Unless you’ve somehow made it this far without a single competitor, UX should be an essential facet of your digital marketing budget for 2018.
As the landscape becomes increasingly competitive, good UX can be a massive differentiator for your company. Today we’ll take a closer look at how leading companies are going to be spending their UX budgets this coming year.
Why is UX important
First, let’s take a look at why investing in UX is essential for your business.
It’s critically important that users can quickly learn how to interact with your website, application, or software in a way that’s easy and rewarding for them. UX has benefits on several different levels. It helps to increase conversions, inspire consumer trust and even inspires brand loyalty.
Take Amazon for example. While the platform is devoid of the bells and whistles that are popular on other marketplaces, Amazon is the largest e-commerce retailer in the world. While the reasons for Amazon’s success are many, UX is athttps://www.emarketer.com/Chart/Most-Trusted-Source-Accurate-Product-Information-According-US-Internet-Users-by-Generation-May-2016-of-respondents-each-group/193031 the heart of that success. Can you think of a website that’s easier to use and understand than Amazon?
UX design is also a viable way to increase consumer trust. According to the chart below, only about 20% of users trust brands to represent the products they sell accurately. A strong user experience is a useful way to increase the level of trust the 4 out of 5 people lack when they visit a branded website.
Today, consumers are making snap judgments on the trust level of a website almost instantaneously. In fact, recent studies suggest that users form their initial opinion of the trustworthiness of a site in less than a second!
UX is especially critical for small businesses and startups that lack the sort of reputation that years of success can provide. For this reason, UX is vital as it’s one of the best ways a business can inspire user trust.
Still trying to hammer out your 2018 budget to see if you can find room for UX? This marketing budget calculator may be a helpful tool for you.
Where to spend
Hopefully, you’ve now subscribed to the idea of UX as a critical component of success moving forward. Now that you’re thinking about how to include UX in your 2018 marketing budget let’s look at where to allocate that money.
If you’re developing a new website, app, software or service, the best time to invest in UX is during the development process. At this time, UX works as a preventative measure, and it can help save you big money in the future.
Robert Pressman, author of Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Guide asserts that “for every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release.”
While this doesn’t necessarily apply directly to web design, it can still be helpful, considering that a buggy or difficult to use website can render other aspects of your marketing ineffective, and it can create a negative experience that users will recall with ease when thinking about your company.
User testing is especially necessary for established websites and services. It can also be implemented in a way that’s cost-effective. User testing helps to ensure that your site, software or service is operating in the way it was designed to work.
User testing is also a great way to optimize when you’ve already got a good thing going. If your site is already functioning well and providing a strong user experience, user testing can shine a light on areas where you can still improve, leading to an even more memorable user experience.
Interactivity and personalization
One of the most important areas of UX that you should include in your budget is a focus on improving the interactivity and personalization of your website. While this can often be one of the most costly aspects of UX design, if it’s done well, it can pay off in spades.
Recent studies have suggested that as much as 56% of people would be inspired to spend more time or money interacting with your service if it provided a more personalized experience. Nearly 75% of internet users are turned off when a website doesn’t provide content that’s either personalized to them specifically or caters to their interests.
Those figures are pretty impressive, and they illustrate the importance of personalization in the 21st century. Personalization is also one area of UX that experts forecast massive growth moving forward. If you can swing the expense, personalization may be the area of focus most worthy of your marketing dollars this year.
This is a guest post by Tim Brown, who is the owner of Tim B Design, and is a web designer and SEO Specialist out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can check out his recent project “The Marketing Budget Calculator” to plan your marketing budget for this next year and take a look at his blog to learn cutting-edge methods to get the most out of your digital marketing budget. Tweet him at @timbdesignmpls
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