When Innovation Isn’t Enough: Find Business Value with Experience Design

by
Ashley Hiatt Haigh
and

Getting excited about the newest technology or latest advancement in your industry is only natural. But beware! A company can easily find itself in an endless cycle of innovation, with little to no adoption that hampers overall success.  

There is a better way. Rather than focusing solely on innovating the “next big thing,” you can put the customer’s journey front and center, by infusing Experience Design (XD) into your innovation strategy. Experience Design is the process of improving how easy, pleasant, and meaningful it is to interact with a product. It considers all aspects of a product or service with the user in mind and works to deliver an experience that helps the user reach their goals quickly and easily. Related to XD, User Experience (UX) design is even more granular and considers a user’s emotions and attitudes towards their interactions with a company’s product or service.  

Design isn’t a new addition to the software development lifecycle. Major software players like IBM, Intuit, and SAP have made significant investments in integrating design into their company DNA and, according to Forrester, are seeing significant returns. Whether a company is focusing on the broader XD or a more focused UX, design is now an essential part of product development.  

Design-Driven Development

Embedding XD into product delivery helps clarify the product vision, validate new ideas, and offsets some of the development cycle’s upfront burdens. Additionally, design ensures the experience anticipates and meets the needs of the user. While there may be an initial cost, the long-term benefits of integrating design far outweigh any minor increases to your starting budget. Here’s how: 

Improved Business Performance

Customer retention and loyalty
Your business is sure to see increased customer retention and loyalty when you add XD to your development process. Design-driven businesses report almost 2x higher year-over-year growth in customer retention and customer lifetime value over other companies.

Increased sales
Increasing sales can be challenging for even the most successful companies. You may try introducing new products, increasing productivity, or expanding your market and still see sales stall. Investing in XD or UX, especially when introducing new products, is a surefire way to grow your sales. According to a 2016 survey of start-up companies, those who invested in UX saw their sales increase between 60- 75%.

Increased market share
Standing out from the competition is key to attracting new customers. Design-driven development encourages you to focus on creating positive customer experiences. After a great experience, many happy users will share a positive review online or actively recommend your product or service to their peers, friends, or family. This brings more users right to your doorstep and puts you ahead of the competition.  

Internal Cost Savings

Reduced development waste

Developers constantly make decisions that impact the final product design. Design decisions made before entering the development backlog means the developer no longer has to guess and has the ability to better prepare for any backend changes. The cost of fixing a UX error post-release is far more expensive than addressing it during the design phase.  

Faster speed-to-market

At Allata, we know getting to market can feel like an endless journey. We work with companies that are looking to reduce time-to-market. Design reduces development time by between 33 and 50 percent, improving decision-making and prioritizing development tasks. As a result, companies can release their products earlier.

Lower support costs

Customer support can eat up a lot of your company’s profits. Your users may contact support for a variety of reasons. In a 2016 study by the Nielsen Norman Group, missing information was the most frequent reason for contacting customer service (38 percent). Designing for the customer journey helps understand and eliminate common causes for support tickets.

Happier Humans

Increased productivity and efficiency
Your users want products and services that make their lives easier. XD and UX designers focus on reducing a user’s touches in a given workflow, which leads to a reduction in time spent performing a task and an increase in the number of tasks a user can perform.

Improved satisfaction rates
Many unhappy users simply leave and do not use your service or product again if they don’t enjoy the user experience. Design-driven businesses, on average, enjoy 1.6x greater customer satisfaction rates than their peers. By removing friction and optimizing for seamless touchpoints throughout the customer journey, designers can significantly impact a user’s ability to achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Final Thoughts

Innovation on its own isn’t going to ensure happy users and repeat customers, but placing Experience Design at the center of your development process will. It is not merely a marketing gimmick; it is a new approach to growing your business and standing out from the crowd. Experience Design will help you find business value and drive growth from a range of user-centered ideas and refined ecosystems Shifting even a fraction of your innovation focus towards experience design will result in big results.  

When innovation just isn’t enough, Allata can help you better your business through the art and science of Experience Design. Reach out today to learn more.

Ashley Hiatt Haigh

Ashley Hiatt Haigh is a Senior Manager for Allata based out of Dallas, TX. She enjoys working closely with clients and colleagues to build meaningful solutions to complex problems by leveraging a human-centered, multidisciplinary approach. Her expertise includes research and facilitation, problem framing, and experience design.

Following her MS in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, Ashley worked in-house as a UX Designer for Verizon and then ACTIVE Network. She is especially interested in how human behavior and technology shape one another.

Outside of work, Ashley is an accomplished athlete and outdoor enthusiast who loves “Type II Fun”. When she’s not on the move, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Continue reading

Unlocking Innovation at Your Company with Design Thinking

When the Odds Are Against Design Thinking

Big Benefits of Big Data in eCommerce

Ready to connect?