The Growing Importance of UX Design
By: Ilona Perry, Creative Content Producer
Have you ever felt frustrated while using a website or application because you just can’t seem to find what you’re looking for?
Elon Musk once said, “any product that needs a manual to work is broken” and he is absolutely right. This simple yet powerful statement is one that highlights an influential aspect in our emerging world of technology today: the importance of good user experience (UX) and its interchangeability with successful business. UX is at the forefront of technology today and it’s important that we all understand its impact.
Broadly speaking, UX is any sort of interaction that a user has with a product or service. This could be something as simple as how a user feels when they interact with a certain product. UX design is the actual process in which a UX designer works to create an enjoyable and seamless experience for a user. To do so, UX designers need to have a thorough understanding of the specific users and their needs, wants, values, and limitations. Most importantly, a UX designer must also leverage the company’s business goals and objectives to create the most effective user-friendly experience
Good UX design enhances the overall pleasure users get from interacting with your product, website, or application. A successful example of UX design’s impact is Airbnb, a community-based online marketplace for lodging, primary homestays for vacation rentals, and tourism activities. Airbnb transformed from a company that was on the brink of failure, to being valued at $10 billion and attributes a lot of their success as a company to their UX Design transformation.
One initial UX design flaw on the Airbnb platform was discovered when looking at New York City listings in which bookings were significantly down. On those listings, designers noticed a trend of hosts posting low-quality images of the properties on the site. After researching the impact of these low-quality photos, it was found that since users were unable to see the true quality of what they were paying for, their experience on the platform was unsatisfactory. To combat this issue, UX designers at Airbnb decided to head to these New York City customer listings and take higher quality photos. By interacting with customers directly, the UX team was able to come up with a simple yet clever solution. Once the photos were updated on Airbnb’s platform, customer listings and revenue doubled within the week. This was a major turning point for Airbnb because it gave the company confidence to experiment with tweaking aspects of the UX on their platform.
Thanks to its seamless UX design techniques, Airbnb is dominating the renting and booking marketplace and has few competitors that compare. More specifically, Airbnb has streamlined their product design techniques like creating a landing page that drives human action and emotion. On Airbnb’s landing page, they use a technique called priming where they take one’s existing memories, feelings, or associations and use them to elicit certain behavior.
UX designers at Airbnb successfully prime their audience using imagery to spark user emotion in booking an enjoyable experience through Airbnb. The company also successfully communicates with their users through simple and clear language like, “Find places to stay on Airbnb” and “Earn money as an Airbnb host.” By getting rid of unnecessary jargon, users can clearly understand what the Airbnb platform has to offer. Airbnb’s UX designers have found a way to simply and successfully direct its users to perform certain actions on their site while also keeping the user goals in mind. Now, Airbnb is home to 4 million hosts who welcome 800 million guest arrivals in around 100,000 cities.
In conclusion, it is important to understand UX design and its potential to either make or break your product or service. Having a simple and seamless UX will leave the user feeling comfortable and satisfied with their experience using your product. In turn, this positive experience will not only create a long-term relationship with your customers, but it will also create customer loyalty and more profitability.