Is the cost of doing UX something you should care about?
It’s a question that many company leaders are asking. Partially because they only see the research and visual layout components and do not yet have enough experience with user experience design to know that it goes much further than that.
What I mean is that user experience design is more about creating a product is suitable for a particular customer instead of creating a product in the hopes that it will be liked.
Having a more clear vision for what your product should be in the eyes of your customers is an incredible advantage and it is one of the many reasons why UX is not only worth the time and money, but is also no longer optional if you plan to provide a product or service that consumers actually want and purchase.
Here are six incredible reasons to make sure UX design is a part of every new product, digital or not, that you develop:
1. Yes. UX Design gives you insight about your possible customers can help you improve the product you are developing
2. Learning ahead of time what those customers do and do not like can save you an outstanding amount of time and money
3. The research and UX designer conducted help you learn the language of the consumer. When you speak their language, you have a better chance of being heard
4. Even if you don’t choose to hire a professional for the job, when development time comes, those same decisions have to be made. Without going through the UX process, each one of those decisions will be a guess. This can become a costly mistake
5. Down the road, you can save on technical issues if you identify them upfront
6. Having a roadmap developed through UX research provides deliberate decision-making that gives everyone on the team from developers to sales with more confidence to do their job because they know what they are doing is based on the needs of those they are selling it to.
In today’s race for the next big entrepreneurial idea, those who rise to the top must be willing and able to constantly adapt and quickly shift gears in order to keep up with the tide.
Product developers with an edge over the competition tend to be those who implement both user and product testing in advance and optimize their prototype based on their findings, prior to sharing their solutions with the general public.
The Elements of a UX Strategy by Sherif Amin
This research and revision process gives teams and leaders the chance to make obvious improvements and, occasionally, incorporate new ideas that not only increase visibility but also make the essence of their product truly come alive.
If user testing were an integral part of a team’s Q&A/feedback stage, the product improvements, feature suggestions, and responses received regarding their core idea could help that team improve their prototype in ways that can make their initial idea a genuine, fully-functional prototype that users feel is worthy of pursuing.
This is why implementing user experience methodologies is so critical to product success. The UX design process uncovers exactly what is needed to satisfy target users and fulfill their needs.
Once the UX design process is complete, you will have a blueprint that outlines the best possible way to make your product a success.
This blueprint will identify a clear, step-by-step demonstration of how a user progresses through their interaction with your product. The design addresses every scenario a person from your target audience (also known as a ‘persona’) may encounter as a result of choosing to become involved with your brand.
Simulating the process of interacting with your product forces you to review it through the eyes of your persona. This allows you to easily understand any issues they may have, the motivations that led them to your product, and any opportunities that exist for making a stronger connection with them, through improving the details of their experience.**
The UX Design Pyramid by Iren Korkishko
It is the data and insight gathered from the UX design process that help a brand determine the best way to connect with their audience.
These data can highlight areas for improvement, provide an opportunity to reflect on organizational goals, and encourage discussions; leading to effective, data-driven product design.
Active research and accurate information can allow for production and testing of a concept, to gain valuable feedback, before taking a new innovation public.
In the current start-up crazed environment, it can be tempting to skip the planning process in lieu of quickly releasing an MVP. But if that product does not address all (or any) of the needs of its intended audience, the product release could have damaging repercussions, in terms of investor confidence, public response, and social media feedback.
In just a short period of dedicated time and focus, brand-damaging situations can be avoided, product enhancements can be identified, and investor funding can be conserved and utilized to make a more impactful product.
With so many products and services investing time in mapping out a proper user experience, allowing your UX design to be less-than-perfect can do permanent damage to the brand’s image and likeability.
Last year, Google began documenting findings from consumer experience research, reports, and discussions called “micro-moments”. They reported that the average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, while today’s data indicate that over 40% of consumers will leave a webpage if it takes longer than just 3 seconds to load.
Another study conducted by Microsoft, with Canadian users, found that the average user’s attention span has reduced from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2015. The study credited the decline in attention spans to advancements in technology, the premium functionality of today’s devices, and the rapid-fire distribution of information delivered by social media platforms.
It’s not just user patience that is being tested; consumer expectations are also becoming more difficult to satisfy.
Google’s “micro moments” research also found that users now assume their location is known when they make a search query. Although, according to Google, geo-modifiers such as zip codes have declined in use by 30%, users still “assume they will be given locally relevant search results”, without actually specifying the location they wish to search.
With so many alternatives just a click away, Google’s data have revealed that 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a site’s performance say they are not likely to purchase from that site again.
This is one of the many reasons why mapping out a user experience strategy prior to deploying a product is a vital part of the design process. UX design allows you to foresee pain points the user may have and opportunities to make the user’s sequence of events transition as smoothly as possible – before they even have your product in their hands.
By making their experience more smooth, you are communicating to your prospective customers that what matters to them is important to you as well. – Bridgette Bryant
This can be a starting point in differentiating you from competitors, and your brand can strengthen that relationship by delving deeper into the user experience design process and becoming more familiar with their wants, needs, and expectations.
So is UX Design Worth the effort? Yes!
If you haven’t already, shifting your focus from your product to your people is a strategic move that will instantly improve your sales process and make it easier to meet the demands of your customer because NOW YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WANT.