Why Is UX Such a Big Deal?
Keeping abreast of current UX trends and implementing user-centered design interfaces can have a measureable effect on user retention.
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When 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website (remember human beings have an attention span of six-eight seconds, less than a goldfish’s), user experience-driven engagement becomes extremely crucial.
Millennials and digital natives shift loyalties in seconds and constitute a majority of the figure mentioned above. The goal is to keep them engaged, and digital interaction is the most crucial touchpoint. One could say that a $5 billion company’s significance is decided by 15-year old digital natives. Consider an enterprise as broadly consisting of two ends, a front and back. While the back end provides the ammunition, the front end has to deploy them. The company’s digital endpoint is the user’s first digital touchpoint. Therefore, it’s the customer/user who shapes the UX, not the CXO. The ability to shift along with the user’s ever-changing demands depends on how programmable and agile a business is.
Peaking With The End Experience
Innovative UX is always memorable and fosters repeat visits. Repeat visits breed relevance in a volatile market. According to Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s peak-end rule, people judge an experience by the most intense point and the end point. A hotel stay could be judged by its fantastic rooms but also by it providing a complimentary airport drop. Digital check-outs are common across top hotel chains like Hilton, Taj, and Hyatt, and very convenient for jet-setting guests. What is the revolutionary retail store concept Amazon Go’s end experience? Just leave the store. No need for waiting in spiralling queues to pay the bill. Powered by computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and fusion sensors, the detectors at the gates sense the products that you have stored inside your bags and send a bill on your phone. The frustration related to IVRs and call centers have given way to quick, relevant, and personalized chatbots, and lightweight and super-focused microapps are invading the UX space. An enterprise’s relevance depends majorly on its "digital stickiness."
Functionality + Design = Profit
Functionality is vital in UX. The reason why brands like AirBnB, Lyft, Netflix, Amazon, and Uber survive digitally is primarily due to their user friendly and functional nature. Take the instance of UX-driven Netflix. They let users consume what they want, when they want. Shows and movies automatically pick up from where you left them. Multi-device streaming is a reality, thanks to Netflix’s association with Nintendo, Amazon, Xbox, and more.
Along with functionality, design is an important factor in UX. Design creates the first impressions of a website for94% users, and opinions on a website’s credibility are 75% based on its overall aesthetics. Airbnb, for example, takes its design “very seriously,” says Alex Schleifer, the company’s VP of design. “It’s on the same level as product management or marketing.” A lot of Airbnb’s design is typographic and they spend a lot of time thinking about colors, language, and white space — “a little bit of art and a little bit of science.” Satisfactory UX has majorly contributed to a jump in sales — AirBnB’s Mike Gebbia credits UX with taking the company to $10 billion. It hosted around 17 million guests in 2015.
ESPN.com’s revenues shot up by 35% after community-sourcing ideas and incorporating them into their homepage redesign. UX can help design turn to dollars. According to a Forrester report, every dollar invested in UX brings $100 in return.
Clutter in the times of predictive analytics is a strict no-no. According to a Pew Research Center report, digital ads spending in 2014 rose by 18% to $50.7 million. But such analytics are not about bombarding the user with "relevant" ads. This misuse of personal data has led to a 41% rise in the number of people using ad-blockers to 45 million in 2014–15. Infinite scrolling as a technique hampered UX and could not take off. Time.com’s bounce rate dropped 15 percentage points after they adopted continuous scroll. Similarly, other roadblocks to effective UX are multi-device incompatibility, complex registrations, and irrelevant tabs. Frictionless digital experience is more adhering. Apple did not invent the smartphone but it sure did make the UX seamless. The same applies for Facebook and Google in the areas of social media and search engine.
UX at Pace
Experience-based UX design is exclusive and professional in nature. The time spent on such design shows, but it may or may not make business sense, and it may or may not fit into a programmable business approach. The goal is to design superior UX at pace.
Accessibility is a major component of the UX economy. Various tools, icons, infrastructure, models (templates), and pattern libraries have come up to democratize UX design. This is aligned to how programmable enterprises open up their APIs to contribute to the API economy. While the pedantic could argue that democratization of design leads to mass-produced, factory-churned interfaces, designing UX at pace and promoting design independence is a reality today. Most RAD platforms help enterprises build omni-channel apps fast and deploy them on cloud services. Organizations that take note of pattern libraries (like Axure, InVision, and Sketch), as opposed to reinventing the wheel each time, see a 50% increase in efficiency.
The Topical Trio in The UX-Verse
Speed, quality, and dynamism are a potent combination in UX. Consider these data sets: in 2013, 73% companies which did not conduct UX tests said they would do so in the next 12 months (speed). 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience (quality). 83% users say a seamless experience across multiple devices is important (omni-channel experience).
All three vital aspects are likely to be achieved through partnering with organizations offering novel RAD platforms that are a nod to the democratization of UX design. It’s only when an enterprise de-silos itself and chooses this path that it will achieve greater value and relevance. A similar model will drive innovation in the market.
UX is not a singular event, it’s a journey. Programmable businesses are best equipped to adapt to new strategies that come along the way.
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