Most of the companies that sell a service or a product have multidisciplinary teams, formed of diverse people that come from different areas of expertise. This diversity becomes necessary when you want to deliver a great final product. In big software companies, you will always find many multidisciplinary teams that work for different clients and projects.
Finding great developers specializing in all types of technologies, project managers, testers, DevOps, business analysts, and of course, UI & UX designers is not that easy. Because the goal is complex, while time and budget have their own limits, sometimes the company begins on the wrong foot by eliminating the UX part that is so essential.
Apparently, the UX part is still misunderstood and lots of people are still unaware of its importance, so often gets cut when fitting a project into the budget limitations.
Professionals still experience difficulties sometimes when they try to explain in the best possible way what they really do and how that can impact the ROI of the business that booked the project. So in this article, we want to bring to your attention the most important benefits of having a UX part inside the team and how that will impact the growth of your ROI – return on investment.
The power of UX design
We know that lots of successful companies have started with a focus on User-Centered Design (UCD), while some of them have reinvented themselves in this process and eventually it worked. Let’s find out what they did and how they did it.
If you want the team to start on the right foot, you need to have at least one good UX designer, because his role is crucial at the very beginning of any kind of project. UX designers usually use proven methodologies like Design Thinking Workshops, where they can reveal the needs & wants of the audience trying to reach.
After some iterations take place, these will most likely turn into requirements. If they’re defined correctly from the start, the risk of going on the wrong path is considerably reduced, and by doing this, money that might have been spent afterward on retouches or do-overs is saved.
Another tool used by the UX designer to showcase a preview of the project is the prototype. Almost everyone wants to try their product before investing a significant amount of time and money in its development. The possibility of receiving feedback as early as possible in order to reiterate anything necessary before completion proved to be a big value. Unfortunately, this very important step gets often neglected due to the need for the time allocated and explanation, but in the longer term, it will save hours of work and it will deliver a better product in the end.
What happens when the UX design is neglected
Some negative outcomes can impact the company if the UX design gets neglected during the product development lifecycle:
During the discovery process, if you fail to understand the wants & needs of the users will result in building products that become irrelevant by not meeting the expectations and true needs of the customers. If that isn’t enough, ignoring the usability principles can lead to error-prone, and interfaces that are hard to use as well as inconsistent.
If the customers get disappointed, it will eventually lead to lower adoption, engagement, and retention. The result can determine very low conversion rates, and this leads to reduced sales.
Increased time for development
Many clients tend to believe that the time invested in a deeper analysis of user behavior, as well as the time invested in working through all the possible user, flows & edge cases is just a waste of time that slows down the development process instead of speeding it up. We can assure you that in the vast majority of cases, the situation it’s the exact opposite. In the early stage of the project, user research sheds the light on the most important parts of the experience by revealing all possible issues and dead ends of the flow. Therefore, this permits a clear prioritization of the features, while facilitating further decision-making and the planning’s release. On the other hand, high-fidelity prototyping helps the team to uncover development issues & dependencies that tend to lie underneath the surface.
The bad reputation of the brand
If the customers are unhappy, they begin spreading the word about their bad experience fast. And this should definitely be avoided. Sooner than you think, all the poor ratings & nasty reviews will flood the feedback spaces available for the new product, being viewed by thousands of people each day. In a blink of an eye, the brand perception will be altered, and fixing this is tough, it requires a lot of wise people working on improving the image as well as a big amount of money to succeed.
The decreased motivation of company employees
The bad user experience not only affects the customers but the employees & partners also get affected as well. A bad brand reputation usually demotivates employees and this often causes people to quit their jobs. And you don’t want that, it’s the last thing you need. Keeping your team close is crucial and you should think twice before neglecting the UX design.
The UX designers connect the most important elements
Another often ignored fact is that UX designers become the bridge between the team, the final users, and the stakeholders, as well as between business goals and user needs. The UX designers work with developers to make sure they have the proper assets ready, with project managers and business analysts in order to refine the planning and requirements, and of course with the client to present the new designs, features, and updates to get their sign-off.
This is perhaps one of the most important steps because it prevents feature creep, the involuntary addition of previously unplanned features that could overload the product, making it less appealing for the end user. So if everything is agreed upon before going to development, it helps avoid the change requests that can be disruptive in the development process and eventually delay the project’s release. When working in an Agile environment, most designers usually work 1 – 2 sprints in advance of the rest of the team, to provide clarity & predictability that are essential for the whole team.
The big picture is one of the main concerns that UX designers have, helping them predict how the product will behave, what you might be trying to achieve or solve, as well as focusing on the outcome, rather than how to get there from a technical point of view. Having someone in the team who fuels with a different perspective, daring to be more experimental than the other members, often leads to discovering new paths and greater results.
Whether we are talking about UX, Engineering, Business Analysis & more, each environment has a significant role while contributing to the successful running and completion of a new project.
Nowadays, the advantages of your product over your competitor’s lies in the attention given to the UX, so investing in user experience eventually pays off. If you work with designers, you should notice that they have a full range of skills that need to be stimulated and used as early as possible, because they are part of a multidisciplinary product team and their influence can impact the growth of ROI.
If you want to find out more about what we do and how we can help your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.