User Experience (UX) applies to every interaction a person has with your company. This includes branding, marketing, phone calls, or directly interacting with your product or service itself. Because UX is so important, it is a pivotal part of our development process to dedicate time to familiarizing ourselves with your brand image, your messaging and your target customers to ensure that we’re designing the right product for your customers.
Usability initiatives deliver a major return on investment: it’s not unusual for usability projects to return benefits of 5-10 times their cost in the first year alone. — David Travis
Each element of your product from the colours, typefaces, and images right down to what happens when someone runs a search on your application or the way pages are displayed on different devices are all strategically planned and implemented with great care. The reason we strategize each experience is to ensure that each moment of the customer lifecycle, from attention to interaction to abandonment and beyond are all accounted for. This way, we know how each phase of the experience plays out, and how we’d like customers to react.
Why invest in User Experience?
Making it easier for customers to achieve their goals on your application will mean return sales as well as better word-of-mouth recommendations.
Forrester determined that 42% of US web buying consumers made their most recent online purchase after a previous good experience with the retailer.
Happier, more Efficient Users
We use websites and applications to get something out of it (information, a service, a product, etc.) then we move on with our lives. It’s rare that you’ll find people who want to spend extra time on your application looking for a way to make an account, or trying to figure out how your shopping cart works. Well-thought usability will require less explanation (tooltips are handy – but what does it say about your product if you have to explain all your jargon?), fewer barriers, and happier users when they see that Thank You page!
Lower Development Costs
Development can quickly become one of the biggest expenses when building your application, which is why User Experience is so important in minimizing those costs as much as possible. Utilizing user testing ensures that solid goals are being met such as conversion rates, click-throughs, etc. – instead of generic goals such as the dreaded ‘make it pop’ or ‘clean it up’ requests.
Being able to identify design flaws with solid data early on in development helps alleviate the risk of expensive overhauls after launch.
Lower Support Costs
There is little scarier when being handed the keys to your sparkly new application than tons of documentation. An application that has been designed intuitively needs little to no explanation, and will mean that set up and usage is easy and will require fewer ‘bug fixes’ and revisions later on. User testing long before deployment ensures that you aren’t likely to be forwarding frantic emails at 2am telling your developers that users have suddenly found a major roadblock in your application.
An application that has been designed intuitively needs little to no explanation
Read more about the Benefits of Usability by David Travis over at Userfocus.
What does UX look like?
It may look pretty – but is it valuable?
Once we have defined the user story (the purpose and goal) for a particular feature of your product as a part of our Agile Production Cycle, we immediately begin planning how the user should interact with the feature. Before we touch even a line of code or start designing the elements of your application, we invest time in strategy. While hammering out the usability, we keep in mind the core tenets of User Experience, illustrated well by Peter Morville in his User Experience Honeycomb (left).
The honeycomb is a nice way of showing this as each has no greater or less importance, while also combining to achieve value at their core. Keeping these tenets in mind ensures that even small design decisions are made with that goal in mind so that we are sure that we’re delivering a highly valuable application. Failing to adhere to these tenets can lead to design and development decisions easily slipping into fun or neat looking, but not necessarily useful for the user.
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