It’s been a while since I launched my book, “User Experiences that Matter”, and I can’t begin to express how overwhelmed I am with the response and sales. If you bought it, please send me an email or tweet to let me know what you thought!
As I’ve been thinking about the book and what value it brings to you, I am beginning to realize that there was one subject I should have reflected upon more – why I think user experiences matter so much. The book even assumes that it’s a fact with it’s title – User Experiences that Matter – without considering that everyone may not share my reasoning. So, what’s a better way to kick off a new year than rewind a bit and trying to understand it all from the beginning.
Even though the first iPod disrupted what was then called the MP3 market by vastly improving the technical specifications – 5GB vs 128 or 64MB – this wasn’t the primary reason for its global success. What made it really stand out was that you could browse a VERY large collection of songs fairly easily (aka the user experience). Remember the Zune? It debuted just after the iPod with similar technical specification, but its complex interface drove away customers.
Some would say that investing days/weeks/months iterating an interface/user experience might be too expensive, but it is probably the most cost-effective way to build a great product. The real failure would be having developers build something that’s not the best solution to your problem. An estimated 50% of engineering time is spent on doing rework that could have been avoided. What’s even more terrifying is that fixing an error after development is up to 100 times as expensive as it would have been before.
An error could be an incorrect assumption about what features your users want, how they will behave with your product, developing a navigation that isn’t intuitive, or even a design choice that doesn’t appeal to the user. Basically, these are things a User Experience Designer would have solved before development was even initiated. Taking the time to consider the user experience can save you hundreds of engineering hours and thousands of dollars.
Instead of doubling your traffic, try to double your conversion rates. Why? Because it’s often easier, cheaper, and creates more value in the long run. If you work towards having the most loyal, happy customers I can safely promise that your business will be successful. This is something that I practice as much as I preach. While I love getting new clients, my primary objective is to keep my current clients as happy as possible to make sure they’re keep coming back for more business. Customers who have a positive user experience are going to be more likely to stick with your products—and to become your brand advocates.
If you only take one thing away from this article, it should be this:
Forrester Research agrees and say that “implementing a focus on customers’ experience increases their willingness to pay by 14.4 percent, reduces their reluctance to switch brands by 15.8 percent, and boosts their likelihood to recommend your product by 16.6 percent.”
The numbers add up, User Experience Design is worth every penny.