This is why every company should have a UX Designer
You don’t have to be a SaaS company to add a UX Designer role. Currently, a majority of UX Designers are working in the tech industry which lends to the false perception that this is the only type of work that needs this position. At it’s core, UX Designers simply “improve user experiences”. So that experience can live in websites, restaurants, amusement parks, or just about anywhere.
I’m going to tell a story about my most recent trip to Tijuana, Mexico. We crossed the border by foot and was coming back to San Diego through their new border crossing. You’d think that there were a lot of improvements but all I saw were just a newer bridge and building. There were a lot of things they could’ve done to improve our experience.
Eliminate User Frustration
No one likes to wait in line. Especially when it’s two hours of standing and trying to come back home from another country. There were two different lines that were forming by the time we got to the US-Mexico border crossing. One was the General Public and the other was the Ready Lane. I already have a Passport card in addition to the Passport book, so I could’ve went in the ready lane and got through in half the time. But one of my friends didn’t have a Passport card and we didn’t want her to wait by herself. It wasn’t until we were almost to the front of the line, when someone behind us stopped a Border Patrol Officer to ask a question. “If we have a chip in the Passport Book, could we have been in the Ready Lane?”. The officer said yes. Wait, really? So this entire time, my friend who didn’t have a card could’ve joined the Ready Lane? This was very frustrating to hear. We had wasted a lot of time simply because there were no signs or officers in line that told us where to go.
Many people would argue that the government doesn’t really care about those types of things and that better experiences would mean taking more money from taxpayers. I’d argue that the government should care because it could make the whole process faster and more efficient. They would get more people through in the same amount of time, if people were waiting in the right line.
This left such a sour impression that I don’t even want to go through that again. Imagine this scenario applied to any other company. Maybe even your company? Let’s be real here, every company wants business from somebody. And we all know that it’s cheaper to retain the same customers/clients/users than it is to draw in new ones. But not many companies do this, and they’re actually spending so much on new business that won’t have a good long term solution. Instead of sweeping problems under the rug, companies should invest in figuring out solutions. Companies should do everything they can to ensure a quality product and experience (if they want to be successful for a long time).
People may not remember what you say but they will remember how you made them feel.
When I went to Thailand back in December, making it through Bangkok’s airport was fairly painless. There were clear signs on where to go, what to do, what not to do, and lots of workers willing to point you in the right direction. Because of this, I am more inclined to go back to Thailand more than Mexico. Imagine this scenario applied to your company. If your competitor is providing a better experience then of course they’re going to win more business. People may not remember what you say/do but they will remember how you made them feel.
If you are making your current customers happy, then they will spread the word and attract new customers to your business. This is good news for both the business and the customers. Everyone’s happy, what more can you ask for? And the more customers you have, the more money you’ll make. So it’s in your best interest to invest in providing a user friendly experience.
So now you’re probably wondering, why does it have to be a UX Designer? Aren’t my marketing and customer service team enough? My answer is this: that is not enough. A UX Designer’s focus will be on improving user experiences. There is not another position (that I’ve heard of) that focuses solely on that. Sure, a customer service rep will answer calls and try to work with a frustrated user through a problem. But a customer service rep would not have worked and researched on preventing those frustrations in the first place. It is a reactive role rather than a proactive role. Sure, a marketing team can tell you how best to reach the most users and gain visibility. But they mainly promote the business to prospective customers rather than retaining current customers. You will need someone who does all of that and so much more.
Let me know in the comments below whether you agree or disagree. I love to hear from others and learn more about how people feel about this topic.