Nowadays UX sounds like a buzzword, and many people seem not to understand what user experience actually means. From my conversations with prospective clients, they often think that it’s something that you fix after a project is done. It’s further from the truth. UX is not even same as QA (quality assurance) testing.
If you want to save time and money on website projects, you need to include an UX designer throughout your projects. As many UX professionals say, “test early and often”. It’s true. Please don’t wait until after your developers are done with your website to find out problems. According to statistics by Vitamin T, developers spend 50% of their time fixing issues that could be avoided if an UX designer was hired before the start of the project.
As the result of not including UX designers (as stated by Vitamin T), 97% of websites fail at user experience and suffer from frustrated users and poor conversion rates. That number of websites also fail at accessibility – according to 456 Berea Street – which results in an increasing number of complaints against website owners who do not comply with accessibility requirements. There are many users with disabilities that make the largest minority and yet are the most ignored.
That’s why I find usability and accessibility audit important before redesigning a website or even making incremental changes. Also, when working on a new or redesigned website project, it’s important to discuss business and user needs, do competitive analysis, content audit, usability testing, collect data (analytics, user feedback, etc.), develop personas, user flows, sitemaps, wireframes, etc. Those are part of UX design process.
Unfortunately, many clients find UX design as a “waste” of time and money without realizing that it’s the other way around. They think it’s enough to just create beautiful visual templates and add many bells and whistles and then add content without optimizing it. It’s like building a house without a blueprint – carpenters cannot build a house without a blueprint created by an architect. Visual designers and developers cannot create a successful website without instructions from an UX designer.