3 Reasons Brands Should Invest More in UX Design Now

A one-time invest­ment in user expe­ri­ence design will pay for itself by increas­ing con­ver­sions, rev­enue, and brand loy­al­ty.

Larry Marine By Larry Marine from Intuitive Design. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Is your solu­tion to increas­ing your sales based on attract­ing more vis­i­tors to your site rather than get­ting more sales from the vis­i­tors you do attract? Brands and busi­ness­es spend tens of thou­sands of dol­lars each month on SEO, PPC, etc., all to get more peo­ple to their site. Yet, they only make a token effort to con­vert those vis­i­tors into buy­ers. What if you could spend 10X your month­ly spend, once, instead of 5X each month to make your busi­ness 5 times more suc­cess­ful?

Here are three rea­sons why you should invest in UX design now.

1. Higher Conversions

An aver­age site real­izes con­ver­sion rates around 2 per­cent. The top con­vert­ing sites clock in at well over 10 per­cent.

If vis­i­tors are com­ing to your site, some­thing appealed to them that drove them there. They are a warm lead. If you can’t con­vert 1 in 10 warm leads, then some­thing is seri­ous­ly wrong with your site design.

The most cru­cial step in the con­ver­sion process occurs once the user actu­al­ly vis­its your site. Sites live and die on the UX design’s abil­i­ty to affect con­ver­sions. So, why is that the part of the design process where com­pa­nies try to cut cor­ners? Of all the places to cut costs, the most crit­i­cal point of the user’s jour­ney is not a good place.

Web­sites need more than a token UX design effort. UX design, just like of mar­ket­ing and devel­op­ment is a high­ly spe­cial­ized field that relies on trained and skill prac­ti­tion­ers.

Avoid mak­ing the com­mon mis­take of hir­ing the cheap­est UX design­er or the one that shows you pret­ty pic­tures. Find a true UX pro­fes­sion­al. Yes it will cost you more, but you’ll make more, too.

2. More Revenue

UX = $ Even with a scant 2 per­cent con­ver­sion rate, you can achieve suc­cess when you bring in enough vis­i­tors.

For the sake of argu­ment, let’s say that invest­ing $10,000/month in PPC mar­ket­ing brings in 1 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors that con­vert to 20,000 sales. You would have to quin­tu­ple your spend ($50,000/month) to earn 100,000 sales/month. More­over, you would have to con­tin­u­al­ly feed that mon­ster just to main­tain that 100,000 month­ly sales quo­ta.

No mat­ter what you spend, your mar­gin remains the same. Is that sus­tain­able?

How­ev­er, if you approach the prob­lem from anoth­er per­spec­tive, say by increas­ing your con­ver­sion rate to 10 per­cent, then you can achieve your goal of 100,000 con­ver­sions with­out mak­ing any oth­er changes in spend­ing. This just requires a one-time expense for a top notch UX design that con­verts at 10 per­cent. Not only is this a sus­tain­able rev­enue mod­el, but it dra­mat­i­cal­ly increas­es your prof­it mar­gins, as well.

Doing the math, if you com­mit­ted $100,000 to a more suc­cess­ful UX design that achieved 10 per­cent con­ver­sions, you would make up that cost in just over 2 months vers­es a 5X month­ly spend. Let’s not dis­re­gard the high­er prof­it mar­gin and the effect a bet­ter UX has on cus­tomer reten­tion, either.

3. Brand Loyalty

Cus­tomer per­cep­tions of the ease of use of a web­site col­ors their per­cep­tion of the val­ue of the busi­ness and it’s prod­ucts. Good usabil­i­ty and UX design trans­lates into cus­tomer loy­al­ty. Apple is a prime exam­ple.

It is well-known that cus­tomers are will­ing to spend more for the same prod­uct if they trust that brand more than oth­er ones. It’s not always about get­ting more fea­tures or a cheap­er price; it’s about risk man­age­ment. Cus­tomers don’t want to make a mis­take.

Any dif­fi­cul­ty a cus­tomer expe­ri­ences in their inter­ac­tion with the brand erodes their con­fi­dence in that brand.

The Big Difference

So, what are top per­form­ing sites doing dif­fer­ent­ly than most oth­ers to achieve con­ver­sion rates at 10 per­cent or high­er, increased rev­enue, and greater brand loy­al­ty?

I can’t speak for all of them, but I do know that most of those top sites have a more mature UX process than the mediocre sites. To them, UX is more of a com­mit­ment than mere­ly an after­thought. These top sites real­ize that web­site con­ver­sion is the crit­i­cal step in the sales process and, there­fore, don’t cut cor­ners on that most crit­i­cal step.

In poor­er per­form­ing com­pa­nies, UX design­ers typ­i­cal­ly start work­ing on a site after the devel­op­ers or graph­ic artists have designed it. This leaves lit­tle time or oppor­tu­ni­ty for the UX design­ers to apply mean­ing­ful changes.

The right process isn’t dis­rup­tive, but it does require mov­ing UX design clos­er to mar­ket­ing than to devel­op­ment. UX design should lead your design and devel­op­ment, not fol­low it.

UX Is An Investment

Lipstick on a Pig Focus on a real UX effort, not the more com­mon lip­stick-on-a-pig approach. Don’t leave this most crit­i­cal aspect of your site design to graph­ic artists and web devel­op­ers who claim to be UX design­ers just to save a few dol­lars. It will end up cost­ing more in the long-term than you save now.

To achieve 10 per­cent con­ver­sions, you need to invest in an expe­ri­enced UX team to help devel­op the right process for your com­pa­ny, solve the imme­di­ate design prob­lems, and help find good UX design­ers for the longer term. This won’t come cheap, but suc­cess is rarely cheap or easy.

The soon­er you com­mit to this invest­ment, the soon­er you reap the rewards.

Larry Marine

Written by Larry Marine

Director, UX Design, Intuitive Design

Larry Marine earned his degree in User Experience/User Centered Design from the father of UX, Dr. Don Norman. A UX Consultant for 25 years, Larry has created some of the most successful designs on the web, including Proflowers, FedEx Print, and others. His success comes from looking at web interactions very differently, from the user's perspective. His talks, though infrequent, are often some of the most well-attended and reviewed at various conferences. His depth and breadth of experience and knowledge puts him in that rare breed often referred to as a true UX expert.

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