UX Demystified: Busting 5 Common Myths
Ajit Pan /
After completing my engineering, I’ve had the opportunity to work with several tech companies, each with its unique approach to addressing industry challenges. Some focused on specialized products tailored for specific issues, while others provided versatile services, creating, and maintaining solutions tailored to clients’ needs. Subsequently, I transitioned to working with a design studio.
Throughout my professional journey, a recurring insight has been the prevalent myths among organizations regarding UX design. This article is dedicated to dispelling five common myths, aiming to bring clarity to the forefront. So, let’s delve into it…
Myth 1: UX design will increase the overall time to go live.
Organizations often rush into projects, skipping UX design, thinking it saves time. However, omitting UX can lead to rework and confusion, causing project delays. UX design, a methodical process involving user research, sets clear objectives, minimizing scope changes and rework, ultimately reducing timelines.
Here are some aspects of UX design that reduces the overall development timelines:
- Before visual design, UX teams establish Information Architecture (IA) and Task Flows, providing a clear roadmap for developers. This ensures a shared understanding of project goals from the outset, saving weeks in development.
- UX designers create wireframes and prototypes, aiding developers in understanding functionality and design early on, preventing confusion and speeding up implementation.
- Usability testing during the UX phase allows iterative improvements, aligning the final product with user expectations and reducing adjustments during development.
In conclusion, prioritizing UX design is not just about enhancing user satisfaction; it’s a strategic choice that streamlines development timelines. By establishing clear objectives, visual roadmaps, and early design understanding, UX design significantly reduces the risk of costly iterations during development. It’s a crucial investment for efficiency, ensuring a successful and streamlined project outcomes in a timely manner.
Myth 2: UX Design projects will cost you more.
Defining the cost of a project entails considering more than just the initial expenses for development and implementation. It extends to encompass post-launch costs such as Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMC) and upgradations. The evaluation of project cost can vary among organizations.
Consider this – UX design emerges as a key player in cost reduction for projects. By prioritizing user-centered design in the UX process, the final product is finely tuned to meet user needs and expectations. This strategic approach minimizes the likelihood of major revisions or alterations during and after development, as design decisions are rooted in a profound understanding of the target audience. Consequently, this results in a notable reduction in the overall project cost, both in the developmental phase and post-launch.
Don’t just take my word for it—here’s compelling data showcasing how UX design consistently delivers optimal Return on Investment (ROI) for organizations worldwide:
- For every $1 invested in UX, there’s a return of $100 (10000%). (According to a study by IBM)
- 94% increase in conversion rates with a better user experience. (According to a study by Society of Digital Agencies)
- 86% of users are willing to pay more for a better user experience. (According to a study by PwC)
- 52% of users are less likely to engage with a company after a bad mobile experience (according to a study by Google)
- 67% reduction in support costs with improved UX (According to Forrester Research)
Myth 3: We don’t need to design all the screens in a UX design engagement.
While this myth may hold true for certain organizations, it often proves false for the majority. Let me elaborate on what I mean: when categorizing organizations based on UX, we can broadly identify two types:
- Organization with a design team
- Organization without a design team
Now, the absence of a dedicated team may seem inconsequential, and many companies find it challenging to maintain a design team. Allow me to share from personal experience—working with designers can be an adventure, they bring unique perspectives and creativity to the table (they are crazy). However, the presence of such a team proves invaluable. Consider this: with a few designers on your team, there’s no necessity to engage a UX design studio for the design of every page or screen—focusing on the User research & then designing core screens becomes the primary objective.
The studio can also establish a comprehensive design system that your team can leverage. This not only guarantees a uniform user interface post the Studio’s handover but also expedites your team’s ability to concentrate on crafting the remaining screens.
In the absence of a dedicated design team, the optimal approach is to design each screen from the Design Studio. The rationale behind this recommendation lies in the distinctive roles of developers and designers. A developer, while proficient in coding, may lack the nuanced understanding derived from user input during UX research. Each screen in UX design is crafted based on these insights, addressing not only what elements are present but also why they are included or excluded. Therefore, to ensure a comprehensive and user-centric design, we strongly advocate designing each screen, particularly when a dedicated design team is unavailable. This approach guarantees that the user experience is rooted in research-driven decisions, enhancing the overall quality and effectiveness of the product.
Myth 4: Once the designs are ready, we do not need UX designers.
Design delivered by Designer.
Design that went live.
The provided image serves as a stark illustration of the consequences when a dedicated design team is absent from the development process.
Effective communication between UX designers and developers is paramount. Embracing collaborative workflows, where designers and developers closely collaborate throughout the process, proves instrumental in identifying and resolving potential issues early on, thus averting misunderstandings and expediting the development timeline.
Notably, a designer plays a pivotal role in supporting the development team across three key aspects:
- Conducting Walkthroughs Before Development Commences
- Reviewing Screens Before Go-Live
- Creating Ad-Hoc Screens or Components During Development
In essence, fostering a collaborative partnership between designers and developers not only averts pitfalls showcased in the aforementioned image but also ensures a smoother, more efficient development process with a focus on high-quality outcomes.
Myth 5: Agile – UX design and development can go hand in hand.
Let us first understand what does agile methodology and UX Design methodology mean?
The Agile methodology is a project management approach that involves breaking the project into phases and emphasizes continuous collaboration and improvement. Teams follow a cycle of planning, executing, and evaluating.
The UX design process can be divided into five key phases: user research, analysis, design, validation, and implementation. Also known as a Waterfall methodology. A waterfall design is the traditional method of organizing UX design processes and usually takes a linear approach.
Based on the definitions, it’s evident that Agile development and UX design methodologies don’t seamlessly align. Agile relies on user feedback post-product release, while UX design involves user interaction before designing based on their feedback.
Acknowledging the need for Agile’s rapid project delivery, a suggested compromise is to initiate with UX design methodology. Begin by conducting user research, analyzing data, and crafting core screens with Information Architecture and Task Flows. Then seamlessly transition into Agile methodology.
In essence, proposing a hybrid approach — starting with a waterfall methodology followed by Agile. This sequential method allows for an initial emphasis on user-centric design, reducing post-launch feedback for the development team.