How User Experience matters in multichannel commerce – Part II

General estimates of the value of investment in User Experience design vary from a return of $2 to $100 for every $1 invested.

Last month we wrote about how User Experience design matters in helping satisfying customers growing multichannel expectations, through understanding the users, their context and the interfaces they are interacting with.

We mainly focused on the customer demands and we will now see how User Experience design participates in meeting business objectives.

Incorporating business objectives in the design process

Although the main role of the UX designer is to represent the users, it is more than recommended to share with him/her the business vision, strategy and goals in order to secure the expected returns.

To illustrate, designing a prize-winning game on a website or an app fully understanding marketing’s intentions and objectives could dramatically up its effectiveness, compared to a design led by a more traditional graphic design direction.

Rather than implementing the user information collection through a mere form, after or before the game, the User Experience designer would instead completely integrate that task into the User Journey. This would translate into obtaining higher quality email addresses and value-add information, altogether facilitating future customer engagement.

Over the next five years, 44% of the companies will seek to differentiate themselves from competitors using Customer Experience, versus 28% through product or service quality.

UX design is even more important when it comes to e-commerce website, given its impact on product browsing, site navigation, checkout flow etc. and can as a result greatly drive abandonment and conversion rates.

Similarly, the iPhone, and the iPod beforehand, would not have met the same success if they had not been designed as an integrated extension of an ecosystem of services (namely iTunes), but merely as a bundle of great functionalities. Looking back, Apple’s enlightened use of UX to pursue its business strategy in the field of music consumption was impeccable, both in terms of execution and timing, as labels weren’t satisfied with electronic distribution technologies and consumers were struggling with the digital music player awkwardness of that time.

Apple introduced device-as-a-service with iTunes, totally reinventing and managing the entire experience of listening to music, from catalog to player. This bold move has been a tremendous success and also paved the way for a customer lock-in, which today still prevails.

Apple introduced device-as-a-service with iTunes, totally reinventing and managing the entire experience of listening to music, from catalog to player. This bold move has been a tremendous commercial success and also paved the way for a customer lock-in, which today still prevails.

Driving channel design and development

By visualizing the User Journey and identifying opportunities and friction points, User Experience helps innovate while keeping the business objectives in sight. It is even truer in a multichannel environment, as there are a higher number of contexts and touchpoints to take into account.

Moreover, during design phase it is possible to explore and identify improvement areas and iterate before anything has been built. Such an approach reduces the cost of correcting errors that might occur during implementation and ultimately, the total investment effort and time-to-market.

Forrester estimates that for every $1 to fix a problem during design, it would cost $5 to fix the same problem during development and $30 after product release.

Forrester estimates that for every $1 to fix a problem during design, it would cost $5 to fix the same problem during development and $30 after product release.

Prior to initiating the design and development of a new touchpoint, such as an online store, sharing the Wireframes and User Journey with the e-commerce integrator and creative agency will greatly facilitate the creation of a precise product backlog and align the website art direction.

Product design has long been using prototypes to test and validate concepts ahead of planning commercialization. This process allows limiting the risk of errors before ordering expensive production tools. (image source: sismodesign.com)

Product design has long been using prototypes to test and validate concepts ahead of planning commercialization. This process allows limiting the risk of errors before ordering expensive production tools. (image source: sismodesign.com)

Lastly, by better understanding the user and putting him/her at the center of the design process in the entire organization, prioritizing and building a roadmap is more easily achieved and accepted by all internal stakeholders.

Good design is invisible. Success is when the users engage and ultimately buy.

Sources

The_Business_Value_of_User_Experience – infragistics.com (PDF)
The Seven Qualities Of Wildly Desirable Software, by Mike Gualtieri, Forrester
Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends 2015