Let’s talk about UX design. Maybe you’ve heard it can benefit you but you weren’t clear how. Perhaps you weren’t sure the best way to implement it in your company. Maybe you already have a UI designer and wonder if you still need a UX designer. With UX so ambiguous, what pieces of your business or product even need UX? Maybe you’ve hired a UX designer and it doesn’t seem to be working out. Is there a correct way to implement UX.
UX Design Defined
A lot of people confuse UI with UX design. Some even consider them to be one and the same. Depending on the breadth of your understanding, you might already know there’s a bit more to it. According to Wikipedia:
User Experience (UX) refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service… it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.
UX Design is the misunderstood, often overlooked yet critical guide to any team’s process. It is something most companies regret not having after failing. They exist as a liaison from your users to your stakeholders and even build bridges to your development teams as well. When combined with data scientists and business strategists, they can make products virtually impossible to fail and position your product perfectly to the user’s exact demographics.
The Extra Cost & Hassle
Since UX design requires additional upfront time and money costs, it’s often argued that companies lack the time required to do it. But the alternatives can be grim. Since most companies still tend to miss the mark on UX, it could be a key component to the massive time and money loss IT faces each year. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology. They regularly run analysis on the industry.
According to IEEE, of the 1 trillion dollars spent each year in software projects, 15% of all projects fail. Of that money, 5-10% goes towards the development of the new software where 50% of that time is spent reworking code. If you think of UX as a way to ensure your team’s efforts from this fate, the benefit becomes clear.
When it comes to ROI of UX, the concern is remedied as practically part of the job title. UX Designers need to work directly with stakeholders to lay down goal metrics certain features or adjustments. Designs then must hit these metrics in order to be considered a success. Aside from the mathematically sound ROI found here more than most positions, UX also provides entire companies and culture systemic and clear guidance. This can translate to clarity from the top down and cultivate a culture addicted to bite-sized achievable projects. You can see this illustrated across many of the highly successful tech companies you see today.
UI designer vs UX designer
Do you need both?
The aesthetically pleasing visuals UI design create can establish a brand, feel and even trust in your company. But as much as it can offer, it doesn’t mean much if the user is frustrated using it. For best results, have both UI and UX. UX deliverables tend to begin much lower fidelity in their designs with the goal of scientifically proving their layout, flow, and value. These are then tested, adjusted and tested again until a hardy conclusion is fostered. Sometimes the best way to handle UX and UI properly is to hire a design agency. Agencies can bring entire teams to support your project. They can also manage and balance UI with UX for you and assure the best results
What Pieces of Your Business or Product Benefit most from UX
The ambiguity of UX is that its concepts can be applied to literally anything you can experience. From products to spaces, to your own internal processes, UX studies can be conducted and give great insights into anything that needs improvement.
UX concepts are often utilized in marketing efforts which starts getting into what is called CX or customer experience which covers the entirety of a user’s experience from before using a product (marketing) all the way out to when they have a problem or cancel subscriptions (customer service).
Implementing UX Correctly
If you’re becoming sold on the idea of a UX component to your team, a word to the wise. Hiring on a single UX designer amidst a company culture not founded on autonomy will not be successful. The nature of UX dictates pivoting and mobility. It can stop dead if held up by a stubborn stakeholder or restricting rules or policies. If a design or idea has seen to fail testing but, a stakeholder insists nothing is changed, a UX designer’s entire purpose and benefit could be entirely squashed. Ensure when you hire in UX, you give support or sponsors on your highest level. Replace policies with clear business metrics designers can be trusted to aim and hit with complete autonomy.
UX design may just be the missing piece you never knew your company is missing. It’s the one job that even if unsuccessful, can still yield massively beneficial insights. In other words, with the built-in goal metrics combined with uncovering insights or proven designs being your only outputs, makes it a must-have in today’s fast-past world. UX design is today’s secret weapon that has infinite perks that just keep giving.