Why is user experience important…and how can it save my startup?

Usability Testing Methods

It’s unfortunate that many startups fail. But this is because they spend all their cash without knowing whether customers will actually buy what they are selling. Using a user experience (UX) process at the idea and development stage of your business can stop your startup from falling into an early grave. You may be wondering: why is user experience important? Well, it will tell you exactly what your target customer needs, how your product can be different from your competitor’s and how much you should sell it for. 

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how wonderful your idea is or how brilliant you think your product is. It’s about whether anyone needs it and whether this need will make them pay for it. 

Can’t wait to hear more? Check out our top 5 ways that user experience can not only save your startup but also increase its revenue: 

1. Determines whether there is a product-market fit for your concept/idea

Before launching a new product on the market, do you think about the needs of your target customer? Well, you should. This is because it is this customer who eventually decides whether to use your product or not and essentially decides whether your product will make a profit. 

So, this automatically means that you must come up with something amazingly innovative and magnificently ground-breaking to win people’s hearts and do much better than your competitors. 

Sounds easy, right? So how exactly do you do this?

Use the UX process to create your ultimate buyer persona. This process can determine the age and/or gender of your customer, the type of job they have, their buying habits, what they like doing in their spare time, where they hang out etc. Once your persona is created, you can start creating your market value proposition (MVP) prototype. This will embody your persona and be tangible proof of how your product/service aims to meet the specific needs of this target buyer.   

Next, comes the exciting part. You can share your prototype with individuals who you feel are your target customers. Ideally, they would end up buying the product/service once it has launched. 

During this process, it is very easy to ask closed questions that do not allow the target customer to say much. It’s difficult to hear bad feedback especially if you’ve put your heart and soul into developing this new product/service.

But you need to get one thing into your head; it’s not about you. 

These are the types of individuals who will make you money and so you should thoroughly observe what they say or do while using this prototype. Divulge deeper by asking them to expand on what they have already said and encourage these customers to discuss and generate ideas with other target buyers if possible. Listen to what they have to say and then use this to improve your product/service. 

 2. Helps you understand how you compare with your competitors

Your competitors could kill you and your product if you don’t do your homework on them.  A UX competitor analysis can help you find out if there are any gaps in the market that your product can be the savior of. For instance, your research may show you a feature that your competitors’ products do not have. This is another answer to the question ‘why is user experience important’.

Perhaps, you are creating a financial app and discover that other similar apps do not focus on developing a mindset to start saving or investing. Isn’t that great? By understanding this gap, you can start thinking of ways to make a feature better and ensure that it is popular with your target customer. 

The analysis of your competitors might involve developing a table of information. Focus on 5-10 direct and indirect competitors, to begin with so you keep track of how and what your competition is doing or has done in your target market. 

So, who are your competitors? This could be individuals and organizations who have created the same product/service that you hope to launch. More importantly, they have the same target customer like you and you want to investigate how they have done this (and maybe steal them!). So, these competitors are directly related to what you hope to do. 

But you could also look at those individuals or organizations who have a similar product/service to yours. It might not be the main product/service that they offer but analyzing their actions might also offer some useful insights for your prototypes and testing. 

When analyzing the competition, you can consider all of its features, any customer reviews, waiting and loading times of their website and their design, if applicable. In this way, you can understand what your competitor doesn’t too well. Could you do better than them? This could be a way of generating more revenue for your startup. 

Once you are ready, present this analysis to all team members and stakeholders involved in the design of your prototype so that your product can be built in the right way. 

3. Why is user experience testing important? It allows you to test the usability of your product before launch

The process of usability testing is done by a group of real end-users i.e. your target customers under the guidance of usability experts. These experts control the tests and capture results while also capturing the feedback and behavior of your target customers as they interact with the product/software you have created. These results can then be used as a basis for software improvement and will also encourage further testing of your product/service before its launch.

But wait. Didn’t I already test my product at the idea/product fit stage? Why do I need to do it again?

Two words. More money. 

Once a target customer finds that a basic product need is met, they can go to the next level in their hierarchy of needs. If it’s an app that you are designing, it won’t simply be about how it looks and what it can do for them. Now, they will want to determine how easy it is to use. Does it feel good to use it? This is usability. 

If they find it easy to use, a target customer will keep the app installed, will engage with it more often and in turn, their usage and engagement will generate more revenue for you. 

We recommend that usability tests are done during the early product-fit and prototyping stage as well as further along the later product building process. Test your product more than once until you are satisfied that your product is the best for meeting the needs of your target customers. If your product is difficult to use, it doesn’t matter whether, in theory, it is an ideal fit for them. Your customer will also be more likely to suggest improvements as they know that in the stages before launching the product, there is more room for improvements. 

Usability testing is yet another reason why user experience is important.

What’s more, is that you can use these target customer testers to build an impression of your brand; you are a startup who is very interested in what its customers really need. So, are you really going to pass on getting making your product easy to use right from the start?

You don’t even have to just focus on your products when testing usability. Why not test a competitor’s app or product and learn from their mistakes? Learn what they do well and what they could improve. While this is their weakness, you could make it your strength when designing your own product and in turn, generate more money.

4. Provides you with feedback on the content and design of a live website

The weeks before launching your website can be both exciting and stressful for your startup. While you can finally see whether you can convert your target customer into a buyer, you might also be worried about any kinks that could stop you from doing so. 

Use the user experience process to banish these kinks. One week before your launch, you can test the usability of your website without CSS or images. Doing this can reveal problems with how the data is put together on your website. If the data on your website is not structured in the right way, screen readers, search engines or both will not view your site properly. Which means that none of your target customers will find you. 

Checking whether any links to your website are broken, outdated or mistyped by hand or automatically can also be another UX lifesaver. Plan to do this at least 48 hours before the launch. And what about giving each page a relevant HTML title and meta description? There is nothing worse knowing that you’ve built an amazing product but none of your target customers can find you because of your badly constructed website. By nature, human beings getting frustrated easily and so we do not have the time or patience to put up with these issues.   

There is no rest for you, even after the launch of your website. You can use the UX process to keep an eye on any features of the website are not being used. Perhaps you can use usability testing to determine how those features can be improved. You could also monitor the types of browsers that users are using to get to your website. In this way, you could modify your website so as to make it easier for them to land on your website. 

5. Illustrates whether your product can sell for a particular price

While it shouldn’t be the main reason for attracting your target customer, the price of your product will determine the purchase of it. 

To price a product correctly, a target customer needs to understand that value of your product. If you do design or repackage a product in a different format or it has a unique feature, you need to explain or make the benefits of this obvious to the customer. Why does this difference make your product better and easier to use than another competitor’s product? Are you only releasing a limited amount of this type of product? This could give you a reason to charge more as you could sell it well enough to create a demand for a limited-edition product.

As a startup, it is not worth competing only on price. Larger competitors who have spent time and money developing the usability of their product can kick you to the curb in seconds. Focusing on value is the only way that you can beat them at their own game.  

If your product is more expensive, try offering the option of paying in installments. This can soften the blow of wiping out most of the bank balance for many and will help you reach different types of customers who previously would have never considered buying your product.  

You can use the UX process to make setting a price easier so that you can be set up with target customers who can provide relevant feedback on the price for your product. This, in turn, can also influence the design of a pricing page that can convert target customers into actual buyers. 

A final thought on why is user experience important

Adopting a UX design approach for your startup at the beginning can ensure your business’s long-term success. It will enable you to think carefully about your target customer, how you can outperform your competitors in that specific market, testing the usability of your product and website before launch as well as pricing your product correctly. 

Convinced about the benefits of using UX design but don’t know where to begin? PlaybookUX will find the right participants for your product and will transcribe and analyze the research they have helped you collect. Test your prototype, discover your target audience, test your website or determine your pricing strategy. And all at an affordable cost as we don’t want you to go bust before you’ve even started! Send us a message through our friendly bot and we can tell you more about why user experience is important and how it can improve your conversions.

General FAQ

Why is user experience important?
User experience allows you to run concepts, designs and functioning products by your target demographic to ensure market validation. It will help you outperform competitors, improve usability and increase conversions.

How will focusing on user experience help you?
User experience will help you determine that your concepts have a product-market fit. Understand if items on your website are easy to find, and how you stack up against the competition. Focusing on user experience throughout the product lifecycle will drastically mitigate your risk of failing.
Will user experience testing help my startup?
Definitely! In fact, 70% of online businesses fail due to bad usability. Performing user testing will give you an edge against your competition. Don’t wait until you’ve received funding, proof out your market before it’s too late.

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