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4 Reasons You Should Learn UX Even if You’re Not a Designer

4 Reasons You Should Learn UX Even if You’re Not a Designer

by: George Iacovou

User experience is an often-overlooked method of design. You must walk a mile in your customer’s shoes before understanding their journey and resolving real-life issues they have. 

Even if you’re not running a tech business, a lot of scientific research goes into the design of a product as simple as a shirt or chair. Every business from drop-shippers to marketers, restaurants, celebrities, and politicians need a well-designed website.

Here are four more important reasons to learn UX.

1. Gain Better Understanding of Users

All successful businesses provide solutions to problems. UX designers have a solid understanding of every step of a user’s journey and listen to customer feedback. This feedback loop provides a conversation that encourages customers to continue talking about themselves. 

Consider the dog-walking service Rover. At least, it used to be a dog-walking service. Now it’s a marketplace connecting all types of animal parents with responsible sitters, daycares, and other important services.

Rover is a two-sided marketplace, so it needs a simple user interface for both sitters and pet parents. Both the website and mobile app have features built-in to keep both sides connected, such as weekly texts to verify availability, easy scheduling, prior customer reviews, and photos of potential sitters. 

Rover’s UX then provides a painless experience that keeps both sides involved and communicating throughout the transaction. You can negotiate pics, visit times, and other care instructions – giving peace of mind that someone responsible is taking care of your family’s most treasured member.

2. Transform Your Designs into Products that Solve Problems

You’re not in business to sell people on why your products or services matter. Your job is to listen to customers and remove all the hurdles from their day. Using UX principles and tools, your designs transform into problem-solving machines in the eyes of users.

PayPal is constantly evolving and adding services to make it more compatible with users. There are currently 1.7 billion unbanked adults in the world currently, according to The World Bank’s Global Findex. PayPal is one of many companies working to give these people access to the same services a customer of Bank of America would get.

PayPal offers chip credit cards, mobile card readers, and a variety of deposit avenues. You can deposit cash into a PayPal account at stores like 7-Eleven and Rite Aid. Transferring money to a bank account is easy, and PayPal offers third-party arbitration for merchant disputes.

These decisions expanded PayPal’s utility beyond being pigeonholed as the way you pay for eBay auctions.

3. Improve Your Product’s Focus

UX design focuses on rapid sprints. This means every aspect of a project is designed in iterations before moving on to the next. When there are so many problems, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start.

Understanding how to develop in these rapid sprints will not only improve your product’s focus, but it’ll improve your career prospects. These design sprints are the modern way of developing from SMB to enterprise level.

Consider Google’s move from a simple search engine to an advertising juggernaut and consumer electronics manufacturer. Google now has Google Home speakers and screens, along with Pixel phones and Chromebooks using Android and Chrome to search Google-indexed AMP pages for Google-ranked content.

Google accomplished this by focusing on UX and releasing products in rapid sprints. Not every release was a success (remember Glass or Plus?), but Google keeps creating products and dominating the business landscape with fast, easy user experience across the board.

4. Design for Real Life and Experience 

Everything sounds good on paper. People are over-paying for single-serve coffee packs because of Keurig, so surely that business model will work on juice, right?

The reason Juicero failed is because the company didn’t understand the difference between people drinking juice and coffee. For one, coffee is addictive, and we can’t grow it as easily in our back yards as most fruits. 

Keurig’s success was more closely replicated by Juul. The e-cigarette company is expected to rake in $3.4 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2019. These trace-amount nicotine pods are selling to the same crowd that needs a one-time, single-serve cup of coffee for the same reasons. 

Conclusion

User experience is important to know throughout an entire customer’s journey. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you’re supposed to make friends and solve problems. If you don’t understand your users, they won’t understand you. That lack of understanding is the biggest problem your business faces.

Start learning your UX and viewing your business from the customer’s perspective, or you won’t have any customers left. 

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