Investing in User Experience

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What’s more memorable for you?  A bad user experience or a gorgeous user experience?  I’d argue that for most clients and end users that the former is most memorable.  If you are a creative or a web developer you can speak to this differently, but largely our job is not to make solutions and websites only for creatives.  Let’s begin to think more about the user.

Before I go any further I have a confession to make.  I am not first and foremost a web developer.  I am a designer.  More specifically a designer who creates things people use on the internet.  So you could call me a User Experience designer.

Does the client even know they have a User Experience problem?

Mostly no.  I’ve recently been focused on solving a lot of development problems for my clients.  But I’ve come to find recently with a few of our clients that their problems really aren’t rooted in strictly web development.  Their problems are specifically with their user experience of their website or product.

Start to use a bad website.  Let’s say it’s an E-Commerce website for example.  When buying something online we need to develop some type of trust with that company before we buy right?  But let’s say that this company has not done their job to design and develop a proper environment for their users (both new and old customers) to buy from them.  This literally could mean a loss of major revenue for them.

How can companies make more money by investing in User Experience?

The end user is not clear on this.  Although we live in a web savvier world, the end user is not comfortable with a fly by night improper web setup unless they are desperate to buy and the said website would be the only place they can buy that item or service.  I know this because I’ve been there.

I recently sat down with a CEO of a company and we met to discuss their problems with their organization’s website.  We discussed business challenges they currently having and expressed frustration at not being able to solve this internally.

I had to be honest with them as a potential customer that I had attempted to buy something from their store and decided not to.  Their website and user experience is lackluster at best.  Too many steps, losing my information, etc.  I just happen to be sitting with this person to let them know.

But guess what.  Most if not all of their potential customers are not taking the time to let them know about this problem!  Especially if they can find the item elsewhere.  This is a major problem!  Loss of thousands if not millions of dollars in potential revenue, depending on the company.  So I’d say that investing to create a more ideal User Experience would be extremely effective for any company.

Where are all the users?

Users are everywhere and on every device you can imagine.  They are trying to find out about you at their convenience.  This means they are fitting it in beyond business hours, in waiting lines, at restaurants, in their bedroom before they go to sleep, or even on the toilet.  Yes, people read their cellphones and tablets on the toilet!

The fact is it’s not about you or your company’s preference   It’s about your users and where it’s most convenient to find out about you.  This can be a myriad of places.  So you better be sure you’ve invested to make sure your client or user can do business with you.

Have you seen any of the statistics on mobile E-commerce? in 2009 users spent 1.9 billion dollars in online transactions.  By 2015, that number is expected to go up to $119 billion.  It’s staggering when you think about it.  The shift is here and you have to be on that move to stay successful at a high rate.

How prepared is your company to remain successful with your online presence or product?  Have you considered your customers recently?  What was your investment on User Experience last year?  It might be time to re-evaluate this and have a chat with a company who can help.  Your users will thank you with their trust and their wallets.

Cody Landefeld

co-founder at Mode Effect. ECommerce consultant. Coram deo.

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