UX Budgeting Best Practices
Whether you are developing a new product or redesigning an existing one, planning and budgeting for UX activities to ensure a good user experience is essential. The product team needs talented UX practitioners, in house or on contract, who can get direct feedback from users starting early in the design cycle. These efforts can make sure that the project investment pays off – that what is launched will help users be successful and inspire product adoption.
This approach is best practice; however, product teams often seek user input only when the product is ready to launch. At this point, budget and schedule allow only design “tweaks”– major design fixes are as much as 100 times more costly than they would have been early in the design cycle. A CTO of a large Michigan county organization illustrates the point: “I can’t tell you how many things our developers thought we had handled. Without considering the UX and bringing in experts to conduct user research with a mix of end-user audiences, our complex website redesign would have been a disaster.”
Without user input during the design process, product requirements are formulated from assumptions about users and their needs that are often incomplete or off the mark. A poor user experience can be the outcome, negatively impacting business goals and requiring additional funding to correct.
Inadequately defined requirements are one of three critical factors that contribute to product failure. The others are poor communication between customers/end-users and developers and internal stakeholder politics. A UX program can address all these factors, ensuring product success and paying for itself—sometimes many times over.
We’ve found two articles that nicely summarize the value of investing in the user experience. The first, from Wall Street & Technology, offers one organization’s perspective on the ROI of UX expenditures. The second, from UXmatters, is a detailed how-to on calculating UX ROI. This can be especially helpful if you are the UX champion trying to win approval for UX budget with your stakeholders. (Your internal stakeholders might not have considered that your customers/end-users are your most important stakeholders and their positive experience with your product is essential to meeting business goals!)
Investing and focusing on user experience can have substantial benefits for user adoption, as well as reduced development costs overall.
Armed with your understanding of a business and a calculator, here are a few ways in which you can prove your value as a UX professional and get the resources you need—whether budget, UX team members, or more time.
Convinced of the value of a great user experience? Let TecEd’s user research and UI design pros support your efforts and help you demonstrate the ROI for your UX dollars. Contact us to talk about the projects you are planning and we’ll help you design a UX strategy!