The business case for UX

What is UX design? and why does my business need it?

Customers today expect better, everywhere. Expectations of brand engagements went up a notch, and businesses across all industry sectors are looking for better ways to give their customers what they need.

Good UX design focuses on exactly that, the customer and their needs.

Whether it’s a website, email, desktop application, wearable, customer portal, or even physical experience. Customers anticipate businesses will deliver above and beyond expected experiences. They expect not just productive experiences, but pleasurable experiences that enable them to get things done.

Customers anticipate businesses will deliver above and beyond expected experiences.

So what happens if we don’t design experiences around business and customer needs?

Products and services don’t meet the needs of the people that matter most. Instead they are founded on presumptions about what we think the customer needs. A design process without consideration for the end-user results in poor productivity and frustration for both the customers and the people that cater to them, your employees.

So, why aren’t all businesses eager to invest heavily in UX design?

When speaking to executives in regards to UX, we often hear something like this “I’ve heard of UX. It sounds great, but with incredibly tight budgets. How can I justify the cost?”. It’s a valid question, what is the UX ROI? When most executives think about UX, they focus on the deliverables. They think about things like wireframes, prototypes, and visual design. While those things each have a rightful place to a designer and developers in their own right, it’s sometimes difficult to convince executive teams that UX practices amount to a tangible ROI. Something they can attribute value to.

It’s sometimes difficult to convince executive teams that UX practices amount to a tangible ROI.

Here’s 4 reasons why User Experience practices warrant your investment:

It saves money
Developers are costly. From our experience their time isn’t always used productively. Due to lack of prior research and insight, they are tasked to build things that miss the mark entirely, and to no fault of their own. A user-centred, iterative design approach can solve this. Through a process of generating feedback early and often, software can be validated first, and built later. Saving time and money.

It makes money
Increasing revenue is certainly not a task that sits solely within a UX designers responsibility. Other quantitative data, such as analytics are incredibly useful in informing design decisions that convert customers. But unlike numerical data, qualitative information concerns itself with direct, verbal feedback. Combining the two is a strong strategy, understanding all contributing factors that convert prospects into customers. Ultimately leads to generating more revenue.

Understanding all contributing factors that convert prospects into customers. Ultimately leads to generating more revenue.

It reduces internal workloads
Businesses operate with poor software, without ever knowing any different. What some businesses don’t forsee is UX practitioners can fix things within the business, as well as outside it. For example, getting UX insight on an internal business application, is helping to improve tools involved in core business functions. Fixing them enables staff to get things done in less time, alleviating internal stress and workload.

It gives you the upper hand
A user-centred culture gives you the upper hand over competitors, making it easier to make strategic business decisions. If you’re competitors are actively hiring good UX designers, you may be at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to planning your next product, service or marketing strategy. Understandably introducing changes into business culture can be daunting. But hiring the right UX expertise is the first step to providing efficiently for the people that pay your bills.

Martin Fletcher

Owner of User Experience consultancy EPIK. With 10 years of experience I’m a one-man UX team providing Research, Strategy and user-centric Design for product owners and agencies. I do things differently, using a lightweight UX process to generate quick tangible results that improve the performance of your website or app.