In 2018, the 7-year old Apple-Samsung battle came to a close with the Supreme Court asking Samsung to pay $539 million to Apple for a series of patent infringements. The case was ultimately resolved out of court with unspecified details. In this case, 93% of the infringements were of design patents.
In 2012, Facebook bought 12-employee strong Instagram for a shocking price of $1 billion with Instagram’s UX UI touted to be its USP in this transaction.
Countless such instances can be found in the modern business landscape. It indicates the extent to which UX UI Design has become intertwined with business strategy and growth!
The role of UX UI in business success
In the past decade or so, UX UI has become a key part of business, sales, and CX. Today, even casual web surfers are also realizing the difference between UI and UX. Businesses are looking at UX as a concept encompassing everything from the look and feel of a product to its various interactions and what value it adds to a customer’s lifetime value.
All kinds of businesses, whether they are design-oriented or not, have been working towards improving their UX UI.
With the role of UX UI in business success increasing and slowly seeping into the business development domain, it only makes sense to scale UX UI for scaling your business as a whole. Pioneers like Google are invariably working on different strategies towards this end. It is time business leaders took note of UX UI and made it part of their strategy like they did with digital marketing a few years ago.
Strategies to scale UX UI for business success
Here are a few of the notable strategies for boosting revenue with effective UX UI.
1. Lean UX:
Inspired by ‘lean startup’ strategy, lean UX is one of the most popular methods for boosting revenue with effective UX UI. This method focuses on product development as a whole instead of just design as a specific part of it. It is based on the concept of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and gradually building upon it. The steps involved in a lean UX process are:
- Research and ideation
- Prototypes and wireframes
- Value propositions
- Landing pages
- Deployed code
- A/B testing
- Site analytics
- Usability testing
- Feedback system and customer meetings
The whole philosophy of lean UX is the validation of hypotheses by various methods before actually working on ideas to save money and time. We did the same for one of our clients; here is the case study on Yuyiii. This is done by gathering consumer data, testing prototypes with consumers, and implementing a participatory design. SAP has ideally illustrated the role of UX UI in business success by creating a product development process that can be completed in just three months using lean UX.
2.UX UI in R&D:
It isn’t just the usual product-based industries, but even services such as finance have embraced the role of UX UI in business. UX UI has strong relevance even in fields such as pharma that are now waking up to the need. This is where UX UI in Research and Development comes in.
As an example, a scientist working with data can have a difficult time if the data is useful but the tools and software they are using don’t provide them with a good experience. UX UI is now gradually becoming a process-based need from just a customer-facing concern.
For this purpose, companies ideally need to develop their own specialized UX toolkits based on customized UI with R&D-specific methods, case studies, and business practices. A stage-wise approach to this process will help in developing the most appropriate experience for the R&D team.
3. Baby-step UX UI:
While apps have been driving the startup industry for over a decade now; non-tech and legacy organizations, too, are now dipping their toes in the app space to improve their CX. For example, Bloomberg released a series of iOS apps for its newer, younger, and smartphone-dependent customers.
These organizations are realizing the role of UX UI for business as their core consumer group grows older and they ought to adapt to millennials and GenZ. Apps, chatbots, and website tools are the baby steps that traditional organizations are taking before getting into a full-fledged UX-CX strategy. This allows them to test the ground, their own abilities, and scope needs gradually.
4. Six Sigma UX UI:
Designers and developers often face the challenge of the dichotomy between creative success and quantitative result testing. Pre-ship and post-ship processes are vastly different. Six Sigma is what can bridge this gap.
Six Sigma is a set of two methodologies — DMAIC and DMADV. The one suitable for UI UX is DMADV. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify. Here’s how it translates into the UX UI process, briefly:
- Defining customer needs (mapping customer journeys, conducting interviews, etc).
- Measuring key interactions (acquisition success = app download, activation success = creating account, etc).
- Analyzing conversion bottlenecks (setting up conversion funnels and cohort analysis).
- Designing a solution to improve conversion (inspirations, wireframes, hi-fi mockups, customer reviews).
- Verify effectiveness with pre-code analytics.
UX UI challenges faced while scaling a business
Solving issues with effective UX UI isn’t a walk in the park. There are many organizational, procedural, and other challenges that businesses face. Here are some of the key challenges faced by them:
1. Sales vs UX UI:
The truth is that sales teams often fail at the basic endeavor of knowing what their customers want. UX research, on the other hand, calls for much more in-depth research at each level of development to fail-proof products. The challenge here is to convince executives to invest in a higher level of engagement at the research stage.
Although this is something that will change with time, the best way for design executives to create an understanding is data. Non-design teams might not understand design, but they will understand case studies and numbers showing success gained from UI UX-led research and implementation.
2. Scaling of enterprise-level UX UI:
As businesses are realizing the importance of UX UI for business operations and not just customer-facing products, scaling is posing a unique challenge to designers. They have to think about not just an increase in the number of users, but also in the diversity of roles and use cases for these people and devise a single seamless solution. Plus, at scale, security, compliance, and risk management also come into the picture, widening the ambit of decision-making and involvement.
The best solution to this problem is scaling of design as an all-pervasive solution, i.e. design thinking. Take inspiration from IBM, which has instilled its design thinking principles in all teams, from engineering to management. This way, UX UI will cohesively merge with all other needs and use cases of your company and deliver satisfactory business processes, turnaround times, and ultimately business results.
3. Change is constant:
Today, anything from a new trend to an Elon Musk tweet can change a business’ future. In these circumstances, initial research can become futile if, by the time you reach the end product, consumer preferences change and insights don’t stay relevant anymore. The larger the deliverable, the greater you are at risk of change-driven failure as timelines get stretched.
As stated earlier in the lean UX section, the validation of hypotheses should begin much before the endgame. There needs to be an agile flow that ensures the collection of consumer feedback at smaller stages of development. This way, you can keep up with changing preferences and trends, and also save a lot of time and rework.
A challenge faced while applying this solution is determining the right time to hold the process and invite feedback. If the level of change between two feedback rounds is too small, consumers won’t be able to react or review much. If it is too large, the time interval increases and you will miss out on necessary feedback rounds. Striking this balance takes a good amount of experience and management expertise.
Apart from these general challenges, this a host of organization-specific challenges that you may face while scaling your UX UI for business success. In order to tide over these and other challenges, here are a few tips and tricks.
Tips for scaling UX UI
Here are a few suggestions for organizations to remember while getting involved in the process of scaling UX UI in order to derive maximum returns in real business.
1. Hiring priorities:
Whether yours is a startup, a medium-sized firm, or an MNC, you need fresh talent for fresh ideas in design. Plus, your legacy teams need to adapt to novelty and newer processes. For this purpose, you need to hire designers who not just have UI UX skills, but are also poised for growth. The ‘Hire people, not skills’ attitude works in design as well. UX UI integrated into business functions is teamwork and collaboration at each step. And you can train a good team player to be a better designer, the other way around is tougher.
2. Create and foster values:
This gets rid of complexity, gives your team a refined thought process, and helps to assimilate UX UI into the scope of your business as a whole. Large companies usually have well-defined values, while smaller companies are still on the way to define them for the long-term. What we suggest is being a little bit flexible with your values and integrate design thinking, collaboration across departments on design, etc.
3. Flexibility in the process:
If you use one of the above-mentioned strategies for scaling UX UI, flexibility would be a key requirement. You might discover newer insights at each stage, which warrant minute to major changes in your design. It is imperative for designers and managers to always keep an open mind for changing designs, wireframes, and processes until you have a near-perfect product. Understand that this might take time but increase your success rate.
4. UX testing:
You must run multiple tests on your final product before you make it live. This involves consumer testing, competitive analysis, A/B testing, benchmarking, and any other tests relevant to your product. The importance of testing while scaling is that it will inculcate a culture of testing that you can easily sustain in the long term. Once you start meeting your scaling targets, you will develop more confidence in your tests and make them a necessary part of your process.
5. Relevance test:
The truth about selling is that inspiration doesn’t always work. Design is an art, but it is also commerce. What sells is a product that solves consumer problems, adds value to their lives, and hits the right spots in the market. Your product must be easy to use, which largely depends on your UX UI. It cannot be plugged and played, it must be updated regularly if it is to help you scale your business. A relevance testing system must be applied at the ideation stage itself.
“Great designers don’t fall in love with their solutions. Great designers fall in love with the users’ problems.”- Jared Spool, Design, software, and usability expert
6. Look beyond digital too:
When you’re looking for inspiration before testing usability and relevance, don’t make the mistake that most designers make. It is the mistake of sticking to your industry and domain. Look for inspiration in other industries, other fields, and completely random things such as board games. You will realize that the simplest of things have inspirational UX that you can learn from. So before you put your product in the contextual and relevant box, go crazy with ideas. One of them might be inspired as well as relevant.
Scaling of UX UI for business success is evidently not a one-off task or an isolated one. It is something that needs the entire organization on board. So, you might want to first think of how to achieve that and then get working on your actual UX UI.
To deploy UX UI perfectly in your system, you surely need external help. It is an intensive strategy plus design job which needs expert guidance. That’s what Divami’s design services are for.