Understanding User Experience (UX) and Why it’s Essential for Your Business

User experience (UX) is a fundamental aspect of modern website design, mobile app design, and the design of any software product for that matter.

Achieving great UX is extremely difficult, and settling for bad UX will almost certainly drive your customers away.
To help ease these challenges, this article will explore what UX is and provide guidance to help you improve the experience for your own customers.

What is UX?

User experience (UX) refers to how a person interacts with various aspects of a company – both online and offline – from its brand, to its products, to its services.
The most common meaning behind UX these days, however, relates to the experience of using software products such as websites, mobile apps, digital platforms or tools, and so on.

Some core elements of UX are:

  • Ease-of-use
  • Simplicity
  • Efficacy
  • Credibility
  • Accessibility
  • Value

With that in mind, UX design is the process of planning and optimising the experience your customers will have with your software product or your service. The goal is to make the experience convenient and satisfying, with as little friction as possible.
UX design is broad and shouldn’t be confused with user interface (UI) design or usability, which are components that sit within your overall UX. UX design the process to determine what the experience will be like when your users interact.
If you’re from a non-technical business or in a non-technical industry, you may be thinking this isn’t something you should be too bothered about. Trust us, though, not only is UX important for all businesses, it’s absolutely critical to your success.

Why is UX so Important?

Steve Jobs once said:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back towards the technology, not the other way around.”

This notion has never been more relevant than it is today.
With so much of our personal and professional lives now taking place online, we engage with dozens of different brands, platforms, and channels every day.
More importantly, since the COVID-19 pandemic, more business is now happening online as well, for both B2C and B2B brands alike. This rise in use of on-demand services via digital channels has created a huge growth in competition across all industries.
These trends have made UX more important than ever, because a positive, seamless UX is the best way to win that online war against your competitors. If you prioritise your customers’ preferences and needs, and provide the best possible experience when they interact with your brand, you’re far more likely to retain them.
On the flip side of that, according to PWC, 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience. When you have a chance of losing one third of your customers just from one bad experience, there shouldn’t be any doubt over the importance of good UX.
Every business operating in the current digital landscape must find a way to adopt best practices of UX design. Only then can you ensure your target audience is having that positive UX across all channels.

What are the Benefits of Good UX Design?

When 73% point to experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, the success or failure of your business could actually be dependent on whether you can provide a UX that your customers enjoy.
If they have an outstanding experience with one brand on one app, they expect that same level of UX on all other apps they use. You’ll surely appreciate how frustrating it can be when you go from using a great app on your smartphone to then struggling through a clunky, slow website on your laptop.
Now, think about that kind of experience in relation to the customer journey within your business’s own digital channels. You should be aiming to keep up with the current expectations of your users. If you’re able to do that, you’ll begin to see better traction for your business through greater online engagement.

By giving your users a positive, satisfying experience, you’ll begin to see a significant benefits across several other critical areas, including:

  • Higher conversion rates on your digital channels
  • Opportunities to attract new customers in different channels
  • Improved customer retention
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • Competitive differentiation
  • Reduced development time and costs
  • Increased ROI on digital assets and marketing.

Tips to Improve Your UX Today

To achieve a UX that will be received positively by your customers, you must invest time and effort into gaining an in-depth understanding of them as users. This will require you to answer questions about your ideal customer, such as:
Who they are, their preferences and expectations, what they need and what they’re trying to achieve, their digital literacy and habits, their challenges and limitations, and so on.

In the mean-time, some tips to ensure your customers are having a positive UX when they interact with your brand, particularly online, are:

  • Do plenty of research
  • Test what works and what doesn’t
  • Ask for feedback
  • Keep things simple
  • Reduce your loading time and increase speed
  • Make sure you’ve designed for all necessary channels or devices
  • Use data and analytics to review and optimise regularly
  • Seek the support of a partner or agency if you need help.

We’ll soon be releasing a related article, where we’ll explain the principles, processes, and best practices which are essential to great UX design.
Keep an eye out on our blog, or follow us on LinkedIn here to get access to that article as soon as it’s published.

Do you want to find out how to improve your UX Design and improve your customer journey?

Get in touch and we’ll help you understand the best approach for your business

An Example of Good UX Design

Medivet
Medivet is a company with over 350 veterinary practices across the UK and Europe. Over the past few years, Medivet has been going through a large-scale digital transformation project, which included the launch of a new website dedicated to supporting career opportunities and helping them grow.
Since its launch, the intuitive UX of the website has returned positive performance metrics, with increased page views, increased consumption of video content, high rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs), and strong application rates from site visitors.

Final Thoughts

These days, without a great UX, you’ll inevitably lose customers to competitors who have taken a more customer-centric approach to the design or their website or app.
While UX may have been a concern mostly associated with software companies in the past, those days are long gone. Today, almost every company needs to adopt those same principles in order to survive.
If you don’t take UX design seriously, your website or app won’t retain your target audience. When that happens, it means your prospective customers are going elsewhere, and they probably won’t come back.
Despite those trends, though, many businesses are still struggling to get UX right, because it’s a specialist discipline that requires specific experience and expertise. With that in mind, if you’re looking to improve your own UX and customer journey, please do let us know what your current challenges or requirements are, and we’d be happy to talk through them with you.