User experience (UX) design can have major impacts on a product or company’s success—millions of dollars’ worth of impact, often. Consider, for example, the story of one leading eCommerce business highlighted in Google Product Director Luke Wroblewski’s book Web Design: Filling in the Blanks. The company unlocked an extra $300 million in annual revenues with a simple improvement to its website experience.
Here’s how it unfolded: after filling virtual shopping carts with products, the site’s users would proceed to the checkout. Upon clicking to check out, customers were redirected to a page with two buttons and a link. The buttons presented “login” and “register” as options, while the link was for users who had forgotten their passwords.
The problem? Many new users did not want to register, while many registered users could not immediately remember their login details. After performing a user experience analysis, the company replaced the “register” button with a “continue” option. This “continue” button was paired with a message indicating that customers could complete their checkout without registering.
Positive changes quickly followed. Within one month, revenues from customer purchases increased by $15 million. After one year, the company realized an additional $300 million in sales—and a 45% increase in the number of users who completed a purchase.
As one can see, user experience design often hinges on small considerations of end-user ease—but the effects reverberate widely throughout your company’s budget. That’s why investing in UX at a product’s design and development stages is so critical.
How Good User Experience Design Enhances Your Bottom Line
The story mentioned earlier highlights one of the clearest examples of how user experience can improve a company’s bottom line. It also points to the importance of conversion rates, which largely define whether a commercial website succeeds or fails.
UX experts usually define a website’s conversion rate as the percentage of site visitors who take an intended action. Common examples of intended actions include “create an account,” “contact us,” and completing the purchase of products, services, or subscriptions.
Websites with frictionless user experience design tend to generate higher conversion rates. Conversely, those with UX deficiencies more often have low or poor conversion rates. Businesses understand the importance of improving conversion rates by delivering a seamless customer experience: 82% of respondents to a 2021 Forrester Consulting poll ranked improving the customer experience as a major short-term priority.
UX and customer experience (CX) designers often strive for an elusive concept known as “delight.” Professionals define “delight” as a user experience that elicits strong, positive emotions on multiple occasions during the engagement journeys. While undeniably the goal, true “delight” only occurs about 16% of the time—while increasing operational costs by 10% to 20%—according to experts Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Rick DeLisi in their book The Effortless Experience.
Given the difficulties associated with achieving delight, UpTop instead emphasizes the importance of reducing customer effort and friction at critical points to create a seamless, low-effort experience. This approach delivers improved conversion rates and an economical path to value generation—while reducing operating and investment costs.
The Effortless Experience also reveals the immense value of low-effort user experiences: brand disloyalty occurs in only 9% of customers who enjoy low-effort experiences, compared to 96% of those who face high-effort ones. But seamless, frictionless user experience design also offers many other advantages, including:
1. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Website designs that prioritize a clear, intuitive, user-friendly interface tend to perform better. The same is true of designs that make it easy for users to find and use relevant information. Website visitors and potential customers often abandon pages that fail to make important information readily accessible.
When designing a website focused on boosting customer satisfaction, focus on key features such as:
- Short page loading times
- Simple, clear navigation menus
- Effective, easy-to-use product or search result filters
- Logical arrangement of product and service offerings
When leveraged effectively, these features can drive improved rates of user and customer satisfaction. In many cases, this translates to better conversion rates and more sales. Satisfied customers also become more likely to tell others about the product or service, which links a strong user experience with word-of-mouth benefits.
2. Increased Conversion Rates
eCommerce and digital marketing experts uniformly stress the importance of high conversion rates to the success of online businesses. Key principles include creating intuitive, easy-to-follow site designs, minimizing distractions, and crafting strong yet simple calls to action.
Beyond these core elements, businesses can also draw on these strategies to boost conversion rates:
Offering Social Proof
Social proof has become a prominent feature of commercial websites. It essentially covers any form of verifiable, data-based evidence that supports a business’s claims about its products or services.
Some examples of social proof one might integrate include:
- Trust or verification badges from third-party organizations
- Scores and ratings on third-party consumer information websites
- Case studies
- Cumulative sales or company statistics (think “trusted by more than 10 million customers” or “preferred service provider for more than 3,000 businesses”)
- Links to authentic user-generated testimonials or reviews
Businesses usually present this data in succinct forms that combine text with images or icons. This makes it fast and easy for website users to process key facts and figures.
Not all website visitors have the same needs. A complete approach to user experience also considers those with divergent accessibility needs. For example, enabling keyboard-based site navigation can help those with accessibility concerns. Integrating alt text can also assist screen-reading tools in generating clearer and more accurate results.
Building a Dedicated Landing Page
Businesses are often tempted to use homepages for marketing purposes, and to drive visitors directly into sales funnels. Their rationale: the assumption that this saves time and cost.
However, many user experience design professionals believe dedicated landing pages are better at directing users toward conversion. This approach allows businesses to present a clear, concise landing page design free of the dense menus, links, callouts, and popups that litter home pages.
Building a dedicated landing page also allows the business to present users with a well-crafted, targeted marketing message. It removes users from the large set of navigation options typically found on homepages; as a result, users have fewer ways to exit the page—and are thus more likely to follow your call to action.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to improve conversion rates. The key is understanding your customers’ needs, preferences and pain points, and creating a solution that increases trust, making it easier for them to do business with you.
3. Enhanced Brand Loyalty
Clean, easily navigable, and visually appealing websites tend to drive higher levels of brand loyalty. User-centered designs, which consider user needs and place them at the forefront of the design strategy, also tend to induce stronger feelings of loyalty. To these ends, website experiences should emphasize:
- User expectations. Websites that are not only easy-to-use, but also enjoyable for users to visit can build strong, emotion-driven connections that enhance brand and business loyalty.
- Consistency. Seamless and frictionless user experiences include consistency across all the pages or channels a user might visit during a session. Use the same design elements, color schemes, fonts, imagery, and logos throughout the site.
- Reducing effort. People are busy. When they visit a commercial website, they don’t want to waste time just figuring out how to navigate it. Sound approaches to user experience design look for every possible way to streamline visitor engagement with the site.
- Forging trust. Social proof offers an efficient route to building trust. But that trust resonates even stronger when a customer has a positive first shopping experience. A combination of appealing aesthetics and efficient, simple user interfaces can help build those all-important trust bonds.
4. Competitive Advantages
An eye-opening Design Management Institute (DMI) study of S&P 500 companies compared design-led businesses with their non-design-oriented counterparts over a 10-year period. The study found that companies that prioritized design outperformed the control group by a staggering 228%.
The relationship between user experience design and competitive advantage hinges on three principles:
- Websites specially tailored to deliver a strong user experience inherently forge a better market fit with targeted consumer bases and demographic groups.
- Investing in strong, user-centric design creates an air of innovation.
- Strong designs create a more unified and seamless end-to-end experience, making it less prone to disruption and more likely to convert.
Leveraging these principles can boost conversions, raise customer loyalty rates, enhance word-of-mouth marketing, and encourage repeat business—all important sources of competitive advantages.
5. New Customers
Much research has gone into the reliance on Smartphones in people’s lives today. In fact, research conducted by a team of researchers from the University College of London gives a good account of the significant role Smartphones play. Smartphones and tablets have emerged as the next great frontier for businesses seeking to connect with new customers online. Estimates from 2023 place the number of global smartphone users at 6.3 billion, while tablet usage has risen by 36% since 2017 to reach a total of 1.14 billion users.
Those massive markets speak to the importance of adaptive design. This concept refers to design strategies that automatically respond to variable screen sizes and differing image resolutions. In essence, adaptive design strives to provide all users with the same experience—or a closely comparable one—regardless of whether they access a website on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone system.
Prevailing strategies often favor a “mobile-first” approach, which assumes users will access sites on smaller screens. However, mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a task if the site is not optimized for mobile. In fact, 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.This forces the economy, simplicity, and clarity that form essential aspects of a strong user experience, while also translating well to larger screens.
A Mobile-First approach doesn’t mean putting everything onto a mobile screen size. It means prioritizing what’s most important to the end user, in the context that they are viewing and interacting with your website or product while on their mobile device. It’s a constraint driven exercise.
Make UX Design a Top Priority
Too often, businesses overlook the importance of user experience design until it is too late. This leads to lower conversions, diminished customer loyalty, and lost opportunity, which, in turn, puts businesses at a sharp competitive disadvantage.
Conversely, businesses that make early and smart investments in UX design connect more readily with new customers improve their conversion rates, and ultimately perform better over the long term.
UpTop delivers deep expertise in the fields of user experience design, product design, and software development. Our leadership has resulted in a long and growing list of compelling success stories—and we’re ready to help your project generate similarly strong results.
Reach out today to get started.