One Smart Move: Hire a UX Team
Does it work for the user? That’s the most important question a designer asks. Your business can’t achieve its goals if people struggle to use the product.
Developing a product that is easy to use, and delights and engages the customer, are key components for future success. The UX team ensures that your business is focused on these objectives from inception.
What is UX?
“User experience” is a relatively new term, dating from the late 1990s, though the competitive advantage that business gains from attention to design has been understood for decades. UX usually refers to digital products, but the process can be applied to anything.
Cognitive scientist Don Norman, who first coined the term, defined it as encompassing “all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products”. The ultimate goal is a product that is “a joy to own, a joy to use”.
Achieving that level of satisfaction calls for a multi-disciplinary approach that’s established early in the process, with engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design working together to deliver a product with a high-quality user experience. The UX team coordinates that process.
Value of UX
Designing UX into the product from the initial stages ensure the kind of success that has made one smartphone more popular than another, or an online store post more revenue than a competitor — Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google are examples of companies that incorporate UX into their product.
The UX team cuts down on development costs, with an efficient prototype and feedback process that enables more accurate estimates and effective product testing. We take the product outside the bubble of the developer’s circle, to investigate real world usability, avoiding costly design mistakes and unworkable features that could prevent the user from meaningful engagement with the product.
UX results in more motivated, loyal customers that interact with the product as the business needs them to — and that’s good for the bottom line.
Return on Investment
The value of UX is supported by a recent study by Forrester Research, which found that the top 10 companies engaging with customer experience outperformed the S&P index with more than triple returns. The research also found that a well-designed user interface can raise a website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent, while an improved UX design boosts conversion by up to 400 percent.
In “Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach”, author Robert Pressman found that for every dollar spent fixing a problem during design, 10 dollars would be spent fixing it during development, and 100 dollars on the same problem after product launch. As another expert puts it, it’s 100 times cheaper to fix a problem on the drawing board than after it’s released.