I’ve recently had some interesting discussions with developers about user experience, and how it affects project costs. There seems to be two quite opposite ways of thinking.
Many times people think that “adding UX” will increase the costs. I think that “applying UX” will decrease the costs. And I fully agree with both statements! So, what’s the difference?
The difference is that if you are “adding UX” at the end of your development process, it will certainly increase your implementation costs. In most cases it would mean re-coding parts of the app or even rearranging the entire architecture due to some fundamental problems you or your users encounter.
If instead you start each new app project by sketching things on paper, trying out UI flows, and trying more than one approach for reaching the goals, you are more likely to find a better way to structure your app. Most importantly, you’ll do so right from the start!
So why would the second approach be cheaper? Because it doesn’t take too much time (or money, for that matter) to draw some app views on paper, try them out, and if they don’t work, toss the paper in the garbage bin. But if you spent even a couple of days coding, and then somebody tells you that it simply isn’t working, it’s a lot harder to toss the code away.
One final thought: if you don’t do any user testing for your prototype or app before launch, and just finalise and submit to the Store to get user feedback, it will be too late. If there really is something wrong with your app structure, your app will get poor ratings, and it’s really hard to make up for the lost customers. Not impossible, but definitely hard. And slow.
What do you think?
P.S. Some links related to the topic you might want to check out:
-Design great UX – Our very simplified “design process in a nutshell”
-Designing apps – Jan’s webinar recording
-Cost-Justifying Usability – A book by Randolph G. Bias and Deborah J. Mayhew