How successful your company will become depends on your ability to identify the users needs and demands, as well as how well these needs are met by your products or services.
Many products fail due to bad design choices and misplaced priorities. Today we experience a saturation in the tech market, the users looking for a service or a product have a lot of alternatives to choose between. The users are therefore in a position where they are able to place higher demands on our products and services. Users expect good user experiences (UX), and if they get stuck, unable to accomplish their task, your competitor is only a few clicks away.
Today users are increasingly qualified to make choices based on different demands. It is not enough anymore to offer the users new technology. Instead, we must offer user satisfaction and additional value to the user. The price, which used to be a deal breaker, has left the spotlight in favour of good UX. The Harvard Business Review writes that companies who use design strategically grow faster and have higher margins than their competitors.
According to MariAnne Karlsson at Chalmers University of Technology, leaders in numerous studies have stated that understanding the users demands and needs was a key factor leading to their commercial success. If you do not understand your users you will have no way of finding out what designs that are relevant for them. And if your design ends up irrelevant to the user, then it will not be a success. Performing user research will make sure that you do not ship a product or service that no one wants.
Good design makes your product stand out from the crowd of other solutions. In a crowd of products and services, the one that effortlessly helps the user to achieve their goals efficiently will stand the long run. Consumers today recognize, expect, and are ready to pay for good UX design.
Then what is good design? Good design is not just a matter of look and feel. it is, as mentioned, based on the understanding of the user. To get to know your users you have to reach out to them by performing user research. It is when you incorporate user input into your design process that you will be able to create remarkable experiences.
But this is easier said than done. UX is a new field where it is hard to get any budget for user studies. Although companies are starting to recognize the importance of good UX, UX designers all across the globe still have to fight for their place in every project. The amount of time that many companies spend on user research in the early stages of a project today is often not enough. UX research is also one of the first areas to be cut down in a project where the budget is running low. One reason for this is that the consequences of good or bad UX will not show immediately. These consequences are first shown by the time that the product or service is released to the users.
By instead offering the necessary resources for the user studies, you will have a better foundation of knowledge that will help you make research-backed, user-centered design decisions. This would then reduce the cost spent on expensive development errors and adaptations. Thus reducing the total project cost and developing time.
Finally I am going to leave you with a quote from Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar.
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”
- Cooper, A., Reimann, R., Cronin, D., Noessel, C.(2014). About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design. 2nd ed. Indianapolis, Indiana: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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