Five benefits of good user experience
August 17, 2016
This lady is having a good time because the web application she's been using has just helped her "get the job done". She has got a good user experience.
R&D managers often ask whether it will pay off to invest time in user experience work, to make sure the users will be as happy as the lady above. Tell you what? YES, it WILL pay off. You'll have loyal customers and your bottom line will look better. Why? At the end of this post, you'll know!
First of all: You will already know what user experience is, pretty sure. This is the ISO-standard definition:
User experience: a person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service
That’s pretty concise, yet a little abstract. But wait – the people who wrote the standard continued like this:
User experience includes all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviours and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.
Isn’t it amazing how many emotions and soft factors are included in this definition? This brings us to the first reason why you should focus on a good experience for your users:
You want your users to have positive emotions when they work with your stuff, right? Look at Apple’s products: It is a joy to work with them. It’s not (only) because Apple wants to treat us nicely and well. It’s for perfect business reasons!
My wife and I own several Apple computers and smart phones. What do you think, why did we buy them? We could have done with less, that’s for sure.
Positive emotions build brand loyalty. Users will want to work with your product again and again.
Every customer represents a customer lifetime value (CLV), i.e. the total amount of money they spend during the part of their lives where they use your company’s products.
How can you unlock this value for your company? Simple but not easy: Provide an exceptional user experience for your customers.
This not only allows you to make more money because customers will come back again to buy more from you.
It also makes it possible for you to save money. This is the next reason on our list:
Word of mouth
Basic human psychology shows us: We experience our environment emotionally. Emotions stick. And: Bad emotions are about three times “stickier” than good emotions!
If your user’s “job to be done” needs a couple of interaction steps with your product and if only one of those steps causes a bad experience, the user will need at least three really good experiences with your product to forget about that one bad experience!
Let’s say your product is really exciting for a customer and that customer tells two others a good story about it. These two tell another four. Those four tell another eight. A real wave of good word of mouth starts to pile up for your brand.
How many Google or Facebook ads can you save with such a word of mouth? It’s quite a lot because people trust each other much more than they trust a Google or Facebook ad.
Less cost for support
A loyal user who has a sudden bad experience will call your customer support team and complain. If they help her well she will be a happy customer again.
But support calls cost your company effort, time and money. With a reasonable investment in user experience work, you can effectively reduce the time for customer support and can spend the money on research and development, instead.
That’s a virtuous circle: Over time, your teams will become faster and will outperform your competitors’.
Happy users make you go easier and faster.
Know your audience. As UX experts, you will have personas for your audience, right? You will know (for example) that they are business people, between 30 and 45 years old, married and always traveling, right?
If you know that, decide what their ideal user experience should be, in the situation where they are when they use your product.
Set this user experience as a goal. Without a good goal, it’s difficult to achieve anything.
How do you know the ideal user experience? Listen to what your users say. Make them tell you stories. Stories about what they expected and what they got when they used your product.
Get real feedback from people. And use whatever feedback you get to improve your product and their experience with it.
Better product decisions
If you measure what your users’ experience is like, you know how well you are doing. And if you know, you can drive your product forward, into the right direction.
Example: Which user reactions did you get the last time you introduced a new feature into your software? How did your team see that? Did they keep the changes, did they throw them away or did they tweak them a little to enhance UX?
Most importantly: Did you tell your users that you listened and made changes according to what they said? This causes a good user experience in and out of itself. People want to be heard. They want to make an impact on your brand.
Now it’s time to act on your big ideas:
- Reach out and get new users regularly
- Show them what your product can do
- Give them a task at hand and watch how they solve it with your product
- Get feedback by “picking their brains”
You can use Meaning Maker to coordinate all activities needed to find those people and work with them. People who give you honest and candid feedback.
Enjoy the ride towards a better product!
P.S. You can get started with Meaning Maker for free today. Sign up here to get your account:
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