7 common misconceptions on UX that will cost you money
It’s sometimes hard to tell what UX is and what it’s not. I’m sharing here the 7 most common misconceptions on UX. They’re based on my personal experience as startup founder first, and now as a UX specialist.
The wrong understanding of UX and its role may lead your team to:
- Take UX too late into account and hence having to throw away large parts of the product
- Focus too much on design rather than research
- Delegate too much to UX specialists and let them work in the vacuum
By sharing the most common misconceptions on UX I want to help teams avoid mistakes that will cause waste and cost money.
I also share my view on UX so that the next time you hire a UX specialist you have the right knowledge to maximize the value of their contribution. UX is one of the activities with the highest ROI. Knowing how to make the most of it will help you and your company succeed.
Why good UX is so important today
Let’s start with what UX is and why it is so important nowadays. The growing importance of UX is because we spend more and more time with our eyeballs on apps and websites. Now, the time we spend on digital doesn’t grow as much as the number of digital products themselves. This means there’s increasingly less space for products to catch our attention.
So why UX? Good UX is the #1 reason why users decide to keep using your product. In other words, nailing UX is what’s going to make or break the success of your product.
That’s why as a founder, I’ve seen that good UX is actually the best marketing tool your company can invest in. If you have a digital product, UX is the factor that impacts acquisition, activation, retention, monetization and referral of users.
You find more data and numbers on the business value of UX here.
Much more than just beautiful design
The first common misconception I’ve seen on UX is that UX design is “just make a beautiful design”. This is something designers are responsible as much as the people hiring them. Most designers don’t get business, financials & marketing. That’s why usually designers are involved late in the process, when the strategic decisions are already made.
The result? The users’ perspective is not given enough importance. Teams create products most users don’t need. This leads to increased costs.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. UX designers should be the repository of users’ needs. Before anything starts they should force their team to answer the questions: why would users want this new thing we’re about to launch? How do we balance users and business needs?
This goes much beyond just beautiful design.
UX shouldn’t start with design
Another common misconception on UX is that it starts with design. The main role of a UX specialist is to translate needs into solutions. So the first step is to understand these needs. What we call UX research and UX design need to coexist. You can’t design a good solution to a problem you haven’t understood. That you haven’t empathized with.
Understanding what problem we’re solving means starting from who our users are, their pains and what they’re trying to accomplish. Step number two is to understand how their life and our business will change if we solve their problem. Then comes design.
If we don’t know well enough who our users are and what their pain is (and often we don’t), then we need to go back to square one and do user research.