Learn what User Experience Design is and its importance in keeping your business competitive and relevant.

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What is User Experience (UX)?

User Experience design is the process of enhancing user satisfaction by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided when using a product. User experience includes all aspects of a product or service as perceived by users.

Why User Experience? How can it help build better customer relationships?

New technology leads to new opportunities. As these new technologies mature beyond luxury into everyday commodities, consumer expectations will increase. Simply making use these technologies is not enough.

To compete and stay relevant you must focus on the customer and empower them to do something meaningful. You must put the emphasis on designing new experiences that align with your customers journey by taking into consideration how they feel, think and act. You need to help your customers get the job done, all the while delivering meaningful user experiences. UX can help you get there. It can enable meaningful and shareable experiences and lead to more engaging customer relationships. Having a UX team that takes a user-centric philosophy will ensure that your company is informed and capable to improve customer experiences, relationships, loyalty, and overall business performance.

How can I track the value of my efforts (ROI)?

The ROI of good user experience design is difficult to measure, but is nonetheless significant. 15% of IT projects are abandoned and at least 50% of development involves redoing work that is avoidable. UX design and best practices can identify many challenges upfront, and avoid common mistakes such as poorly defined system requirements, inaccurate estimates, and miscommunications. The cost of fixing an error before it has been developed is 100 times less than after development. These type of errors can be avoided through iterative improvements and taking a more user-centric approach.

The effects of UX design on ROI are not limited to the development process. You can identify the financial and non-financial metrics and goals that drive change in your organization, draw a clear picture for decision makers of the connection between their value and the company’s goals, and demonstrate a positive return on investment in UX activities. For example, if you are looking to improve performance to improve the bottom line you can measure the number of user errors before and after. If the purpose is to increase sales, you can measure the number of purchases or conversion rates across your sales funnel.

Where to go from here?

The first steps to improving User Experience in your organization is making a shift in culture to be more customer centric. Everything you do needs to be for your customers; you need to feel their challenges, and know their ambitions and needs. It starts with defining a vision that articulates your customers’ journey, and planning to deliver great experiences and outcomes for your customers. Make your customers feel like heros and they will keep coming back. Businesses that place their customers first in all aspects of their business will outlast those who don’t.

I hope you now have a better understanding on what UX is, how it can play a role in your customer relationships, and what you can do to measure it’s ROI for your business. My vision is for companies to start thinking more about their clients needs, wants and desires. It would be awesome if companies start tailoring their products and strategy to delight their users and aid them to solve their problems and reach their goals.

References

Charetter, R. “Why Software Fails”. IEEE Spectrum 2005.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/why-so...

“Benefits of User-Centered Design”. Usability.gov

http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/benefits-of-...

Dr. Weinschenk, S. “The ROI of User Experience”. YouTube 2011

User Experience Design. Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_experience_desig...

Solis, B. (2013) “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create”