As user experience professionals, we understand the importance of good UX design when creating products, services, and experiences. Sometimes, however, we’re called upon to make the business case for our work. In those moments, we need to consider how our work impacts a company’s bottom line. Luckily, it’s often easy to make a strong case for UX as a revenue booster. Let’s explore why a focus on improving UX can also improve business performance.
UX design helps companies make more informed decisions.
A groundbreaking 2018 study from McKinsey found that companies that invested in design grew faster and performed better than other companies in their industry. In particular, the study found that those companies that invested in user experience research and analysis were able to grow more quickly and efficiently than their peers. Yet the study also found that 50 percent of the companies they surveyed were lacking critical UX skills, such as user research during the product creation process, which were hampering their growth efforts. This points to the critical role that understanding your user—through research, user journeys, mapping and more—plays in business success.
UX design helps companies find room for improvement.
Designer Michael Sueoka tells the story of his online advertising firm Lucidity, where a UX team studied the process that account managers used to launch new ad campaigns for clients. Through a detailed research project, the UX team identified several bottlenecks that were slowing down crucial parts of the launch process. Working with the account team, designers were able to create a new process that spent 71% less time per launch, allowing the company to generate more than 60% in extra revenue with the additional time savings. This underscores the transformative role that UX design can play in making processes, products, and services more efficient, both internally and externally.
UX design helps companies retain customers from competitors.
E-commerce giant Amazon is widely known for its obsessive focus on its customers, seeking to create processes and user flows that help them stay engaged. This, in turn, helps customers find and buy products more easily without having to leave Amazon for another retailer. To accomplish this goal, Amazon invests heavily in UX design and research. Without such an investment, the company could experience what they call the “trillion dollar problem” in e-commerce: the lost money that customers would have spent if they had had a better user experience. This highlights the direct connection between the quality of a particular user experience and the desire of consumers to use that product or service.
In addition to Amazon, major global firms like Apple, Virgin, and AirBnB have all made the connection between investments in user experience and increase in revenue. When you’re asked to make a business case for your own UX work, follow their lead and consider how you can help drive results within your own organization by placing user needs at the center of a product or service.