UX Design from a Business Perspective, Part 2 | Resolute Software

UX Design from a Business Perspective, Part 2

10 June 2020

7 minute read


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UX Design 101: How to Measure Results?

In Part 1, I wrote that UX design is a strategic function of business growth. In Part 2, we’re going to talk about some UX design principles that can be leveraged to improve user experience, and I’ll offer some KPIs to measure success.

What does it take to offer great UX?

  • At a startup
    A newly launched business idea has a focus. Once the small team behind a product or service starts getting a better understanding of the market, they conclude that more is better. Products get stuffed with features, new use cases are covered, and workflows become more sophisticated over time.
    Naturally, the tech startup ecosystem has been prevailingly engineering-driven, so it’s not uncommon for UX design to be deprioritized. This opens the door to customer experiences that confuse and raise more questions than they answer.
    Battling to survive and scale, tech startups tend to overlook UX design. Acquiring customers, however, and keeping them happy, is certainly not a prerogative of large corporations only. One may argue that it’s even more vital for startups to have a very well thought out customer success strategy. These few rules will help startups communicate value through UX design:
    • Stick to “fit for purpose” rather than revolutionary UX design
      When building a revolutionary product, it’s tempting to wrap it up in gloss and glimmer. The only opinions that matter when it comes to UX, however, are not the founders’ but those of the users who prefer to see something recognizable; something they can relate to. Creativity might make a product feel special at first sight, but if users struggle to accomplish a task, you should use it sparingly.

    • Continuous iteration is king
      Accommodating the journey of all the various users and stakeholders that might be taking part in a product evaluation can be a daunting task. It’s essential to carve out time to do research in order to define the major target personas. Ensure that the product UX is well crafted for those who will be using the product and/or have decision-making power. Once that’s done, keep iterating. Continuous iteration is the way to try out new ideas, stick with the ones that work, and discard the rest in order to make things better, in sync with the constantly changing user behavior.

    • Keep it simple, keep it sharp. Maintain consistency
      The more friction UX design creates, the more work there needs to be done to iron it out. The best user experience is the one that doesn’t make customers think, make choices, and wonder what their next step should be. Efficiency and speed are what matters most. Getting rid of every element that doesn’t play a role in guiding users from one step to another, would smooth out the friction. Simple, consistent UX design is easy to understand and use.1

  • Redesigning the UX for legacy systems and apps
    Various reasons might lead to neglecting an application from a UX design standpoint, among which are portfolio prioritization due to an M&A,a shift in the market, team reorganization, or a focus on catching up with features rather than usability. Before deciding on the path to take to bring a product’s UX to life again (will you be following a “rip & replace” strategy or will you try to offer incremental improvements to your user base?2), it’s worth conducting an assessment of your current user experience. Based on qualitative and quantitative research, along with UX best practices evaluation, an assessment will track and identify the problems of the existing UX architecture and propose solutions backed by hard data and scientific analysis.
    While the above tips for crafting smooth user experiences for newly launched products may be well applied to redesigning complex legacy apps and systems’ UX too, there are even more considerations that need to be taken into account:
    • When choosing the complete re-design path, don’t forget that the legacy application does not exist in a vacuum.
      When building a revolutionary product, it’s tempting to wrap it up in gloss and glimmer. The only opinions that matter when it comes to UX, however, are not the founders’ but those of the users who prefer to see something recognizable; something they can relate to. Creativity might make a product feel special at first sight, but if users struggle to accomplish a task, you should use it sparingly.

    • Complete re-design rarely accounts for the total cost of ownership.
      The application users will have to invest in learning how to use the newly redesigned product again. Moreover, in the context of complex enterprise software, the old and new versions of the application will likely co-exist and overlap for some time, forcing customers to maintain the two.

    • Incremental improvements may be difficult to measure.
      It’s not uncommon, especially in an enterprise environment, to have the UX design team focus on continuous user experience iterations instead of undertaking a complete application redesign. A key issuer with this approach is the lack of proper success metrics that can measure the impact on the UX. For continuous UX improvement to work well, access to fast user feedback needs to be established. A large user base makes it easier to execute usability testing studies, collect the feedback, and re-iterate it. Enterprise selling, however, is notoriously difficult and time-consuming and is rarely focused on acquiring user volumes. Hence, UX design experts have little or no data to help them understand which improvements had a positive impact on customer satisfaction, product stickiness, or revenue.

    • Incremental improvements are leaving outdated technologies outside the scope.
      Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to improve a dying technology. What’s worse, incremental improvements by default focus on small usability optimizations that can make a certain feature better, so bigger questions pertaining to the shortcomings of the technology being used would never be answered.

Measuring UX Design results

How to measure UX improvements? Some handy KPIs to keep an eye on.

Fortunately, the UX design world has started to understand that without offering clear, quantified ways to measure results, it’s unlikely that business stakeholders would be willing to invest more budget in such efforts.

KPIs help translate the project-specific success factors such as desired user behavior, opinion, and emotions into numbers. UX design KPIs can be categorized as:

  • Behavioral/Attitudinal – their goal is to measure the more intangible result of UX design improvements such as what users do (task completion success rate, time-to-completion, search vs. navigation, user error rate), as well as what users say (System Usability Scale, Net Promoter Score, customer satisfaction).3

  • Business-related (ROI) – UX design’s tangible effect on a business’ bottom-line can be tracked by measuring changes in user to customer conversation rate, bounce rate fluctuations, successful trial user/customer product onboarding, product stickiness (customer lifetime value CLTV), conversation rate optimization CRO and an overall reduction in support requests.4

Succeeding with UX

Regardless of the industry, target audience, and the maturity of a product or service, UX design is essential for business growth. If you feel that it’s about time to pay more attention to user experience, re-focus your product to be customer-centric rather than engineering-driven, or the redesign of that legacy app is long overdue, be sure to get started with assessing the current status of your UX design.

We at Resolute Software provide expert UX services. Building on the solid foundation of qualitative and quantitative research, our team will identify the problems of your existing UX architecture and propose solutions backed by hard data and scientific analysis.

The UX assessment package we offer is an effective way to identify usability issues and map out the means to solving them. Get in touch today to schedule your UX assessment.


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Tags:

Ux design

User experience

Business

Trends

Part 2

Antonia Bozhkova
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Antonia Bozhkova

Antonia is an experienced digital marketing professional with proven success in developing results-oriented initiatives that achieve business objectives. Skilled in marketing strategy, user behavior analysis, and content marketing, she has the ability to influence thinking and effect change in organizations.

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