people-stories

Return on Investment of UX-Testing

Why UX-Testings are always worth it

from  Philipp Rosenbaum
15.06.2020

The User Experience (UX) comprises all experiences that the user gains before, during and after using a product. Usability (UI), on the other hand, refers primarily to how effectively and efficiently the product can be operated during use. UX and UI cannot be considered separately - without UI, no UX. 

The more affirmative a user is about a digital product, the higher the probability that he or she will make a purchase or repurchase. From this simplified calculation alone, it is clear how good UX affects sales and thus gross profit. The importance of UX testing in this simplified calculation is presented in this article - because after all, it's not that easy to get a good usability and UX out of the sleeve. 

The UX industry has grown explosively in recent years for exactly this reason. Especially UX Research is considered the secret winner and is clearing the field from behind. But why? On the one hand, the voices of UX experts who want to integrate users into product development at an early stage are becoming louder and louder. On the other hand, word has already got around about the "rule of ten". 

The rule of ten: The later an error is detected, the more expensive it is to correct

The rule of ten of the error costs says that the further a usability error is dragged undetected into further development stages of a product, the higher the costs for the correction of this one error become. The costs increase by a factor of 10 from one development stage to the next, and in the worst case, end-users are even confronted with this usability error, which in turn has a negative impact on the user's UX. An error that is not discovered in the planning phase but rather in the prototype (x10), or during development (x100), or even at the customer's site (x1,000), causes the cost of fixing the error to rise disproportionately. 


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Early UX testing can sometimes reveal these usability errors. Whereas UX veteran Jakob Nielsen used to propagate in the past, with five to eight user tests it was possible to detect up to 85% of errors. Unfortunately, the situation is somewhat different today. Due to the increasing complexity of modern products, more user tests are needed to reach this magic 85%. 

With the growing complexity, however, smaller or larger errors creep in faster, for which you as a designer or product manager can simply become "operationally blind". To put it bluntly, UX tests thus make product development cheaper in the long run, but also ensure that a product is tailored to the user and benefits from good usability and UX already at release.   

The measurable success: concrete ROI from UX testing

In addition to the rule of ten, where UX testing unfolds its potential for cost savings in the early stages of development, there are other arguments in favor of UX testing. They can also be wonderfully used to generate insights and uncover optimization potentials regarding the usability of existing products. The results of a UX test never offer concrete suggestions for solutions, but provide the background knowledge needed for the user-centered improvement of a product. Simplified, the return on investment (ROI) of a UX test depends very much on the quality of the solution to a UI or UX problem. However, this ball is in the court of the makers of a product! :)

Where can the tool "UX Test" then develop its full potential and be made measurable? Especially in the key figures conversion rate, support requests or the learning of a new website or app, the impact of a problem can be measured. For this purpose, these key figures should be compared with the figures after the UI or UX problem has been solved. However, these metrics can only be compared in a particularly "clean" manner, once it has been ensured that no additional factors could have influenced the metrics. 

Conversion rate optimization through improved usability 

Let's look at this calculation using the example of the conversion rate in relation to online purchases. Let's assume that a UX test reveals a serious usability problem within the checkout process, which regularly causes users to cancel their purchase. If the problem is solved, more users will (can!) complete their purchase. This inevitably leads to a higher conversion rate. Of course, it's not only the fact that the user has been helped, but also that the company has been able to generate more sales. 

Let's take the example further: the higher conversion rate also leads to a higher competitiveness of the company. Let's assume that the site under review was advertised with Google Ads, for example. For each click on the ad, 1 € was charged. At a conversion rate of 1%, this makes 100 € per new customer who completes the purchase. After fixing the usability problem, more customers now manage to complete the purchase and the conversion rate climbs to 5 %. So 5 out of 100 users buy after clicking on the ad. This would reduce the costs for acquiring new customers from 100 € to 20 € per buyer. Thus, by increasing the conversion rate, more new customers can be acquired with the same ad budget.

Relieve support centers and pick up users more easily

But also the number of support requests can be improved by UX testing. If a UX test has shown that users cannot locate important information on a website, this means the following in reality: If a question that is important to the user is not answered on the website, the user ideally contacts customer support. As a result, the cost to the company of processing these inquiries naturally increases. In the worst case, the question remains unanswered for the user because customer support is not contacted. The only question the user will have to ask afterwards is: "Do I really want to use the product again? A new location of this information helps not only the user but also the customer support.

For websites or apps that have very high usage rates, saving a few seconds on the screen can work wonders! Let's assume that a button within the customer support software is made more accessible due to a UX test: Previously, a customer support employee needed 60 seconds to complete a request, but now only 55 seconds, this means a time-saving! If you add up this time, more requests can be completed per day. 

Especially the usability and the user understanding are often commented with "everybody understands that". At REWE digital, we have already learned several times that not every product helps the user to operate it efficiently. Not to mention the fact that it makes it clear which path the user must take to reach his or her goal. And this is precisely why we consider UX tests to be a fixed part of product development. Not only because we are developing further, but also because of the users, it is worthwhile to test existing products regularly.

What is good and understandable today can lead to confusion and frustration tomorrow.

If you want to calculate the concrete ROI, this website will help you. Simply enter KPIs and calculate ROI for a wide range of target projects with a click of the mouse. ENJOY!

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