Why is UX research and design important?

David Wippel

David Wippel

ux

software development

UX is a term that's thrown around a lot nowadays. But what does it really mean?

UX stands for User Experience and ultimately talks about how the person (also known as the user) using the software, technology, or product experiences that interaction. Is it simple or complicated? Is it frustrating, or does it just flow?

If you're doing a good job, the user will find it simple and can easily do the action they set out to do. For example, book a seat in a lecture online in under a minute.

If you don't — they'll leave feeling frustrated, unmotivated, and might even abandon ship. Because who has time for that nowadays?

User Experience has significant effects on your business — here are the most significant ones:

  • How happy your customers are with your service.
  • How happy your team is at work if they're also using it to serve those clients.
  • Your revenue; because the easier it is to buy from you, the more likely your customers will convert.
  • It can be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition.

And because it has such a significant impact on your business, you need to be thinking about it WAY before you ever tell a developer to start coding. In our experience, unless you truly understand the user and the experience they are looking for, you're not ready.

Why is UX research important

Every one of our custom software development projects starts with a crucial component — User Research — which takes place during the so-called Discovery Phase of a software development project.

What is User Research you ask? Instead of just strategizing and making assumptions about the people who will be using the software in the long run — we actually go out and talk to them. We take the time to research the job they need to get done using the software, and if they're already using a software, what are their current pain points and how can we fix them.

We'll call up our client's, their teams and customers — just like we recently did with the BFI Burgenland — and host interviews.

UX research can be quite a humbling experience. Because what was maybe your intention or what you thought would serve your customers or clients well … might not be as you thought or intended. User research is all about letting go of your ego and focusing on finding the solution that's best for the end-user — because, in the end, that's what's going to get you the results you're looking for.

Why is UX design important

There is an array of reasons why UX design is important, the main one being that if you don't focus on it — it's not going to happen or fix itself magically.

A person's experience with a brand doesn't just happen; it needs to be designed.

And creating a positive experience can have the following positive effects on your business:

  • More loyalty from your customers and team.
  • Higher conversion rates, aka people buying your product or service simply because it's easy for them to do so
  • You're providing a USP no one else is offering on the market

User research vs. experience design

We've just covered what user research is and why it's important above. User experience design puts the outcomes and findings of your user research into action. Aka designing a software interface that will help the users get the job done and counteract their current pain points (which we figured out in the research phase).

This process consists of creating:

  • A sitemap or app structure
  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes
  • User tests
  • and more

Why doing user research & experience design will give you a better ROI in the long run

Skipping this part can be tempting. You know your customers, right? You know their pain points and what they need. It turns out that often, you don't.

Plenty of clients come to us with software, an app, or a product in place that nobody actually wants to use — which is incredibly expensive, frustrating, and can set you back years in terms of competing on the market.

Developing custom software usually means a significant investment for a company. It's not a quick fix; it's a long-term strategy, and doing the groundwork to understand your users truly will ensure you don't develop in the wrong direction.

It's also an opportunity for you to test the waters. By doing user research, the worst thing that can happen is getting to know your customers and their needs better. So no matter if you go through with development after or not, it's a win-win situation.

Conclusion

Want to take a deep dive into your users and figure out their needs, pain points, and wants?

Kerstin Manninger

Book a call with our Product Owner Kerstin to talk about how you can gain clarity with a Discovery Phase.

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