On average, for every $1 spent on UX brings in $100 in return. That’s an ROI of 9,900%. Companies leading in UX outperformed the S&P index by 35%. And, strategic and intentional UX has the potential to raise conversion rates by as much as 400%.
With stats like these, and an expected 22% increase in UX design jobs over the next ten years, you would expect that UX would be a household name. But surprisingly, this is not the case. When 8 in 10 customers are willing to pay more for something, perhaps it’s time to understand the term.
What is UX
You’ll likely hear as many definitions of what UX is, for however many people you ask. You may hear, “user experience design is the fulfillment of a brand’s promise.” Or maybe, “UX design is the process used to determine what the experience will be like when a user interacts with your product.” Or even “UX design is the art and science of generating positive emotions through product interactions.” Wikipedia defines it as “a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service.” (“User experience,” n.d.) The list of definitions is endless.
But what really is UX, or User Experience?
Building a House
When it comes to building a website, think of building a house. The architecture is the UX: the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings (or websites). Just like an architect, the UX Designer creates a wireframe (blueprint) of the website (house). This wireframe is used to guide the visual design and build of a site. It helps us increase the chance that the user has everything they need to be successful. As UX Designer is to architect, Visual Designer is to interior designer. The Designer is able to enhance the wireframe and make a more aesthetically pleasing website. Now that we have the wireframe (blueprint), visual design (interior design) established, we need to build the site. Just like a contractor, the role of an Engineer is to build. Using the guides, the Engineer builds the site for all the world to interact with.
Role of the UX Designer
The role of the UX Designer is to ask, “Why?” The UX Designer sees something and wonders how to improve it. Why is it the way it is? And then why this and why that? Until they deliver the best possible user friendly experience.
Adobe defines a UX Designer’s role as being “directly involved in the process of making a product useful, usable and enjoyable for its users.” (“What Does a UX Designer Actually Do?” 08/25/2017) While the role of a UX Designer can vary greatly from one company to another, one important responsibility is research.
Imagine you walk into a party and you’re handed a drink. No one asked you if you wanted it on the rocks. No one asked you if you wanted a lime. No one bothered asking if you even wanted a drink at all. Now, imagine before you arrived, the host took the time to find out your drink preference. It would be a different kind of party then! Matt Hryhorsky originally demonstrated this lesson through chocolate, which you can read about here.
The difference comes down to research. Research demonstrates that the host cares and didn’t make overall assumptions. The same approach is applied with UX. There isn’t a one size fits all method for websites. Not only does this solve the right problem for the right user, but it’s also going to save money. The company isn’t going to waste time creating a site that isn’t conducive to their consumer. Also, fixing a problem in development costs 10 times as much as it costs to have it fixed during design (and 100 times as much if you’re trying to fix something that has already been released).
For UX to be successful, It’s imperative to research and discover what would deliver the best user interface for that particular brand. This is what the entire website’s foundation is going to be built on.
If you’d like help building (or rebuilding) your website and want to ensure the best possible user experience, reach out to us here. We’d love to help!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022