UX or User Experience Design (UX or UXD) is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and a product.
UX is term and idea that has grown in popularity and as with most web technologies and terminology, it takes some time before those we serve are able to fully grasp the understanding and benefits of investing in UX.
Most tend to think that UX stops at visual design and navigation through a website or system; but that isn’t the only reason UX has been a driving force in the web and product industries these past few years.
Now CEOs and business owners are catching on to the benefits of UX and how it stands to affect their bottom line. At the end of the day, when business owners are spending money, they want a Return on Investment (ROI).
Benefits of Investing in UX
UX practices develop a path for users to follow as they navigate your website. The easier that path is for the user, the quicker the user can complete a given task, whether that’s adding items to a shopping cart, traversing the checkout process, finding important information or simply signing up. If the user is confused or has trouble completing a task, they are more likely to leave your site and find another, where the process is easier. More on this later.
All the time and energy that goes into developing a user flow or conversion funnel is wasted if users cannot complete their task. The aim of UX is to help customers move through the process easily and without thinking; this will increase the chance of a customer making a purchase or converting.
By investing in your customers, they in turn, will invest in your company with their money, conversion or sign up.
A happy customer or prospective customer will sign on or return if the experience is positive. By investing in user experience (UX) your company shows that you care about the customer’s needs, thus building trust. If the customer then trusts your company or website as a source of good information, provides easy access points to content, ease-of-use, then the customer is more likely to convert.
After the user converts (whatever that means for your business) they move beyond a lead or prospect and can become a loyal customer, while expecting positive end results from your company.
Loyalty breeds word-of-mouth referrals. So not only does your customer repeat their business with you, that loyalty extends to the individual’s’ network of family, friends and co-workers. All prospective customers.
When a system is built correctly, from the start, by way of customer communication, testing, strategy and planning, you will spend less time addressing, fixing and meeting to resolve customer services issues.
There have been quite a few articles that quote the possible cost benefits of investing in UX. One of the most notable:
Think about the capital you have earmarked for customer support… Are most requests technologically based? If so, then there’s most likely a problem somewhere in a specific process(es). Fixing the issue after the fact can be more expensive than the upfront investment of proper UX implementation.
Of course to resolve these issues, a developer or team of developers would need to get involved, costing your company even more money. Depending on what the issue is, the associated cost can fluctuate greatly.
Once resolved, you will no longer need to devote as much time to customer support, training, employment and development time. With that reduced cost, funds can be allocated elsewhere.
Don’t be the company whose website causes a customer to go to a competitor.
Chances are your competitors are in the same boat as you, thinking about how to best utilize UX or have already invested in UX to increase their margins, traffic and retention. The problem we hear most often when discussing the benefits of UX is: “My customers are leaving dissatisfied and going to a competitor who does X better than we do.”
If Company A makes a mousetrap that fails 30% of the time; and
Company B makes a mousetrap that works 100% of the time;
people are naturally going to choose Company B.
This is the same reasoning users apply to their online decisions; especially with online decisions. Users don’t want to spend more time on a task then they need to. Your company is a small portion of their, otherwise, busy day. So if someone else has a better and more efficient process, they will abandon you and move on to Company B.
Investing in UX best practices will save, and generate, more money for your company in the long run, than may be realized in the upfront cost. Your customers will appreciate the effort taken and respond positively, though it may take some time; the benefits far outweigh the risk.
Here are a couple helpful links about UX and it’s benefits on your bottom line: