We previously looked at UX maturity, what that looks like at different levels, and how you can enhance this in your own business. Here we look at the timescales you may have to expect at each level.
Stage 1: A company can remain hostile toward usability for decades, and will usually only change their mind when a real design disaster comes along that demonstrably impacts the bottom line.
Stages 2-4: Although the ball has now started rolling on UX, the gradual ramping up in budgets and commitments means a consistent ROI needs to be shown at each level to encourage the next step. Companies often spend 2 to 3 years in each of these stages, with around seven years to reach stage 5 being the average.
Stages 5-7: Progress in maturity is considerably slower at the higher levels. A company will often spend 6 to 7 years each in stages 5 and 6, thus requiring about 13 years to move from stage 5 to stage 7.
Stage 8: Few companies reached this level, but those who do usually do so after 20 years of being at stage 7.
As for the length of time to reach stage 7 from stage 2, that’s also around 20 years.
But of course, different organisations may go through these stages at different speeds. The only important factor is to go through each stage, no matter how briefly (note: some new organisation may start at a higher stage – 3 or 4, for example – but still need to go through the remaining steps in order). The reason for this is to ensure the foundations are in place and you’re focusing on doing each stage properly – people won’t be able to properly implement the more complex concepts demanded by the later stages if they’ve not gotten used to the simpler ones from the early stages yet.
So rather than try to skip stages, instead make sure you’re doing each step so well that you can move through the stages faster. Once you build momentum and start showing ROI, things should start to really pick up.