15 User Experience Lessons (And How They Can Improve Your Business)

Growing a business in any industry today is all about the user experience (UX). You have one chance to make a good first impression on your users, and when something isn’t right, word travels fast. At the same time, when you’re able to deliver an amazing user experience, you’ll attract and retain customers for all the right reasons. 

There are many factors to consider when analyzing the user experience and many ways to gather the information you need to create a winning one. From keeping it simple to playing off emotion to keeping deep tech out of sight, there’s no doubt that improving the user experience can help improve your business. Here, members of Forbes Business Council share the various ways in which they’ve improved their businesses based on what they’ve learned about user experience. 

1. Understand Feedback In Context

Understand the “why” behind the user’s experience. If you don’t understand the context of why someone is having (or expressing) a certain experience (whether good or bad), you won’t be able to properly act on the feedback. Employ critical thinking whenever you’re evaluating the feedback and ask questions to get a better understanding of what you think you’re hearing. – Jason Van CampMission Six Zero

2. Build Your UX Off A Familiar Platform 

A good UX can be built off of something familiar, as that will make people more comfortable buying. For example, a lot of our customers find us through Instagram, so we make our site scrollable like Instagram. – Harrison BaumDaily High Club

3. Design Flexible IT Infrastructure

Your tech architecture needs to be flexible in a way that enables you to add new features and functionality quickly. We conducted a recent poll of global IT decision-makers and found that only about one third (35%) of respondents said their infrastructure is keeping up with customer demands. Being able to react quickly to how consumers want to be served can only be done with a flexible IT infrastructure. – Sonja KeerlMACH Alliance

4. Tailor The UX To Different Roles

There is no single UX, yet it is one of the most powerful elements in a selling process. We sell a software platform and it’s important to be able to tailor the UX to different roles, whether it be a developer, business, etc., in addition to relevant use cases. People are visual. If you have HR data in a demo for a fraud audience, they have to make a leap to see how it fits in their world. – Todd BlaschkaTigerGraph

5. Reach Out To Receive Criticism 

Everyone likes to hear great things about their company. Although positive feedback on the user experience is great, I think it’s even more critical to reach out to receive criticism on the user experience. It’s much easier to improve in areas of weaknesses than areas of strength. Listen, digest and implement. – Mike SchoenfeldPRelocate

6. Make Deep Technology Invisible

At Skypher, we are building software in cybersecurity for the tech industry. We use the latest breakthroughs in machine learning to automate cybersecurity compliance for tech companies. Using complex technology is exciting but the most important part of our software is also the user experience our customers get. I’m learning how to make deep technology almost invisible to customers. – Gaspard de LacroixSkypher

7. Connect With A Diverse Audience

The way that a client or customer experiences and identifies with your brand is key. Perception is the reality for a consumer. My company’s ability to understand, cater to and connect with our diverse audience has yielded significant gains in profitability and retention. People connect with how a company makes them feel. – Portia James, Behavior Genius

8. Seek Feedback Early And Often

The most important lesson I have learned about user experience is to seek feedback early and often. Part of growing in business is ensuring you do not create the “perfect product” that only fits your personal likes, but rather create a collective of what the user likes and continually tweak it based on the users’ needs. – Todd SimmonsCourageous Leadership Alliance

9. Make Things Simple And Easy

To get users engaged, keep it simple and keep it easy. We just launched a consumer device that helps users to navigate their daily facial routine using an app. Since we were catering to professionals prior to this launch, we didn’t realize until after the launch that we needed to simplify everything to help users navigate and use the app effectively on a daily basis. – Pooja Johari7E Wellness

10. Be Transparent In Conversation 

Expectation setting is always critically important to a user’s experience in the service industry. The best clients come from completely transparent and honest conversations. When you do not try to “sell” your service but have an open conversation instead about how the service can enhance the client’s life and business, then the user experience throughout the client’s life cycle is greatly enhanced. – Marc NickellRocket Station

11. Follow A High-Quality Curriculum

We’ve learned that the buyer experience is just as important as the user one. In sales training, as with software 20 years ago, buyers have had to deal with large investments, fragmented suppliers, inconsistent quality and complex admin. Introducing a subscription model based on a high-quality modular curriculum (with a bundled tech platform and change support) has proven to be a game-changer. – Richard BarkeyImparta Ltd.

12. Improve Products Regularly

As a provider of fully virtual healthcare education and training, user experience is a key driving factor in our students’ learning outcomes and performance. I have learned we must constantly improve our clinical training products to provide novel interactive, resourceful and simulated learning experiences that mimic real-life scenarios. This promotes a higher intellectual grasp of clinical-patient skills. – Shabnam SafarzadehAdvanced eClinical Training, LLC

13. Use Omnichannel Communications

With a recent survey, we learned that consumers identify a “good” user experience as one where the problem is solved (81%), the interaction is timely and efficient (66%) and the customer support is courteous (58%). This furthered our belief in using an omnichannel communications solution to reach users with tools such as SMS with intelligent routing, which delivers all of the above and more. – Ilja GorelikMitto

14. Test The Product Yourself

You have to use the product yourself. Be a user to see the user experience. Also, if you are an online business, set up tools that let you see what your website visitors are actually doing and where they are struggling. – Adam VienerYazing

15. Design For Defaults

Most users stick to the defaults set by a product or service the first time they use it. It’s important for leaders to think deeply about what defaults to set for users and what behaviors they want to optimize for. When defaults are well designed, it sets the users up for success and creates a positive association with the business in the users’ minds. – Ranjan JagannathanSynapse Inc (Daywise)

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