Business Benefits of UX Design
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Published on April 1, 2014
When studying the business benefits of UX design, we’re often looking at reports from major universities, academics, or large multinational corporations with entire design teams. The results typically show the varying ways in which investing in UX and design helps organizations reduce costs, increase sales, and increase customer loyalty. A recent news story was interesting not because of the results, but because of who was conducting the research.
UX is often concerned about the readability of type, and how it appears on various screen sizes, at different resolutions, and even in different lighting conditions. As UX professionals, we’re also concerned about the message the type sends, and the mood it conveys. The story that was interesting involved an examination of type in printed documents that looked at the impact of typefaces on ink consumption. While most offices use laser printers instead of inkjet printers, and printing documents has become less commonplace, the story is interesting because the analysis was conducted by a middle school student. As he assumed most offices use inkjet printers, he likely overestimated the savings. But the story provides a lesson for designers.
What is useful as a lesson from this study is the principle of looking at design decisions holistically. When selecting a typeface, how will it be used? What are the mediums in which it will appear? On which devices? Even addressing the question of whether it will need to be printed is worthwhile. An effective UX designer helps with more than aesthetics, and looks at all the ways in which design decisions impact a project and how it contributes to an organization’s goals. These are some of the principles covered in the UX classes offered at American Graphics Institute.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.