UX Strategy: from local problems to global solutions
To understand the impact that my current UX team has on different marketplaces, our customers, you first need to understand our role and where we are in the organisation.
In a nutshell, my UX team belongs to a tribe in our company that is a group of tech specialist from different disciplines supporting several marketplaces around the world. We specialise particularly in building trust in the marketplaces and integrate different methods for transactions with featured products for content moderation, trusted profiles and messaging.
Because of this setup, our constant collaboration with Marketplaces becomes critical. Our sync sessions allow us to keep adding all the user input they collect to apply it in everything we do. As user advocates, we need to empathise and understand our users and bring their voices to every piece that is developed within the company. Even though being part of a global team means that we are further away from those users than local UX teams, we still capture their voice which leads us to focus on a global UX strategy and look at the problems from a wider point of view.
For instance, one of the most important perks we do have as UXers in a global team is that we’re able to understand local problems and transform them into global solutions.
How do we do this? And most importantly, what is the impact we cause in the local brands with this global approach?
Local learnings: Our tribe UX role is key to share local learnings
As mentioned before, with our current setup we are UXers but far from users. Fortunately we work really close with the talented UX teams that are supporting our local brands (marketplaces). They constantly feed us with UX research, testing and feedback. This allows us to build a knowledge base that can be reused for others, not only spreading good practices and success stories, but also failures, learnings, experiments, feedback, etc…
This knowledge sharing helps us to provide guidance, audit different solutions and also, sharing learnings about specific use cases sets the field for marketplaces when they’re jumping into uncharted territory in terms of new features and functionalities. For example, related to the transaction topic, we speed up their development process with a clear vision as we already know what solutions did and did not work in other marketplaces.
Focus: Our UX team provides expertise to focus on what is important
The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed our world in general, and user trends in our marketplaces in particular. One of the biggest challenges has been the transformation of some of our ‘traditional’ marketplaces, where face to face meetings to exchange items where the standard, into transactional platforms where everything happens online.
Within our company’s ecosystem there are Marketplaces that are already a very mature player offering users transactional experiences. There are also other marketplaces that have just started their journey on transactions.
Our tribe UX team members are working with both types, long time transactional marketplaces and others that are still transitioning from the ‘traditional’ to the transactional model. Thanks to these experiences, our team is prepared to help accelerate Marketplaces in this transformation leveraging the learnings from other markets. We already have the certainty to highlight the most important things to focus on based on collected past evidence.
UX strategy: We help marketplaces providing a clear strategy to start with
Once we have identified what to focus on, based on the gathered learnings, we propose a strategy. To execute this strategy, we usually take a time frame of a quarter where we work together with the marketplace in different initiatives that are aligned with their main strategic market goals.
As mentioned, this strategy is based on local problems but our main strength is adding our global vision from a central team.
This generates a collaborative loop:
by helping to improve local issues
we capture new use cases
that optimise our global solutions
and improve our collaboration processes
This loop allows our UX team to help the Marketplaces to build on other market’s learnings so they can make faster decisions and dedicate less local resources.
This means that while tackling localised issues we are, at the same time, feeding our global solutions and products with more user/business cases that will eventually generate new learnings for our knowledge base. This iterative process helps us optimise our products bringing more value to others, collecting and spreading different use cases across marketplaces. Additionally, this collaboration flow helps us to improve our processes, so each time our contributions to Marketplaces will get better, faster and stronger.
Product Discovery: Our UX matured methodologies are supporting discovery tracks across our company’s Marketplaces
And finally, our focus is to help Marketplaces and their local problems. We also need to keep our products up to date with industry trends, expected functionalities, latest innovations, etc… in order to keep the lead position of our businesses in the market. To achieve this, an important part of what UX brings to product development is in the Product Discovery tracks.
For many different reasons, from maturity, lack of insights, and no time, some of our colleagues in marketplaces don’t have the time and/or resources to run discovery tracks. These tracks are essential for innovation within different areas, spotting new opportunities and exploring new ideas.
Not only our UX team, but also many other colleagues in our tribe and beyond are producing remarkable insights, experiments, reports, benchmarks, analysis, etc… All these assets will help us to define ’Opportunity trees’ that will be developed to validate assumptions and some of them will end up being new features for our products.
Product discovery techniques allow us to support marketplaces finding out what is the next best thing to start working on.