Over the last decade, user experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) have become well-known buzzwords for marketers around the world. Research shows, on average, every $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return - that’s a ROI of 9,900 percent. A well-designed user interface has the potential to raise conversion rates by up to 200 percent, and better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400 percent. Based on this data, it becomes clear why a seamless user interface is so important.
A bad user interface results in a bad user experience, and a bad user experience results in lost business. Customers are busier and more time strapped than ever- they require a simple, clear and intuitive digital experience to stay engaged and more importantly, come back for future business.
Here are a few tips managers, executives and business owners should take into consideration to ensure customer retention and a stellar user experience:
Prioritize the User’s Needs – Not the Systems’
The interface of a well-designed application manages to anticipate the user’s needs accurately and serve them accordingly. Simplicity is key when designing an interface that will keep customers engaged and ultimately, retain them.
A designers’ mindset should be based on human-centered design (HCD), which understands that human behavior is variable and platforms should step up to meet those behaviors. Instead of approaching issues as ‘system errors’ or ‘coding problems,’ approach them as user problems - what is it that the user finds difficult about it and why? Where and how will the user potentially drop off and how do we avoid this from a design and usability perspective?
UX researchers understand the difference between what users say versus what they actually do, but stakeholders and developers may not. By learning why users may want a particular feature, designers are well-equipped to deal with the core issue in the best way possible. Learn to dig deeper into UX research to discover the real wants and needs of users.
The Hierarchy of User Needs
User satisfaction stems from the fulfillment of needs, but the key is to first follow a list of priorities. This approach is derived from Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which looks at a motivational theory in psychology comprising of a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up. When applying this to UX design for software, stakeholders should first aim at fulfilling basic needs like smooth and hassle-free functionality before moving on to the more complex ones. This will help keep the user top of mind from start to finish.
Take a Walk in The Users’ Shoes
Use the product, not as a developer or product owner, but as the actual user. Conducting user observation exercises (UX research) is the closest developers can get to understanding how users feel and what they experience while using the product.
By having empathy for the user, designers tend to create solutions that match user needs rather than arbitrarily making changes. This not only helps minimize reviews between teams, it ensures users remain the priority from start to finish.
The success of any business hinges on customers. After all, if you don’t have a customer, you don’t have a business. In a crowded marketplace and with a pandemic-fueled global digital transformation underway, it’s important to ensure digital experiences retain users from the onset. The ultimate goal for any customer is to be able to navigate a business’ platform in as little time as possible and as easily as possible. If they are able to do so, the chances of them becoming and remaining a customer will exponentially improve.