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Informatics


leads to repeated requests from these colleagues to the UX functions. Furthermore, showcasing these projects as case studies attracts more potential cus- tomers. Building on this project success, eventually most exposure for UX will be generated by partic- ipation across important projects with company- wide visibility. The learning process is not just on the side of


colleagues, but also for UX practitioners while they get exposed to even more and wider contexts with- in their companies. This comes with several chal- lenges, as companies expect UX practitioners to adapt to new domains or educate themselves in life science topics such as genetics, bioinformatics etc, to be able to fully leverage the potential of UX in these tasks. Such adaptation processes will not stop in the future as new methods and technologies, eg CRISPR DNA sequences, emerge and the complex- ity of the data and system landscape in life sciences increases. As demand for UX has increased in this sector,


the small UX teams of 2017 had to work out how to scale UX in enterprise organisations. The need for a UX toolkit to allow colleagues to self-serve and allow them to learn the basic UX methodology and terminology has been a key factor in the steady adoption rates of UX. In order to pool resources and save time, the Pistoia Alliance User Experience for Life Sciences4 (UXLS) community built the UXLS toolkit5 (released in February 2018). As demand for UX has grown, how organisa-


tions have taken that user-centric culture on board can vary. From letting it act as the life-blood of an organisation to just one or two vital organs receiv- ing focus. Evaluating the ‘UX maturity’ of an organisation is one way to explore this variation, and this is just what the UXLS undertook recently. A detailed UXLS survey6 (undertaken January 2019) across a diverse collection of biopharmaceu- tical, agri-food companies, academia and industry associated software vendors assessed their relative maturity. This survey has enabled us to get a pulse of what is happening within the industry.


UX maturity of enterprise R&D organisations around the middle tier The UXLS survey6 has enabled the comparison of UX maturity across different scales. One such scale was the sequence of Nielsen Norman Corporate UX Maturity stages7 (Figure 1), an organisational mapping ranging from hostility towards usability (no-one in the survey), to being a completely user- driven corporation (also no-one in the survey). A report based on the results of this survey found that while Big Pharma were mostly around a mid- dle tier, software vendors are able to reach a higher maturity level. This is in part due to culture change being easier in smaller organisations. The team went further and developed a UXLS maturity model encompassing the three factors of: l Impact: what impact is UX having on the organ- isation?


Figure 2 Maturity measured in January 2019 for 13 biopharmaceutical, agri-food, academia and industry-associated software vendors, using the in-house developed UXLS maturity model across the factors of Impact, Process and UX Metrics and Analytics


Drug Discovery World Winter 2019/20


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