6 benefits of UX research and why your startup should invest in it
Developing a quality business in the modern world is incredibly difficult.
Not only do you have to provide quality services and products, but you have to come out on top in an increasingly competitive online world. You also need to do that in a way that leaves your customers delighted and satisfied.
That’s where UX research comes in.
User Experience research is a simple, but incredibly powerful concept a lot of businesses tend to ignore.
Essentially UX research is about allowing a select group of users to test and try your product out and give you feedback. Analyzing how they use this, identifying pain points and surveying them are all aspects of UX research that is used to figure out exactly what your users want and how/ Using this information, you can then go about implementing solutions that create UX experiences that excite and delight your users. This ensures your startup and its products get off to the best possible start.
Despite this, it’s also a concept a lot of businesses tend to ignore. Usually, for one of three perceived, reasons:
- It’s expensive
Not only is this a common misconception, but the truth is that UX can actually help lower costs.
If you’re worried about finding subjects to test your product on, a sample size as small as five can help you realize things you didn’t know needed addressing before you take your product or service public.
It’s far more costly to not do this and waste time and money on something your users don’t like.
- We already know our users
Not only is this belief arrogant, but it’s also usually misguided.
Just because you’ve identified a need, does not necessarily mean you know the best way to present a solution to that need. Nor does it mean you can’t stand to learn a little more. After all, the more you know the better.
- Users don’t actually know what they want
The fact that you’ve got a startup business that probably addresses a need people didn’t even know they had means there is some truth to this.
Your users may not have the creative talent of your designers or the analytical skills of your coders, but this doesn’t mean they can’t add to your product’s development.
The last thing you want is an echo chamber where you think you’re building a product your users want, but really, you’re building a product based on an assumption and not actual fact.
UX is an underestimated tool that any decent startup should have in its arsenal. To understand just why it’s such a powerful force, read head.
Top 6 reasons why your brand should incorporate UX research
The more digitally orientated the world becomes, the more online users require customer-centric design from the brands they support.
If you want to be competitive online, especially as a startup, you need to incorporate User Experience research and design. This allows you to identify pain points, opportunities for improvement, and ways to improve your user’s interactions with your site.
The more user-centric your design, the higher your conversions and sales which is essential for any startup’s success.
1. Allows you to understand your user’s needs and preferences
Being able to know what your customers want is essential if you’re trying to meet their needs.
While your product or service may have already addressed their overall need, this doesn’t mean you understand everything about their needs. Or what they want from your brand and their interaction with it.
This is where knowing how to conduct an effective UX research plan is invaluable.
Through surveys, interviews, and data-backed buyer personas, you can gain key insights into what your users like and dislike about your brand or product.
Understanding the needs of your users and empathizing with their needs is crucial for creating a user-centric design. The more user-centric the overall design of your website or product, the more likely you are to have good user experiences and improve conversions.
User experience research can also help identify pain points, improve the flow of your customer’s interactions and direct them to take specific actions. If you’re running an eCommerce business, for example, shifting the location of your checkout button can have a major impact on your conversion rates that you may not have considered.
Ultimately, if you don’t understand your user’s needs, how can you hope to meet them effectively?
2. Great UX cuts costs
UX is one of the most effective ways to cut the overall cost of your new products or the latest projects.
A lot of business owners see UX as a costly additional investment, without considering the amount of money it saves you in both the long and short term.
Great experiences and products drive return sales which is the best way to build a lasting business.
Quality UX also means less time fixing problems that should have been noted or expressed before your product is launched. Using real users to test your products is an important part of UX research and design.
These insights that come with UX research are incredibly valuable and save time as well as money in the long term.
3. Increases business revenue
Happy customers are return customers.
Return customers equal increased spending.
That starts by ensuring User Experiences that delight your users.
The capacity of UX to generate that factor is an incredibly valuable quality and one that inevitably has an effect on your ability to generate revenue. Customer satisfaction is a major part of why users keep coming back to a particular brand.
UX research provides you with valuable insights that make your customer’s experiences more enjoyable. The more your brand does this, the more revenue you’ll be able to generate and for a longer period.
There’s an often touted UX statistic that claims that for every $1 invested, UX will bring $100 in return. While that may be something of an exaggeration, there is no doubt that UX research has an amazing capacity to bring high ROIs.
4. Gives your brand a competitive edge
Competition may be the mother of innovation, but it’s also one of the most frustrating aspects of any business.
No matter how great your product or service is, there’s always someone trying to take your hard-earned customers. Competitors with more money, larger teams, or experience you don’t have just yet can be difficult to deal with.
Luckily, whether your adversary has any of that, by making use of UX research, you can quickly level the playing field.
Today’s customers are incredibly fickle.
Bad experiences, poor page speed loading times, and poor UX design can quickly cause customers to move to an alternative option. That’s great news if you’re incorporating insights from UX research.
If you’re a startup that invests in and utilizes UX research, not only do you have an advantage over your competitors, but you also have one in UX design. Superior products mixed with a design that directly appeals to those needs from the get-go will have you beating out your competitors in no time.
UX concepts can even be used to “Spy” on your competitors and use the feedback and reviews they’ve gotten to fine-tune your product!
Remember, because UX is user-centric by nature, you ensure you meet your customer’s needs at every turn.
5. Good UX means happy, loyal customers
Happy, satisfied customers are loyal customers.
As a startup, loyal customers are the foundation on which you’ll build your business and its brand.
Online customers are naturally drawn to sites with smooth interfaces, uncluttered and visually appealing designs, and short loading speeds. These are all elements of effective UX.
The more user-friendly your website is, the higher your percentage of conversions and the better your sales will be.
If customers are buying your product or service because of innate quality as well as the way they found it, they’re guaranteed to come back in the future.
6. UX has a direct impact on conversions
Conversions are one of the most important components of running any online business.
If you aren’t able to convert your leads into customers, not only are you not going to have any sales, your business is most likely headed belly up.
If you want to increase your revenue, your UX is directly linked to your conversion rate. A report by Forrester claims that good user experiences can increase conversion rates by as much as 200%.
UX design that focuses on providing smooth, fast-loading pages with natural and visually appealing design is a basic but effective way to begin your UX journey.
In the end
The more you know about your user’s and potential customers’ behaviors and needs, the better equipped you are to deal with them.
As a startup, you can only afford to make so many mistakes. The online world is fast-paced, highly competitive, and is no place for a brand that’s not willing to learn to adapt.
There’s a short but sweet recipe for online success: Satisfy and delight your users.
The more you do that, the more likely they are to engage with your brand, make purchases and return for more, becoming loyal customers and increasing your brand awareness in the process.
UX research and design is the key to initiating that process and no business that wants to not just survive but thrive should go without.
The more you understand your customers, the more successful your product and startup is going to be.
Ryan Fick is a Cape Town-based, internationally raised, opinionated writer who is passionate about politics, and social justice and a firm believer in the link between “Amandla” and “Awethu”. With a background in Journalism, Travel, and all-around Content Writing, as well as a burgeoning interest in all things SEO. He is a perpetual knowledge seeker who knows enough to know he doesn’t know it all.