Tag Archives: process

UX Strategy Canvas

UX Project and Strategy Canvas Jennifer Blatz UX Design

There are a plethora of Canvases out there on the internet these days to help teams define and scope a project. You have Jeff Gothelf’s Lean UX Canvas, and the Business Model Canvas, and the User Centered Design Canvas, just to name a few. All of these canvas structures provide value in many ways. And many of them share similar types of content that helps drive the team to a better understanding about the project.

For an organization I was working with, I needed to take a slightly different approach. I needed to display other things that were not included in the standard and approved canvases already existing. So I came up with my own UX Strategy Canvas template.

How can we determine what we will be building when we are still trying to define the problem and figure things out?

What makes this Canvas different from other canvases is the inclusion of UX deliverables and activities. Yes I know, that at a high level, UX deliverables should not be explicitly stated. How can we determine what we will be building when we are still trying to define the problem and figure things out? Yes that makes total sense. But the organization’s UX process was so immature, and our product partners did not know what to expect from the UX designers, so we needed to set some expectations for the design journey. Now I’ll talk about the different sections of the UX Strategy Canvas.


This is the very highest level summary of the project. It includes two major components: The Vision Statement and Project Details and Deadlines.

The Vision Statement

A few overarching sentences about what you want the product to be. It defines the scope and purpose of the product without getting specific about how the purpose will be achieved. The vision statement describes the intent rather than the execution.

Project Details and Deadlines
  • Deadline for Delivery to Dev: Date design needs to be wrapped up
  • Release date: Date that dev is finished and it will be released
  • Point in the process: Planning, concepting, design, delivery, etc.
  • Key Players: Product, designers, engineers, key stakeholders
  • Systems involve: Focus Areas, Backend or Front end systems, Control panels

Customer Problem and Pain Points

The problems you are trying to solve for the customer. The particular pain points that this project is trying to address.

Circumstances of Use

The who, what, when, where, and why of the product. This is user focused to have a basic understanding of who we are designing for.

Design Criteria

The design principles that are specific to your product. How your design makes the experience meaningful and improves usability. How design elements like fonts, colors etc., will improve the experience. Useful design criteria are based on your research, and are written with the goal of differentiating the product, of improving upon what’s already been done, and of setting a high bar.

UX Activities

List the high-level UX strategies and deliverables that you intend to include with your project. This is so your product partners and engineers know what they can expect to be shared and collaborated with in the process of designing the project.

Success Metrics

Again, the success metrics is broken down in to two separate entities: Business and Customer success definitions.

Business Success

How success relates to the business goals: UX metrics fall into the 5 categories summarized with the acronym  HEART: happiness, engagement, adoption, retention, and task success.

Customer Success

How success relates to the customer’s goals: UX metrics fall into the 5 categories summarized with the acronym  HEART: happiness, engagement, adoption, retention, and task success.


Granted, I understand that these do not define all things for the  project. But the point of this canvas is to have a benchmark and starting point to get all of the team on the same page. The UX Designer, UX Researcher or Project manager can ask the questions that I recently wrote about in my article “Questions to Ask Your Client in a Kickoff,” to get the team aligned on the project. Those questions, along with a better understanding of the customers needs, goals and pain points are the basis of this UX Strategy Canvas.

Please let me know if you have any feedback, questions or comments on my UX Strategy Canvas template.

Create UX Deliverables to Build up your Portfolio

There are many people trying to figure out how to make the jump in to the UX field. I too, not too long ago, was trying to transition (or to use the buzz word “pivot”) in to the field of UX.  Thankfully, I made the transition and I am now a UI Designer. However, it took a lot of hard work, networking, self discipline, education and pushing myself to learn more about UX every day.

Jennifer Blatz UX design deliverables
Use all levels of fidelity to show your progress through the UX design process.

One way I went about getting experience about UX was to learn as much as I could about the deliverables in the UX field. I would hear a term like “personas” or “wireframes” and decide that I was not only going to learn as much as I could about these topics, but I was also going to put it in to practice.

UX deliverables like performing a competitive analysis can show progress in a project.
UX deliverables like performing a competitive analysis can show steps in a project.

Here’s an example. Say you are a web designer for a flower shop. Sure, you could just design the website per the shop owner’s request. But why not take it a step further? Why not do a bit of discovery and research before starting the design project? You could interview the owners and customers to find out what the business goals and customer goals are. You could do a bit of ethnographic research by observing people shopping for flowers or employees performing a transaction. Sketch our a few concepts before diving in to the code.

Jennifer Blatz design UX deliverables
Creating a mood board helps set the tone of a project and informs you of what designs already exist in the same arena.

If you are trying to get experience in UX, and want to build up your portfolio, use some or many of these methods to show that you are so much more than a visual designer or developer. Show off your analytical skills and how they are applicable to a career in UX.

Here is a brief list of UX deliverables to get you started:

  • User Stories
  • Personas
  • Competitive Audit
  • Sketching
  • Stakeholders Interviews
  • Brainstorming Sessions
  • Moodboard
  • Prototypes
  • Annotated Wireframes
  • Storyboard
  • Information Architecture (Taxonomy)
  • Task Analysis
  • Interviews
  • Ethnographic Observation
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Examine Business Goals
  • Examine Customer Goals
  • Content Audit
  • Sitemap Creation
  • User Flow
  • Usability Testing
  • A/B Testing
  • Card Sorting
  • Pattern Libraries
  • Site Map and Architecture
  • Whiteboard and Sticky Notes
  • Functional Specifications
  • Interactive Mockups
  • Style Guide
  • Surveys
  • Market Research
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Use Case Scenario
  • Creative Brief
  • Diary Study
  • Navigation Model
  • Web Analytics
  • Persona Empathy Map
  • Affinity Diagrams
  • Ideation Workshop
  • Task Model
  • Cognitive Walk Through

Now take all of these deliverables and practice creating them. Then,  use the most important UX skill of all: Tell us Your Story.