Food for thought: Why UX Matters

As a mobile app consultant one of the things I struggle with is how to articulate the value of good User Experience (UX). Why should we do it? Why should clients pay for it? Etc. UX is hard to draw a box around. It’s difficult to quantify much less express in terms of ROI. Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that good UX is important. But why is it important?

The other day my colleague Jason and I were discussing my frustration with the customer service at the local McDonalds. Jason laughed at me and remarked: “No matter how bad the service gets, you’re still gonna go buy a Quarter Pounder”. Unfortunately, Jason’s right. I do love a Quarter Pounder w/Cheese. But what if there was another McDonald’s that was equidistant (or even further out) from our office with better service? Wouldn’t I go there instead? The answer is absolutely yes! Buy why?

If all I really care about is the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese, then why would my experience matter? To quote my 5-year-old nephew: “Because it does!”


Ponder this: How much would you pay for a great meal? How much more would you pay for a great experience?

We all want and deeply desire a good UX…in everything. Whether you’re purchasing a happy meal, an app, or a service, good UX is part of what we’re paying for.

In product development terms, the UX is part of what people are buying from you (even if your app or mobile site is free). No matter how compelling the vision, no matter how many great features you’ve built into the app, poor UX will send the user packing down the road — probably to your closest competitor.

So here’s my advice. Spend the time (and money) on the UX design of your apps. Think critically about how the UI and features will impact the UX of your users. I promise it will be well worth the effort and yield long-lasting returns.

Now if anyone needs me, I’m really in the mood for McDonalds!