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Why Emphasize UI/UX Design?

Why Emphasize UI/UX Design?

From a business strategy perspective, we reviewed the desires and behavior of “smart markets”, where customers look for choices of solutions and want vendors to provide help in making the right choice [1]. In effect, these “smart customers” desire to provide feedback in the development and deployment of the solutions they use. For any application provider, UI/UX design is a key mechanism for such dialog with their “smart customers”. In turn, it also helps the application provider to venture into new market segments without a whole lot of investments.

But one may ask if there is any hard business value by emphasizing UI/UX design. It might sound intuitive or perhaps obvious what the answer should be. Actually, it turns out that there are results from objective measurements, which show that the business value of design is quite significant. The McKinsey report, “The Business Value of Design”[2] nicely quantifies this business value from good design. The authors quantify “good design” in terms of McKinsey Design Index (MDI), which is a composition of four design themes: (1) analytical leadership in design, which is about measuring and driving design performance with the same rigor as revenues and costs (2) cross-functional design talent, which makes user-centric design everyone’s responsibility (3) continuous iteration in design, which is continuous iteration with end-users and (4) user experience from breaking silos of physical, digital and service designs.

Companies achieve high MDI scores by implementing the four design themes. Data collected by the authors through interviews and surveys of 300 publicly listed companies over a 5-year period show that for the industries analyzed (Medical Technology, Retail Banking and Consumer Packaged Goods):

  • Companies with top-quartile MDI scores outperformed their industry benchmark scores on revenue growth and total returns to shareholders(TRS) by a 2:1 margin
  • The differences in revenue growth and TRS among second, third and fourth quartile companies was marginal, indicating that only top-quartile companies got disproportionately rewarded

So it clearly pays to emphasize design in the workings of the solution provider. For example, according to the report, the value of accurate insights from design-related metrics is significant—one online gaming company discovered that a small increase in the usability of its home page was followed by a dramatic 25 percent increase in sales. However, 40% of the surveyed companies are still not talking to their customers during product development. To overcome this situation, let us say that a small SaaS provider without much in-house design talent makes a commitment to design by operationalizing analytical leadership by integrating design metrics in business assessment and streamlining user experience across different delivery channels.

To fill the gap in design talent and continuous iteration in design, it hires Divami. How would Divami fill this gap? More on that in the next blog.


[1] UX/UI Design – Getting to Talk to “Smart” Customers
[2] The Business Value of Design