UX Design has still to be accepted by many companies as a genuinely worthwhile business practice that is not only a nice to have but an addition that will increase profits if done correctly.
In this latest article, I’ll set out the business case for UX Design and explain why in this modern era, it’s essential for maximising customer buy-in and therefore profits.
Does the user really know best?
We can often fall into the trap of thinking that employing experts is enough to deliver a quality digital product. “Why ask users? They don’t know what is best for them!”.
Sometimes this may appear to be the case, but if you dig into the data and really look at what users are asking for, it may just be the best thing for your business/product.
For example, users may say they want more telephone boxes installed around the country at great cost and inconvenience, but that is valuable information for a designer. It means that they want to be able to make calls more often from any location to keep in touch with friends and family, order food to be delivered, make emergency calls if stranded and so on.
It is the Designer’s job to create a more realistic, simplified solution to this problem, such as the mobile phone and cellular networks. UX designers don’t do research to get out-of-the-box, ready-to-go solutions. Instead, designers conduct research to gain insight, inspiration, and understanding of users, then take that data and design bespoke solutions.
“Just do some Usability Testing! It’ll be fine!”
A common misconception of user research is that it is simply a case of carrying out some usability testing or A/B testing. However, user research is vital at all stages of the design process. User research guides and shapes the design process at every stage, which can save on resources in the future because it means less time spent designing and re-developing when things inevitably go south.
User research has a lot of techniques that are helpful at different phases of the design process: interviews, focus groups, usability testing, surveys and much more. A UX designer’s job is to pick the correct technique for various situations and identify pain points and opportunities. If we begin with assumptions, then carrying out usability testing won’t be effective. However, utilising the correct method at the correct time can help us identify issues such as:
- A wrongful assumption about user’s behaviour
- A value proposition that doesn’t appeal to our target user
- Confusing navigation that frustrates users
- Poorly designed UI that is inaccessible
- An “amazing” new feature that users don’t want or need
Research is exactly the tool that helps us identify issues and solve them. UX research helps us catch mistakes before they ever see the light of day. The user-centred design process is an iterative one – each iteration should be researched and improved.
If we want to deliver a product that will be both useful and generate profit, we need to test it before releasing it to our users. After all, the product will be tested regardless because, technically, it starts being tested as soon as users get a hold of it. The only thing is users are far less forgiving, and solving any usability issues will require even more time, money and resources.
The ROI of UX Design
Let’s talk about money. After all, that is why people go into business and inevitably what will decide if UX Design is worth the initial expenditure for any company. Studies have shown that for every £1 spent on UX, a return of anywhere from £2 up to £100 will be generated. That’s a return of 100% up to over 9000%.
Satisfied customers are our best marketing and PR team — More than 20% of happy customers share their experience with ten or more people. Conducting good UX practice is vital in every aspect of product design, as it allows us to discover avoidable problems and provide users with more appropriate and meaningful journeys.
That old adage “first impressions count” is as accurate as it has ever been. If a potential new customer is frustrated or in any way unimpressed with your product, they are very unlikely to use it again and even more unlikely to recommend it to anyone else.
It seems clear and simple that in order to create truly useful and delightful products/experiences, businesses should embrace UX Design and Research. This will help not only save money and time but also generate more profit as the product itself will become a must-have for users.
At Puzzel, our product teams have fully embraced the UX process. As UX Designers, we work seamlessly with our colleagues in a user-centred design process that makes for excellent journeys and happy users.
UX Designer, Puzzel