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UX and UI team importance at an active digital project

Working in the e-commerce market and leading digital projects for eight years, I often observe the importance of an active UX team. As products become more and more digital and we humans spend more time on screens (over 11 hours a day!), companies need to ensure that their products offer a compelling experience for their customers.

These well-designed experiences are not only great for customers but also the business. According to Forrester Research, a well-designed user experience can increase conversions by 400%.

But to explain the importance of having an active UX team, we need to understand the role of this professional.

The UX Professional

When I tell a circle of friends that I am a UX designer, some say: ‘Ah… so you draw images’. Some, the technical ones say: Ah…so you write the website front-end’. And still, others blurt out: ‘Ah… so you make things beautiful’.

These are mistaken and very common thoughts that people have about our profession. UX is so much more than just making things pretty, designing images, or creating a UI.

Our team also spends much time researching, discovering user needs, and creating design solutions that follow fundamental psychological principles.

Steve Jobs has a phrase that I like and have quoted several times to my team: ‘Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works’. That is, UX is about using Design Thinking to solve problems in digital products.

And for those who don’t know, the Design Thinking process combines empathy, creativity, and rationality to meet user needs and create successful solutions, predicting innovative scenarios. This process is constantly used by our UI | UX team to facilitate the mapping of new ideas and solutions collaboratively.

But then, what care does the UX professional need to ensure a good job?

  • Easy design – Users should be able to learn the product easily.
  • Aesthetically pleasing – Good design is aesthetically pleasing to look at. Indeed, users tend to feel that a design is more useful simply because it is aesthetically pleasing, a phenomenon called the aesthetic usability effect
  • It must satisfy the user – the design brings the user good surprises. It’s like getting a gift on a date that isn’t your birthday, you didn’t expect it, but you’re happy to receive it

Now that you already know a little more about the attributes of a UX professional, I will list here their importance within a project.

  • Explore – through analytics we discover user behavior
  • Recommend – with research and many studies we find your customer’s user journey verticalizing to recommendations of good practices, where hypotheses arise for the cause of the problem in this journey
  • Plan and test – With the survey of recommendations, we must act and test at all times.

You are not your user

Another thing I always say is the importance of always remembering that when creating a product, you are creating for the user and that he is not you.
We tend to assume that our users are similar to us. This is not just a problem but an example of a more general phenomenon called the false consensus effect.

As human beings, we often tend to assume that others are more like us than they are. Simply acknowledging that the false consensus effect exists is not enough in itself. If we want to know how our users will respond to a design and we want to design something they’ll love, we need to be more systematic.

And that means taking action to ensure that we base our design decisions on the genuine knowledge of our users. Most of the time, this means testing our designs on real users.

In short, users are human and need to be treated with respect. Always remember:

  • They are not numbers
  • They are not fools
  • They are not children (unless they are)
  • They have feelings
  • They must not be deceived

A good example is the mobile experience. Today, although the vast majority of accesses are made through a smartphone, the conversion is lower than on a desktop. How to solve this? Precisely through the studies I mentioned earlier, which are ways of understanding the user and making our product convert.

Another study by Forrester Research shows that companies that invest in UX increase their conversions by three digits and consider the UX team one of the most important and strategic for business success.

And finally, only with an active team that thinks about your user do you have the ideal recipes to create a product or service that meets the user needs and the business that results in greater performance and conversion.

As I always say to my clients: ‘Take care of your users’ experience and thereby improve engagement and conversions’.

Written by
Rodrigo Gouveia

Rodrigo graduated in graphic design from Escola Panamericana de Artes and graduated in Information Technology. He has 18 years of experience with graphic design, visual communication, advertising, branding, digital marketing, and user experience. He started his journey in digital in 2012, and for five years, he has been in charge of Experience Design at ACCT Global, where he has headed more than 100 national and international projects for e-commerce giants.

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