10 Reasons Why UX Design is the Golden Fleece
There’s something scarily powerful about finding out exactly what your customers think and feel. The insights they provide can give your business the confidence it needs to make bold decisions which can increase your leads and hopefully your sales too.
That’s the secret power of UX design.
Although UX design doesn’t necessarily save lives, it’s user-centered approach lets you truly get under the skin of your products and your customers, enabling you to create digital products that people will not only want to use every day, but will enjoy.
That’s why UX design is now being seen by many, especially those in Silicon Valley, as the key to creating successful digital products in this competitive marketplace.
Much like the Golden Fleece did for Jason, UX design can bring you authority and power.
Without further ado, here are the 10 reasons why UX design is the holy grail:
1. Impacts people’s everyday lives
I’d say that the most important thing about user experience design is that it puts people at the heart of the design process. To do this, UX designers spend a lot of their time researching and testing what customers think and feel to get into the user’s mind and see things from their perspective.
For example, we can find out what they might want a product to do, what issues they have using that product or what changes will make the app or interface easier for them to use. Then we turn those ideas and feelings into concepts that we can use to help make a change.
Using UX designers for your websites and apps gives your company the opportunity to change the way people do everyday things. And what makes it even more powerful is that, due to the proliferation of digital apps and websites, people can and will use your product multiple times.
In fact, according to The Design in Tech Report from 2015, people unlock their phones every every 5.6 minutes so you’re in people’s hands everyday.
2. Happier customers
As UX design enables better understanding of your users, you’re more likely to build something that people will be happy to use. And, we all know that happier customers help you build business and brand value. Awesome UX design can also mean less complaints, more leads, and more sales.
In fact, UX design can also extend beyond the present market, and help you predict which products or features will not only make your users happy, but will solve important problems or issues. And because you’re constantly testing and finding what users want, you’re less likely to be blindsided by major complaints once your new website has been launched.
3. Unparalleled return on investment
Businesses around the world are increasingly realising that UX design is not only a bottom-line investment, but it’s a matter of survival. Recent history even shows us that user-centred design doesn’t only improve your customer’s experiences, but also increases leads and conversion rates.
On the other hand, UX design can also help you save money and user research and testing can stop you from making a change that is not wanted or needed.
But, even if you’ve heard this, you still want to make sure that what they invest is in sound and justified. So you want to know exactly how much return you will get. According to research by Punchkick Interactive ‘10% of a project’s budget is allocated to usability and user experience, stakeholders can expect an 83% return on the KPIs of the project’. I’d say that’s pretty hard to beat.
4. Market relevance
As a discipline, UX design is an ongoing process that’s constantly changing and innovating. It’s a loop – user research, refining and iterating your product, pushing it live – and then starting the process again.
This means you’re constantly finding out what users think and feel about your product. This feedback loop gives you up-to-date and meaningful insights and knowledge about your users, that you can then use to ensure your product is relevant for today’s market, and also helps you to plan for what’s coming up next.
This loop also has another positive spin off for your business as a whole, which is changing the way you work. These constant iterations allow you to be agile and flexible – vital traits for any business, especially in today’s competitive marketplace.
5. Improves your products and digital platforms
Another awesome side-effect of UX design is that your products and your digital platforms simply get better. Using the UX design process enables you to get to the core of your products. What do people like about them? Or what aggravates them? This research allows you to truly start to understand your products and then, improve them.
6. Enhances your brand and reputation
More Kiwi businesses are starting to see that the better experiences they create for their customers, the happier they will be and the more likely they’ll be to recommend them. And although a lot of people want that quick money spinner, the aim for most businesses is longevity. Providing intuitive and functional user experiences helps you to do this. When people like using your product, they are more likely to recommend it to family and friends and word of mouth advocacy is simply the best form of marketing and advertising. On the other hand, weak UX design can do the opposite.
7. Gives you a competitive advantage
Businesses know that in this crowded marketplace and with ever growing technological advances, they need to not only make good first impressions but long lasting ones too. As UX design specialises in optimising product experiences for your users, you can see why it’s key to a products success. This makes UX design more integral to good business than ever before and means it’s vital that businesses get digital UX design right.
For example, if people go to your website to buy something and they get all the information they need and it’s easy and quick to make a purchase, they might just be swayed to do this today, even if they haven’t planned it. We’ve all been there right? It’s like when you go to the supermarket and the cooked chicken smells so good, so you just have to buy one even though it’s not on your list.
8. A history of success with large companies
Technology giants and other well known companies, especially those in Silicon Valley like Google and Amazon, realised the potential of UX design years ago and are seeing the benefits.
Airbnb is another great example. Known for being design-centred, they have benefited from rapid growth over the last few years. According to one report, nearly 17 million people around the world used Airbnb to book their guest stays in summer of 2015 – a 353 fold increase compared to the previous five years.
A knock on effect of this success is an increase in companies looking for designers. In fact, American designer and technology legend John Maeda, says demand for designers is up, with ‘Facebook, Google, and Amazon collectively growing designer headcount by 65% in a year’ in 2015.
9. Now seen as a vital part of any business
Not so long ago, a design job would have been something you would have sent to an external agency to do. It was often seen as a separate service and was only needed at a particular time during the development of a product. Now we are not only seeing more in-house designers, but companies are starting to realise design needs to be ingrained in everything you do – from start to finish.
Experience and design have become a priority for all kinds of businesses because design is seen as giving companies a competitive edge and a bottom-line boost.
In John Maeda’s Design in Tech Report from 2016, he says there was ‘peak growth in interest by venture capital firms in design’. He also highlighted the significant growth in the acquisition of design agencies by consulting firms like McKinsey & Co and Accenture and Google emerged as a new leader in design. The report also states that increase in market demand for designers means top business schools are starting to incorporate design thinking into their curriculum.
10. It makes technology accessible to everyone
Awesome UX design can make websites and apps more easy to use for people from all walks of life, allowing your company to cater to the needs of the elderly, vulnerable, and disabled.
For example, ensuring your app is easy to understand and simple to use may make it more popular with the older generation, enabling them to feel more comfortable using technology.