Trying to convince your boss to invest in UX?
It can be tough. You need to frame the conversation in language that makes sense to them.
We’ve created a list of the four main business benefits of UX to help you do just that. We also discuss how to get your employer invested in upskilling your team in UX.
1. UX can increase your conversion rates
Is your boss always looking for new ways to increase revenue? Improving your UX is an effective way to do it.
Conversions can mean different things to different companies. Does your team want more sign ups, downloads or sales? Good UX makes things easier to find on your websites. And when something is easier to find, customers are more likely to take action.
In Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach, Roger Pressman states that every dollar spent on UX brings in between $2 and $100. There’s a similar statistic from a 2019 Forrester report. $1 spent on UX returns $100.
A survey by NEA shows that companies with the highest investment in UX saw a 75 per cent sales increase. And those who invested a little less saw an increase of 60 per cent.
The opposite can happen when UX isn’t a big focus.
In 2014, UK retailer Marks and Spencer’s sales decreased when they chose to prioritise aesthetics over usability.
Even though they spent two years on the redesign, customers couldn’t use the navigation, registration, the shopping cart, and checkout. Can you guess what happened next?
Customers couldn’t order online. And there was an 8 per cent decrease in sales.
Good UX is a lot more than making conversions though. Putting users first and making your product enjoyable to use should be the top priority.
2. Good UX deepens customer loyalty
Does your boss take pride in your customers’ happiness? Here’s how investing in UX can help.
Customers who enjoy using your company’s website are more likely to buy from you again.
According to a report by NEA, 44% of design unicorns (companies with a strong design culture) are said to have higher customer retention rates.
Are there any barriers stopping customers from effectively using your current website? This could be turning customers away from your brand.
One study shows that 88 per cent of customers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. And a third of people will tell others about this.
3. UX reduces development costs and improves team happiness
If you take shortcuts or have no UX process, it can lead to expensive recovery work later on.
This also leads to unhappy teams. Why?
One study from Human Factors estimated that fixing design mistakes can cost ten times more in the development stage, and cost 100 times more after a release.
Whether you have an in-house developer, development team or work with an agency – the design stage is the time to make mistakes. Not the development stage. As well as an ineffective product, you’ll end up with a frustrated team.
This study states that programmers spend nearly half their time fixing avoidable issues. It’s not the best use of their time or expertise. Software development is a highly competitive market with a huge talent shortage. Employers must work hard to find and keep developers on their team.
Bad UX can negatively impact customer support teams too.
What did those Mark’s and Spencer’s customers do when they couldn’t add an item to their cart? They likely emailed or called support instead.
Customers are more fickle online than ever before. You have to give them the best experience possible or they’ll find it elsewhere.
4. UX gives you a competitive edge
UX can give your company a real advantage over competitors. Here’s why.
Many websites get away with poor usability. Yet customers’ online expectations keep rising and rising.
Covid-19 has accelerated the demand for online services even more. Businesses who were slow to embrace technology really had to keep going.
As UX expert Steve Krug points out: “You can get away with a site that people muddle through only until someone builds one down the street that makes them feel smart.”
Very simply, your competitors can appear much higher on Google if they have good UX.
How to convince your boss to invest in your career development
Aside from the other business benefits, don’t forget that you’re a big asset to your team. Employers don’t want to lose talented employees like you.
It’s normal to change career paths and upskill, so don’t be afraid to ask them to support you.
UX graduate Simon Wha was nervous about having this conversation with his boss. He was “initially worried that the course was a little disconnected from my current role but my employers were nothing but supportive when I told them.”
They didn’t want to lose him.
Here’s his advice:
“Ask your employer to support you if you have a team that empowers you and your career choices. Many companies have tuition assistance for things that are related to your role. Involve your employers in the process. Now that my manager knows where I want to go, she’s providing me with opportunities to get there.”
Sam Carter, the Founder at Iko Design Studios echoes Simon’s point from an employer’s perspective. He’s already an advocate for the business benefits of UX.
His employee Jen really wanted to learn UX. She had a medical background and wanted to change careers. Investing in his own talent was a win-win for both of them:
One of the biggest benefits of the course is how practical it is. Jen’s already started to apply what she’s learning. To our benefit! This level of course also means that as an employer I can be confident that I’m not neglecting her development.
Upskilling in UX benefits you, your customers, and the business as a whole.