The most recent trend in application development pertains to leveraging design thinking to solve problems. The emphasis is on understanding the user’s attitudes, behaviors, and challenges before developing a solution. Digital tools have made it possible to visualize solutions through wireframes before developing the product features and functionalities. Today, it is also possible to let users interact with these features through high-fidelity wireframes and gather their feedback before the development phase.
As part of their digital transformation journeys, companies are developing web and mobile apps faster than ever before to accelerate productivity and business growth.
According to a recent study by Gartner, “69% of Boards of Directors accelerated their digital business initiatives following COVID-19 disruption.” Digital transformation is not just about apps and technologies but also about experiences.
When speaking at a recent symposium, the research vice president at Gartner, Brian Prentice, said, “Digital experience is no longer limited to the domain of born-digital companies or outlier enterprises in specific industries. CIOs must ensure that their organization puts as much effort into understanding how people interact with and experience digital technology as they put into tracking technology itself.”
Two questions dominate discussions between CIOs and their design and development teams:
1. How do you design experiences to ensure increased user adoption and satisfaction
2. What are the metrics using which you will measure these experiences?
In developing a web or a mobile app, you identify problems to solve for your users. The next step is to figure out usability. According to Interaction Design Foundation, “Usability is a measure of how well a specific user in a specific context can use a product/design to achieve a defined goal effectively, efficiently, and satisfactorily.”
You need to answer the following questions to determine the usability of your app
1. Can users complete the tasks for which your app is designed
2. How seamlessly and quickly can users accomplish their goals using your app?
3. Does your app speak the language of the users?
4. Have you factored in the common errors that users make and allowed for tolerance and recovery?
5. How easy is it for your users to learn how to complete their tasks using your app?
6. Does it get better and simpler for the users the more they use your app?
Before we look at the top reasons why UI/UX is important in the app development process, let us look at the standard parameters employed in measuring User Experience:
1. User Metrics:
a. Adoption Rate
b. Retention Rate, and
c. Conversion Rate
2. Usability Metrics:
a. Task Completion Rate
b. Task Time
c. Error Occurrence Rate, and
d. Abandonment Rate
3. Attitude and Behavior Metrics:
a. System Usability Scale (SUS)
b. Standardized User Experience Percentile Rank Questionnaire (SUPR-Q)
c. Usability Metric for User Experience (UMUX) – effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction
d. Net Promoter Score (NPS) – to measure loyalty
You can also apply Technology Acceptance Model to measure behavioral aspects of UI/UX:
e. Perceived Usefulness – “enhance their job performance.”
f. Perceived Ease of Use – “free from effort.”
In another post, we will discuss these metrics in detail. Let us now look at the top 4 reasons why UI/UX is important:
Companies measure the success of an enterprise application not just in terms of functionalities or features delivered but also by usability and app stickiness. App stickiness shows how often users revisit your app. Simply put, user adoption remains the key monitorable for both web and mobile applications. User adoption can be significantly increased by providing an exceptional experience.
The following factors directly related to UI can affect the user experience of your digital products:
· Consistency in User Interface (UI) Design
· Simplicity by reducing cognitive load
· Ease of navigation
· Ease of interaction
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) design process has the following steps:
· Product Conceptualization
· User and Market Research
· Creating user personas and user stories
· Sketching, Wireframing and prototyping
There are several techniques that helps in gathering information such as user interviews, specification development, surveys, and user acceptance testing.
Companies are using agile development framework to incrementally release features. The key component of iterative development is defining user stories as part of product backlog for each sprint. The inputs gathered through UI/UX design process can help you create effective user stories.
When you provide user experiences that are better than the alternatives available to your user, then you increase the chance of your users revisiting your applications more often to get things done.
A satisfied customer often recommends your apps through social platforms, and you can measure satisfaction through “Net Promoter Score” which is simply asking your users how likely they are to refer your apps/services to their social circle. Brand Recall and Loyalty are measurable metrics that are positively influenced through seamless user experience of your digital products.
According to a 2020 IDC report, “direct digital transformation (DX) investment is still growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2020 to 2023 and is expected to approach $6.8 trillion as companies build on existing strategies and investments, becoming digital-at-scale future enterprises.”
Companies spending on DX want to maximize their ROI by offering better products and solutions to their stakeholders. When you are building a product for your employees, you want all your employees to use your apps consistently. Customers use web and mobile apps to transact with your brand. It is always cheaper to retain existing customer than to acquire new customers. Businesses are looking at metrics like Customer Lifetime Value to deepen relationships and unlock value.
User experience of your digital products is an important determinant in ensuring that your customers are loyal and satisfied.
Softura can help you create exceptional digital experiences for your customers and employees as we have done for 1000+ customers over 25 years.