A common misconception that most organisations have is that user experience is created by a UX professional. Although components that build a user experience can be engineered and purposely improved by UX professionals, without them your digital touch point still provides a user experience, whether intentional or not.
So the question shouldn’t be whether to ‘get’ a user experience but rather what your current user experience is, and most importantly, how to intentionally improve it?
The ideal user experience
When is the right time to start incorporating user experience into my website?
In the same way an artist uses canvas, paint, various brushes and a multitude of techniques to create his/her painting; UX professionals need to construct from the ground up and not just in the final stages of development.For this reason, Usability testing can and should begin from concept level. UX professionals can conduct task analysis even before the touch point has been developed by using functional mock-ups of the site or app.
Early testing also allows for more freedom in the designing of user centric digital touch points that are intuitive in catering to the user’s needs and goals.
In other words, the earlier you start the more comprehensive the role of the UX becomes. Ideally they should be involved in design considerations, content strategies, information architecture, taxonomy and much more.
Realistically, your success in creating a meaningful user experience will rest on how much you’re willing to compromise on what you think you know, and how early you’re willing to do it.
Is it really worth the spend?
For an organisation, offering customers a poor user experience online is like opening a clothing store without a till or fitting rooms. But UX professionals bridge the gap between users and businesses, by helping to achieve business goals without sacrificing the priorities of the actual users.
They ensure that the users have a voice throughout the design of the touch point – not just from a visual perspective, but also from an organisational or taxonomic perspective – ensuring users not only find the site beautiful to look at, but that it’s easy to use, intuitive and engaging.
In fact a well resolved user experience differentiates organisations from their competitors, and the value of engineering and modifying a unique user experience can be seen in an elimination of redevelopment costs, and a measurable improvement in traffic and conversion rates at the touch point itself.
To answer the initial question, an improved user experience should be the driving force behind your new website, app or any other digital touch-point, it should shape your decisions at every stage in development and most importantly, it should merge the objectives of the organisation with the goals and priorities of its users.