User experience (UX) design is a field that is often talked about by many in business, but not always well understood. More often than not, conversations tend to focus on User Interface (UI) or Visual Design as opposed to UX design.
While a user experience designer truly understands the benefits of a well thought-through experience, the benefits are often not as clear to others.
Let's look at a few reasons around why user experience is so important for any business.
1. Improves the reputation of your brand
User Experience (UX) design plays a critical role in improving the reputation of any brand, as positive user experiences contributes to a higher degree of user satisfaction.
When done well, user experience can elevate a brand's position in the mind of a customer.
Companies such as Airbnb, Google and Apple are examples of companies that invest in, and become renown for, positive user experiences. Their focus on user-friendly interfaces and seamless experiences have become synonymous with their respective brands, which is likely a key reason why they are able to attract and retain a large customer base.
On the other hand, when done poorly, UX design can be a major contributor to the downfall of a brand.
Companies that neglect user experience often find it difficult to attract and retain customers, and their reputation often suffers as a result. In past, we've seen the likes of Nokia and Microsoft's Zune come and go — both of which failed to adapt to demand to increasingly modern, simple user experiences.
Taking the time to look at your key customer journeys, and optimising those within your product, can reap rewards for your brand's reputation.
2. End-users become more efficient, complete tasks with ease & realise value faster
A well thought-out user experience is a great way to enable users to realise value faster from your product without building more and more features.
Taking the time to understand your key user personas and put together clear visual cues, well-organised content, and a user-friendly interface significantly reduce the time and effort required for different types of users to complete their tasks.
With this comes better product outcomes - higher usage, higher satisfaction and more, which feeds into business outcomes.
However, if a digital product is poorly designed and lacks intuitive navigation, users may struggle to find the information or features they are looking for. This can lead to frustration as users have to navigate through confusing experiences or search for information in a disjointed manner. Ineffective use of visuals, complex forms, or slow-loading pages are examples of this, which can lead to negative user outcomes that become a drag on business results.
More often than not, user testing can help alleviate these concerns by identifying them before they get into the hands of the larger majority of your customer base.
Brands working in the current day and age can't afford to neglect user experience. In today's fast-paced digital landscape, providing a seamless user experience is essential for businesses to stay competitive and meet the increasing expectations of their target audience.
3. A positive experience is likely to lead to a higher degree of customer loyalty
When users have a seamless and meaningful experience with a product or service, they are more likely to develop a sense of trust and satisfaction. This results in customers returning to the brand and becoming loyal advocates.
Customers with positive experiences are more likely to feel valued and appreciated, leading to increased customer retention and long-term loyalty. A good user experience can also contribute to positive word-of-mouth marketing, as satisfied customers are more likely to recommend the product or service to others.
Did you know
Recent research shows that 72% of customers will tell around 6 people about a positive experience. That is a massive opportunity to 6x your product's growth!
By investing in user experience design, businesses can ultimately improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased customer retention and ultimately, business success.
4. Better user outcomes lead to better business outcomes
Based on everything we've seen so far, all in all — good user experience also makes good business sense.
Businesses that take the time to run usability testing often reap the rewards of these better outcomes, which involves evaluating how easy/intuitive a product or website is to use. This helps businesses identify any potential usability issues by having people interact with their products and websites in real-world scenarios.
Did you know — how positive UX contributes to business outcomes
When users have a positive experience with a digital product or service, they are more likely to engage, complete tasks, and achieve goals. This can lead to have a direct positive impact on conversion rates, including making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or signing up for a newsletter.
On the flipside, product development teams who neglect user experience often find themselves needing to undertake expensive remediation projects to fix key UX issues. Higher development costs means poor business outcomes!
As a result, businesses benefit from higher conversion rates, which can translate into increased revenue and business growth by making life as easy as possible for their customers. Airbnb is a great example of this, with their user testing efforts estimated to be contributing to a 30% lift in user retention!
The value of UX: In a nutshell
Beyond business benefits, UX design adds tremendous value for everyday users too. UX designers strive to provide solutions that are enjoyable and easy to understand, regardless of the user's technical level or experience with computing devices. Furthermore, by ensuring such solutions are inclusive and accessible for persons from all backgrounds and abilities, users find their needs met with greater ease. When done right, the impact of UX design can uplift a company and its digital products, providing customers with richer experiences around their everyday activities and tasks.