Having co-founded a company that is valued at over $2 trillion (1) with an estimated 1.5 billion Apple devices in use across the planet (2), it’s fair to say Steve Jobs knew a thing or two about what customers want. So when he proclaimed, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” it’s worth taking note.
The part of the design process that focuses on how things work from the customer’s perspective is known as user experience or UX. Laura Klein, author of UX for Lean Startups and Build Better Products, describes UX design as “the process used to determine what the experience will be like when a user interacts with your product.” (3)
If you needed further proof of the importance of UX, the number one rule of Google’s ‘Ten Things’ Philosophy is “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” (4)
So whether you’re looking to develop a website, mobile app, desktop software, or other digital product, read on to discover why focusing on the user experience with a UX workshop could help make your product the Apple of your user’s eye.
- Why is UX Design so important?
- The problem with bad user experiences
- The benefits of good UX Design
- Reduces cost
- Boost conversions
- Increases customer loyalty
- Helps your brand stand out
- What’s included in a UX Workshop?
- Competitor analysis
- User research
- Define user persona
- Data analysis
- Map your user journey
- Concept design
- Want to enjoy the benefits of UX Design?
Why is UX Design so important?
A well-designed customer interface helps meet the user’s needs, provides a positive experience, and keeps them happy. And that’s why UX design is so important: Happy users spend more. Don’t just take our word for it though, let’s examine the evidence:
- One study found that customers who have excellent experiences with brands spend 140% more (5)
- Airbnb credit good UX with transforming them from a near-failure to being valued at $10 million (6)
- A study of over 400 companies found that the more money invested in design leads to more sales (7)
- When Walmart re-designed their website in 2018 their eCommerce sales grew by 43% (8)
To find out more about how good web design can increase your return on investment, check out this article we wrote that explains everything.
The problem with bad user experiences
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”
Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO, Jaguar
If you’ve ever grown frustrated by a website or app that’s hard to navigate, slow to load, or makes a simple search anything but, you’ll know exactly what Dr Speth is talking about. Bad UX causes visitors to leave and, chances are, they won’t come back.
- 70% of customers abandon online purchases due to bad UX
- 79% will leave and go to another site if they experience bad UX
- 62% of customers share their bad experiences with others
It’s estimated that slow-loading websites cost businesses over $2 billion a year in lost sales (9) and 70% of online businesses fail due to bad usability. (10) As Elon Musk said, “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.” (11)
The benefits of good UX Design
Taking a UX approach to the design process helps focus on how the product is used from beginning to end rather than simply how it looks. As a result, the user experience is more likely to be intuitive, efficient and positive.
UX design helps eliminate costly problems early on. Spotting potential usability issues at the beginning of a project is far cheaper than fixing them later in the process. In Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach (12), software engineer Roger Pressman wrote that fixing an issue:
- During the design process costs $1
- During the development stage costs $10
- After release costs $100
Another study reinforced how UX can lead to big savings claiming that every dollar spent on UX design returns $100. (13)
Remember we said bad UX leads to 70% of visitors abandoning their baskets? That’s because over-complicated design with unnecessary steps along the customer journey and unclear call to actions are all ingredients guaranteed to frustrate – and lose – visitors.
Good UX does the opposite. By making it easier for users to navigate your site or app, visitors can intuitively find what they’re looking for by seamlessly interacting with your interface. The proof is in the pudding: well-designed UX could lead to a 400% increase in a website’s conversion rate. (14)
Increases customer loyalty
“Happy users are ultimately happy and returning customers.”
Clive K. Lavery, senior UX person and co-organiser of UX Camp Europe
A customer who has a positive experience is more likely to make a return visit. A well-designed, enjoyable interaction translates to brand loyalty by nurturing browsers into buyers. By making it easier for your customers to share word of mouth buzz about your business by including reviews, ratings, and social network links on your site, your new customers can also become your new brand ambassadors. 72% of customers share positive experiences with six or more people – that’s a lot of potential customers waiting to discover your brand. (15)
Helps your brand stand out
Good UX can help you be more competitive by giving you an SEO boost. Search engines want to provide users with the best answers. That’s why they prioritise websites that promote good user experience. Paid advertising such as Google Ads actually grade your site’s ‘landing page experience’ and give you tips on how to make improvements. So if your site’s UX is found wanting your site is going to be harder to find in search engine rankings.
What’s included in a UX Workshop?
If you’re keen to save money, boost conversions, increase customer loyalty and stand out from your competitors, the first step is to run a UX Workshop. Here at Code23, we believe they’re an essential part of the project kick-off process. That’s why we wrote an article about the value of user experience workshops at the beginning of a project. Here’s a breakdown of what we cover in a typical UX Workshop.
It’s vital you know your product inside out. Taking a deep dive into your competitors early on in the process can help in the following ways:
- It identifies gaps in the marketplace
- It defines where your product fits in
- It helps focus your goals and targets
- The user data can inform your design
Why is user research important? It’s believed 85% of UX issues can be discovered during a usability test with just five users. (10) That’s because user research helps you empathise with the user and get an understanding of their wants and needs. Identifying their goals – and potential pain points – helps focus the design on providing a suitable solution for them. Sure, you can do internal testing but nothing beats an external perspective from actual users who are fresh to the system and have no biases. By the way, you can read our guide to the best user testing tools here.
Define user persona
Creating a user persona helps you get to know your target audience. This helps ensure your product provides the right solution for the right people by:
- Providing a shared understanding of your users
- Helping you empathise with their wants and needs
- Keeping the focus on improving their experience
A typical user persona will include general information and keywords about your users such as their demographics, goals, values, behaviours, and employment. Sometimes, to help bring them to life, images are used to represent them and they’re also given names.
“If you don’t look at the data showing what you’re doing wrong in…UX, customers will leave your site, store, or app. There are simply too many other options available to accept a less-than-stellar experience.” (16)
Daniel Newman, principal analyst of Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group
Actually doing the research is only half of the process. The next step is to analyse it. By sharing and discussing the data with everyone involved in the workshop you will start to see patterns and themes emerging. These will, in turn, help you develop a stronger understanding of your user needs so you know where to prioritise your efforts. To ignore the data is to wave goodbye to potential customers.
Map your user journey
Mapping your user journey puts you in your customers’ shoes. The goal of detailing their journey from beginning to end (and figuring out how your customers encounter your business online and offline) is to create the perfect customer experience. Plotting a journey map for your typical user helps you identify potential pain points and highlights stages at which you can provide extra value to your users.
Wireframes are the building blocks of a great UX experience. They provide a visual representation of the skeletal framework of your website or app – essentially giving you a preview of what’s to come before going into development. If changes are required, it’s much easier and cheaper to spot and remedy them now than at a later stage.
That’s why we also create clickable prototypes so you can navigate through the wireframes of your design. Once you’ve approved the wireframes, we start to fully realise your digital project. You can review and comment on the designs using a design feedback tool called InVision. This two-way process helps ensure a collaborative journey from wireframe to the final design.
We know that sometimes it’s not easy to imagine how the finished product might look during the wireframe stage. That’s where prototyping comes into play, by presenting a mock-up of your final product. Not only does this help give you a visual feel for the end product it lets you:
- Undertake user testing and spot any potential bugs
- Provide an accurate cost estimate to complete project
- Road test your content and highlight any gaps
Want to enjoy the benefits of UX Design?
As experts in UX Design, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick reminder of why UX workshops are essential to a project kick-off. To discuss your UX Workshop get in touch.