Estimating the true impact and ROI of a UX design system on business
Learning more about UX and how this discipline can add value to your business is one of the best strategies companies can incorporate into their organizational models. From well-established MNCs to startups, I have seen organizations scrutinizing UX and UI. A few years ago, companies contemplated whether they should invest in UX or not. After all, what value would it add? However, the unprecedented boom and growth that has occurred in the world of UX has not only surprised global industries but has also motivated companies – big and small- to prioritize UX.
How did this happen? There is one thing that all businesses in this world want – customers. This is why companies keep investing and researching better innovative strategies that can help them attract more clientele. While there are a plethora of ways to gain customers, UX design is currently one of the most popular strategies that have taken the world by storm.
The world of design is not limited to a single concept. It is a universe. When we talk about User Design, we are referring to the design only. For instance, the design of an application includes its visual design, shape of buttons, text size, colours and so on. This is called UI. Most people have this misconception that UX and UI is the same thing. User design i.e. UI is just small aspect of User Experience i.e. UX. The experience covers everything such as design, user psychology and how the user interacts with a product or service. Understanding this difference is the key to estimating the true impact of UX on a business.
The process of creating user-friendly, innovative, and interactive products is crucial now more than ever. UX does not only focus on the design. Mostly, I have seen that design systems handle multi-disciplinary aspects that can enhance user interaction. For instance, apart from design, precedence must be given to user psychology as well. Therefore, UX design frameworks are imperative for creating user-centric environments that make user interactions easy.
Finding out the true impact a UX design has on a business is not a piece of cake. I do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all strategy that can be applied – and I have my reasons for saying that. Firstly, every company is unique. Just like we cannot compare a mobile phone company with a grocery store, similarly, we cannot compare their UX design requirements either. Secondly, every industry has its own target areas. Companies in the food sector have different challenges as compared to those in the clothing industry. Thus, they need different and personalized UX strategies tailored according to their organizational goals.
With the right UX design, companies can increase their number of loyal clients, improve their market position and make their survival easier in the rapidly growing global economy (especially the small-scale businesses). With a proper UX, companies can ensure that user traffic remains high with a high customer satisfaction rate. Despite the multitude of benefits of UX, I have seen businessmen being reluctant due to the high investment costs. But investing in UX is worth every penny. Research and surveys have proven that UX increases company sales and ROI. The famous American software engineer Robert Pressman also stated in an interview that the ROI in UX design is one hundred dollars against the investment of every $1.
To further analyse how UX impacts ROI, certain parameters can be considered. Two main components are imperative for ROI calculations – money and time. How expensive is the project? How long will it take for the strategies to produce results? Are the results produced worth the money? How much labour will be required? When companies invest in any framework, they do not just do it monetarily – they invest their time as well. And time is money indeed. The right UX model for your business will be the one that yields the best results in a short span. It must be able to show the results that you are looking for. Improved market position, better user visibility, increased user traffic, higher customer satisfaction rate, etc. are some parameters that can be observed to analyse UX design efficiency.
Conversion rate, Single Usability Metric, and Drop-Off Rate are other important components that can be used to estimate the impact of a UX. The conversion rate analyses how many users bought your product or service (in other words, it is the conversion of users to buyers). Single Usability Metric i.e. SUM helps in the identification of any problems and evaluates usability. Lastly, the drop-off rate – like the name suggests – helps organizations identify why they are losing users and clients. For example, if users added an item to a cart and then did not check out, there must be a problem. The drop-off rate allows UX designers to enhance the design to increase client retention.
After being in the industry for several years, I have observed that there is another key factor that companies often overlook – patience. Finding the true impact of a UX on a business takes time. Rome was not built in a day and any strategy is not likely to yield results in a flash. I am a strong believer in the potential that UX holds. The value adds to business models is extraordinary. Prioritizing the needs of users and acknowledging the importance of UX is crucial for businesses to thrive in the modern era.
About the author
Amol Kadam is the UX/UI Director and Usability Analyst and the co-Founder of , Red Blue Blur Ideas (RBBi). For more than 20 years, Amol has conceptualised, designed and managed significant digital projects for a wide range of clients involving digital transformation, UX & strategy, usability, information architecture, interaction design, and online & offline interactive media.