Think of UX as a muscle — use it more often and it will become stronger, more flexible and more effective. If you exercise a muscle only to leave it alone for a long time, it will atrophy — or, worse, become injured or damaged when it is used again.
So what’s at stake for your business?
UX inaction hurts profitability.
UX atrophy can lead to an erosion of your user base. For example, new user growth stagnates or existing users become weary and eventually stop using a product (or fail to complete the desired action that makes the product successful).
One pattern we’ve seen, among organizations that don’t leverage UX throughout the entire lifecycle of their product — be it website, app or software platform — is they fail to see the damage that builds up from user base erosion, and their inaction ultimately affects the bottom line.
Looking at it differently, UX inaction could mean not discovering new opportunities for optimizing a product or not clearly defining pathways to purchase for users, therefore missing out on profits.
UX inaction hurts processes.
UX atrophy can lead to inefficient and wasteful processes that leave organizations falling far short of their goals. Lingering process flaws translate into unrealized potential and a variety of less-than-optimal outcomes. According to Human Factors International, a UX consultancy that specializes in UX training and certification, 50 percent of developers’ time is spent on avoidable rework. That could mean anything from rethinking badly defined requirements or adding features that weren’t tested and vetted among target users, only to be removed again.
UX inaction hurts products.
UX atrophy can mean products aren’t improved upon, customer pain points aren’t discovered and eliminated and, ultimately, users abandon your product. For example, UX could fall dormant because of lack of research available for the product team to make confident decisions that enable incremental improvements. Ask yourself, would you rather spend $1 on research, $10 to fix something in design, or $100 to fix something in development? Extrapolated to a million-dollar scale, steady UX investment will equip the product team with so much more knowledge to create and improve successful products.
UX inaction can hurt the three important “Ps” for your business: profitability, processes and products. But the good news is that implementing the right mix of active UX practices can help you immediately mitigate those risks.
Stay tuned on our blog to learn ways you can move UX forward in your organization, as well as calculate the savings from right-sizing your investment.