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During a discussion with another UX designer, an interesting point about the 'neglect' phase of UX design was brought up. This deals with companies that have implemented UX processes and methods, and end up neglecting it only to realize that they are better off with it. There have been so many ways of trying to argue and provide evidence of the ROI for UX, but I think the clearest way to demonstrate this is for people to see what it is like with and without UX processes in place.

I am interested in getting some ideas about the impact of (partially or otherwise) abandoning UX practices when they have been in place in organizations. Personally I don't think every type of organization will benefit from it, but generally if it is implemented we don't always hear about some of the downside so I would like to find out if there are any studies or information on this.

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3 Answers 3

I've witnessed a change made on a call center app where new information on a form were added without UX processes in place. The result was that the form's usability suffered with ineffective grouping and pruning (for duplicates). This in turn increased the average handling time per call with regards to that particular use case.

Edited -- On the other end of the spectrum, an app I've seen designed with considerations to user workflow for capturing sales order sped up their average handling time. The feedback received was that their customers no longer waited in long lines and drop off. Their reported sales increase three folds for the same period last year.

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So did they end up going back to the drawing board and 'fixing' the problem? I would like to think that you can correlate UX metrics to KPIs, but there are many factors that can't be covered in UI changes. The effectiveness of training and management of staff, as well as streamlining the business processes and operations are also critical in improving UX. –  Michael Lai Aug 4 '13 at 23:53
    
Not while I was around. –  micap Aug 7 '13 at 22:26

Sometimes I feel this term UX is misleading in a way that it doesn't elaborate the importance and significance it has in the system development life cycle. I suggest it should be called "Success Designing" instead of "Experience Designing". I do not think anybody needs to put "Success" againt ROI to see if this is worth investment.

The other day I came across a person who almost had allergy with term UX "DESIGN". His point was that you cannot design experience, since experience is always in the minds of the users and what is in the minds of users is their preception and not your design. There is probebly no way to convince people like this and if they are the decission makers in the organization.

One of the approaches I suggest would be to engage such decission makers in the process itself and make them attend daily standups. One of the reasons they may want to lay-off UX is because they have been listening about it from a difference office but never saw its benefits as they happen. Same goes for Agile and the people who resist Agile are the ones who have never been part of it but after working under Agile, you cannot think of any better alternate development model. Same is the case with UX that people who may resist or neglect it are the ones who haven't seen the value and its contribution during the process and product development lifecycles.

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Neglecting UX after it's been in place will most likely lead to:

  • longer development cycles. All the usability work is left to development, management, QA and the customers (!), which is not their specialty -although they can be good at it, and which tend to report issues later in the process i.e.e when things are built.

  • frustrated customers who deal with an interface that is functional at best, instead of being engaging by providing a great experience.

  • greater disconnection between users and released features, assuming users were engaged in testing, feedback, etc.

  • giving competitors the opportunity to come up with a better user experience, and a better product.

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