Sarah Fenn

Often, businesses start off a new project with the best intentions, but as prices start to rack up, 9 times out of 10 the first thing that gets dropped is the user experience. And it’s easy to understand why…

When it comes to building a website, you know that you need:

  • A strong design – as that is what the users will see.
  • To build the product so it can be used by the target audience.

But where does UX fit into this? It’s hidden behind the scenes playing a vital role, but it’s easy to overlook its importance.

UX plays a crucial role in fulfilling your business objectives. Without UX, you may end up with a pretty website, but was that the reason you wanted a new website or a website rebrand in the first place?

You will most likely have business objectives like improving sales, reducing bounce rates, increasing email signup, or countless other options. UX dives into these problems and finds a user-centred approach to solving them –  making it a win-win. With UX accounted for, you can achieve your aims and ensure your users have also had a good experience using your site (that doesn’t involve annoying pop-ups or anything else that stops them from achieving their goals).

UX lets you know if users want your product

Along with the above, UX lets you know if users actually want what you are selling. Take this scenario for instance:

You think you have a great idea for a new product, so you seek out an agency with a design and build team to bring this dream to life. Once the work is complete, you get ready to sit back and watch as the orders roll in.

But what happens if orders don’t start rolling in?

In this scenario, a key question was never asked: ‘does anyone need this product?’. Because if a product or service isn’t addressing user needs, it is destined to fail.

When proper user research is carried out, you can start digging into the user’s requirements and the pain points they have. There are many techniques for carrying this out, such as interviews with your target market, surveys, ethnographic studies (observing people in their own environment to understand their experiences), and so much more based on what you are looking to achieve (a UX consultant can help you identify what data you need).

From this insight, you can see if your idea is solving a real-world problem. Once you know your idea is something that users want, you can utilise UX so that they have a great experience and come back time and time again.

Can I add UX after my website is built

If you do neglect the UX at the start of a project, it is possible to try and backward engineer it after a product has already been built, but it is a very expensive way to do it. This method not only requires a UX consultant’s time, but also development resources, which can quickly add up.

The cheapest solution is to do it right the first time around. If anyone in your company still needs convincing, two of the biggest reasons to include UX early on are:

  • It increases revenue by making sure it is something the users want and can easily use.
  • It reduces costs. This may seem counter-intuitive since the article began saying that UX often gets cut to reduce costs, but as we have found out, cutting costs early on leads to more costs later to resolve the issues that have been created.

Big businesses understand the importance of UX

Did you know that in their early days Amazon spent 100 times more on user research than advertising? And we can all see how that decision panned out for Jeff Bezos!

So, why did Amazon make this crucial decision in the early days before UX was such a big deal? Because they understood that there was a direct connection between the quality of the user experience and the bottom line – if users enjoyed the experience, they would spend more money.

Here are some more benefits of incorporating UX into your website:

  1. If you incorporate UX design and increase your customer retnetion by as little as 5%, you will see a profit increase of at least 25%. 
  2. Research shows that, on average, every $1  invested in UX brings $100 in return.

And it’s not just that users spend more money when UX is involved, here are some eye-watering statistics for when UX is neglected:

Final thoughts…

As we have just learnt, failing to incorporate UX early into your new website or website redesign can have disastrous consequences. You can either end up with a nice-looking website that doesn’t achieve your business aims, or you can end up with a bad experience for the user.

As the old saying goes “you have to spend money to make money”, so investing a bit more at the start of the project can prove lucrative for you later on.

Get in touch with our friendly User Experience experts to find out how they can optimise your website. 

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