Starting in the 90s there was this thing called internet that just surfaced for most people. Many companies have since then worked on a way to deal with it. Some were more successful, others less, but all now know what to do with it. Then a couple of years ago arrived this thing called user experience, or UX, and the story begins again.

Only very few companies have yet found a holistic approach of how to get the most out of user experience. Many companies are still in the early stages and might soon be replaced by new competition that knows better how to tackle it. The result is that every company has a certain level of maturity when it comes to user experience:

Level 0: What the heck is UX?

Companies in this level do not have added the words user experience to their vocabulary yet. They just do not care at all since their business model still works well for them and they don’t feel any market pressure yet.

Level 1: UX Spot Light Projects

Although the management does not care about it, there are these “UX teams of one”: lonely people that do care and start their own projects under the radar. With success then comes awareness and their work turns into a spot light project. They are allowed to continue what they’re doing, however, it does not spread to other teams.

Level 2: “We have to do UX, too!”

Once you hear a manager say “we need to do UX as well” you know they arrived in level 2. External staff from agencies joins the project teams to support them with user experience knowledge. However, there are still no big budgets available to use the full potential of designing for UX.

Level 3: UX is embedded into teams

The third level is already a great achievement. The company has hired UX specialists and included them into all projects. The user experience is constantly improved and the results can be observed in their business numbers. But there is still some way to go since it only covers the direct experience a user has when interacting with the products.

Level 4: UX influences the whole company

Only very few companies have reached this level yet. User experience does not only mean to improve the user’s interactions with a product but covers all touchpoints a customer has with your company. Therefore, this is also called customer experience. Marketing, sales, customer service, product usage are all considered to be part of how a person percieves your company. Departments are no longer seen as silos but collaborate to ensure the best experience for their customers.

What level is your company?

A more detailed description was written by Jared Spool in his article beyond the UX tipping point.