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Ask GH: How important is UX in your growth hacking strategy?
Do you test and measure your site's user experience, or do you just focus on what will increase conversions?
UX is incredibly important to me, but I find it's one of the toughest areas to get addressed. It's not hard to put together experiments within the existing framework, but to get product, designers and the front end invested in incremental improvements to the experience—typically they would rather be building new functionality. So UX refinement (on the scale of moving elements, simplifying workflows, etc) takes a back seat because it's no hacking, it's a major undertaking.
Do you find the problem is that your designers and developers just don't have the bandwidth for UX refinement, even though they would love to do it? Or do they just not see it as a priority at all?
A little bit of everything. Partly because there is so much to build, it's hard to get support for refinement projects that have less visible ROI (especially in the short term). Partly because not all front end folks have a good understanding of UX--for instance, why adding a click is a bad thing, or how UI copy is so important. I'm in b2b so appeasing decision makers trumps delighting users. Perhaps that's how it should be?
If you're a SAAS you definitely want to consider conversion optimization to get the initial sales, and then UX to keep retention and reduce churn as @nichole mentioned.
I think it can sway one way or the other depending on where you are in the product lifecycle. If you're still trying to just get initial people in the door UX is important, but you need the initial conversions to even begin to worry about UX and retention.
UX > focusing on increasing conversions. Conversions don't necessarily equate to retention.
I can make people sign up for my product and even become a customer faster by removing distractions and making it SUPER easy for signup. That doesn't necessarily mean that they will stay. If I can't get them to stay than what's the point?
As soon as you get a customer in through conversion rate optimization methods, use that time to talk to them and figure out their need, why they chose your product and start tweaking your UX to fit your ideal customer. It seems like a lot of work and hard to focus on all at once but I think they go hand in hand to make sure you're not losing customers as quickly as you're gaining them.
I like this" Decide | Act | Think proactive UX
@nichole, I didn't quite get your answer. Could you elaborate it better?
Hi Ivan, Tiffany did well to elaborate on what I meant! :)
I think the question is what will double your growth? UX rarely does it for new startups. UX would come into play when you already have an established audience.
As per just about every reply here, Good UX is vital, if you want to sell something, it should look like its worth buying.
When selling a good UX will sell more than features, so yes put time and energy into good UX and good collateral.
Little late to the conversation here but this is an important question so figure I'd chime in.
I'm a firm believer that UX and CRO go hand in hand, not necessarily a one or the other proposition. Some of the most dramatic conversion rate winners I've seen have been the result of improving user experience (making an onboarding flow more intuitive, fixing a usability issue, etc).
Some UX related factors that I've seen dramatically boost conversion efforts:
- Long web forms - test splitting into smaller more logical steps, use progress indicators, etc...
- Smart use of modals / lightboxes to eliminate perceived friction
- CTA's copy at critical points in the funnel. Clear copy = good UX
- Navigation and IA - old school, but if people can't find critical information they need, good luck persuading them to try your product
- Using the principle of affordances - relying on trendy design elements like ghost buttons can cost conversions
- Readability - that full bleed image might look great, but so often I see site designers sacrifice readability for glitzy full screen background photos
- Onboarding checklists to promote a better FTUX
- Web form usability - are you relying on placeholder text for field labels? This can confuse users and harm conversions
- Validation errors - inline almost always work better
Of course, if you're talking more about improving UX of product features – agree with @Austin's point that product UX is more about improving engagement and retention once the initial signup conversion event takes place. But as we know the line between marketing UX and product UX are getting pretty blurry these days!
This is a great question. Here's where I have seen struggles between traditional UX folks and growth hackers.
a) Growth hackers are usually focused on something related to the north star like increasing MAU, DAU, or some other number associated with the size of the user base over time. Growth hackers know that there are only a few ways to increase your user base and that is through increased volume of acquisition and/or improved retention. There are things in the middle, but those are the two big buckets.
b) UX folks are typically focused more on qualitative testing or user research. Their success metrics are more on the user satisfaction side and use user testing as a proxy to what to do for the overall population.
Where I have seen problems with this setup in the follow scenario:
1) A growth hacker will find a win that increase one of the acquisition, activation or retention levers and it seems to sustain over time.
2) A UX designer will perform user testing on the change the growth hacker found and in their user testing, they had people say they didn't like it. "tests bad".
3) UX designer will block progress on the growth win, because their user testing showed that users don't like it.
4) The UX designer and growth hacker will argue until the end of time about what is the "north star".
5) The only changes that get pushed into production are ones that test positive from user testing, which may or may not have measurable growth wins.
6) While the product tests well, product growth stalls, UX designer are satisfied, growth hackers get frantic and worried.
While this may seem like a generalization, I have seen this happen many times exactly like this.
Have any of you seen this and what have you done about it?
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