The Importance of UX Design in Modern Business in 2019
- 6 min read
- Karla Sambolić
With over 3 billion users today, the internet has become the world’s leading marketplace. But how can companies and organization differentiate themselves from their competitors?
Users have come to expect an optimized, seamless user experience as a basic requirement across all devices (desktop, mobile, tablet). The most important step in creating a digital experience that not only attracts visitors, but also provides real value to them and the company begins with developing user experience (UX).
User experience (UX) design can be defined as the process of creating products that provide meaningful and personally relevant experiences. An important concept in UX design is the process by which users form experiences.
As the UX is closely related to the product creation it can also be benificial to the bussines growth.
Why is UX design important to a business?
Most of today’s businesses are digital (ecommerce webshops, for example), or at least have a digital presence (website, blog etc.). So when talking about UX design most people refer to designing digital experiences, for example: a buying process in a webshop, or using an app.
Also, user experience can be very beneficial to your bussines. Investing in UX design can significaly reduce your costs down the line.
With any new project there is always certain amount of risk. UX design is focussed on research, analysis and testing, and because of that these risks can be significantly reduced.
More and more companies are realizing that preventing possible usability issues or problems should be in design stage of the process. Design changes are far easier to make than development changes – and therefore they are less expensive.
Often, the majority of bugs spotted within a product are usability issues. Most of those issues could have been solved in an initial prototyping stage, which is a core aspect of UX design.
Whilst working in this iterative manner may seem more expensive to start with, it can save money in the long term and can help build a product of great quaility. It also increases conversions and engagement with your target users.
Increasing conversionsWith vast amount of website on the internet there are few that clearly stand out from the rest. They are easy to use and users can find relevant information quickly and with little to no effort.
Unfortunately, many websites have over complicated designs that may look nice but they are driving away their potential customers as they strugle to find information relevant to them.
Main reason for that is the fact that as humans we are impatient. And this impatience is further exaggerated in the online world.
Because of that, it is important to consider how to reduce the amount of effort users need to take in order to maximise the number of conversions of your product or service.
There are two main principles of optimizing websites or apps from a UX perspective.
- Reducing the number of steps that user needs to make is a key part of UX design. The main goal is to drive conversions and interactions across your website or app. This includes purchasing a product, booking tickets or sorting through a database of complex information.
- Keeping things as intuitive as possible is crucial to minimise the risk of users becoming frustrated when they are trying to complete their task(s) on your website or app.
Call to actions are also big part of conversions. These buttons should make it clear to the user what they are about. Text on the buttons should be clear and straight to the point.
CTA buttons that simply read „click here“ are poor. Text doesn`t tell users why should they click on the button. Also, „click here“ CTA`s are not particularly great for SEO.
Improving SEO with UX designWith good UX design SEO rankings can improve. In the old days, SEO was simple. It was enough to stuff your webpage with keywords, and you would rank number one. These days, Google is taking hundreds of factors into account when determing which pages rank high in search engine results pages.
Google constantly updates its algorithms to ensure users are provided with best possible results. Each and every update is geared towards providing more user-focused and user-friendly results.
UX also fits into SEO because they are both focused towards common goals. SEO has moved away from solely ranking for search term to also provide searchers with information that answers their queries. At this point UX and SEO start to interact.
They share goal of helping users to complete their tasks by providing them with relevant information. While SEO will lead users to the content they need, UX will answer their queries once they end up on the webpage.
Word of mouth is still great way of getting business, even in the digital world. People buy experiences and if a good experience is provided then is a great chance for word of mouth referral. We could say that word of mouth on the web is manifested on social networks.
Word of mouth referrals
UX makes social sharing easy. With building seamless interactions to social media through product or service, social awarness is established. This also helps you to build trust.
UX design process
User experience process is an iterative method that helps you improve and refine your designs. By going through different stages repeatedly you evaluate your designs on each stage.
Design process is divided in 4 stages.
Every project is different, so the stages are not always neatly organized. End of one cycle is the beginning of the next.
When starting with project you need to decide where to start or what to focus on first. Methods in the example above can be appropriate for your project depending on time constraints, system maturity, type of product or service. It`s good to use different methods each product cycle because thay are aimed at different goals and types of insight.
Before making a new product or feature it is important to do discovery activities. That way you can find out whether it makes sense to do the project at all.
Important goal at this stage is to validate and discard assumptions . Gathered data and insights should be presented to the team. This research should be done before making the actual product.
This way you will avoid wasting effort on building the wrong things or building things for the wrong people. During discovery stage you should conduct field studies and interview users.
Also, you should run diary studies to understand your users information needs and behaviours. Through competitive testing you can find the strengths and weaknesses in your competitors products.
Exploration stage is used to understand the problem space and design scope and address user needs. In this stage you should do design reviews and use research from discovery stage to build user personas.
You should explore design possibilities by imagining many different approaches and test the best ideas in order to identify best design components. Iterate designs by testing paper prototypes with target users, and then test interactive prototypes by watching people use them.
Also, you can use card sorting to find out how people group your information, to help inform your navigation and information organization scheme.
In this stage you should test your designs to make sure the systems work well for the people who use them. You should test early and with a diverse range of people, alone and in groups. You can ask people to self-report their interactions and any interesting incidents while using the system over time.
Throughout the research and design cycle you sou should listen to help understand existing problems and to look for new issues. You can survey customers and users, you can monitor analytics and metrics to discover trends and anomalies. Good thing is to collect frequently asked questions and try to solve the problems they represent.
The first example of website that was created with the help of user experience methods i Sebastus.com. During the procces of development this charter website was developed through user experience stages and it is still being upgraded with the help of UX methods.
Example below is screenshot from the booking website for tennis courts. Main functionality of the website is ability to book your training by using booking system integrated on the website. Whole website is user centered and the goal was to symplify the process of booking. This way customer needs are in first place and their satisfaction is leading toward more revenue and increased sales.
Image below is a screenshot of website that showcases Porsche 964. Great effort is spent in user experience on this website. User can explore all the details of the car just by clicking on it.
ConclusionInvesting in effective UX design can bring many benefits to your business. It can improve conversion rates and increase revenue. This research states that every $2 spent on UX can bring $100 in revenue.
Without applying UX design principles to your digital assets (website, webshop, app etc.) you risk losing customers over bad user experience. It’s vital to establish your users’ intentions and needs, and design the experience around them.
Remember, good UX design can bring your business many benefits like increase customer satisfaction and, in turn, increased sales. But UX design is not about simply increasing conversions or sales, it’s about providing an engaging and satisfying experience to your users, so that they keep coming back.
If you need help with UX design on your website or app, contact us today and let’s about how we can help you.
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