Building an active digital presence is a crucial thing for any modern business. Companies depend on user-friendly interfaces, engaging content, and well-developed marketing strategies for their digital products’ and services’ promotion. However, while trying to achieve all of these goals, business owners and their colleagues often overlook the fact that unique content, catchy animations and attractive ads have to rely on high-quality user experience (UX) design. UX design is all about making a product or service convenient and practical to use, thus increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction.
And although people have known about UX design for a while now, you can still hear them asking questions, such as “Why is it vital to invest in UX design?” or “Why is UX design important for my business?” These questions and a seemingly doubtful attitude towards the concept may appear by the relative novelty of the field and lack of knowledge about what it does. However, companies that neglect taking care of user experience are doomed to be surpassed by their competitors that do cater to what their audiences want and need when developing their digital products.
In a nutshell, UX design is essential for a digital product in the modern market realities. If you want your audience to convert to paying customers, who will then become your loyal adepts and spread the word about your product bringing new potential customers, you have to provide them with excellent user experience. The question is how to go about it in the most efficient manner.
If your company doesn’t deal with UX design daily, it’s not your specialty. You can consider building an in-house design team from scratch, spending weeks or months on finding the right people, training them, making sure they understand the concept, message, and goals of your business, and only then kick off a design project. On the other hand, you can find a professional and reliable UX design agency that will take care of your project and provide your customers with the exact content, experience, and solutions they need.
That is, investing in UX design is a must. There are plenty of reasons for you and your business to spend money on the provision of your customers with excellent user experience. But, we are going to focus on just five of them. If you want to gain the trust of your customers and become successful in the long run, let’s take a look at what these reasons are.
Reason #1. Reduce Development Costs
According to research conducted by Dr. Susan Weinschenk, web developers have to spend about 50% of their time on re-doing products. In other words, 50% of their pay is being spent on getting rid of errors that they could eliminate in one of the early iterations during the UX design process.
Let’s say your web developer’s salary is $60,000 a year – that would mean that they spend $30,000 worth of their time and talent on re-doing something you could’ve been avoided in the first place!
However, if you hire a UX design agency and trust your project to them, it is going to be tested and fixed many times before it finally reaches your developer. The changes executed during the prototyping stage are expected and much easier to implement. Avoiding code defects and other related issues are much cheaper than fixing them. If your product goes through a UX design process first, these problems are unlikely to occur.
Moreover, if you invest in UX design upfront, your products will be launched faster for the same reasons – your developers will not have to spend their time on re-doing and fixing!
Reason #2. Higher Sales
A study involving 408 companies conducted in 2016 by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) showed that a company’s sales are proportional to its focus on and investment in design. That is, the companies that invested in design above average, in general, saw a 60% sale increase. In the meantime, the so-called “design-unicorns” – those with the highest investment in UX design – have seen their sales grow up by 75%.
This study shows that even companies that don’t become 100% UX-centered are slated to see better sales with just a minor investment in user experience design.
There are several reasons for sales to increase as a result of the excellent UX design:
- Users get to navigate your product or service and find whatever they need more conveniently;
- Users that enjoy interacting with your product or service are unlikely to become disengaged or frustrated and are hence more likely to convert to paying customers;
- The right people find your products and services if you develop them with the focus on the target audience;
- Smooth and painless buying process promotes the word-of-mouth.
Reason #3. Fewer Resources Wasted
Investment in professional UX design services will help save your time, money, and human resources.
Time is a very precious resource. It directly affects your company’s financial side. As we’ve already mentioned above, UX design helps to avoid issues with coding and other things that developers must fix, wasting their time and your money. You can accomplish it via prototyping and testing over multiple iterations. The design team will ultimately develop a design framework that will be functional, usable, and enjoyable. UX research performed by UX agencies also helps define ineffective solutions and not let them move on to the development stage by identifying the exact features that your audience looks for and needs.
As for human resources, they are every single person working on your project. It just so happens that when you don’t manage a team properly, it results in monetary losses. That is, by hiring a UX design agency to develop a product or service design, you don’t have to deal with marketers or managers that will try to promote a product without a good UX design and fail time after time.
Reason #4. Users Interact with Your Content
Content refers to virtually anything visible inside an app or on a webpage, including images, ads, videos, texts, etc. If you work on a digital product, you inevitably place some content in it. Modern blogs are more frequently associated with videos and images, rather than articles. However, blogs create content for sharing with people, no matter the format.
In the first place, during the UX design process, designers thoroughly create user personas, descriptions of users that will potentially use the product or service. In a sense, user personas are like people’s profiles that include personal information and reasons for the final digital product’s use. These constructs allow UX design teams to get a better grasp of target audiences, which is very important for creating user experiences that would promote people to browse through the product or service.
UX design also focuses on personalization, i.e., providing users with content that is particularly relevant to them. Such blocks, as “Inspired by your wishlist,” “Items similar to what you’ve recently viewed,” and alike are very useful in drawing users’ attention. Furthermore, people generally tend to return to websites and apps that provide recommendations.
A UX design agency will make sure your project’s content is consistent. Content consistency provides comfort and predictability. Users highly appreciate left-side menus, breadcrumbs, and other well-known elements that simplify navigation because they don’t need to spend much time learning how to use your product or service.
In a nutshell, UX design is about providing the end-user with features and content that would ultimately give them an enjoyable experience. Upon launch, your product has to be clear, concise, and consistent, because otherwise, you won’t retain your users, having spent who-knows-how-much-money in vain due to not investing in UX design.
Reason #5. Improved Customer Loyalty
As it was already mentioned several times in this article, a proper UX design strategy will help you win new customers and retain them. Positive experiences provided to users by your product or service help build genuine customer loyalty. Users get used and bound to your digital solution and come back for more time after time.
One of the ways of winning loyal customers is by making a customer journey map, or CJM. UX design specialists create CJMs to view customer interaction with the product starting from the contact point (the very first encounter). You can make them in the form of diagrams or text documents. No matter how designers approach this task, they want to understand how the end-user will use the given digital product.
Here are several ways a CJM helps build customer loyalty:
- It builds empathy. Empathy has to do with the comprehension of your target audience’s needs and wants. A well-made CJM displays the emotional state of your audience throughout their journey;
- It reveals bottlenecks. Specific interactions can turn users away from your digital product, like not being able to use a credit card for a transaction or find a menu button. CJMs can help define these things beforehand and fix them;
- It increases retention rates. The retention rate is crucial for any business. CJMs let UX designers track users’ interactions with content, define satisfaction rates, collect usability scores, and gather a lot of other useful data. Together, these things provide UX specialists with an understanding of what they should improve in their designs to give the visitors more engaging content and, thus, win their loyalty.
You should get a hold of your marketing and development teams and connect them to the UX design agency working on your project to figure these things out. The better your employees understand this, the smoother the process will go. While CJMs are an excellent tool for building customer loyalty, there are other ways to do it, too. The UX agency’s team will help your staff find the right path for further handling of your project upon its launch.
Digital products and services can become a handy tool for your business if you take care of UX design the right way. And you can’t expect the user experience to be good without investing in it. While there are specific techniques and rules designers follow, UX design still requires a lot of intuition and the ability to understand what different audiences might need.
That is why it’s best to hire a UX design agency instead of trying to build an in-house design team from scratch. These agencies deal with user experience design for different audiences from various niches daily and know how to handle all the different kinds of issues that pop up during the design process, thus providing impeccable results upon the set deadlines.
Therefore, if you want your digital product or service to help you win new customers, retain them, and boost your sales, make sure you have a part of your budget set apart for UX design.