“User experience” is one of those buzzwords you’ll want to pay attention to when it comes to your startup digital product design plans. Defined as the overall experience someone has while interacting with a product, user experience (UX) is what will determine how much return you’ll get on your investment. More specifically, it includes things like usability, the speed of tasks accomplished with your product, usefulness of functions, and aesthetics (how visually pleasing your UX design is). Mobile app UX design shouldn’t be an afterthought. If your app doesn’t result in a positive user experience after the first use, it’s not likely to be used again. In fact, 60 percent of users will use an app less than 11 times before giving it up on it, and roughly 1 in 4 people will abandon an app after a single use. If you’re among the companies not yet putting a lot of time and effort into user experience design, here are some reasons why you’ll likely enjoy a better ROI if you do.
1. Simplicity Sells
• Researching what features of your app will likely appeal to your intended users
• Conducting product testing before full launch and using feedback to eliminate complicated features and unnecessary options
• Creating effective onboarding (a brief introduction to your app) for your product so users will feel more comfortable using your application
2. Encouraging User Engagement
Profitable apps are the ones that encourage users to remain engaged. While this may not be a groundbreaking revelation, you may not realize how user experience design can impact user engagement. One way to boost user engagement you might want to consider with your startup digital product design is gamification — integrating game mechanics (features typically used in video games) to make your app more appealing and user-friendly. Curiosity can certain motivate your “players” to dive a little further into your app’s features. Gamification elements can be applied to your product’s UX in the following ways:
• Encouraging users to adjust their interaction with your app with onscreen notifications and suggestions for use
• Transparency with a ranking of where everyone stands (e.g., listing how many people have already used certain features of your app)
• Using missions or challenges where appropriate to emphasize certain features on your app itself or your brand’s website or social media pages
• Providing the opportunity to “level up” by rewarding long-term app users with access to extra features (if it makes sense to do so with your design)
3. Making Your Product Unique
It’s an excellent user experience that can set your digital product apart from others offering similar features and capabilities. One way to go about making your UX more unique is to know your target audience so you can predict their likely reaction to your product. Use deep research that includes data and insights from things like online surveys before product launch, focus groups (which can now be done efficiently and remotely), and usability testing to learn what users want from their digital experience with the type of product you are offering. This knowledge can then be used to create a unique user experience that makes your product preferable to one that essentially does the same thing.
4. Enjoying Long-Term Savings
It may seem cheaper to not put as much effort into user experience design when you’re busy trying to get everything else ready for your digital product launch. However, you’ll end up investing more if you have to correct UX problems post-launch. It’s also harder to go back and fix UX design issues after your product’s initial structure has been prepared. Minimize this risk by testing your product as soon as you get to the MVP stage so you can have small groups of users provide early feedback. Keep in mind that product testers can provide an assortment of useful info by:
• Asking questions specific to features that may include issues the design team hasn’t yet considered
• Identifying pain points (problems the app is supposed to solve) not sufficiently being resolved by the product
• Raising concerns about OS compatibility or how an app will function with different browsers
• Identifying any discrepancies between what an app is supposed to do and what it’s doing for testers
5. Encouraging Customer Loyalty
Digital product users are very demanding today. They’re also very vocal, which can be either a good thing or a bad thing for your startup. If there are user experience flaws, negative word of mouth in the form of online reviews and social media comments could easily derail your product launch. On the other hand, users happy about their experience are likely to tell their friends about your app and leave positive feedback online that could influence others to check out your product. Remember, you only get one chance to wow first-time users and encourage customer loyalty.
6. Boosting Conversion Rates
The percent of users who take the preferred action is your conversion rate. It’s this figure that indicates whether or not you are meeting the expectations and needs of users. You’re probably familiar with conversion rates with websites. The same concept applies to conversions rates related to your product. If you’re seeing a significant difference in the number of searchers checking out your app and the number of people who download it, do some research to find out what’s causing potential users who have some interest to bail without converting. Issues with conversions rates may be related to:
• Your website: If it’s difficult to download your app on your site or your site’s content doesn’t explain what it does and what makes it unique, this could be why you do not see a higher conversion rate.
• Not addressing user pain points: Potential users could very well be coming to your site expecting your app to solve an individual problem only to find out your product doesn’t solve it. If this is the case, do some more research to find what pain points you’re overlooking.
• Unexpected fees: If you are charging a fee to download your app, be upfront about it. Users expecting a free download because the fee isn’t mentioned are more likely to react negatively to having to pay than users who know what your fee is already. Also be clear about any related fees for access to additional features of your product.
7. Creating Positive Brand Experiences
Putting some extra effort into both digital product user experience and related website UX design can lead to the right things for your brand, especially since brand reputation plays a significant role in whether or not people will use your product. Your brand’s visibility is directly related to your mobile app UX design. If users have a good experience with your product, they’re more likely to remember your brand. Having a good brand reputation because of one product will also make it easier to launch other mobile apps under your brand’s name later.
User experience encompasses everything related to how intended users will interact with your product, not just with the product itself. This means your website UX design is just important as your mobile app UX design since someone may come across your app for the first time on your site. If it’s too difficult to navigate your website or figure out what your app does from the content you have on your site, potential users will go elsewhere. The more attention you put into every possible interaction with your product, the better off you will be in the long run. Therefore, you’ll need to continue to test — especially if you add new features, make interface changes, or see lower-than-expected conversion rates — and keep soliciting feedback after your product is launched to keep tabs on what existing users are saying about their experience with your app and brand.