Comparing Apples and Peaches: Why great UX is important for business success
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Mar 17, 2015 | Updated Jun 11, 2024

Comparing Apples and Peaches: Why great UX is important for business success


In today’s digital landscape, user experience (UX) has become an increasingly important aspect of business success. Clients expect products and services to meet their needs and be easy and enjoyable. But what goes into creating a great user experience? That’s where UX operations and UX research operations come in. UX and operations cannot succeed without each other. The right operation gives rise to great UX, yet great UX is necessary to build a business operation that is profitable, sustainable, and growing.

What is UX?

UX ia a person’s overall experience interacting with a product or service, such as a website, mobile app, or physical product. It encompasses every aspect of user interaction, including visual design, ease of use, accessibility, performance, and emotional response. Good UX is intuitive and considers the client’s goals and objectives.

Why is UX important for business success?

UX directly impacts clients’ satisfaction and loyalty. Well-designed UX can create a domino effect of benefits, all of which contribute to a business’s bottom line and help achieve its UX business goals. Here's a list of benefits that explains how UX design helps businesses:

Increased client satisfaction

A product or service with great UX reduces frustration and increases client satisfaction, making it easier for clients to accomplish their tasks and goals. A well-designed UX can also create a sense of delight and even client loyalty, improving trust and credibility as clients have confidence in the brand and what it offers.

Improved brand loyalty

Clients who have a positive experience with a brand’s product or service are likelier to remember and recommend it to others, leading to increased loyalty. A user-friendly and enjoyable UX can differentiate a product or service from competitors, making clients more likely to stick with it over time.

Higher conversion rates

A well-designed and easy-to-use UX can reduce barriers to entry, making it more likely that users will follow through with their intended actions. Great UX can provide a clear and compelling value proposition, helping users understand the benefits of taking the desired action and leading to higher conversion rates.

Reduced support costs

Great UX provides clear and concise instructions and guidance, reducing the need for users to seek external support. A well-designed UX makes it easier for users to navigate and use the product or service effectively, helping prevent issues before they occur. Reducing the likelihood of user errors or confusion can lead to a decrease in support requests and associated costs.

Increased revenue and profits

The impact of the benefits above steamrolls into increased revenue and profits. Happy clients, strong brand loyalty, lower support costs, and higher conversion rates can all positively impact a business’s bottom line, increasing revenue and profits over time.

Examples of UX — comparing apples and peaches

UX operations focus on streamlining and optimizing the design process, while UX research operations focus on understanding user needs and preferences. By examining real-life examples of both, we can better understand what makes for a great UX and how it can contribute to business success. Let’s explore two examples of UX and UX research operations, both good and bad.

In the past, these two events took place:

Peach delivery moved its drop-off point for our Seattle office.
Apple announced new details about Watch.

Peach delivery

Peach delivers lunches daily to offices in Seattle. If you subscribe to Peach, you will get a daily text with details about your office’s available lunch. You just need to reply by 11:00 a.m. and lunch is delivered.

At its best, Peach is a great experience: good food, delivered at a consistent time, with minimal effort. However, the service only works if enough people within an office opt to both sign up for it and regularly have a lunch delivered. When too few people choose to have lunch delivered on a regular basis, Peach’s business model begins to fail, and consequently so does the UX.

This last week our Peach service was downgraded. For whatever reason, the number of Blinkers ordering lunch from Peach fell to a point that the service moved the drop off point to an office one floor up.

While the difference in distance is seemingly negligible (a short elevator ride), the change in experience has been dramatic. Now, rather than having lunch waiting in our kitchen, on a busy day one needs to cross the chasm into a strange space, navigate her way into a stranger’s kitchen, and hope that someone hasn’t mistakenly taken her lunch.

Needless to say, fewer people in our office now find Peach a compelling service. They’d rather run out of the building, pack their own lunches, or make do on peanut M&Ms and granola bars. The link between Peach’s operations and its UX becomes obvious: A business dependent on both scale and UX begins to lose both once one is downgraded, and a downward spiral is set in motion.

Apple watch

I know it is more than redundant to write about how Apple provides a great UX. However, I think what gets little attention is how the seemingly less interesting side of its business (i.e., boring business operations) works with the company’s more press-worthy side — i.e., cool new products.

While the Peach example above highlights how UX and operations can tie themselves into a downward spiral, Apple Watch appears to be the result of UX and operations moving together in an upward motion. This upward motion is evidenced by Apple’s growing ecosystem of users, apps, devices, and its own business operations.

The case, or promise, of Apple Watch is that it will do for interactions in our physical world what iPhone did for online interactions. However, this promise is dependent on a sustainable ecosystem. Ben Thompson articulated this well on episode 37 of the podcast Exponent:

[block quote]

For Apple Watch to have a great UX, a large ecosystem must develop that includes both technologies — i.e., apps and connected devices — and clients. The presence of both creates an upward spiral — if either begins to degrade, both suffer, and the premise of the entire product begins to fail. To Apple’s credit it has spent a long time building an ecosystem, including its own operations, that makes this sort of device possible.

Comparing apples and peaches

Achieving the upward spiral of both scale and UX is a fundamental problem any developing technology faces. For any team this raises a series of questions:

How do you build a growing ecosystem?
How do you use it for new opportunities?
How do you leverage the ecosystems built by other firms?
These are questions that won’t be addressed only through wireframes or usability tests, but are essential to creating the ever-necessary great UX that clients now expect. Answering them requires careful analysis of the issues people face and their own personal contexts.

One of the less emphasized messages of Clayton Christensen’s work on Disruption Theory is that business models are technologies themselves that have user experiences tied to them. Figuring out how to make that combination work is challenging, but necessary.

Transform your UX design with Blink

Great UX is not just a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have for any successful business. Prioritizing and leveraging UX operations and research help businesses create products and services that meet client needs and drive success. Whether you’re a small startup or a large corporation, investing in UX is crucial for staying competitive in today’s digital age.

Blink uses evidence-driven design to create products people use, love, and remember. Get in touch to find out what we can do together.

1 Thompson’s articulation of what he meant by fundamental ways: “Apply it to your car lock, apply it to your badge at work — everyone has to carry a badge around and badge-in and stuff like that. Apply it to payments, Apple Pay is great, it’s that much greater when your arm’s right there by the terminal where you have to pay. All of these places where you have any sort of identity or you want light to turn on. There is all this stuff, we do mechanical stuff that seems obvious to now, what’s the value? But there’s a scenario where it’s made way better by knowing that you’re around and knowing who you are and has an identity function.”