There has been a constant rise in demand for UX designers, but what really is UX design? And how can it help startups move their business forward?
What is UX?
UX stands for user experience, which refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership – which means it includes the online and offline experience of the consumer with a brand or product.
What can we tell if it’s a good design?
From landing pages to store shopping experiences – how do you if your design is good? Well there are a couple of performance indicators you can use:
- Sales: Did the experience result in sales? An increase in sales is a good reflection of straightforward user experience.
- Retention: Did the customer became a returning customer? A returning customer is a sign of satisfied consumer.
- Completion of a task: Did the consumer finish the goal of the experience (be it an application submission, points conversion, video watched)?
It’s important to define how you measure the success of the design – by clearly defining a goal for it that can be turned into the KPI (Key Performance Indicator).
UX for Startups
When building your product, everything comes down to your user experience. From how you approach your clients initially to how their invoice is generated, presenting your startup in the best possible light is essential.
The methods used by UX Designers are, essentially, the methods most lean startups use: prototyping, iterative learning and lots of testing.
These methods allow startups to discover what works before investing lots of money into manufacturing or developing the product. They use the vast amount of user data available (through social media and smart devices) and apply its new technologies such as artificial intelligence, to create valuable insights for the business.
The Value of Design
A report by McKinsey indicates that the companies that succeed in using design as a methodology (who scored in top-quartile in the McKinsey Design Index) also outperformed industry-benchmark growth as much as two to one.
They also noted that to achieve these results is not enough to just hire UX Designers (although that helps!), but also to embrace design thinking throughout the company. The top performers all succeeded in these four main areas:
To embrace design metrics as heartily as revenues and cost metrics. This analytical thinking can help leaders make decisions based on evidence rather than gut feelings. This type of thinking must also create a deeper knowledge of the consumer (what the consumer needs and not what it says it wants) for all employees, including executives.
Cross Functional Talent
Top-quartile companies make user-centric design everyone’s responsibility, not a siloed function. This means using a consumer-centric approach in all departments of the company. [Read here how Beta-i helped Galp bring their costumer-centricity into focus.]
A design methodology is not something that you can do just once – it’s something that must be continuously worked on in order to work. The best-performing companies encourage continuous testing, learning and iterating. This constant work helps companies avoid big costly mistakes.
The importance of user-centricity, demands a broad-based view of where design can make a difference. This means mapping a customer journey with its pain points and delights, rather than re-using a previous model. The broader view of the consumer journey will demand a break down of the barriers between digital and physical, as the online world gets intertwined with real experiences in the consumers’ world.
In the end user experience is all about design thinking in all areas of a business, which its focal point is to minimize all risks by getting more accurate information to base decisions on.