We live in a time where more and more of our interactions occur online. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial for businesses and entrepreneurs to not only develop an online presence, but it’s also important that they break into the world of mobile applications.
It’s not hard to understand why. According to research by comScore, in 2016 more than 65 percent of users preferred mobile applications to their desktop counterparts.
Any experienced developer knows by now that user experience is one of the most important aspects of building an application. As we conduct more of our daily business online, providing an optimized user experience is critical to the success of web and mobile app development. Now, more than ever, good user experience has become a prerequisite for success on all platforms and devices.
In fact, a recent research study carried out by Oracle, found that almost 55% of Millennials expressed that if the mobile app experience is poor, they would be less likely to use the products or services of that company. In addition, due to a poor app experience, 39% would also be less likely to recommend a product or service. Lastly, 27% even said that a poor experience would adversely affect the image of a business.
This is what makes designing for a positive UX so important.
What is user experience exactly?
According to Carrie Cousins, a designer and writer at Ceros, the user experience is defined by how a person feels when interacting with a digital platform, application, or product. Some of these are controllable by designers and web developers, she argues, but others are merely environmental or based on the preference of the user themselves. Some of the factors that go into UX can include usability, accessibility, performance, design/aesthetics, utility, ergonomics, overall human interaction, and marketing.
Understanding this, web developers and designers can formulate their platforms in a user-centered manner.
Why is this so important?
UX is crucial for any digital product, but it’s perhaps most crucial for complex sites or applications, or applications that are used for retail sales–and it’s just as important as your app’s visual identity. After all, it doesn’t matter how visually appealing your site is if people are unable to interact with it.
Improved user experience translates into several key benefits for the companies that provide them including:
#1. Attracting a More Loyal User Base
Good user experience has the potential to foster a lasting relationship between the user and the application you build, whereas poor design can damage the relationship between application and user.
“Everyone has the experience of using an app with lots of bugs and errors, complexities, frustrating interactions and unexpected behaviors,” writes Kimber Johnson.
“The truth is that a poorly designed application reduces customer loyalty. Users won’t have a high tolerance for unstable applications and nothing can turn them away faster than a bad first impression. You may not be able to foster a lasting relationship with users.”
An application that is engaging, useful, and designed with the user in mind will only serve to keep them coming back for more.
#2. Increased Sales
With a more loyal customer base, it’s no surprise that you can expect sales to increase as well. Well-designed apps, built with the customer in mind, also naturally have higher traffic, transactions, and conversions.
A well-designed app will naturally attract and keep more clients who, over time, will buy more products and leave positive feedback, which also attracts more clients. With a poorly designed app, positive word of mouth and online reviews are far less likely to happen.
According to a recent study by Forrester research, a well-designed interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200 percent, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400 percent. It’s not hard to imagine that the same is true for mobile conversions.
#3. Increased Customer Satisfaction
A well-designed application, in addition to increased sales and user engagement, also results in increased customer and user satisfaction. Mobile applications are all too like the business world, in that to have satisfied customers, you have to provide a satisfying experience.
Given the fact that users prefer mobile to desktop, it’s no surprise then that providing a promising first impression is key to customer satisfaction, as it might be their first impression of your brand.
“Getting mobile app UX design right is especially important for startups and small businesses because it very well might be your potential customer’s first impression of your brand,” Angelica Valentine of Proto.io writes.
“People are likely to visit your website or check out your mobile app before deciding to make a purchase (whether in person or online). If your website looks like something from Throwback Thursday or your app feels clunky, that first impression isn’t necessarily doing you any favors.”
Now that it’s clear that mobile applications are here to stay, prioritizing user experience is the easiest way to ensure the success of your mobile application. With dedicated effort and careful design, business owners will earn loyal customers and higher profits.