If you are a start-up in the tech space or a business looking to re-design your website you may find yourself asking “do I need a UX designer?”
Whilst the answer is yes you will need a UX designer on board, I wanted to share with you exactly how UX design can make a BIG difference to your conversions and profits. This will be especially helpful when planning your budget and ROI.
Let’s start with “what is UX design?”
UX design is the intuitive experience of your digital platform or SaaS. The bit that makes users say “Wow, this app makes my life so much easier” or “Wow, I found exactly what I was looking for”.
UX designers take your idea and create those crucial elements that go unnoticed by the user, allowing them to seamlessly navigate your product and create habits around using it. Essentially, they put the customer first in your design.
Frank Chimero, founder of Abstract once said, “People ignore design that ignores people.” This is absolutely true. If you fail to understand your customer and serve them what they need in a way that makes sense for them to use, your digital product will fail!
If you want to dive deeper into what UX design is, then I recommend reading our free guide “What is UX design”. This will give you a full understanding of the essential steps in the UX design process.
Read more: What does a UX designer do? A newbies guide
So, what does a UX designer bring to the table?
I’m glad you asked…
A good UX designer can bring you a wealth of ROI, both in profits and conversions. So, let me explain.
There are four main problems every app startup faces:
- creating a steady stream of monthly signups, which contribute to monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
- keeping those clients over the longer term (maintaining a low churn rate)
- automating customer service touch points to avoid rising costs and attributing to churn
- delivering on set key performance indicators (KPIs) in an agreed time frame with investors
Good UX design can help you solve all of these issues because it:
- onboards clients quickly and intuitively, creating habit-forming processes that entice your client (the user) to use the app or product regularly
- creates a value proposition at every stage of the customer journey, increasing conversions from trial to paid plans and upgrades
- excitingly introduces features based on what your client needs and is most likely to stay logged in to use
- reduces ticket numbers, through easy-to-find information touchpoints
- is collaborative at all stages, meaning investors are never in the dark about what development stage you are at and where their money is going
A designer at the beginning of the process might feel like a BIG investment, but they pay for themselves when you look at conversion rates and MRR. It is estimated that every $1 invested in UX design results in a $100 return – pretty impressive really!
How long will I need to hire a UX designer for my project?
A UX designer is as essential to your tech team during life-cycle upgrades, as they are at the very beginning. But they don’t have to sit on your payroll month to month. Hiring a team of UX designers, like us here at Strafe Creative, allows you to access up-to-the-minute skills and experience for your project.
In terms of development phases, the UX design process starts at the research and concept stages, leading your design through to handover to a UI designer, or development team (the coding or realisation stage, essentially). This is also true when you decide to add more features, a UX designer should be involved in the research and concept to the pre-coding stage.
How much will a UX designer cost?
As a business, there are several ways you can engage a UX designer: freelance, agency and in-house.
Freelance UX designers
Hiring a freelancer can be cost-effective for smaller start-ups, or product updates and can be a great addition to a larger team, especially if you are clear on the skillset you are looking for.
Freelance UX designers typically charge per hour or by the project, which starts at an average of £25 per hour (£48,150 per annum), according to CareerFoundry. They are also easy to hire as and when you need them, giving you flexibility in terms of work and cost.
Top freelancers will have honed their skills over many successful projects, which gives you a great advantage when it comes to implementing those key elements that will keep your users signed up, increasing your MRR.
UX design agency
A UX design agency will provide you with a complete team for your project, covering all the skill bases you need to deliver your finished product. They typically charge based on project scope, which is great for larger and more detailed projects.
Agencies have built their team base over time, allowing them to adapt to each project and each client just as a football team would face its next opponent. This agility is great for the design process, especially if your organisation also works in reiterative sprints. More of the right hands on deck and working in sprints allow you to collaborate more effectively, delivering the final design quicker – helpful for keeping investors happy too.
In-house UX design team
Of course, you can build your own in-house UX design team.
User experience isn’t going anywhere. In almost every industry those who think customer experience first have a competitive advantage, so it makes sense to consider when and where you would employ a UX designer to work exclusively on your audience, enhancing your digital platform.
The great benefit here is the ability to pivot team members to new and more pressing projects quickly. The size of your in-house UX design team will ultimately be based on budget and downtime between projects.
What to look for when hiring a UX designer
Due diligence to consider when hiring your designer(s):
- similar case studies
- skill sets and continued education
- how they approach user research
- can they produce experiential design work that helps investors understand and see clear deliverables and KPIs in action?
- can they problem-solve effectively?
- can they fit seamlessly into your existing team?