Part of the job of a UX professional is to prove the business value of user experience to executives. That is not to say that executives deny the importance of UX: most of them understand it, but at the same time, they need metrics to support it. UserZoom survey from 2021 has shown that 81% of executives recognize the value of UX, but only 59% of them claim that they can effectively measure it.
There are no direct statistics that would show how much resources you should invest in UX to see an increase in revenue. However, there is some other data that explains how good or bad user experience can impact the product — from user engagement to conversions.
Eleken is a pragmatic design agency. This means that we aim to make our design more than just good-looking. We want it to work for business goals, and make users fall in love with the product. Real-world data is what proves that design has an impact, andnot just an aesthetic one. Here we have a list of recent UX statistics that show the difference that design makes.
The stats are important to prove a statement: that’s why we start with arguments.
Design is what creates the first impression
- On the list of the most useful website features, the leading ones are related to design. 94% of people say that easy navigation is the most important, while 83% believe that a beautiful/updated appearance on a website is also a must.
Navigation is what UX designers do, and beautiful appearance is the job of UI designers. So, if you want to impress people at the first glance, this is not possible without good design.
UX is worth investing in
- On average, every dollar invested in UX brings 100 dollars in return, as stated in the research by Forrester (2016). Even if the numbers have changed since then, the ROI of UX is still very impressive.
- The same research states that good UI can increase conversion rates by up to 200%, and good UX can double this — up to 400%. Conversion rate is one of the most straightforward metrics, so you can approximate the revenue increase that investments in UI/UX design can generate.
Design (does not) have a strong impact on users’ buying decisions
- If you ever search for statistics related to UX design, you would surely find data like 2021 Gartner research found that 58% of customers claim that most digital experiences don’t have an influence on their buying decisions. That seems to go against all that we would expect, right?
What happens is that in 2021 people already got tired of constant attempts of digital products to “provide a unique experience”. That experience is probably not that unique, and what is really important now is to make things work well. When performing their everyday tasks people might not need "unique experiences". The problem appears when things don’t work well.
Good design can go unnoticed, but bad design will surely not
- 32% of people would stop interacting with the brand after one bad experience, as stated in a 2018 research by PWC. This can refer to other things apart from design, such as bad customer support or offensive advertisement. Yet, the design carries a great chunk of responsibility for customer experience, especially in digital products.
Remember that design means not only first impression from an aesthetic image. There are many other design-related factors that have a strong impact on business, like, for example, website loading speed. Here, each second matters.
- During the first seconds of page load (0-5), each additional second of waiting causes a 4,42% loss in conversion rates (load time calculated with 3G connection).
- A 2019 research by Unbounce found that 45% of people would be less likely to make a purchase and 36% would be less likely to return to the website if they had to wait longer than expected.
The same research found that most people prioritize load speed to visual effects, such as animations, videos, and even photos, in some cases.
The importance of page speed load is not a surprise for most product owners. But why are websites still too slow, then? The answer might be, because of the internet speed. People working in tech are likely to have faster than average internet speed that is different from what an average user has.
That is why product owners are likely to be biased unless they conduct proper user research. And here comes the next argument.
User testing is essential because users interact with products differently than you and your team members
- People working in tech can assume that young people are tech-savvy almost from birth. However, it’s not completely true. Research states that only 68% of internet users aged 18-29 are very confident using digital devices to do the things they need to do online.
This means that about 32% of users don’t feel very confident. What does it mean for product owners and designers? It means that using digital devices is not that easy for many people, even if they do it every day. While many of us believe that generations Z or Alpha are fully digital-native, the truth is that the majority of the population is far from that.
There is no research that would show that simple and intuitive UX design could make these 32% feel more confident using digital devices, but we can assume that it can benefit them a lot (and everybody else as well). How do we know that users with different skills and confidence levels find your product easy to use? You guessed it, test.
User research has a positive impact on business performance
- Companies, where user research is well integrated across the product development process, are more likely to notice a positive impact on business metrics (30%-70% difference compared to the companies where user research is only the designer's job).
Adaptation for mobile is a must
- In 2021, 54,5% of global website traffic was generated by mobile devices (excluding tablets).
When your product is not mobile-friendly, it would miss many users. Many people don’t even own a laptop or PC, as they can do most of the things on mobile or tablet. Statistics show that there are even more people who use only mobile phones than those who use only desktop.
- In 2021, there were 4,66 billion active internet users in the world (59,5% of humans). 92,6% (4,32 billion) of them use their mobile devices to access the internet.
- At the same time, conversion rates are slightly higher for desktop than mobile. Global Monetate Q1 report 2020 showed that mobile conversion rates were at 1.81% with desktop at 1.98% and tablets at 2.92%. Mobile is important for discovery and browsing, but some things people still prefer to buy on desktop.
When you know your customers well and have evidence that they would only use the desktop version, you can save resources on having a mobile app. However, for any website design being responsive is an absolute must, also for the following reason.
- By 2022, 70% of all websites are on mobile-indexing, and all the new websites will belong to this group. This means that Google ranking is calculated based on the mobile version instead of the desktop one. So, a website that is not optimized for mobile would appear lower in search — on desktop, as well.
Everybody in the team should take care of user experience
The answer “Who owns user experience?” doesn’t necessarily mean “UX professional”.
- 16% of respondents of a survey by UserZoom said that everybody on the team owns user experience. What is more, 14% claim that at C-level each business unit is responsible for UX.
These numbers are close for both small and big (over 5,000 employees) companies. That is why we collaborate closely with our clients throughout the wholework process.
What about real examples?
Statistics often tend to be outdated, blurry, and easily manipulated. Not all the data that we refer to would be approved by a professional statistician. Yet, it gives us hints and outlines the trends. Some people who may find the abovementioned arguments not convincing may be more impressed by numbers from real-life cases.
Most of the articles claiming that design can increase conversions by 2,5%, 35%, or 591% refer to specific case studies. Nothing promises you the same result as in a case study, but people like to follow successful companies like Intuit, Airbnb, or Uber — and we know they did a good job with design.
A carefully chosen case study or a piece of statistics can prove almost any point. To prove the importance of user testing, there is an old story from 2010 on how Microsoft chose this particular shade of blue for the links: the color that performed best during user testing, is claimed to have added $80 million to annual revenue.
And here is a recent story to support our arguments that design has an impact: in 2021, Citibank lost $500 million because an employee didn’t check the right checkbox. If you see the UX design of the bank software, you would totally understand him. (Talking about banks, we have an article on Fintech UX design hurdles).
The most secure way of dealing with statistics? Make your own
This doesn’t mean you should go and run a research with 5 000 participants to ensure an unbiased report. When we focus on a single product, small things like Google Analytics or detailed email surveys would do a lot.
If you want to track the impact of UX design on your business, start with regular tracking of key SaaS metrics, usability metrics, and UX design KPIs. Seeing the change in your personal data is more important than all the statistics from the reports out there.