Is customer support important to UX

The economic advantages of user experience design

The market success of an interactive software product does not depend on its practicality, usability, quality and price. Rather, a product is successful when it creates the most positive user experience (UX) possible. This is positive if the underlying product satisfies the needs of the user. Then people like to use software sustainably, integrate it into their everyday life and recommend it to others. In this way, UX contributes to a positive image of a company and is a worthwhile investment through which it saves costs, keeps customers, wins new ones and thus expands the customer base.

However, software developers now and then believe that they know the needs of the users exactly from the outset - and therefore do not investigate them further. In most cases, users are not aware of their own needs. Those who decide whether or not the implementation of the developers' assumptions is good or not have no idea why they are doing it; those who do not decide believe they have a clue. And so companies develop software on the basis of assumptions and not on the basis of validated facts. With this approach, companies are spending millions developing features that users may never use.

The biggest hurdle to changing the approach towards a needs-centered perspective is certainly the need to form interdisciplinary teams for software development and to integrate potential end users into these teams. Because the UX is evaluated solely by the users of a product.

In addition to need-centered user requirements, software developers must certainly also meet company-centered requirements: cost savings, increased efficiency, compliance with legal requirements or the standardization of business processes can have complex cross-relationships with user needs, which in turn can lead to requirements conflicts. If companies not only strive to realize their own ideas, but to make the experience of their users as positive as possible, if they do not shy away from failing early and constantly checking and correcting themselves along the way, then they can save costs and develop products that inspire users.

If user experience is so important, why not invest in it?

In times of increasing numbers of competing applications and user expectations of a software product, UX design is an essential but also one of the most complex disciplines in software development. After all, the UX design is based exclusively on the needs of the potential end users of the software system to be developed. Identifying and fulfilling needs is, however, much more time-consuming and difficult than one might assume. There is no uniform definition of UX, nor is there a standard procedure. The latter would also be surprising, since UX is dynamic, context-dependent and subjective [1].

The UX of a product also includes not only the software used, but the entire system in which the product is located. In addition to the context of use, presentation and functionality, product developers must consider the environment and the ecological footprint of the product, the risks for the user and the brand image. Furthermore, the product must cover the individual abilities and skills of the users as far as possible. It must also take into account the mental states and personalities of the users as well as their expectations and attitudes. Finally, the UX also includes customer care, product maintenance, training, packaging, first impressions, disposal and advertising. Despite the seemingly complex aspects, it is worth investing in. The investments in the UX ultimately turn out to be low in relation to the advantages gained.