A User Experience (UX) strategy is purposeful plan of action that achieves an online business goal. The strategy builds an online experience that is in line with the end users’ needs and expectations.
User Experience, much like Customer Service, is user-centric. It focuses on how your online customers interact with your brand, how it makes them feel, and ultimately how the experience drives them to convert and become long term customers.
Today, and for Small Businesses in particular, investing in your digital asset and optimising its user experience is done to generate e-business value and support its brick and mortar equivalent.
UX digital design is outcome driven, seeks to enhance user flows and create favourable online customer experiences – and thus has an expected ROI.
“For every 1$ spent on UX research, there is an expected return of 2$ – $100”
However, it during the UX design phrase, it can be difficult to determine what the expected ROI should be. A conversion audit, or website review will identify pressure points and help define what success looks like after the UX design strategies have been implemented. In a business sense, the UX strategies should, at a minimum, be aligned with your overall business objectives.
Typically, investing in UX strategies can have the following business objectives;
Reduce Development Costs
Keeping development costs down is key to staying within your businesses budget. Ongoing redevelopment associated with retrofitting UX solutions can be an ongoing cost and become a massive strain for slim small business budgets.
It is estimated that 50% of programmer work and time is spent fixing errors and rework. Considering the hourly front/backend developer fees – costs associated with re-work can be avoided by forecasting usability pressure points in the agile UX design process.
Other measurable cost cutting UX goals and metrics include;
- Reducing support costs
- Reducing user and staff training costs
- Reducing redesign and documentation costs
Driving conversions is a typical small business objective. The UX strategy that helps meet that objective should have a quantifiable business metric for which ROI can be based.
Conversions are not always revenue and sales based, they can be also defined by other business goals and objectives such as;
- Increase brand exposure, loyalty and awareness through new and returning visitors
- Increase subscriptions
- Increase in online and in-store inquiries
As observed, “Conversions” are wide ranging and can include other traffic driving efforts such as SEO. Good content management and optimisation is key to content search-ability, and usability.
Other business objectives may be enhancing the user experience to maintain market competitiveness. Particularly for businesses whose product and service offerings heavily rely on first-rate customer service and engagement; UX or digital CX (Customer Experience) increasingly become a key differentiator in the digital space.
It’s therefore no surprise that, historically, global companies defined as CX leaders and invest in user centric designs have outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 41%. Now, over 70% of companies that do not conduct user experience are expected to begin doing so in the next 12 months. It’s also expected that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator.
Reducing Errors and Improving Performance
System and user generated errors can significantly impede the usability of an asset, cause abandonment and lower retention.
In a business sense, all costs associated with advertising, marketing and other traffic generating efforts cannot be realised when the digital asset does not function in the way the user expects it to.
Potential usability and functionality pitfalls can be identified early in the UX process through user and system testing. Putting the digital asset through its paces in a test environment will help identify developmental bugs and errors. Fixing errors in a post-launch live environment negatively affects user acceptance, increases the ongoing cost of development and maintenance – further straining the small business online presence budget.
For a small business, the cost of fixing errors and improving performance post launch;
(Number or Errors) x (Average time to Repair) x (Developer/Designer hourly rate) = Total Cost to the Business.
A Small Business Case for UX
Making a business case for UX has gotten easier. The cost of investing in good UX requires some time to deliver ROI and results, however, it’s the cost of lost opportunity due to bad poor user experiences that drives a stronger case. With 88% of online customer less likely to return to a website after a bad experience, business losses and lost conversion opportunities are immediate and very apparent to the Small Business owner.
In today’s burgeoning digital economies, strategically creating great user-centred digital experiences is no longer a debatable project and development add-on – it’s has quickly become a responsible e-business practice.
When catering to Small Businesses on a budget, UX is more about strategically thinking about the purpose of your website from a customer’s point of view and alighting these with your Small Business goals.
In your next website build, redesign or relaunch, incorporate Web Design Market’s ‘UX Strategies for Small Business’ – it’s our ROI driven, user-centric, web design and development approach that considers the following:
- Market Research – using market analytics, data and demographic information, we help understand your target market and its key economic drivers
- User and Customer Persona Development – using user research, we unveil your customer, their needs, interests and goals.
- Competitor Analysis – we audit and review of competing or competitor websites to gain a comprehensive view of the digital landscape and help identify opportunities
- Targeted Marketing Campaign Development – after identifying the target market your customers, research, identify the most effective marketing channels and campaigns