User Experience Testing Makes Sense (& Dollars)

2.11.2016 »
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User experience testing has gained much more notoriety lately in the digital design and development world … but is it really worth the investment? In this series, you’ve learned about the power of user experience testing, the different types of usability tests, and how to best conduct them. Not convinced yet?

Illustration of saving money through user testing

This post is the fourth in a series on user experience. We'll be covering each facet of user testing, with each discipline giving their take:


Ultimately, for many organizations, it comes down to profitability; if it doesn’t make sense (and dollars), then why spend the money?

The fact of the matter is, digital projects are an investment, and planning for UX testing up-front saves—and ultimately makes—money. Let’s explore why UX testing should be a no-brainer and a part of all digital initiatives.  

UX Testing is Efficient

“A little up-front UX research can save you hundreds of engineering hours and thousands of dollars.”*

As a project management professional, there is nothing I love more than identifying time savers. Time and budget are always top of mind—being efficient positively impacts both of those important aspects.

UX testing helps identify issues early in the project, leaving plenty of time to resolve them. Since we all love cake, let’s use baking one as an analogy to stress the importance of UX testing.

***WARNING, the below metaphor may induce hunger***

Illustration of ingredients needed to make a cake

You prepared your batter, but you left out a critical ingredient… sugar. This error would go unnoticed to the naked eye, but with a simple taste test, it would be obvious.  UX testing is just like a taste test, and by taking the time to taste before you bake, you’ve identified a crucial error—one that would be costly to resolve once your cake is in the oven.  

By building UX testing into your budget and timeline up-front, you prevented some serious rework—and headaches.

UX Testing is Profitable

“Every dollar spent on UX brings $2-$100 dollars in return.”**

Since you’re directly testing the source--the consumers that will be investigating, interacting with, and ultimately buying what you’re selling-- ensuring that their experience is a positive one will keep them coming back for more.

In our first blog post, we talked about how by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. This is HUGE and really hits home the importance of UX testing. If users have a good experience, they will come back for more. If users have a really good experience, they will tell their friends about it. One study suggests that focusing on your customers’ experience “increases their willingness to pay by 14.4%, reduces their reluctance to switch brands by 15.8% and boosts their likelihood to recommend your product by 16.8%.” That is not small chickens--spending a little up front can have a huge pay-off.

“The best way to make the case for usability testing is to let your users do it for you.”***

…And the results are in. Usability testing is a key ingredient to the overall success of your product; your website; your brand, and it financially makes sense! Including UX as part of your project plan up front will pay-off, and pay-up in the end.

Sources:

*UserTesting.com: https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2015/01/06/invest-in-ux/
**Fast Company: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669283/dollars-and-sense-the-business-case-for-investing-in-ui-design
***https://www.usertesting.com/blog/2013/09/24/help-my-boss-doesnt-think-usability-testing-is-worth-it-2/

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