Many businesses are looking into incorporating User Experience (UX) design into their businesses in a bigger more focused way but are not sure of the value design brings to their organization. I would wager most entrepreneurs and corporate executives understand the importance of branding or marketing as these design disciplines are well established in corporate and entrepreneurial culture. However, User Experience (UX) Design is a newer discipline that many business owners don’t fully understand and therefore are not certain of the value they can get from it.
Let us first start by laying the foundation of what Design is and what the sub discipline of User Experience (UX) design brings to the table.
Defining design has caused many debates but for the sake of brevity we will define design as the intersection of art and science. Design is applying aesthetic principles of communication to support specific brand messaging and to achieve specific organizational goals such as sign-ups, sales, or brand interaction.
User experience design is focused on creating products and processes that keep the focus on the user/customer with the thinking that if the user is at the center of the product development process the product will be more useful to the user and achieve the goals of the business in a way that produces better outcomes.
As the products and services being deployed by businesses are becoming more sophisticated the problem solving and solutions needed to build, design and develop these products have become more sophisticated. Businesses can leverage User Experience design and the associated design thinking process to create solutions that connect with their customers on a visceral level and turn nascent one off customers into Brand Believers and from Brand Believers into Brand Ambassadors. When User Experience (UX) design is properly applied to product and tech development it raises the ROI a business can achieve and gives them a better chance for success.
For businesses to leverage design and User Experience (UX) design in particular to create value in their organizations they have to understand that User Experience (UX) Design is more than how something looks. This is a common misconception in organizations that have never incorporated User Experience (UX) Design internally, or have just started to incorporate it, but have immature internal design practices.
User Experience is more about how a product works and how that product solves a problem users/customers are experiencing. So User Experience (UX) Design is used to design processes, paradigms and systems that address customer problems in such a way that the business now can achieve business goals, KPIs and increase revenue.
For example, Apple has long been known as a leader in design. Their attention to detail and tight integration between their user experiences and industrial design is legendary. So much so, they are now the example many modern enterprise organizations try and emulate. This has led to their skyrocketing growth for the past 21 years straight and has allowed them to dominate many of the experiences that define our modern lives. Apple’s design expertise, attention to detail and user centric approach has also led them to being one of the most valuable businesses in the world as far as revenue and market cap is concerned.
When the power of User Experience (UX) Design is properly utilized it can also help a business differentiate itself from competitors. Like in the earlier Apple example, they are seen as the pre-eminent tech company that creates products that have distinct interaction patterns, user interfaces and industrial design language. Because they have embraced User Experience (UX) Design as a part of their Corporate DNA their products and services are distinct and considered best-in-class.
So in summary Businesses can gain value from User Experience (UX) design in the following ways:
Clarify the problems to solve by leveraging design thinking and a user centered approach
Create solutions that balance user needs and business goals
Design products that are easy to use, delight the user and have clear messaging
Increase confidence in you brand by deploying well thought out and designed products
Increase customer satisfaction and grow your brand loyalty
Design products that create stickiness so customers keep coming back
Design best in class products that differentiate your business from competitors
The value User Experience (UX) design can bring to a modern business is immeasurable. If your business has not started leveraging User Experience (UX) design you should ask yourself; what are you waiting for?