Whether you run an innovative start-up or a small family business, regardless of the business you are in, chances are user experience will matter. Essentially, user experience (UX) is the experience that consumers are getting when they interact with your brand. UX design is about thinking how to make that experience even better for your customers.

UX design can means optimising the small details to ensure that your business achieve more. Even the presentation of buttons and wordings on your website, can be effectively optimised in providing you more sales.

How consumers perceive your brand, can have a direct impact on your bottom line. Consumers with positive experiences will lead to more fulfilled actions, referrals and repeat business. This is why the focus on user experience design can help to grow your business.

Interactions increasingly happen digitally

Consumer interaction with brands are increasingly happening online and digitally. With a single swipe, we are able to easily transfer money to anyone in the world. We are no longer bounded by the physical constraints.

Many services have steadily transit from the physical realm to the digital world. Take banking as an example, we no longer need to visit a bank teller to make a cash withdrawal or open a savings account. We simply make a cash withdrawal with an ATM, that interaction itself is made through a digital interface.

This shift from human interaction to digital interfaces, means that consumer experience of a brands is increasingly dependent on their digital experience.

The first touchpoint for consumers can often be a visit to a brand website. How the website presents itself can already set the expectations in the mind of the customer.

Thus, it is important that businesses are able to provide consistently good service online and offline. By having a seamless experience that consumer can enjoy both on the digital platform and in stores.

Good user experience is now a basic requirement

When I talk to friends who are iPhone users, they often explain to me how they enjoy the simplicity of using it. It is almost unthinkable for them to switch out of the Apple ecosystem.

Once people are exposed to good user experience, they are often hooked. Their expectation increased and they would expect nothing less from other brands.

Even if your business does provide a good service, when competitors are able to deliver great service, good might not be good enough. The consumer expectation would expect great service to become the norm not the exception.

A quality product is no longer a guarantee that it sells. How businesses market and deliver the brand experience are equally important.

Shift from product to services

People no longer need to own certain physical products. They are often able to get service solutions for their problems. You can now store your contacts in the cloud and access them through your phone. Removing the need of physical address book or name cards.

From bike sharing apps, video streaming to cloud storage services. The sharing economy also meant that how these services are delivered is just as important.

Design is the ultimate battleground for global competition in the 21st century.

Lee Kun-hee, chair of Samsung Group

Consumers are increasingly distracted by the amount of things fighting for their attention. Businesses need to provide high-quality UX that can simplify the experience. If users cannot get what they want or even feel frustrated, they might not come back again.

For businesses, it is therefore important to be user focused, designing experiences that is a joy to use. It can be the compelling reason for customers to reach for your product instead of a competitor.

Figuring out moments where users can get irritated and moments that add value, that is what user experience is about. Customers preference for your product also translates to value creation for the company.