As more business interactions move online, the need for providing frictionless and seamless user experiences increases. Needless to say, providing a great user experience is now a business imperative and is a critical contributor towards improved business results. Steve Krug’s book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ highlights the importance of user experience and explains that interactions between humans and computers should be such that the user shouldn’t need to think while using a website or any other digital product. While great visual design continues to be of importance, having a great user interface but a poorly designed UX is less likely to yield user love and loyalty.
In this blog, we take a look at the importance of developing a great UX for businesses.
What is user experience and why it matters?
Most digital products today need to engage with the end user to generate an intellectual response not only based on the way it is presented visually but also how it feels. Research suggests that organizations having an optimized UX increased their revenue by approximately 37%. According to The App Attention Span study, 90% of users stop using an application because of poor performance and 86% of users are likely to uninstall or delete an application if they encounter problems with app functionality and design.
This is where UX comes to the rescue. UX design is the barometer that tracks user behavior and ensures that the product moves from one point to another in a logical and methodical manner. In order to achieve a great UX, designers need to understand and identify the manner in which the users will interact with the product, track the user journeys, take real-world usage scenarios into consideration, and identify verbal and non-verbal stumbling blocks to create a UX. Simply put, the UX design process is the process to ascertain the interaction experience that the user will have with a digital product.
A study published by Forrester Research stated that while a great UI could increase the conversion rate of a website by 200%, a great UX could increase the same by almost 400%!
UX and the ROI impact
A strong focus on UX has a direct impact on the ROI of an organization. Having a UX focus helps organizations define user requirements better and can reduce development time by almost 50%. This user focus also helps in prioritizing development tasks by improving decision making. Having a great UX increases conversion rates, the order values, the scope of customer acquisition and retention and reduces support costs. All of these factors impact the bottom line in a positive manner.
UX and Brand Credibility
User Experience also has a direct impact on brand credibility. By providing a frictionless user experience, organizations can positively impact customer satisfaction and thereby increase their trust in the system. Since UX places emphasis on customer demands, it helps organizations understand what their customers are looking for when they visit the website. By understanding the needs of the customers, they can create relevant and engaging content to increase the amount of time a user spends on the website and thereby increases conversion rates. This also helps in increasing the traffic and audience size, reducing bounce rates, and increasing exposure which ultimately contributes to increasing the number of website transactions.
UX and Error Reduction
Research suggests that almost 70% of projects fail due to lack of user acceptance. A UX focus helps in reducing resource burdens and costs that stem from redesigning. The cost of fixing a problem with the UX after project completion can be 100 times higher than during the initial design phase! The number of UX errors multiplied by average repair time multiplied by employee cost can negatively impact the development cost. Clearly, a UX focus can contribute significantly when organizations want to stay within their development budget.
UX and Customer Satisfaction
Since the users are the best advertisers for any business, it becomes quite clear that the more number of users and the better reviews provide social proof to the business and help it become more successful. Having a large user base also means that organizations have to spend less on marketing and advertising. Since having a UX focus helps organizations increase customer satisfaction by fulfilling their fundamental psychological needs, it leads to lower customer service and support costs. If the users receive all the information that they need on the website itself, they may not need to call the support center for information and wait for the information to be delivered to them and, hence, will be less likely to go to a competitor to fulfill their needs.
UX designers, thus, have to ensure that they evaluate how users interact with the system, define the product structure and has relevant content. Additionally, they also have to consider the utility and efficiency of the system and ensure that all sub-systems and processes within the system are functioning properly to provide an optimized experience to the user.
In today’s economy where web interactions are moving to the smartphone, UX matters even more. According to research, mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a website if it is not mobile optimized.
While there has been an increased focus on UX for consumer software, enterprise software too has now developed a strong UX focus. With technological advancements and the rise of the smartphone culture, employees have higher expectations from the tools that they use for work. For enterprises, UX thus needs to focus on designing experiences that are contextual, relevant, and promote the ease of use so that employees can be more productive at work.
Take Airbnb for example. The company attributes their UX for taking them from near failure to becoming a USD$ 10 billion company.
Given that we are living in an attention economy, it becomes imperative that organizations deliver valuable information and experience to their users for each moment that they engage with the product. Anything less is only going to lead them to disengage themselves and look at the sea of options that lie a click away.