No matter your business, you’re probably doing a fair share of your marketing online.
Both you and your SMM manager – the one you’re paying straight out of your pocket, just sayin’ – keep posting relevant content. *hint: that’s the content your target audience actually reads *
You respond immediately to clients, your blogs are damn fine, you post motivational Monday quotes and you regularly cheer on the weekends – yes, Friday gifs are largely appreciated.
But you still feel something’s missing.
The cherry on the top isn’t there. If nothing else, wasn’t all of that supposed to drive customers to your website like crazy?
If you’re wondering why there are no waiting lists for your product or business you’re trying to boost, you may need to hear this:
Great marketing means nothing with a poor user experience.
We can even hear you go Ohhhh – you probably haven’t thought about it, have you?
If you’re looking for ways to bring your business to a whole other level and actually drive clients like crazy, keep reading on to learn more about why UX and user testing matter both for you and your business!
The best part?
You won’t have to give up on your Friday gifs!
“Great marketing means nothing with a poor user experience”.
What’s this UX thing anyway?
The UX thing translates to User Experience and it’s actually a pretty big deal nowadays because it can seriously help you make or break a business.
Let’s see an example to explain it better.
Imagine you’re running a store – but an actual, old-fashioned store, positioned right in the middle of whatever major city you want it to be. *yes, Paris works fine*
Try and think about the way you’d set up your store to be – light and airy, floors are spotless, popular products are on display and easily accessible to your customers. Add some jazz background music, a tall vase with bundles of flowers and a smiling sales person – it’s easy to imagine this as a good place to be, right?
Now, try and picture the opposite – dark and dusty, crammed with shelves that make moving around the store very difficult. No products are in sight, your salespeople look like they hate their lives and the worst one of them all – your floor is slippery as hell!
Which store would YOU go to?
The answer is obvious: the store that created the better experience.
Both stores may have equally good products – but you’ll always choose (and even return to!) the one that made you feel better.
“UX is all about making the experience better”
I still don’t get this – I have a business here, not a store
Sure you do – you may not have an actual store in place but all of your digital channels through which you communicate with your clients are your store, in this case.
Your digital channels represent you and your business – but applying a good marketing strategy isn’t the only thing that matters in this case.
All of your clients judge your business by the experience they get by using your desktop site, apps, mobile sites, e-commerce store, etc.
And yes – they probably judge you even for the things you can’t imagine they judge you, such as the colors you picked or the place you positioned your Sign up button and the way your ad banner *annoyingly* keeps popping up on every new page they open.
The same they’d judge your store – the one in Paris, yes – if they couldn’t open the door because you placed the wrong push sign, if the place was crammed or if your products weren’t on display.
Oh, and “good luck getting back that customer who slipped on your floors” can be translated to – good luck getting back that user who couldn’t register in less than three clicks on your site.
“All of your clients judge your business by the experience they get by using your desktop site, apps, mobile sites, e-commerce stores, etc.”
Wait, are there any data to back up whatever you’re saying here?
Actually, there’s plenty of data online that outlines the importance of the user experience. Here are five things Jozef Toth – one of the big names in the UX industry – managed to come down with in one of his awesome reads:
88% of online customers probably won’t return to a website that provided them with a bad experience.
75% of the users judge your credibility based on your website’s aesthetics alone and 94% of the first impressions are based on the design you have.
Subsequently, Bing scored $80 million dollars more just because they decided to change into a particular shade of blue. *yes, we people are that shallow*
When Time.com adopted the infinite scroll concept on their homepage, they managed to decrease their abandonment rates by 15%
And the best part:
A person is 64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest than click on a banner.
Because yes – banners are very likely the most annoying thing ever and create for a terrible user experience.
So you’ve probably realized by now – a good user experience is obviously good for business.
“A person is 64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest than click on a banner.”
Are you saying that good design is good business?
It might be, yes.
While having a unique concept and great business ideas is always a good start, you often don’t need a completely new product in order for your business to be a success. Instead, you may need to improve the experience for products that already exist. *wink, wink*
For example, look at Apple – they weren’t the one to invent the smartphone.
But instead of focusing time, money, and energy on coming up with a completely new product, they focused more on the user experience.
And turtlenecks, but that’s a whole different topic. *hint: brand identity*
You can also take a look at Google – the search engine concept was there for years. However, Google revolutionized the way we find the information we need by allowing users to do it in the fastest, yet simplest way possible.
Last but not least, our guy Jeff Bezos here kept investing more in customer experience rather than advertising during the first year of Amazon – and we can’t say that didn’t work out well, can we?
“You don’t need a completely new product for your business to be a success – instead, improve the experience for products that already exist.”
My oh my – I’d love to hear more about the benefits I can get!
You don’t need a fancy study – though testing is never a bad idea – to tell you that there are more than a few benefits you can get for your business.
You get to stand out from your competition.
There are plenty of sites and apps that create a terrible user experience – don’t be one of them. People actually take notice when something good hits the market.
You get to build your own identity.
Sure, you have a company and your own brand – but do you your own identity as far as your company is concerned? By improving the user’s experience, you build an identity for yourself – the web solutions you expose your clients to will be uniquely and solely yours.
You get loyal & long-term clients.
We can’t emphasize this enough – people love when you make things easy and simple for them. Another thing they love is when they can get top-notch products in an easy and simple manner – which UX is all about. *shh, don’t tell anyone we’ve told you this secret*
You get to reduce overall costs.
In life, thinking way ahead of time saves money. UX magicians like to solve problems before there’s even a problem to solve. And if you think ahead of this one – no pun intended – you get to save money in the future by solving future problems now.
“People actually take notice when something good hits the market.”
What ROI should I expect for my business?
When it comes to the business value of the UX design, you can’t go wrong no matter how big or small you invest.
Actually, it can cost you more in the long run if you don’t do invest in UX.
Here are a few stats that might help you make your decision faster:
“It can cost you more in the long run if you don’t invest in UX”.
You’ve convinced me – where do I start?
It’s very simple – though it might be time to put your lab coat on and become a scientist! *no need for that but do put your thinking hat on*
A step in the right direction would be to observe the way your customers interact with your product. You don’t need hundreds of people for this – even the smallest of groups (think 5 or 10 people here) can be enough.
However, don’t tip them or suggest them ways in which they can use – or navigate – through your product, as that kind of beats the purpose.
For example, if you want to test your desktop website, have them use that one. Your job is to notice what feels natural for your clients. Let’s say, most of them search for the Log In button in the right corner – but if you had that in the left corner… you see our point here. *move the button*
Your goal is to see just how easy and simple your product – no matter whether it’s a desktop site or an app – is to your target audience.
“Observe the way your customers interact with your product.”
What if I hire someone to help me?
That may be a smart move but we’ll let you have the final word on it.
*we happen to know a few good guys*
If you do choose to hire someone to help you out, then you shouldn’t expect a set strategy in place that will do wonders right from the beginning – different business and different products may require different things to see improvement over time.
In most cases, no two solutions are alike.
That means you can expect plenty of tinkering, creating, testing, trial – and very likely error at some point – problem solving and many, many color themes changes, until you find the right thing for you and your business.
Don’t forget: UX is all about understanding human needs. But once you do understand your clients’ needs and do whatever you can to give them what they need – and want – you might as well become unstoppable.
“UX is all about understanding human needs. But once you do – you might as well become unstoppable.”