Inside UX: User Experience’s effect on the bottom line.

by | Apr 2, 2012 | User Experience

With the boom of businesses taking to the digital world, it seems like every brand out there has some sort of digital platform for their customers. Whether it’s a website, software or mobile app, it’s apparent that digital is most definitely the name of the game. The downside of the boom however, is that businesses are trying to get their digital offerings out there as soon as possible, often at the cost of their customer’s needs and requirements – and quite literally at a cost to company.

This is where UX (User Experience) enters the arena, it refers to the digital user’s interaction with a product: how it’s perceived, learned and used. When a user enters a website for instance, there are a range of different aspects that make up this interaction. Is the site easy to learn and navigate? Is it helpful? Can I use it to do my tasks more efficiently? These are just some of the questions users ask themselves. If a site, app, device or software can’t answer those questions, or meet their expectations, they are likely to abandon them.

And the response from businesses that experience these low digital success rates is usually to add more and more features. But the user doesn’t necessarily want more – they want simpler, faster and better. And with each failed attempt at improving the touch point, customers get more despondent, and businesses are forced to fork out more and more money to developers and designers to make it work post production, as well as having to contend with the operational costs such as hiring call centre staff to deal with the influx of digital queries and compUX testing isn’t just about ‘making it work’. It’s redefining the rules of the game because it challenges companies to put the goals of the user first – and right from the start.

Firstly, not every user will land on the homepage; some will follow URL’s or click on search results to get there. Each journey through a digital touch point will be different, but each one should be as logical and easy to navigate as the other. With the correct application of UX techniques, a logical, customer centric touch point can be mapped out and used as a framework throughout the planning and production of a digital touch point.

UX testing also changes the way you see a touch point, because you don’t see it through your own eyes or the eyes of the developer, you see it from the user’s perspective. When it comes to the digital user, they need usability: They may not be as interested in how many features a product has, but simply ‘Can I use it?’ In the same way, it doesn’t matter how revolutionary a digital touch point is, if the user feels alienated by it, they are going to avoid it completely.

Findability is also an important factor to consider. If they have to spend all their time searching for a button, a contact number, or information they really need, then it won’t be considered a positive experience. Realistically a user won’t spend precious time trying to navigate a site through trial and error, they’ll either abandon the site, or they’ll make use of other channels to complete their task – and both are a cost to the company.

But the result of comprehensive UX testing, done at all stages of the product development life cycle is that you can bring down the development costs by fixing issues before they become costly. You are also able to tangibly measure the user’s level of experience with a particular touch point. You can see opportunities to innovate based on the users goals, and you have the satisfaction of delivering a user friendly, relevant, and engaging experience to your customers.

The most important benefit of UX testing is that it empowers digital users, and empowered digital users curb operational costs by not having to call customer care or go in store to do their tasks. They increase your conversion rate by actually registering or making purchases while using the touch point, and they are loyal to brands that understand their needs. Putting the user first, doesn’t mean putting the business last; but it does lay the foundation for a sustainable and profitable customer-brand relationship.

Interact RDT will be hosting UX seminars this month. It’s a gentle introduction into the world of UX, and the business value of UX testing. It’s free, informative and you don’t have to be tech fundi to attend. Contact Shaughan on 011 994 9960 or click here to book your seat.


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