Customers sometimes make snap judgments about businesses based on the digital assets they interact with. It takes them about 15 seconds to decide whether they’ll stay on a website or look for a more suitable alternative. 

There’s no doubt that when it comes to online products and services, first impressions matter. And in 94% of the cases, the first impression is design-related.

The quality of your product is crucial, but before customers experience that, they see your website or app. User experience is all about how your digital channel works, its aesthetics, and how the user interacts with it, which are make-or-break matters that decide whether customers will continue to engage with you.

Here are three reasons why UX is so important for your business, and why it is a good idea to invest in it.

1. It drives up ROI 

Design-driven companies know that customer experience is not something to compromise on. With everybody competing for customers’ attention, UX design is a powerful way to differentiate your business and make it stand out among customers’ options. Because every time a customer chooses you over everyone else, you improve your bottom line.

Research finds that on average, every dollar invested in UX brings 100 dollars in return. A well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400% according to Forrester.

When your organization invests in user experience, you unlock access to a new customer value chain. And according to McKinsey, over time, organizations that make UX a key part of their business strategy can enjoy a revenue growth 32% higher than companies that choose to ignore UX.

A UX-led product ensures that the customer has all the necessary tools and resources at their disposal to perform a task, without feeling it’s a burden. A picture that loads without delay determines the success of your customer engagement and a well-placed button has the power to drive up your sales. 

2. It increases customer loyalty

If in 2013, about 4% of customers expected a personalized experience, in 2020, that number has risen to 88%, so that’s nearly everyone. 

Customers look for ways to solve their problems in a simple and gratifying way. They need to feel that they are at the center of the experience.

Customer loyalty comes with a fine print. Customers don’t megaphone their expectations and share their likes or dislikes about a brand on Facebook. A UX-led approach to building your products will help you identify your customer’s preferences and give you great insight into finding ways to keep them close. 

3. It saves you time and money

If done early on in the product development process, UX design can minimize costs associated with a) reworking UX for some of the components/modules that don’t succeed in pleasing the customer and b) effort put into continuous improvements. It might cost you less to fix some of these issues while you are still designing the product, rather than after it has been launched. 

Most often, developers spend time fixing software errors and resolving bugs that could’ve been avoided altogether if the planning was done right. A collaborative approach ensures that all key players involved in the project, whether it is designers, software engineers, or the final customers, are participating in the product development process. This way, every component and every user flow of the product is backed-up by relevant insight and authentic feedback, which leads to a consistent and successful final product.

Also, by having a loyal customer base, you increase the lifetime value of a customer, spending less on customer acquisition and expensive marketing initiatives.

To make sure you make the most of these benefits, there are a couple of important elements to pay attention to when you think about investing in UX.

* User research

When you lead a UX project with a user-centric strategy in mind you can find the right balance between an attractive user interface, accessibility, and usability. Getting to know your customer’s preferences will help you match them with relevant design concepts. You become more intentional in your choice of screen/interface layouts and that guides your platform’s UX design. 

To set-up your project for success and avoid unnecessary costs, your specifications and feature list should emerge from a thorough user research process, rather than intuition or guesswork. 

* Usability testing

Testing the functionalities of your digital product with real users will reveal to you the platform’s strong points, its issues, and inconsistencies with customer expectations. It will eventually help you understand if it serves its intended purpose. 

Usability tests can be run on a software product at any point in the product development process. Whether it is to validate some features, identify errors, or check the user flows that you’ve created, a usability test will give you a relevant and straightforward assessment of your product. And most errors can be detected by performing a usability test on a group of as little as 5 users.

This will allow you to have a reality-check and fix the most common issues, by making the product more user-friendly and intuitive, and also by avoiding those extra costs related to retaining and maintaining unnecessary features.

* UX as a continuous process

Any change in customers’ expectations and behavior has a direct impact on the UX of your product. You might make a bigger investment at the beginning of your IT project, but it’s not a one-time contribution. User experience is dynamic concept that keeps evolving over time and therefore needs continuous care. Just as your business adapts to the market and the trends, so does the UX design to its customers. 

Taking into consideration the emergence and growth of new technologies, such as AI, Virtual Reality, 3D graphic interactions, the user experience needs to factor and in some cases embrace these technologies. By neglecting the importance of continuous innovation, you risk the possibility that your product will become obsolete over time. To stand the test of time, your product’s UX design requires a constant review and feedback implementation cycle.

Putting UX design at the heart of your product will help you address your customer’s needs in a more authentic, simple, and visually appealing way. This ultimately, will earn you better business, bring more loyal customers, and improve your bottom line.