70% of enterprise CEOs see UX as a competitive differentiator

The results of our 2019 State of UX survey are in!

Back in 2018, a little more than half (52%) of enterprise UX teams said that their CEO mentions user experience (UX) or customer experience (CX) as a key differentiator during analyst calls, company all hands and other forums. However in 2019 this number has leapt to 70%.

This is according to our brand new State of UX in the Enterprise 2019 report, in which we surveyed hundreds of experience professionals at some of the largest organizations on the planet to better understand the culture of research and state of UX in the enterprise.

We launched the first edition of our report in 2018, as we felt that the state of UX in enterprise organizations hadn’t yet been analyzed in-depth or tracked longitudinally. Particularly when it comes to understanding how enterprise companies are conducting research. This year we’re proud to launch our second annual survey, and it’s fascinating to see how trends have changed over just 12 months.

In this overview, we’ll share a few of the headline stats of the report, however for more in-depth analysis of the full survey, please download our full 49 page report.

The rise of executive buy-in for UX

The overall state of enterprise UX is strong and growing stronger, however, many organizations are still facing common challenges. The good news is that there are lots of opportunities for companies and leadership to grow and push UX in the enterprise into the next stage.

As we mentioned in the headline, in the 12 months since our last survey, the percentage of enterprise CEOs who see UX as a competitive differentiator has jumped 18%.

Question: Have CEOs mentioned user or customer experience as a competitive differentiator in the last 12 months?

It looks like the benefits of UX are thankfully becoming more ubiquitous for the C-Suite. Also promising is that 29% of enterprises now have a VP of Design of Chief Experience Officer in 2019, up from 21% in 2018.

So not only are CEOs and the C-Suite aware of the benefits that investing in UX can bring to the organization but are also taking action to invest money in high-profile recruitment in these areas.

‘Inclusion within product development’ is now the number one challenge faced by UX teams

In 2018, securing resources and budget was the top challenge facing UX teams. In 2019, including research within the product development process is now the #1 challenge (up from #2 in 2018), followed by sourcing participants, securing budget and getting executive buy-in.

Question: What key challenges does UX research face at enterprise companies?

A positive trend we’re seeing is that some of these challenges are decreasing – for example, “Securing resources or budget” was an issue 60% of respondents reported in 2018 while it is down to 49% in 2019.

Perhaps one could say that, as budgets are rising and executive buy-in is successful, there is now the need to actually “make UX happen” from an operational point-of-view.

Centralized UX teams are decreasing as more UXers are embedded throughout the product line

Last year we predicted that as enterprises hire more designers and researchers, dedicated staff that are fully integrated within product lines will continue to grow instead of the shared services model. This is exactly what we’re seeing in 2019.

Question: How are UX teams aligned within organizations?

41% reported being part of a central and/or shared services team that are supporting multiple product lines, which is down from 45% in 2018. Similarly, we’ve seen an uptick from 26% in 2018 to 30% in 2019 for people who are embedded in a product line or business unit.

Similarly, we’re seeing the siloization of UX diminishing slowly but surely as UX spreads across organizations. The amount of respondents who said only 1-5 teams have UXers has dropped from 56% in 2018 to 41% in 2019.

Likewise, we’re seeing an increase on the opposite end of the spectrum – 28% are saying 20+ teams have UXers in them in 2019 versus just 15% in 2018.

Discover all the data, trends and insights that are most important to UX teams in enterprise organizations by downloading the report: