How great UX can boost your business’ performance

Simon Read
By Simon ReadUX Designer
5 minutes to read

User experience (or UX) is a term which gets thrown around a lot in the world of web design, but do you understand what it actually is?

In the broadest sense, UX refers to the end-to-end experience of your customer. From finding your business, navigating your website, to making a purchase or accessing your services, as well as any communication afterwards.

By taking control of every single step of the customer’s experience and ensuring it’s as smooth and easy as possible, you can position your business ahead of the competition. We’ve taken a look at some great UX examples and have highlighted the ways you can apply these approaches to your own projects.

Make it convenient for your customers

Uber, the ride-sharing app has only been around since 2011 but has quickly risen to be one of the most popular ways to travel around towns and cities worldwide.

Love it or hate it, at the heart of Uber’s dominance is the mobile app which brings together a combination of features in an easy-to-use interface. This includes live location tracking of your taxi, information about your driver, travel time and fare estimates before you book as well as support for contactless payments like Apple Pay.

Uber combines several informative features into an easy-to-use interface

The interface is well thought out, a large ‘live’ map of taxis is front and centre when you open the app to make it quick and easy to use. All of this is bookended by a professional website that encourages you to download the free app, as well as a comprehensive support section if there are any problems along the way.

Uber was by no means the first to put these kinds of features into a taxi app, but it was one of the earliest to concisely bring them all together. This has led to its huge surge in popularity over the last few years, handling more than $20 billion in rides in 2016 alone.

While Uber’s operations may have its fair share of problems, the app itself is a great example of a strong user experience that has helped propel it far ahead of its competitors.

Keep the customer in the loop

Food delivery service Deliveroo takes a page out of Uber’s book by bringing together a range of powerful features and wrapping them in an easy-to-use package.

Existing names in the industry, like JustEat and Hungryhouse, had mobile apps that let customers order treats from their phones. But Deliveroo included additional layers of convenience, pushing it to the forefront. Push notifications to your phone when your order is out for delivery combined with live order tracking that updates all the way to your front door help to inspire confidence in the service and make it feel seamless.

Deliveroo position themselves as industry leaders by ensuring they're even easier to use than the competition

By using modern features and smoothing out every step of the customer journey – from ordering to delivery – Deliveroo has turned a great user experience into a market-leading position. So much so that it’s disrupted the takeaway delivery sector to the tune of £1.5b.

Seamless simplicity

Each of the businesses on this list have one thing in common: they were not the first to release an app within their industry. And Instagram is no exception.

Social networks, such as Facebook, have allowed users to share photos for years but these could easily get lost in your news feed among status updates, cat videos and Farmville game requests. When Instagram was launched in 2010, it put the photos at the forefront of the platform with very successful results. The mobile user experience was such a priority that web profiles weren’t available until 2012, two years after the app launched.

Instagram's emphasis on easy-to-use filters and social networking has powered it to over 800 million users

Even photo-centric websites like Flickr, which had a six year head start, have fallen behind. They failed to implement anything like Instagram’s creative filters and quick cropping, all of which help make your photos look far more vibrant, interesting and professional.

By taking an existing idea, simplifying it with an outstanding user experience and dramatically lowering the bar to entry, Instagram has managed to position itself as the pre-eminent photo social network today.

Listen to your customers

In 2016 Instagram blogged about changes to its photo feed of their 600 million users, which would now be ordered by its algorithm. The algorithm chose the ‘best’ snaps based on a combination of your relation to the user, the time they posted their photo and whether Instagram reckons you’ll be interested in it or not.

Instagram's decision to change to an algorithm-powered feed elicited some strong reactions

But the announcement wasn’t well-received, resulting in petitions for a return to the original chronological feed. Instagram eventually caved to user demand and now allows users to see newer posts.

These are just a few of our favourite user experience examples. Which other companies catch your eye? Let us know any that take your fancy in the comments below!

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Articles by Simon Read

Designer at Enjoy Digital. Interested in web and user interface design, and graphic design both online & offline.