User Experience (UX) has evolved into one of the hottest trending topics in business today. A major factor behind this is UX being described as one of the major breaking points in the strategy chain of what makes an organization successful. Thinking about that… What actually is UX and how user experience helps business gain overall success!
A quick google search will give you a hundred different definitions of User Experience (none being wrong) — a general summary overview will basically guide you in the direction that UX is about how organisations design products, platforms and services that allow customers to use and interact with the experience while also finding value and use for the product or service in general.
Taking that on board you — as the UX’er, Graphic Designer or Web Developer — will always need to always keep the customer or the user front of mind when it comes to the UX process because as the saying goes “first impressions count” and the user’s initial experience lasts for a VERY long time.
UX has been around for a long time now and while can probably be traced back to ancient times… more realistically began the inclination from the early 90s. Today it is without a doubt used as one of the biggest barometers in businesses – this is driven simply by user expectations, user access and digital mobile advancement.
Looking at how UX can help a business — It is far more than just the end result aesthetic appeal of the product or service that the customer may actually see.
UX teams work cross functionally within entire business departments to improve and streamline entire process flows of systems to ensure the success of an organization. It is this streamlining and improvement that determines the overall experience that a user can enjoy when he/she is interacting with the business or product.
Looking at the research to determine importance a Forrester report tells us “the top 10 companies in UX get about a hundred dollars of return for every dollar they invest in UX“. That is a pretty impressive return on investment in any business playbook.
How User Experience helps business to Reduce Development Costs
Investing in User Experience (UX) helps business reduce their overall spend on development as multiple versions and iterations that may have previously either not worked or had various design or development flaws are fixed earlier up the systems development lifecycle.
As teams are also able to get far better visuals over what the end product is actually able to be the quality of the output of the end product is (in most cases) increased.
Getting the scopes, prototypes and wireframes set up front and agreeing to the functionality requirements with development teams ultimately speeds up the development and delivery to production which in the end reduces development costs for the business.
User Experience (UX) Increasing Revenue
Focussing on improving your website or product User Experience (UX) helps by having a major boost to your business revenue or sales lifecycle.
Using various tools – for example in a website metrics sense such Google Analytics or HotJar – you can track and measure your user behaviour then use that data to modify the User Experience to suit the behaviour — even modify this based on certain regions or locations etc.
UX is not a one size fits all approach and today often needs to take a dynamic approach. Making even small User Experience changes for example changing checkout flows to be Single Page Checkout for Payment Conversions can sometimes make a massive difference to end of year sales.
Jeff Bezos realised this in the early days of Amazon. He invested large amounts into the UX department instead of trying to divert the budget towards marketing. He believed the UX of the product did the marketing itself.
User Experience (UX) Increasing User Engagement
One reason why some businesses that heavily invest in UX are able to see a large return on investment is that it can increase user engagement by improving customer perception.
Big brand names that have a focus on a seamless User Experience – Apple, Nike, Google – The brand image and perception improves as the customer ties the name of the company or the brand of the product with the enjoyable experience he/she had with the product itself.
This is how Google became synonymous with a search engine. It continued to deliver a smooth and enjoyable experience to its users without all the aesthetic flair and fluff that came with other search engines.
The same applied to Apple – who famous for may UX components right down to the “unboxing” of the product.
User Experience (UX) Increasing Customer Loyalty
Doing User Experience (UX) the right way helps a business by also leading to increased customer loyalty. UX in 2021 is able to tap into the very nature of human psychology in the sense that humans tend to stay loyal to the things that have given them enjoyable experiences regardless of what the product might be.
A perfect example of this is the Starbucks brand. It’s arguably doesn’t taste as good as some specialty cafes but it has one of the biggest customer bases in the entire world because of how they focus on UX in terms of brand, design, in-store experience, execution and availability.
The Starbucks design appeals to any kind of customer while also providing a great in-store experience in thousands of different outlets all over the world has allowed Starbucks to increase its customer loyalty.
User Experience (UX) goes a long way when it comes to customer association between product branding and interactive experience. It is here that a well done business UX process can lead to a sharp increase in customer loyalty.