Find out how spending on prototyping, wireframing and user testing can save money in the long run
By now, most of us know the standard arguments for investing in user experience research and design. Bigger market share, lower customer abandonment rates and better sales stats are just some of the benefits of UX highlighted by reports such as Forrester’s ‘Digital Customer Experience Playbook’.
Add to that the oft-quoted stat that for every dollar invested in UX, a business can expect to make $100 return, and the case for user experience seems like a done deal.
Despite these proven UX investment returns, some people (think, managers or C-suite peeps) might still need convincing that user experience brings about a solid return on investment. That’s why Justinmind has come up with these 4 lesser-known reasons why you need to start investing in UX right now.
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1 – You end up spending less, not more
When you’re building websites or apps on tight budgets, it can be all too easy to fall into the “save a penny, lose a dollar” trap. That happens when you decide to save by skimping on ‘non-essentials’, only to find that that decision has long-term costs.
UX might seem like a non-essential, but investing just a little in user experience in the research phase will save you money in several areas further down the roadmap.
Take developers. They’re estimated to spend up to 50% of their time on foreseeable reworks. And fixing each glitch after development costs almost 100x more than the fix would have cost during the prototyping and wireframing stage, according to ‘Why Software Fails‘.
But if companies invest time and dollars in a user experience process before going to development, that’s money saved. Changes made on wireframes or hi-fi prototypes like those made with Justinmind are cheaper and faster.
“According to IBM, code defects are 30 times more expensive to correct than using the right information in the first place. It is extremely unlikely that these coding defects will occur if you choose the UX design.” Steve Olenski, Forbes
Rework and development aren’t the only areas in which you’ll save money by investing in UX. Spending on customer support services should fall as well. Why? Because customer support is directly correlated to product usability.
If users can’t find vital information on your website, or if your product isn’t intuitive to use, where do customers turn for help? Your support services. And the more support tickets you get, the more resources (time, manpower and money) you have to invest.
Conducting usability testing on prototyped products will iron out usability issues. That’s the whole objective of prototyping – validating a website or mobile app by testing it out on real users before going to code.
Making prototyping a part of your UX design process will cut costs in three main ways:
- It’s easier to estimate the scope of the development phase once you’ve got a prototype. Development teams will be able to see how much time and effort they’ll need to put in, because they have a visual guide. Justinmind has a developer-friendly interface that makes design-development hand-off super fast.
- Hi-fi prototypes also let you test out content. Writing content for a website or app can be one of the toughest parts of a product launch, especially for tech teams. A content-first UX process will save a lot of headaches.
- You’ll know which features are keepers and which you can get rid of. Rather than going on your gut and including features you personally think are awesome, test these hunches on users.
2 – Happy users are your best salespeople
Online reviews can make or break a sale. Almost 90% of potential customers trust online reviews as much as they trust word-of-mouth recommendations. So if users are bagging your product in online reviews or even social media, that’s a problem for the sales department.
Happily, the flipside is also true: happy users and positive reviews directly impact a product’s growth. And good user experiences go a long way to making users happy.
These happy users will recommend your product. In fact, Harvard Business Review reported that over 20% of happy customers told 10 or more people about their experience. Users become your product’s best advocates – free of charge – when you provide them with good experiences.
To ensure that your product goals are in line with user goals, you need to follow a UX-aligned product roadmap. Build user research slots into the initial phases of the roadmap, and ensure that the UX strategy directly influences product development. UX researchers are the voice of the user, so don’t forget to listen and learn.
Find out how to make an Agile product roadmap
3 – Boost team motivation
It’s hard work building code and designing interfaces all day. Digital product teams can get demotivated if they feel like their hard work is going to waste, or their talents are not being used to full effect.
Ensuring your product provides good user experiences can help keep teams motivated and productive. Most sales gurus will tell you that to sell a product you need to believe in it. The same goes for any team member – to give their best they have to believe in the product they’re part of building.
Involving employees in the UX research and design process will let them see that the product they’re helping to make meets user needs. If the team believes in the value of the product and its vision, users will pick up on that.
4 – Your UX might save someone’s life
OK, this is maybe less likely. But your user experience design might just save someone’s life someday.
Sounds crazy, but take a look at Jeff Jahn’s thoughtful reflections on how designing smoke detector alerts from the user’s perspective could reduce the deaths in house fires. Or the thought-provoking story told by UX Designer Jonathan Shariat about a child who died in hospital because the software her nurses had to deal with was totally impossible to figure out.
Not all UX design situations are life or death, thankfully. But the lesson still stands – bad UX has tangible, measurable and sometimes disastrous results, both for individuals and companies. Good UX can, literally, save lives. Hard to find a better reason to invest.
4 surprising reasons to invest in UX – final word
User experience design can make the difference between a product that attracts and keeps users, and a product that fails. Incorporating UX research and design methods such as wireframing, prototyping, usability testing and field studies into the product design process brings well-known benefits such as lower abandonment rates and better ROI for UX projects. But businesses that embreace UX design also see other surprising benefits, from a more motivated team to lower advertising and marketing costs.
So what are you waiting for? Download Justinmind and invest in your UX process