What role does UX play in the success of a product?

Naveen Nair
Naveen Nair
10 Nov, 20208 min read
What role does UX play in the success of a product?

Facebook looked like a small HTTP page when Mark Zuckerberg built it a decade ago.

WhatsApp was rejected as an application since the interface was deemed “too simple.”

When farmers in rural Germany saw a young Karl Benz drive a 3- wheeled automotive in 1885, they thought this “mechanical horse” would be just another of the young engineer’s many “crazy inventions.”

Today Facebook is THE SOCIAL PLATFORM.

Whatsapp is THE MESSAGING ENGINE

karl benz

This is the first patented car. 

And young Karl Benz’s automotive? Well, it’s THE CAR!!

You know that UX plays a key role in the success of any product, and the same can be said about your tech products.

We take a deep dive into the world of UX in this blog post, bringing you the UX best practices followed by businesses, and guiding you to the practices that will help you gain the most.

In this blog, we cover:

  1. UX from the best - The Apple story
  2. What is UX? Value add of UX to your product.
  3. Why is UX important?
  4. How does good or bad UX affect your business?

Let’s dive right in.

A for Apple - Lessons from a company that has one of the best UX

Love it or hate it; you can’t deny the fact that Apple is probably the company that changed the way the world perceived computers, music players, and the crown jewel, the smartphone.

As a product company, Apple has been at the forefront of User Experience, and in many ways, has defined what a good product should give its user.

Let’s start with the simple Apple home button.

As far as iconic components of technology are concerned, the iPhone home button sits right there at the top of the list. Ask any smartphone enthusiast to draw a phone, and more often than not, they would draw a rectangle with a circular button at the bottom.

The iPhone home button was seen as a radical new design concept. It defined the User Experience for smartphone users worldwide when competitors such as Samsung and Xiaomi copied the original iPhone design.

The home button did come in for a large amount of flak from users because it was a mechanical design and prone to the inflow of water and dust, which eventually led Apple to discontinue it in 2016 with the release of the iPhone 7.

But from a perspective of UX, the iPhone home button throws into light a couple of stark lessons:

Lesson 1: Think outside the box. You never know what a user will like or not, so it is important to instill a sense of surprise into your product.

Lesson 2: Change with time. The iPhone button was a landmark feature in 2007, but it was soon outdone by competition who copied it and then came up with a better alternative.

There are many other lessons you can learn from Apple as a brand, but we can touch upon them later. For now, let us see how UX can be a value add for your product.

UX - The gateway to your product

Remember Lord of the Rings? You know, that amazing three-part movie series that made Peter Jackson, the director, one of Hollywood’s major sensations.

Okay, you may remember the movie, but why are we speaking about it now when we promised you how your UX needs to be perfect to attract key customers? Bear with us a minute.

In LOTR, Bilbo and Frodo, along with Gollum, arrive at the Black Gate on the way to Mordor.

This Black Gate, metaphorically, is your UX, and anything you do past this is your product.

The User experience of any product will leave the consumer either happy, content, or just Meh. As a product designer or owner, it is up to you to make sure your consumers stay in the happy part of the speedometer, or, worst-case scenario, the content stage.

Speedometer

User experience is the one factor that drives new users to your app or website and keeps them coming back. If you can make a person stay for more than a few minutes on your app, then boom, you have your UX covered.

The following statistics show the percentage of time people in the US spend on an app of a certain category, and, as you can see, Social media and games account for most of the time spent by users on their digital devices.

Statistics

And if you want your users to have a great experience, it takes more than flashy screens and big promises to keep them happy.

Which brings us to the next part of the story.

Keep existing users happy.

Imagine you own a toy store and have a great glass display of the latest Barbie doll on your storefront.

Your store is always crowded since the visitors expect a huge selection of Barbie dolls that they can choose from, but you eventually run out of these dolls and have an empty inventory.

What happens then? Why, your users abandon your store, of course.

A good UX is of paramount importance when it comes to keeping existing users of your product happy.

Case in point: Instagram.

Instagram has one of the best user experiences when it comes to a mobile app, and, as a product owner, there is one thing you can learn from Instagram.

Lesson: KISS ( Keep it Simple, Stupid). Instagram speaks to its users through photos, and there are only a few options that the user has to choose from before he or she gets up and running with the app.

Instagram

And the results? Well, as of the last count, Instagram is used by over 1 billion users every month!!
500 million people use Instagram Stories every day!!

The reason for this success? Instagram is User-Centric, and most of the content on the app is generated by the users themselves. Kind of like Facebook, but yuppier!!

Instagram is simple to use, and the “barrier of entry” is just a Facebook account or an email ID. It is super easy to “Follow” or “Unfollow” a person, and the AI that curates content based on your previously seen posts is getting better by the day.

The Instagram Chat app is easy to use and non-intrusive.

To sum up, if you want to build a product that takes all the lessons we have discussed so far (Simplicity, User-centric, Repeat users), just open Instagram.

Of course, you would have to do more than just watch funny Fail videos.

Would Instagram Reels beat TikTok and become one of THE messaging platforms of the future?

Only time will tell.

Coming back to the end of our story - Why is UX important for your business?

It’s all about the Money, Honey!

Ever heard of the Microsoft Kin? Don’t worry, not a lot of people have.

When Apple laid the foundation for a great phone, and Steve Jobs was busy plotting new ways for global domination with his iPhone, the best brains at Microsoft put together a shady product that had Steve Jobs chuckling ear to ear.

On May 14, 2010, the Kin went on sale, and the results were disappointing, to say the least!!

There were no apps, no games, and possibly the most expensive data plans ever!!

The Kin looked as if a Blackberry had been quashed to fit into a kid’s pocket and is a prime example of what a UX should not be for a product.

The Kin was dead, even before it was born, and Microsoft lost millions of dollars it spent on researching and building the Kin, and then some more on marketing this lame duck.

If you are a product owner, then you cannot afford costly mistakes like this one. At the end of the day, the UX, the brand, and the product are all meant to do one thing and one thing only.

Satisfy the customer, which brings us to the end of our story.

Wrapping up

As a product owner or a business trying to build a product, it is important for you to create a positive user experience.

Make your customers happy, and they will tell their friends about you, which in turn, will bring you even more customers. A win-win for everyone.

At SoluteLabs, we focus on building world-class products that are simple to use and are loved by the masses. Want to learn more about how we build such products or the products that we’ve built in the past? Just leave your email ID here, and we will get in touch with you.

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