Author: Alexander Hengesbach
User-centred design in companies
Why are some websites and apps so much more user-friendly than others?
The user experience (UX) of websites and apps varies considerably, and the question arises: why are some of them so effortless to use, while others seem difficult to understand and unusable?
Several factors play a role here. One possible reason could be that some companies invest more in developing their digital channels than others. Budget is undoubtedly an important factor, but it is crucial to understand that a high financial investment does not necessarily lead to first-class websites and apps.
The importance of UX/UI design
UX/UI design is the key to creating user-friendly digital platforms. Thoughtful UX/UI design takes into account the needs and expectations of users and ensures seamless interaction. It is about understanding the needs of the user and focusing on usability to create websites and apps that not only look beautiful, but also function smoothly and meet the expectations of the user.
Good design is a team sport
A high design maturity is good for business
Companies with convincing digital presences - and thus also higher turnover - have something that others do not have: A high "design maturity". In a 2018 study by McKinsey, 300 companies were examined with regard to their design maturity. The top 25% of the companies, i.e. those with the highest design maturity, had about twice as high revenues compared to the remaining 75%.
But what exactly does design maturity mean?
Design Maturity describes the extent to which companies practice the values and behaviours of good design. This includes:
- Teamwork: Good design is not only the task of designers, but all roles in the company contribute to good design. A good website, for example, is just the tip of the iceberg: the products and services behind it are just as important for a good customer experience with a company - and these are the responsibility of call centre staff, developers, marketing, etc.
- Focus on users: In order to be able to align product and business decisions with the end user, feedback is regularly collected, evaluated and taken into account through interviews, surveys, web analytics, etc. This is the basis for a good customer experience.
- Regular updates: Frequently publish, test and improve small changes: If one's website is only updated once a year, for example, then the risk of a change having a negative impact is much higher. But if changes are made every month, then it is much quicker to learn from mistakes and make improvements.
- Internal communication: Departments in the company communicate and work together. They are constantly trying to break down barriers between departments. Because from the customer's point of view, it's always the same company, whether you deal with them via the website, on the phone or in a retail shop.
- Analytics: Design is measured, e.g. by click numbers or sales on a website, so that it can be discussed objectively instead of just talking about taste and intuition.
jls and Design Maturity: What do companies do that don't have their own design team?
In a series of 2-4 hour workshops, jls works with companies to develop basics and best practices around the topic of design maturity and user-centred design. The focus is both on the basics of good user experience and design and on how good design can be put into practice. Important topics are:
- Basics of design and psychology
- Team building and collaboration
- Design thinking and how good design can be practised
- Design systems
- Important tools and processes
- Cooperation with external service providers
At the end of the workshops, companies receive a so-called playbook with which what they have learned can be passed on to others and put into practice quickly and easily with templates, instructions and tips and tricks.
How can I improve design maturity in my own company?
Continuously improving design maturity in your organisation requires a holistic commitment from both staff and management. It is crucial that all employees develop an awareness of good UX/UI design. Small but effective initiatives such as involving colleagues from different departments in brainstorming sessions or design reviews can have a significant impact.
At the same time, it is crucial that senior management plays a decisive role by creating the right incentives for collaboration within the company and providing the necessary budget. Design Maturity is a process that requires top-down support to be successful.
Was haben wir gelernt?
Die Konzeption von gutem Design geht weit über das hinaus, was auf den ersten Blick erkennbar ist. Denn das, was gemeinhin als «gutes Design» bezeichnet wird, ist nur die Spitze des Eisbergs. Gutes UX/UI Design, und insbesondere eine gute Kundenerfahrung, ist nicht nur die Aufgabe von Designer:innen, sondern eine kollektive Verantwortung innerhalb des gesamten Unternehmens. Es ist ein kontinuierlicher Prozess, der in kleinen Schritten vorangetrieben wird, um das Risiko von disruptiven Änderungen gering zu halten.
Die Messbarkeit von gutem Design ist ein Schlüsselaspekt, um die Fortschritte zu verfolgen. Schliesslich ist zu beachten, dass gutes Design nicht nur das Kundenerlebnis verbessert, sondern auch positive Auswirkungen auf das Geschäft hat. Ein reibungsloses UX/UI Design ist nicht nur ästhetisch ansprechend, sondern auch ein treibender Faktor für den Unternehmenserfolg.