The Importance of User-Centric UX Design

User experience should be at the heart of all design. If your app or website isn’t designed first and foremost to be useful to the people using it, how can you achieve success?

Today, we’re going to take a look, in depth, at why it’s as important as ever in 2019 to put your users at the heart of everything you do online.

Firstly, the main point:

User experience is MORE important than what your app looks like.

Don’t get us wrong, your branding does matter. But it’s far more important to have an app that users love than one that you think looks nice! (Though, of course, the aim is to have one that does both…)

If you want to achieve success through your app, whether it’s by making more sales, generating more leads or simply raising awareness of your business, you must have an app that users enjoy using. It’s not negotiable.

If you don’t do it, your competitors will – and they’ll take far more of the market share.

There are a range of what you might call sub-benefits to putting users at the heart of your design, as well…

You’ll get higher search engine rankings

The days of simply stuffing keywords into your app or website and reaping all the benefits are long, long gone.

There’s one way to guarantee great search ratings in 2019: show Google that your app is the best. This isn’t a subjective thing: the search engines take note of ‘user signals’, that is, the metrics that demonstrate people are downloading, using and then staying on your app or website:

  • Dwell time
  • Bounce rate
  • New v returning users

And so on.

If people are heading to your website or app over and over again and then staying on it for a long period of time, your search engines can naturally improve over time.

If users download your app once, use it for five minutes and delete it, that’s a very solid signal that your content is sub-par. The same goes for website visits that last thirty seconds.

UX converts

In the end, your app is there to make you money. Whether that’s through generating new leads, selling via ecommerce or earning you ad revenue, the aim is to profit in the long run.

Effective user experience design converts visitors into paying customers. If your site is hard to use, or buggy, or full of overblown adverts that get in the way of what the user is actually trying to do, they’re not going to stick around as long-term customers, and they’re far less likely to eventually spend money with you.

If you want to make money from your app in any way, you need to keep users around. User-centric design is the key to that.

UX will give you credibility

There’s no way around this one: online, there are a LOT of shysters. Website owners and app builders whose one aim is to churn and burn one-off customers for as much money as they can.

Unfortunately, because online users are now so sensitive to this, they will be happy to lump you into this same category for any reason.

Your only job should be to give them such a satisfying user experience that they start to trust you. There are so many buggy, slow-to-load, ad-filled websites and apps out there that if you offer a quick loading page or an app that does what it says it does perfectly first time, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the crowd.

And you’ll give yourself a much better chance of having those users come back again. Do this enough, and you’ll build up an army of happy long-term customers.

You’ll get a better return on your investment

Only monster companies with a huge amount of outside investment can afford to run at a loss for months at a time. If you’re a smaller company, you need to get a return on investment for any marketing operations you run.

Whether you’ve built a new website, developed a new app or even started running a Facebook campaign, it’s vital to ensure you’re able to make more than you spend.

Without proper user experience research at the heart of your design, the chances of bringing in a profit are much lower. Users that don’t enjoy your website won’t shop with you. Facebook users that don’t identify with your ads won’t click through on them, and users that hate your app will delete it and never think about it again.

That might sound a bit cut-throat, but it’s simply the reality of doing business online in 2019. There are always new competitors coming into the market ready to invest time and money in making sure their users are delighted with their work.

If you don’t do the same, you’ll lose out.

You’ll enjoy additional word of mouth

In a world where online marketing dominates, it’s worth remembering that the old method of ‘word of mouth’ marketing is still as effective as ever.

If you can offer your users a delightful online experience, there’s a very high chance that they’ll tell a friend about your app or your website, and then that friend will tell another friend, and so on.

It might sound a bit redundant to say ‘offer the customer the best experience you can’ but you’d be amazed how many businesses simply don’t do that. The majority of online operators make do with simply ‘good enough’. By going above and beyond and offering an outstanding user experience, you can clean up in your chosen market.

It will actually save you money

If you’re a bootstrapping smaller company, it can be tempting to avoid any costs that don’t seem essential straight away.

However, UX is NOT one of these costs. Even if you do it in a DIY way – asking friends and relatives, or colleagues, what they think – the time it takes to research how users engage with your website or your app is never wasted time.

In the end, if you don’t get your design right first time, you’ll only have to spend more time and money on it later on. Better to spend 30 man hours of time now, than 20 now and another 30 later fixing problems!

Let’s say you have an average customer value of £100 over the long-term – you only need to put off 1,000 users with a poor user experience to start losing out on 100k per year in the long-term!

When you’re a small business, that sort of revenue can be the difference between success and failure, and all it takes to end up with much higher profits is additional time researching your users’ needs and requirements right at the beginning of the process.

Remember, what your users want from your site or app should always be the number one priority. Kill your ego – it’s not about what you want, it’s about making sure your project ends up as a resource that helps you make more money, year in and year out.

Summing up

If you’re unsure how to start putting user experience at the center of your app or website, and you’d like assistance from a specialist agency, contact Iconic Solutions today. We’ll be happy to help.

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