Businesses have more ways than ever to reach consumers, and consumers have access to more online information than ever before. Taken together, those factors are why the quality of the user experience separates today’s winning businesses from the middling ones. It’s what makes customers talk about their interactions with a brand or company. They let each other know which businesses or products provide great experiences or particularly poor ones.
“We focused on money and Facebook focused on growing the user base and user experience.”
Chris DeWolfe, MySpace founder
New York Times, 1/11/11
Companies that win the battle for market share make sure every digital interaction is a positive one. They do this by talking to customers at each stage of development of their websites, mobile and tablet sites, and apps.
Make Informed Decisions Through the Product Development Process
Companies that deliver great user experiences learn about their customers at every stage of the development cycle. Before they build anything, they find out what their customers need, determine how customers can use their concepts and prototypes, and validate that their products and services meet expectations and improve customer perceptions.
Early stage, exploratory research is also critical in driving new product innovation and digital strategy. To see why, read about the benefits of PayPal’s partnership with AnswerLab for exploratory user research.
Convert More Visitors
The principle of the conversion funnel applies not only to e-commerce sites, but also to other types of websites, mobile applications and software. Delivering a great user experience is critical at each step leading to the final “conversion”—whether that involves making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, telling a friend about an app, downloading a white paper or taking an offline action like asking a doctor about a medication.
Because each step in the conversion funnel is important, it is critical to research whether the user experience is positive at each interaction toward conversion.
Avoid Costly Fixes
It costs dramatically more to fix problems after your website, mobile site or app is live than it does to incorporate customer feedback early in the process.
If you start your user experience research right before launch, you’ll be too late in the development cycle to make anything but cosmetic changes. And the customer experience detractors you find at a late stage may result in lost conversion opportunities or expensive fixes.
Getting the design and experience right for your customers early in the process can save significant dollars and resources down the line.
Know the Competition
Customers’ expectations are constantly evolving based on other encounters they have on apps, tablets, mobile devices and websites. As customers come across better experiences, they will switch to the product or service that offers the best experience.
That’s why, to build the best digital experiences for your customers, you have to know how and where they are setting their expectations for your products and services. If you know users’ reactions to competitors’ digital offerings, you can improve your own.
Trusted User Experience Research Will Help You:
- Shape your strategy and collective vision for your Web and mobile initiatives.
- Understand your target market and their core needs.
- Make informed business decisions at critical points throughout the development cycle.
- Avoid costly post-launch adjustments and, most importantly, prevent a bad user experience that can damage brand image and reputation.