Photo courtesy of A-dit-ya on Flickr
By Manish Dudharejia
Creating experiences that are all about the customer/user and which are designed based on a thorough understanding of their needs and requirements, interests and preferences, is a critical business activity. It is the one activity that guarantees success and improves bottom line. In a world where businesses do not take one step without considering their bottom line, user experience design is not a concept that just sounds good when you hear about it, but delivers quantifiable business returns and goes a long way in improving a business’s bottom line. It improves customer relationships, it facilitates informed decision making, it creates better brand awareness and builds customer loyalty.
Let’s take a look at UX design through the prism of a business website and see how it goes on to impact the business’s revenue generation capabilities:
UX Design Increases Revenue
Consider a website that sells products and services. What does it need to do to improve it’s revenue apart from offering the kind of products and services that its target customers need?
Here’s what it needs to do:
- It must have a logical structure.
- It needs to make all its offerings easily findable.
- It has to ensure the necessary product descriptions are available on the product pages.
- These product descriptions should have all the information necessary to help customers make the right buying decisions.
- It must have a safe, secure and convenient shopping process.
- It needs to have persuasive call-to actions (buttons, images, catch phrases) at the right locations to prompt conversions.
Each and every aspect that helps your website generate revenue also plays a huge role in improving its user experience. What this means is that the tenets of UX design and improved revenue vis-a-vis website design overlap.
UX Design Decreases Costs
If your website allows target customers to understand its products and services better and gives enough instructions to optimize their use, your customer service calls go down. This means your customer service overheads decrease, which impacts your bottom line. The point here is UX design gives your website the necessary real estate to pack more useful information. This allows target customers to get the information they need, understand it and make use of it to get the maximum returns from their investment in a product or service.
Improves the Shopping Experience
Why do you shop at a particular store? Why do you head out to your favorite store when you need a particular product, that’s actually stocked by plenty of other stores as well? No, it’s not because of the price discounts offered by that store or the quality of its products (these could be the more visible reasons of course); but behind your decision to go to a particular retail outlet and not another is the fact that you enjoy shopping at that store. It offers you a shopping experience that makes shopping simpler and more enriching. This is what user experience design does as well. It improves the ‘shopping experience’ of shoppers.
An online shopper is one of the most demanding and impatient shoppers on the planet. So, a website that doesn’t place due importance to the ‘shopping experience’ just wouldn’t work. The shopper wants a website that loads quickly, and takes him to the products page of choice without wasting time. He expects the site to have considered user flow and made sure that the journey between point A and point B on a site is almost instantaneous. If you give the shopper what he needs, he’s going to become a loyal customer, much like the bricks-and-mortar shopper who prefers shops that offer him a great ‘in-store’ experience.
UX Design Keeps Existing Customers Well-Satisfied
In the earlier point, we talked about UX improving customer loyalty, but that’s also a result of the satisfaction levels of customers who invariably gravitate towards a website that follows the tenets of UX design. Such sites are not just about facilitating improved understanding or offering a successful shopping experience, these sites are also about satisfaction. Customers are only satisfied if they believe they’ve come out better from the experience offered by a site. This is a result of offering some extra info to customers by way of videos, infographics and other information that helps them get a better understanding of not just the products, but the niche as well.
UX Design shows customers you care!
User oriented, user defined design does something far more important than just improve your sales; at the end of the day it tells your shoppers that you care about their needs and requirements. Shoppers/Customers/Clients are becoming smarter and more aware about what they want and their expectations from sellers. If you give them what they want, they will recognize and appreciate your efforts to do so. Your efforts won’t be in vain. This is the real reason why UX design is so important, everything stems from this fact alone. To put it simply, consumers care that you care.
Wrapping it Up
User experience works at both the practical and the psychological level. It determines the usability of the site as well as makes the user feel good about using the site. There is no doubt that whether it’s product design, the design of a website, application or even the interiors of a shop, it is user experience that determines their success or failure.