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Aug 9, 2021

UX as a key to success

Why investments in user experience pay off

Manufactoring industry faces constant challenges: Standing out from global competition is increasingly difficult. The digital transformation turns tried and tested business models upside down and creates new competition. One key to mastering all of this is usability and user experience (UX). So it's no wonder that, according survey carried out by the Association of German Machine and Plant Manufacturers VDMA, user experience (UX) and usability are THE most important digitalization issues.Despite this fact, UX is only too often neglected. Find out how good UX can sustainably increase your company’s success.

Good design = Good business

Companies that focus on simple and high-quality design succeed better, as numerous studies and statistics show: According to McKinsey, design-centered companies were much faster in boosting their revenues (+32 %) and total return (+56 %) than their industry peers.* Brands that focus on simplicity and simple user experience fare much better than their competitors worldwide: The 10 “simplest” brands such as Google, Spotify or Netflix outperformed the average of other brands by 679 %.** And this is not surprising, since more than 55% of users are willing to pay more for a product with a simpler user experience.** But what is the reason behind the increasing significance of UX? And what specific added value do investments in user experience offer?

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Avoid taking wrong turns

Human-centered design means integrating users into the development process from the start. In the ideation and analysis phase, user research will bring insights into the requirements the users have for the product, e. g. what functions they consider valuable. This allows your development team to focus on this functionality without investing time in unnecessary features. Continued user research helps you gear your portfolio towards the needs of the machine users, constantly optimizing your product. In this process, user research ensures that you do not lose the market out of sight, guaranteeing a high level of acceptance for your machines.

Reduce development costs

Getting regular user feedback on concept and design pays off, even when you have already started developing. This uncovers usability and design issues at an early stage, avoiding costly amendments during or after implementation. Every cent that you invest in early user feedback will yield manifold returns, as the following estimate shows: According to Forrester, every dollar spent on fixing a problem in the design phase equals 5 dollars during development and 30 dollars after the product launch.*** So investing in early user feedback saves you time and money in the long run.

More productivity

In mechanical engineering, operating errors often have grave consequences—from standstills to waste of raw materials or machine damage. Good UX avoids errors and increases efficiency since users work more effectively, efficiently and precisely the better a machine is tailored to their requirements, tasks and working environment. With large staff numbers and repetitive tasks, the savings increase exponentially. Some of our clients were able to raise their productivity and efficiency by 20 to 30 % thanks to human-centered measures.

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Lower training costs

The easier it is for users to work with your system, the lower the need for training and documentation. Because products with an intuitive operation are fast and easy to familiarize with. Thanks to good usability and cross-machine design of the user interface, one of our clients was able to reduce the training time required for machine operators from two days to just a few hours. Moreover, intuitive HMIs that are easy to familiarize with are also safe to use for less well-trained or semi-skilled staff members – an additional plus considering the severe lack of skilled workers in mechanical engineering.

Motivated staff

When there is a shortage of skilled labor, a machine has to be an attractive workplace because employees spend a large part of their working day with software and machines. If this turns out to be a negative experience, it will impact their job satisfaction. Working with a machine has to be fun, and the HMI has to convey a sense of innovation. Because machine operators know appealing user interfaces from their everyday experience with consumer devices, and they transfer their experience with smartphones etc. to their working environment. Our study “Emotional Design for HMIs” shows the importance of positive user experience at work: Users want to perceive themselves as being competent and effective. If a product contributes to this feeling by allowing them to work faster, require less help or finding it easier to manage a task, they will be more motivated and satisfied.

User experience as a competitive edge

In today’s globalized world, customers have access to numerous products with similar functionality. This is why high quality and meeting technical requirements alone isn’t enough to convince users. Instead, usability and user experience are more and more decisive for market success. The HMI is a product’s showpiece and the touch point between the user and the product. A good UX makes your product stand out from its competitors, increases customer loyalty with your brand and raises your brand image. In this context a survey conducted by Forrester Research revealed that a positive user experience reduces the risk of customers opting for a competitor’s product by 15.8 %.

Future-proof products tanks to UX

In addition to business success and a positive working experience, investments in UX bear another important advantage: They ensure that your company remains ready for the future. The human-centered approach creates the necessary leeway for innovation and helps you master the challenges of the digital transformation.Would you like to know how user-friendly your HMI currently is? In an HMI review, our UX experts analyze your HMI and give you decisive impulses for optimizing your product and making it a success.