Should You Invest in UX Design?
When it comes to money – especially return on investment (ROI) – everyone wants the numbers, right? Just give me the numbers! This means that cliches, especially that one ‘how long is a piece of string’, really don’t work for me.
However, when I started to think about that ‘string’ cliche, I thought ‘Hang on a minute, this is actually the perfect way of describing ROI and UX design’.
OK, so this is how I see it. (Here’s hoping I haven’t already lost you with the cliche). In the first instance if you really want to know how long that piece of string is, you’d just measure it, right? And secondly, whenever I’ve bought string or rope, say for the garden, I always know exactly how much I have: “The 40 metre one please”.
And that’s what’s so awesome about ROI when it comes to UX design. It’s measurable. So measurable, in fact, that you can measure something so small, such as a heading change on a website, and then you can change the heading and measure again. In terms of ROI, this means you get the numbers, so you can see just how much value your changes have had or how many leads you’ve got.
However, this still doesn’t really answer the question of how UX can help your business, right? I haven’t shared any numbers yet, I’m just getting there.
How can UX help grow your business?
UX’s ‘respect for customers’ approach is turning more and more heads, and budgets, these days, as businesses are starting to realise the potential impact this way of working can have on the growth of their business.
This change is awesome, as it shows us at HEROIC that more and more Kiwi businesses are starting to understand what UX is about, and are also starting to see how it can really enhance returns – both long and short term.
Punchkick Interactive wrote a white paper ‘The ROI of UX’ in 2016 that simply starts off by saying “Investing in user experience doesn’t just make users happier—it’s a savvy business move that has a real impact on the bottom line.”
And what I love so much about this paper is that they’ve done the research on ROI and they do know the numbers.
“Cross-industry research shows that if 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.”
Did I hear that right, 83% return? That’s amazing. I can’t imagine getting that kind of return with many other investments.
When you come across numbers like this, you can see why many businesses are turning to UX design to help them win customers. Take Airbnb for example. This company is famed for its design-centred approach, and their rapid growth shows this really seems to be working for them. According to one TechCrunch report, nearly 17 million people around the world used Airbnb to book their guest stays in summer of 2015. That was a huge 353 fold increase compared to the previous five years.
Visual Logic also have a great take on the impact of UX on ROI saying it has major benefits on a company and its products even before the product launches.
In their article ‘Is investing in UX worth it?’ they state that the UX design process allows you to learn about your users ‘as humans – beyond demographics’; it exposes opportunities, pain points and misconceptions which can be invaluable.
And, in relation to ROI:
“At minimum, you derive a stronger set of feature requirements. At best, revelation of an unmet need leads the project in a way that will change the customer’s life for the better (and make your product the new standard). The most immediate returns surface before the product even launches. First, research serves as a final assessment of market viability, possibly saving boatloads of money.”
At HEROIC we truly believe that UX design can help you optimise your user’s experience across all of their digital touchpoints, and in turn improve your ROI.
How do you measure success with UX?
When you think about it, most things in life can be measured, it’s just deciding what areas you want to track.
For example, say you’re the Mayor of Metropolis and you want to buy Superman, but from what you’ve seen and heard you’re just not quite sure if he will be a good ROI. The first thing you need to do is find out what areas you want to measure. I’d say it would be a good idea to track the numbers of burglaries and murders, and possibly the number of cats being saved from trees.
And, you can simply apply the same thinking to UX design on your digital experiences.
Say if I want to figure out if changing the words and headings around a particular product on my website will help increase sales, I could track things such as how many more people are coming to the page from Google and other parts of the website, how many more leads I’m getting, how many or more people are landing on this page, how much negative feedback I’m getting about this product, how many people have clicked the buy button, and of those people how many are converting. Once I’ve decided what to track then I simply measure it.
The extra cool thing with UX design is that:
- It’s scalable – meaning you can make small or large changes. For example, small changes can be things such as changing the words, shape or placement of a button and large changes can be website or app redesigns.
- It’s dynamic – digital platforms can and do change a lot and you can test this. It means when you make one change, you can test it. You can then make a different change and test that and see what gets better results.
- Constant feedback – As you’re measuring these changes, you’re getting feedback from your customers – whether it’s good or bad. This level of feedback gives not only gives you valuable insight but allows you to be proactive and make better – and quicker – business decisions.
Unleash your potential
At HEROIC, we work in partnership with your business to make sure you not only understand how your users feel about your products and services but help you make changes to improve your business and in the end – your bottom line. Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.