Briana Christey
Briana Christey

There is a misconception that user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design exist to make a system look and feel good.

This is just scratching the surface.

The role of a UX specialist is to ensure that a product goes to market with the greatest chance of success. This is made possible by working to understand the needs of a system’s users, and creating a user-friendly product that helps real people get their tasks done.

When you’re going to market with a product, you need to have strong marketing and sales strategies behind it.

You’ll want to put extra thought into the onboarding experience and keep an eye on adoption rates and churn, you need to know exactly how many people are using your system.

The development team and client need to work closely together to ensure the product achieves your sales objectives, minimises churn, and maximises adoption.

But in terms of what goes into the user interface, if you're selling the product that you're building, then you probably want to think about when are the key moments in this experience that we close the deal or upsell the customer a larger plan? Thinking about where are the sales opportunities within the context of the user experience? How are we going to excite and delight, entice?

Often when a product is falling short in the market, businesses will say they’re wanting to improve adoption or retention rates.

When we review the user interface, we can identity UX and UI issues that are inhibiting success.

Software businesses want to improve conversion, adoption, and retention rates and look to marketing and commercial. However sometimes when the stone is turned over to have a look at the product there are UX issues and opportunities missed to delight users!

Investing in great design means getting it right the first time.

Another way to think about it is, without investment in good design, businesses run the risk of paying the high price tag for a product that ultimately fails in the market. This can tarnish their brand reputation and puts them in a tricky decision to either cut their losses or try again by reinvesting good design, rebuilding, and rebranding, which can come at a very large cost.

There's a well-known quote from former Jaguar chief executive Ralf Speth that summarises it well: "If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design."

Often the problem is cluttered and confusing UI that results in a high cognitive load for the user to navigate and low overall product satisfaction.

Achieving simplicity in design requires real understanding of users, so that the UI can be designed to exactly what they need, at the right time, and in the right order in their intuitive journey to complete tasks.

Without a doubt, quality of design is directly related to product success in the market.

Briana Christey is a user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) consultant at software specialist Company-X.