When we talk about user experience for companies, a lot of people will actually ask: Why is user experience important for companies?
Let us start the article by describing a common story: a business owner is looking for new ways to expand its business and to start creating new income streams. He looks into modernizing his already existing products and services by bringing them to the digital realm.
The digitalization of products and services opens up this business to new markets and possibilities. After a solid start, the said product or service starts stagnating. The usual growth is starting to slow down, the recurring revenue remains the same as previous months. The novelty wears off and the overall picture is not exciting at all.
The first thought of a business veteran, hardened over the long years on the market? Let us adjust our strategy and redefine our goals.
Business goals and strategy are important – so is user experience
Every good CEO knows the importance of setting realistic business goals and actively following them. Good strategy and clear goals result in business success. But what about our customers, the users of our products?
Does good business strategy result in a pleasurable user experience? Not necessarily.
Does a good user experience result in achieving set business goals? Most likely.
Setting your business goals with the help of your users
Today, as the purchase path of consumers is shifting online, it’s smart to use it as a tool to achieve your business goals. Companies that figured this out already have experienced growth as well as bigger profitability. Their success is measurable and presented as a conversion percentage.
In fact, I believe that creating an amazing experience is the primary means of helping a website fulfill its business objectives. A well-designed website makes it easy for users to complete the calls to action we have created.
Happy users also provide many other benefits. They can become advocates for your website. A happy user is considerably more likely to recommend your services and is more patient when things occasionally go wrong. Enthusiastic users can also become valuable volunteers; they have innumerable ideas about how your website and products can be improved. They are far more valuable than any focus group!
The point, though, is that happy users generate a return on investment, so spending the time and effort to give them a great experience is worth it.
What is a good user experience?
In its core, a good user experience embodies two themes that are often contradictory:
The satisfaction of user needs and providing them the best possible user experience.
Achieving the business goals of companies.
The relationship between these two is different for every company and its customers. The key to success is in the integration and making compromises.
User experience from a design perspective
From a design perspective, user experience is more important than the final design and look of the product, because: what good is a beautiful product if it’s useless?
User experience plays a key role in getting new users and retaining existing ones. The more useful the product, the more people will want to have it and recommend it to others.
94% of the factors that influence a user’s first impression of a website is connected with design. It’s imperative to excite new users with a pleasant experience that will make them stay on the website. Only around 5% of users use an app a month after they downloaded it. These stats beg the question: Why don’t more companies invest in the development of a quality user experience?
User experience from a business perspective
Companies’ business goals are usually more directed towards the development of the company and not enough to the final user.
If you ask why is user experience important for companies: user experience helps business owners by trying to understand the user and put him to the foreground. At the same time good user experience :
can bring higher productivity,
lessen the cost connected to systemic mistakes,
reduces the cost of onboarding and
enable faster solving of IT problems.
User experience should be the key component of every business strategy since its inception. Along with the mentioned monetary value, it also:
satisfies the needs of employees,
eases their work and
encourages cooperation in the workplace.
What are the user’s wants and needs?
According toUX Passion, user experience talks about two things – the user and the experience. Give users a positive experience and they will reward you with trust and loyalty. Companies with a highly efficient user experience increased their revenue by 37%. Meaning an investment in user experience and design is highly profitable.
Design solves problems, but the beautiful part is that it comes from both function and esthetics. A user visits a website for a reason. He sets this reason before he even comes to the final website. This reason can be the purchase of a new 4K monitor on Amazon or viewing the lunch menu of a local restaurant. People always have some problem that they want to solve. Our wishes are different and we want them to come true.
What are the business’s goals?
The setting of business goals demands a lot of work and is usually one of the key things that defines the further development of a company.
It’s important to separate short and long term goals. The latter should be planned for 3-5 years in advance and answer the question of why a company exists as they are closely connected to the business vision.
According to Paul Boag in Smashing magazine, we could debate whether business goals successfully cooperate with user experience. However, they usually do. When there are disagreements, the business goals should always win.
Let’s take a look at an example of designing a contact form. We are faced with a dilemma whether it is worth it to add one or two more fields in the form to get quality demographic information.
We ask ourselves whether these additional fields will create such a big obstacle that users will not be willing to give their personal information or will do so with resistance. If we estimate that users will still submit their information regardless of the worse user experience, then the worse user experience is more appropriate for achieving the goal.
How to combine both user and business goals?
So, we know that it’s important to find a compromise between user and business goals. For a better understanding, let’s compare Facebook’s goals and the goals of its users:
The former’s (Facebook) goal is making money through advertising.
The latter’s (users of Facebook) goals are socializing and maintaining relationships with friends and acquaintances.
All of these goals are combined into a pleasant user experience so that ads aren’t interrupting and only show in between posts. Meaning that Facebook shows its users an ad that doesn’t interrupt you with it and still enables you to socialize online. They make money, you keep your friends as close as you want.
As the purchase process of users is massively moving online, it’s imperative to use websites in such a way that it serves as a spot where a user can get all necessary information in a logical step-by-step way. It is our job to help the user correctly choose a product or service in a way that he wants.
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