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Insights Into the UX Solutions Ecosystem

by Steven Shyne

We recently came across the above image, created by User Interviews, of the current UX Marketing Technology (MarTech) landscape and it gave us pause, both for how great of a top-down view it was, but also as a glimpse into how complicated the UX software ecosystem has become.

Over time we’ve felt this growing complexity in our relatively small corner of UX. Navigating the ballooning array of technology and tools is already daunting and is getting harder everyday it seems. 

Armed with this subway-inspired map and our own perspective on the UX MarTech arena, here are a few of our predilections & ponderings on this infographic and what it represents:

Insight One: Complexity is an Inevitability 

Like with the broader MarTech landscape, which has increased exponentially over just a few short years, there seems to always be space for new vendors with cutting-edge or price-competitive solutions. 

Where there was once a small set of brands in an emerging, niche user-insights space, there are now dozens of brands across several UX MarTech categories. To make things even more riddled, some of the big names in tech like Google and Salesforce are trying to find their place in the ecosystem with tools like Google Optimize and Evergage

However daunting, we at CXperts believe this ocean of solutions is a good thing. 

Rather than a few software brands calling the shots, a variety of UX research and optimization tools with a variety of feature sets and price points are now available to businesses of all sizes. This is especially great for smaller businesses, those getting started with website experimentation, or those going through a - incoming buzzword - digital transformation. 

And on the other side of the spectrum, the brands that have already been investing in UX research reap the benefits from having more choice and negotiation power at renewal time. No clearer example comes to mind than AB Tasty, which is a powerful A/B and multivariate testing platform and a great alternative to Optimizely.

Insight Two: More Focus on CX

Yes, this infographic shows us there are more solutions in the space and there is a good reason for it: for years we’ve heard from industry thought leaders like Econsultancy about how CX is the focus for the future and different reasons why CX is so important.

From established companies going digital to an upswell of emerging direct-to-consumer brands and a host of in-betweens, businesses are taking CX seriously. This increase in demand from brands adopting a CX mindset is being met with supply by new and varied UX solutions mapped out above.

Meanwhile, as customers’ digital consumption and demands for quality digital experiences intensify, CX can be and is a competitive differentiator, clearly warranting an investment in user research, usability, A/B testing, and the like. We feel this trend will only continue. 

Insight Three: Consultancies More Valuable Than Ever

This ever-increasing complexity undoubtedly leads to an increase in analysis paralysis. Instead of understanding the one or maybe two solutions for their top CX problems, now digital professionals have to mire through countless landing pages and sales funnels of dozens of SaaS providers, finding which is the best fit for them and their needs.

In response to this, we’ve experienced more and more brands asking for help to navigate the UX landscape. 

As we are focused sharply in digital CX and UX, we have a deep knowledge of most of the players listed – some that we utilize on a daily basis. 

We also have established relationships and even formalized partnerships with many of the best-in-class solutions, offering partner-specific benefits and resources. But we also pride ourselves as being as platform agnostic as possible, helping align brands with solutions that fit their needs, budget, and level of digital maturity.

To this, choosing the right stack requires an honest evaluation of the following:

  • Company needs, maturity, and commitment in the UX space
  • Customer user flows, use cases, and activities  
  • Technical constraints, limitations, and roadmap
  • Realistic assessment of budget, not just for the tool but to support it
  • Capability to stand up and configure tools and customize as necessary
  • Resource capacity and skills (internal or external) to keep them running

In summary, we see this mass transit-inspired map as a snapshot of increase in MarTech landscape complexity, demand for UX focus, and dependency on and value created by CX consultancies. 

While not completely exhaustive, it’s a good map. What it still doesn’t do is tell you is which tools are right for your business. For that, let us help: