language arrow_drop_down
News: 2020-05-12

What is UX and why is it so important to my company?

"UX and design" is what I usually answer when someone asks me what I work with. UX, what is it?

Yes, what does this really mean? It’s one of those industry-specific terms that you hear sometimes, especially in connection with the development of apps and web pages. UX is an abbreviation for user experience. The term began to be used during the Web's infancy in the mid-90s and was later shortened somewhere along the way. User experience... the words may not convey the same sense of expertise and mystery for those who are not all that knowledgeable of the subject.

You can say that UX is about using different methods, gathered in what is called a UX process, to ensure that a service or product provides a good user experience.

It is said that a good UX should be:

  • Useful
  • Useable
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible
  • Valuable

Which of these criteria needs to be included in order for a service or product to be judged as providing a good user experience varies of course depending on the application area and user. For customers visiting an e-commerce site, it is important that it is usable, findable, credible, desirable and accessible. A machine operator in a factory has completely different needs and there the criteria can be, for example, that the interface should be useful, useable and accessible.

The business value of a good UX
How important is it to have a good user experience for your services and products? Really important, most people would probably answer. But is it something that a company can really count on? Can you save or maybe even make money from having a good user experience? Until recently, it was a pretty difficult thing to prove. You could look at what other design-conscious companies had done, but in the end, it was hard to say with certainty that it was the user experience of the products that was the biggest contributor to financial success.

This changed at the end of 2018 when the multinational consulting, strategy and management company McKinsey released its report The Business Value of Design.

After five years of investigating 300 listed companies from different countries and industries, collecting over 2 million financial data points and over 100,000 design measures, they were able to say with certainty, or even prove, that good design i.e. the user experience was good for business.

In fact, it turned out to be so good that the companies that place highest in their so-called McKinsey Design Index (MDI) increase their company and share profits close to double that of their industry competitors.

Think that over for a while. By focusing on the user experience, a company can double its profits.

Test for yourself
Where is your company really in this design index? Are you good enough at the user experience or is there room for improvement? Feel free to try McKinsey's online tools.

// Björn Fogelberg, Senior UX Designer, Prevas AB