UX strategy: UX metrics, organizational efficiencies and business goals

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

User experience (UX) strategy is a user-driven approach which helps organizations to achieve their business goals by improving both the UX of products and the way UX-related activities are undertaken while those products are being developed [2]. This amounts to saying that the return on investment (ROI) of UX strategy is composed of both an external ROI (i.e. benefits attributed to UX that occur after product fielding) and an internal ROI (i.e. benefits attributed to the UX team that occur during the development) [1].

Whereas cumulative science (e.g. UX constructs, UX metrics, UX design, UX evaluation methods and procedures) has been developed to increase the former, the available scientific literature about the latter is disseminated and inconsistent [3][5][6]. The application of theoretical UX maturity models is made complicated by the lack of empirical research and documentation, while experience-based recommendations for the successful implementation of UX strategy are provided through workshops and trainings.

However, recent advances in this research area propose a simplified 3-level UX maturity model (Table 1) and a companion questionnaire for the assessment of the commitment of organizations to UX [4][7]. The STRATUS model and questionnaire enable the quick and cost-effective assessment of UX strategy in IT organizations by simply checking their UX maturity level in several constructs such as UX awareness, UX expertise, UX resources, attitude towards UX, etc.

UX maturity level




UX of products




UX team efficiency

UX unrecognized

UX not considered

Limited UX resources

UX underestimated

Discount UX

UX resources allocated to a few projects

UX fully understood

Continuous and integrated UX

UX resources allocated to any ongoing project

UX strategy

None or amateur

Reactive or scattered

In place or optimized

Organization type




The goal of this thesis is to understand the relationship between UX metrics (external ROI constructs), organizational efficiencies metrics (internal ROI constructs) and business goals. The research questions are: What are the constructs of business goals? How could external ROI, internal ROI and business goals constructs be combined to improve the definition of UX strategy plans? How do internal and external ROI impact the achievement of business goals?

Initially, related concepts will be studied and related works (UX constructs and metrics, internal/external ROI, business goals) will be reviewed. Then, the existing STRATUS framework will be completed by a tool to assess the achievement of business goals. Finally, an empirical study of the proposed solution will be conducted.



[1] Bias, R.G. and Mayhew, D.J. Cost-Justifying Usability, Second Edition: An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition (Interactive Technologies). Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc., San Francisco, USA, 2005.

[2] Bloomer, S., Croft, R., and Kieboom, H. Strategic usability: introducing usability into organisations. In CHI’97 Tutorial Notes (Atlanta, Georgia, USA, March 22-27, 1997).

[3] Earthy, J. Usability Maturity Model: Human Centredness Scale. IE 2016 INUSE, Deliverable D5.1.4(s), version 1.2, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping: London1998.

[4] Kieffer, S. and Vanderdonckt, J. STRATUS: a Questionnaire for Strategic Usability Assessment. In Proc. SAC’16 (Pisa, April 4-8, 2016).

[5] Nielsen, J. Corporate UX Maturity Stages: 1–4 and Corporate UX Maturity Stages: 5–8, 2006. Web. <http://www.nngroup.com/articles/>

[6] Schaffer, E. Institutionalization of Usability: A Step-By-Step Guide.Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2004.

[7] STRATUS questionnaire: <http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2772433/Stratus-VUB>


Contact: Suzanne Kieffer (suzanne.kieffer@uclouvain.be)


Background Knowledge: 
  • Survey research, user research
  • Descriptive and explanatory statistics
  • Knowledge in business analysis is a plus but not mandatory
Technical challenges: 
  • To choose and define the case study
  • To recruit experimental participants
  • To plan and carry out the experimental study
  • To report the findings adequately
Academic Year: