Who cares about user experience and why would I need to take time out of my busy schedule to try and implement it into my business? We will walk through the reasons UX design is so important for your business now and how it will affect your business’ longevity.
When we speak about our business it all comes down to the product or service that we offer to our clients. A product is a good, service, or feature. It might be a physical product, like a video game controller or a bag of potato chips, or a technology product, like an app, website, or smartwatch. Our users are bombarded with hundreds of similar items each day so what makes our product worth the purchase versus the others? Price? Location? Delivery? What if we could serve our clients better by keeping our costs low and increasing our customer’s usability and functionality instead?
For example, for a user to have a good experience, the product needs to be usable, equitable, enjoyable, and useful. What do all these mean in the user experience structure? To begin, user experience is about improving usability or making something easier to use. This means that the design, structure, and purpose of the product are clear to everyone.
Think about a ketchup bottle. Historically, ketchup came in a glass bottle. The user had to hit the bottom of the glass to make ketchup come out. Often, no ketchup or too much ketchup would come out of the bottle. Today, the ketchup bottle has been redesigned into aplastic squeezable bottle, which makes it easier to use and allows users to control how much ketchup comes out. UX designers need to think about every person who uses the product.
This might include people with disabilities, or people with very different life experiences from your own. For example, one user might find an app with a lot of text easy to use. On the other hand, a user with a visual impairment might want different features like sound.
Considering the unique needs of many different people is important work and thinking about equitable design is key. Being equitable means your designs are useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities and backgrounds.
User experience is also about making things enjoyable to use, which creates a positive connection between the user and the product. UX designers foster that positive connection by taking a user's thoughts and feelings into account when making products. Think about ordering takeout food online. When you search for a restaurant inGoogle or Yelp, you can see photos of dishes and read reviews from other people who have eaten there. This experience is enjoyable because you can make a more informed choice about what to order, leaving you feeling happier about the product.
That's where research comes in which makes my boss extremely happy to hear me say. To know how users feel, we must collect evidence on how they're experiencing that product in real time and ask them about it, too. As humans, we want products that are useful, meaning they solve our problems. For example, if you're lost, a map app telling you how to get home is useful. But if the app can't find your current location, it's not so useful anymore. So now we know what it means for a user to have a good experience.
In 2018, the research firm McKinsey & Company studied companies in three industries: medical technology, consumer goods, and retail banking. They found that, regardless of industry, businesses that focused on good usability and design performed better than their competitors.
When people like a product, they use that product a lot, and they recommended it to their friends. And more people using the product means better business for the company.
Plus, when users have a good experience with the product, they're more likely to have a positive opinion of the company that made it. A win-win for the user and the business.
If you did, that's a great example of user experience design in action. Despite all this, a lot of companies don't understand the important role that UX design can play in improving their business, and that's where you as a business owner can catch a competitive edge. We will continue this topic over the next few months to improve your knowledge and give you tips on how to improve your customer’s user experience.