Often, the fear of something affects us far earlier and perhaps, far more, than the thing itself. In such cases, acknowledging and addressing such fears is vital so that they don’t stop you from doing what you want to or need to do.
The understanding of user experience design in the business world is expanding to encompass a culture, rather than a specific design process. Design thinking is a problem solving method which can be applied by teams in various domains. Understanding the basics, along with other UX tools and methodologies can help you overcome business fears you may have.
1. Taking risks
Every time a decision is made, a risk is taken. Should you continue to follow the existing marketing strategy? Do you need to hire more people? How can you cut down on costs? A bad call can have detrimental effects on an organisation.
UX teaches us to base decisions on research. Starting with user research helps everyone involved in a project get in touch with the ground reality of a situation. It greatly reduces the risk of getting started on an unfeasible idea, only to find it isn’t effective after the launch.
To close the loop, iterative design insists on repeatedly testing prototypes and gaining user feedback with one goal in mind - meeting user needs. While user research gives you direction on user issues you should address, usability testing helps you know whether your proposed solutions are working.
2. Not reaching set goals
Without goals or targets, there is unlikely to be a direction. But sometimes achieving those goals takes precedence in the fear of underperforming.
In UX design, failure is an integral part of arriving at the final product. UX is actually a continuous process, and as long as users are giving feedback, a product can evolve and improve endlessly.
This puts into perspective what “failure” really is. An inability to reach goals initially set is frustrating and disappointing, especially given what it could imply about the person who was accountable for reaching those goals. But the pinch of failure is often secondary to why it happened.
Understanding and resolving that can help you see a one-time failure as a lesson that allows you to make better decisions, and achieve longer-term objectives.
Competition is inevitable. And it must be managed. However, the fear of competition results in over-focusing on competition alone, or ignoring it completely and realising once it’s too late.
UX research integrates competitive analysis into its process even before a project has begun. Once you have an idea about the competitors that exist and the user experience they provide, you can pick aspects of their solutions that resonate with your users while maintaining your individuality.
As with other aspects of the process, competitive analysis is also considered an ongoing effort that takes into consideration all potential products that a customer may choose besides yours.
You are also much better placed in defining your marketing strategy, which plays a key role in influencing customers to choose you over competitors.
Good user experience will bind users to your product. It is the most straightforward way of earning and retaining customer loyalty. When products care about the people they are meant for, it shows, and customers will readily show their gratitude.
Business is affected by a sheer number of internal and external factors - and a change in any of them can become a challenge for an organisation. The first reaction to change is often resistance, and it is here that UX design comes into play.
Creativity is a factor that can help power through changes with empathy and problem solving rather than fear. Creativity in UX leads to innovations - improvements in existing products that stand the test of time and successfully adapt to changes.
This attitude of creativity might do well when a business is struggling to manage a change. UX is also geared towards handling change-resistance that may arise in users. Making incremental changes in products and smoothening the onboarding process can help ease the discomfort of customers attached to previous versions of an existing product.
5. Not staying relevant
How does a product, product line, or business stand the test of time? How do you establish
and re-establish yourself as an entity that offers value?
Because user experience is an unending process, this act of renewal feels natural.
With the advancement in technology, a spike in user demands, increase in businesses, the user experience design field itself will see a multitude of changes, but all while holding to fundamental facts: as long as there are users, there will be needs, and as long as you satisfyingly meet those needs, users will come back to you.
Make this your philosophy in leading your business as well. If “value” is a changing concept for your customer, then it becomes your responsibility to see how you can deliver it to them, again and again. Every time you prove yourself, you earn their loyalty and your relevance.
User experience design reminds us that as humans, we all have needs. We access products or participate in systems to fulfil them. We often get stuck, and sometimes it is because of our own reactions - such as our fears.
The essence of good design lies in overcoming those frustrations and satisfying the need. Using this perspective for your business and your life will show you that situations are malleable, and it takes some good design techniques to make the most out of them.