Good design isn’t simply about aesthetics. Form really does follow function—all the way to the bank, in fact, according to a recent study by the consulting firm McKinsey. Tracking 300 publicly-traded companies over a five-year period, the study examined how these companies ranked in four areas—analytical leadership, user experience, cross-functional talent and continuous iteration. The companies in the top quartile in these four areas outperformed the benchmark growth in their industries two to one, indicating just how valuable user experience really is.
Additionally, a recent CareerFoundry report found a massive return on investment in user experience design—for every $1 spent on UX, there’s a return of at least $100 for the parent company.
While there’s a clear connection between successful user experiences and revenue, what makes UX good enough to boost the bottom line?
Good UX Solves Problems
The value of UX begins with a focus on the user, helping companies learn firsthand what is working for their customers and what isn’t. This means embracing design decisions based on real metrics. This approach not only helps companies remain aware of changes or tweaks to their product design, but also enhances their awareness of how these changes can impact customer satisfaction. After all, good UX design is about solving fundamental customer problems.
Good UX is Wide-Ranging
Successful UX design teams research their users first to determine what their needs truly are, what pain points they encounter in existing solutions, and what areas are ripe for improvement. This often means companies that prioritize UX think outside their specific industry and broaden their approaches to traditional problems. Across industries, traditional barriers are coming down, producing more integrated experiences between the products and services that we use everyday. Smart UX teams open their design process to embrace all aspects of design—physical, digital, and service—to increase business opportunities.
Good UX is Cross-Functional
Teams can no longer afford to operate in the traditional silos that have long defined their skill set. Instead, designers need to focus on cross-department collaboration, sharing ideas and creating an atmosphere of cross-pollination. Successful UX teams use this open sharing to collaborate across disciplines and bring those insights back to their research, prototyping, or concept generation process.
Good UX Always Iterates
Finally, the value of UX lies in a willingness to continually improve the end product. Studying and analyzing how a product or service is used by consumers is incredibly valuable to designers. While there’s obvious value in identifying problem areas or concerns, this ongoing evaluation can also identify design areas that are successful and are prime opportunities for growth and expansion.