 

Secondly, a badly functioning product or service costs you clients and money. When users get frustrated with what you sold them, they aren’t going to sit in a corner and cry silently. They go online and let the world know of their dissatisfaction. Handling complaints and massive amounts of aftersales troubleshooting are costly for your company as well. If only there was a way to test your product or service with real users so you could discover the majority of issues before you went live. Wait… That’s exactly what the DXD team does! With the DXD methodology, you go in knowing it will work. No praying, only empirical results. 

Lastly, we can’t pretend there hasn’t been a massive shift in user behavior the past months. We clearly saw that a business that isn’t ready to adapt fast to change, will die. Innovation at a rapid pace can be daunting for some business. With the DXD framework, we collaborate to identify opportunities, ideate answers, test and iterate solutions in a matter of weeks. It’s fast and what you put out is user-tested. Again: no praying, only empirical results. 

If you like what you just read and you’re thinking of getting your business a shot of DXD, ring +32 (0)2/400.40.40 to have a chat with our DXD team lead (ask for Ivanel Pérez Bolivar). Not ready to work with us and still unsure if DXD is the right thing for you? Take a look at our free decision tree! It will offer you clarity in a matter of seconds…

You’re welcome!