10 Signs It’s Time to Invest in UX Research

Invest in UX for a great return

1. High page views, low conversion rate

You have many customers heading to your website from search, social media and all your marketing efforts. However, you notice your website visitors are viewing one page and leaving right away, leading to a high bounce rate. From your analytics provider (i.e. Google Analytics, Pendo, Mixpanel) you understand the path your visitors are taking on your website or product. However, you don’t know why they are bouncing so quickly. Improving your website or product can be a bit of a guessing game. It’s a big investment of time and resources. To mitigate the risk that your website or product improvements don’t stick with your users, ask your users what their thoughts, feelings and expectations through user research. Invest in UX to better prioritize what to focus on first, while matching your customers expectations. 

2. It takes too many clicks for a user to perform their desired action

While analyzing your visitor’s clicks, you notice it takes more clicks than necessary to achieve a goal. Your website is likely losing potential customers due to poor user experience. To compete with your competitors, you need to ensure your product is highly usable. In today’s user friendly world, everyone expects excellent user experience and ease of use. It is no longer an anomaly to have great user experience, it’s an expectation and a necessity.

3. Undefined user personas

From a high level, you may understand who is visiting your website but you’re not sure the goal and motivation of visiting your website. Most companies have different customer segments, with very different wants and needs. Invest in UX to uncover who your product resonates with. To truly design solutions that excite your user, you need to know what frustrates, motivates and excites them. With user testing tools, you can run multiple video-based user research sessions to uncover insights about your visitors.

By understanding their emotions and behaviors you can build products that solve the right problems for your specific users. This will lead to higher conversions, happier customers and increased revenue. After synthesizing the research sessions, you’re able to segment your users into different categories to design and build solutions for those different groups.

4. Everyone has an opinion on what to prioritize next

Everyone has been here before. The product team wants to build certain features, yet management wants to build other features. You have a very long backlog of features, design changes and bug fixes. Feature and design disputes should be settled by your customers, not your stakeholders. A key to getting management buy-in is to conduct user research and reporting back with quotes and mentions.

5. You have similar pricing and features but you’re losing customers to competitors

You’re toe to toe with your competitors in every major way and you can’t understand why they are still winning. Operating in a highly competitive space means that you need to differentiate in any way that you can. On the other hand, you may want to find some competitive advantage to win over them. In this case, you may have inferior product usability. If you invest in UX research, you can make your product easy to use, which can be your competitive advantage. The insights gained from performing user research can be a huge differentiator.

Slack, the hot instant messaging tool, came into a saturated space of established players in the instant messaging space. What was their differentiator? You guessed it, intensive user research leading to a simplified, fun and intuitive product.

B2B companies have been slow to invest in UX research, which is mind boggling because enterprise software is notoriously bulky and difficult to use. Typically, there’s a significant learning curve which requires lengthy product demos and a lot of clicking around until the user accomplishes their goal.

Companies specializing in consumer products that are not used on a daily basis may have a hard time keeping up with competitors that have exceptional user experience. If your product is not extremely simple to use, each time they come back to use your product, they will have to re-learn how to use it. Make it simple to use.

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6. People are viewing your pricing page and leaving

Your pricing page should be optimized to turn prospects into customers. You’ve done the legwork to build brand awareness and educate your users on your value proposition. The last thing you want to do is lose them from your pricing page. Pricing pages should be a source of knowledge. They should explain everything in a clear and effective way. However, most pricing pages don’t do this well. They are confusing and leave you wondering, ‘what is the difference between plan A or B and do I really need 160 mb vs. 200 mb?’.

Invest in testing your pricing page because if you have spent your marketing and advertising dollars to get customers to the buying phase, make sure they convert.

7. Low email open rate

Automatic email triggers are configured. Campaign templates are set up. You notice your email open rates are low. The average open rate for an email is 17.92% and the average click through rate is 2.69%. If your open rates or click through rates are below average, it’s time to investigate why no one is opening your emails. A popular way to improve open rates is to perform user testing on the email subject line. You may think your current subject line is engaging or funny, but your target user may think it’s spam or strange. Other areas for user testing are the purpose of the email, the sender, the meta subject line and the email body content and images.

8. After A/B testing you don’t understand ‘the why’ behind user preferences

A/B testing on designs, buttons, colors, text etc. is great. We highly recommend it. Optimizely is one the best tools to help you conduct A/B testing.

However, with A/B testing, you don’t understand ‘the why’ behind customer preferences. A/B testing alone makes it incredibly difficult to learn more about your customers preferences.

Let’s say you A/B test your landing page and learn that people prefer the words “Get Started” rather than “Sign Up”. That change increases your conversion rates. However, you don’t know anything about those customers. What do they expect once they click “Get started”? Is there a better – third alternative – that you haven’t considered? The list of questions that you can ask your users is endless. We recommend conducting user research sessions in addition to traditional A/B testing.

9. Unsure if there’s a product-market fit

Before you spend money developing a product, you should first conduct extensive user feedback sessions to understand if there’s a product-market fit. Speak to your target users to understand their pain points. You can send a concept test through a user testing software to understand who your product will resonate with. Once you truly understand your target customer’s pain points, you’re able to design a solution.

Conducting user feedback doesn’t have to be difficult. At PlaybookUX, we have recruited a pool of Linkedin verified testers. We allow you to filter on 10 demographic data points so you can speak to the exact audience you have in mind. Second, our software conducts the video sessions, while using A.I. to pull out the meaningful feedback. 

10. Cart abandonment rate is high

If you’re an e-commerce company, you may notice that people add items to their shopping carts but the conversion from shopping cart to purchase is low. With user feedback you can determine why customers aren’t converting. You may receive insights around your competitors, reviews, and prices. Stop hypothesizing why customers are giving up at the homestretch and start asking them!
If you’re convinced that it’s time to invest in UX, sign up for PlaybookUX to start understanding your users.

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