“I don’t want UX Design for my app” — Client

Random image off the internet

Every designer knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all had clients that just want us to work on visual designs and that’s it. Personally, I’ve never understood why they do that, but that is another story. For whatever reason, they don’t build an engaging user experience.

Now it’s all fun and games until the app goes live and your users start complaining and you have no clue what to do. That’s a tough pickle to crawl out of.

Why’s that a problem? 🧐

Your users are always judging you between two measures: Good brands & Dark brands.

To be a good brand takes effort. You have to listen to their needs (through usability testing and hours & hours of research) and cater to them as well.

You might ask, “How do I cater to them?” The answer’s simple, use design frameworks to translate your research into designs.

It’s like marriage. The more effort you put into it, the better it’s going to be. And unfortunately, the reverse is also true. if you don’t put any effort into building relations with your users, your bond is going to weaken over time.

Trying to become a good brand takes effort. Being a dark brand is pretty easy though. Just don’t care about your users and you’ll become a dark brand. It’s as simple as that.

However, if you do follow the path of dark brands, know that it’s not a good long-term strategy. And if you’re running away from research and all that labor-intensive work, a wise turtle once said:

We often meet our destiny on the road we take to avoid it.

— Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda 🐼

4 Reasons to become aware of your user needs 🎯

YOU NEED HELP!

Another point you should note is that you need help when designing for your users. I don’t care if you’ve got 10+ years of experience in the industry you always need help. And who else is going to help you better than your real users?

I know some of your clients would say say “We’re not interested in user research”. And that strategy is as good as walking into a gunfight with your bare hands. Which is not very good at all.

Maybe your CTA isn’t clear enough, maybe your landing page is misleading your users, or maybe the colors you’ve chosen don’t convey the right meaning. A hundred things could potentially be wrong and it’s up to you to fix them.

Don’t limit your own growth

I’ve seen businesses often limit their own growth many times. How? They only use selected channels to listen to their users. I can’t stress this enough, use every user interaction as an opportunity to understand them.

Don’t wait for your UX research team or designers to arrive on the scene. Every department in your company if it’s sales, customer support, marketing, or even finance. If they can communicate a user’s problem to you, let them.

One of the best ways to do so is through empathy-focused teams. Build your teams in a way that they’re aligned with your designers and everyone’s standing under the same umbrella.

There’s no automating UX

As Steve Harvey once said “There’s no elevator to the top, you’ve got to take the stairs”.

Similarly, there’s no ‘cruise mode’ when it comes to building user experiences. It’s a continuous repetitive process that can sometimes fail and sometimes work. So not only does it have a risk, but it also requires manual effort every time.

So why do it?

Because it’s not about what you build, it’s about the relationships you build with your users. At the end what you design will be more aligned with user needs.

But the list of benefits doesn’t stop there. When users see that you’re listening to them and actually taking the initiative to help solve their problems, that builds relationships and loyalty.

When I say ‘user’ I mean real users

I’ve seen businesses waste time by listening to developers, founders, and even investors. And that’s great, but that’s doesn’t count as ‘User research’. That’s stakeholder research which is also important, but that’s who your real users are.

Insights are great from every user group, but you have to prioritize who you want to listen to first.

Realistically speaking, you won’t have time to talk to every user group even. Unless you work in Google or Apple or other top-tier companies, the chances of that happening are very minute. So set a priority scale of who’s more important and at which stage.

I like to divide users into sub-categories as well to see which users are ones I have to pay more attention to.

Here are some questions you can ask to help you identify who your real users are:

  • What percentage of our total user group do they represent?
  • How beneficial are they for our business?
  • What’s their switching cost to other players in the industry?

If you have multiple user groups all of equal importance, you can also prioritize them in terms of time. We’ll listen to these groups first and then the second one.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. If you’ve enjoyed reading this far, take a look at some of my other work:

If you love to talk about anything design-related hit me up on Linkedin here. Peace ✌️

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I Design Stuff! — UX Designer & Writer

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Muhammad Ahmad

Muhammad Ahmad

I Design Stuff! — UX Designer & Writer

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