UX Design: A crucial practice for modern businesses.

Laura Amarillas
August 20, 2020

The smartest investment you'll ever make.

What do Feng Shui, ancient Greek tool ergonomics, hoover vacuums, mechanical typewriters, Disney World, and Apple's website all have in common? They all delved into UX Design.

User Experience (UX) Design is a human-first way of designing. It's all about the user's interaction with a product or service. It can cover everything from physical products to digital experiences like online shopping or swiping through an app. It's focused on the user's journey to solve a particular problem. The UX Design process centers on understanding the user, mapping out a logical route, and ensuring optimal functionality. UX Design considers every element that shapes user experience by keeping in mind questions like: How does it make the user feel? How easy is it for the user to accomplish their desired tasks?

This ancient practice can be traced back to 4000 BC. However, it wasn't until cognitive scientist Donald Norman joined Apple in the early '90s as the first User Experience Architect that UX Design was defined.

What is User Interface Design?

User Interface (UI) Design is what you utilize to interact with a product or service. It focuses on the user's visual experience on a website. UI Design covers all the screens and visual interactive touch-points that the user moves through when navigating from one point to the next. These can range anywhere from tapping a button, scrolling down a page, or swiping through images. It focuses on how a product's surfaces or interfaces look and function.

How do they work together?

If we're talking about a website, they can help ensure a good user experience. While UI design focuses on the overall look of a website, UX design will help make the user's experience agreeable. UX Design can also be heavily linked to business because it considers both the user speed, user goals, and those of the company. Both of these types of design working together can have a positive impact on business, such as:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Increase in conversion
  • Enabling customer retention
  • Increase in sales
  • Increase in ROI

As you can see, both types of design are slightly different. Still, they together create a perfect "marriage" of functionality and aesthetics. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out a great book called "Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" by Steve Krug.

Visual representation of the UX Design Process
This is the most common UX Design Process.

Why does UX Design matter?

Many companies claim to be innovators and trend-setters. However, the design of their products, services, website, and overall customer experience seems somewhat outdated. More and more, the consumer is beginning to appreciate the value of good user experiences. Companies that successfully adapt to the new norms set by consumers will see rewards such as:

  • Lower customer acquisition costs
  • Higher customer retention rates
  • Lower customer support costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced development time

The numbers behind UX Design.

If you've ever left items in your cart because the website you were on required you to create an account before completing your purchase. Then, you know the frustrations of having a bad user experience. But what about the cases where everything is designed with the consumer in mind? Below you'll find a few examples that showcase the tremendous impact of good User Experience Design.

The $300 million button.

The web designers for a big retailer assumed that every user who would buy a product in their online store should register before the payment. The company's sales were declining. An outside consulting firm ran some usability tests and recommended that a single button be changed. Sales revenue grew $15 million a month later and an additional $300,000,000 in the first year.

The impact of UX Design in business.

  • 70% of projects fail due to a lack of user acceptance.
  • An E-commerce site optimized for mobile saw a 30% increase in sales, a 50% decrease in bounce rate, and a 70% increase in the number of products sold.
  • 67% of users are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website.
  • UX design increases KPI performance by 83%.
  • $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return.

Proper UX and UI Design can be fantastic tools to grow your business. However, many companies forgo this practice because it requires an investment of time and money. But the numbers are there to prove that it's a worthwhile investment. When you design every element of your product, service, or website with the consumer's goals in mind, you will reach your own goals faster. If you don't, keep these words in mind:

"If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design." - Sir Ralph Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.

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