UX – Don’t Worry, Just Use Your Experience
Written by Professional Academy Tutor and Marketing Expert Peter Sumpton
While no one can disagree that the design of a user experience (UX) is vitally important in an ever changing, more competitive business environment, there is a case to be made as to what lengths you should go to in order to make an individual’s experience unique depending on your field of work. We are after all, individuals with different needs, wants and expectations, but in a business world the success of a UX will eventually be determined by the ROI that is achieved by its implementation. But how can a business calculate a UX ROI and how much emphasis should be placed in this?
Something Else to Consider
It all starts with that age old problem of resource, time and budget and for those companies that find it hard to generate additional quantities of any of these, UX can be yet another component that is lower down the list of priorities, becoming a hindrance rather than a necessity - just another marketing buzz word to take up time and distract employees from their daily activities. But consider this:
- No company website,
- No social media presence,
- No loyalty cards,
- No step-by-step check-out process,
- No apps,
- No customer services,
I could go on but the point I am trying to make is that if we don’t consider all the elements of our marketing strategy from our website and digital engagement to the UX and the communication tools we use then we really aren’t doing our job as marketers. It isn’t a case of doing everything at once, it’s a case of making sure that the right marketing tool are chosen for the right target markets, under the constraints of which every company has. This leads nicely onto - Do we even need a UX?
Do we even need a UX?
The first steps into UX design is to assess if you actually need a UX and if so, to what degree? To this, the answer should be ‘yes we do’ and this UX needs to be tailored to your audience and also tailored to fit your brand, for example the experience that is complements a fast-food outlets ethos is vastly different to that of a five start restaurant. Both fit within their own brands philosophy, business structure and customers’ expectations. Without any UX guidelines you may find yourself ordering your filet mignon with rosemary and mushroom jus from a touch screen next time you’re celebrating at one of the city’s finest restaurants or tipping an employee who has 4 stars on their chest serving your food over a counter.
How will we measure ROI?
Is it going to cost money, yes, should it be seen as an investment, yes, but a well planned UX can create its own efficiencies and this is where our ROI kicks in. Once you are prepared to take the plunge into the world of customer experience enhancement you will need to make sure that it will and is working for you. Measuring the successfulness of UX can be difficult as it is very subjective and analysing quantitative data can sometimes be misleading. For example a website could have an above average amount of traffic with the majority of consumers eventually parting with some of their hard earned cash at the end of their visit – GREAT! This doesn’t however factor in their customer journey or the experience this journey presented, all it tells you is that you have a product that people want to buy. A more robust method of analysing the successfulness of this website would be to examine repeat purchases, user errors or drop off points during the checkout functionality over a set period of time providing insight into the service that is being given both at the front and back end of any transaction. A simple change can make a massive difference in UX and revenue saving you money on maintenance and redevelopment and bringing in the cash from the sales of an easily purchased product.
A users experience and emotions will always be connected, but it is the subjective nature that can cause all the issues – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so to speak. As technology moves forward into an age of ‘Big Data’ and ‘The Internet of Things’ (two topics for another day), quantifying emotional responses using quantitative and qualitative methods becomes closer to a reality than ever before and disseminating the vast information presented to the nth degree will allow organisations to generate bespoke user experiences more efficiently. This is already happening in some markets; consider your smart phone and how you use it compared to your friends and family, it is probably a very different set of functionalities that are being used yet from the same piece of technology, or a loyalty card for a supermarket, the offers and information that is presented to you and how this can determine the experience that you eventually have either instore or online comes down to the data that has been collated and ustilised to create a bespoke service. Of course these examples (especially in the case of a loyalty card) are just the tip of the UX iceberg as UX design goes a lot deeper than using a card and transactional information (ironically enough so do icebergs…. and no two are the same either).
It’s what’s Inside That Counts
Not all ROI is calculated by the external activities of others, looking internally can drastically change efficiencies helping the bottom line as employment is usually one of a company’s major costs. Reducing the amount of UX training required can lead to minimal support requirements moving forward, thus reducing costs to provide the best UX possible. This can be extended further to the efficiencies that are possible when combining knowledge and technology – If a UX has been thoroughly thought through and given the time and dedication it deserve at its initial stages then a company will reap the rewards in the future in regards to maintenance and further development costs thanks to good planning and futureproofing.
Putting it All Together
The harsh reality of all this is that it can be very difficult to calculate the actual ROI on a UX design as there is no set formula and in its nature different criteria will matter within different industries compared with others, but by disseminating the discussion above and thinking practically you can categorise any calculations into three distinctive groups (sales, savings and satisfaction), so let me list them for you, after all it will be easier for you to read, view each one in turn and make a considered decision as to which is the right one for your organisation…a true user experience:
This can be reviewed online and in-store, the percentage of consumers that go on to purchase.
Not only drop-off rates, but drop-off points. Is there a particular moment, instance or stage at which consumers are turned off?
An increase in productivity will obviously give you more output per employee.
The reduced use of a help desk is a good indication that consumers understand the products / services provided. Not only this but there are efficiencies in cost to serve as well.
A good UX will require minimal developments in the future.
A good UX can sometimes be defined by the limited interactivity between staff and consumers. The best example here would be a self-service checkout or even a scan as you shop option. This will only benefit a users experience if the technology used is better than the manual option.
Increasing customer retention rates highlights repeat purchases and a lower overall cost per transaction.
The amount an organisation can engage with is target markets the lower the cost to serve over time.
A user experience should be designed around the consumer, but this is a two way street and new ways of providing services may emerge. Good UX may generate and adopt these processes which will suit the consumer’s requirements. Loyalty cards boomed in the 1990’s – from groceries to travel.
If you would like to improve your Digital Marketing skills or complete a CIM qualifcation which includes Digital Strategy why not get in touch with one of our qualification advisers today and speak to us about which qualification is right for you today?