How user experience impacts business - Part 2

In the first part we explained what UX actually is and why it matters for your business. The influence of UX and UI extends way beyond the look of the web system or mobile app. It can make the whole project (and whole startup) succeed by generating revenue and stable growth of the users and on the contrary, it can lead to the loss of customers and income.

In this part we will show you 7 success and warning stories from top companies including Expedia, Helpstay and British Telecom TV. Take a look at their cases and make sure to avoid their mistakes in your company.

1. Bank of America - increase in registered customers

The banking giant decided to fund a UX redesign in order to improve its online enrollment application for online banking. The main metric was the percentage of customers completing the process - the week the new registration form went live, that percentage nearly doubled, and exceeded the desired ROI benchmark.

Bank of America
Bank of America website

2. Vevo - conversion through subtraction

It’s always good to have a look back at your product to check if features can be taken out rather than added in. This example illustrates that revision is just as important as your backlog of new features. In this case, Vevo noted an increase in sign-ins and sign-ups just by dropping the steps on the onboarding slider.

Vevo website

3. Expedia - 12m$ fix

Subtraction also proved an efficient approach for the giant travel company. An optional form field with ‘Company Name’ among a bunch of other minor UX adjustments amounted to 12 million dollars of profit being lost before the fix. The main issue in the mentioned form was that the ‘Company Name’ field came after the ‘Credit Card’ input so users thought it was referring to the bank’s name and not their company.

courtesy of

4. Helpstay

Although for the most part the ‘less is more’ saying is true, at Software Brothers we found out that you should always test your hypotheses. When A/B testing a booking search, we took out the ‘from-to’ date inputs leaving just the country selector (the target group is pretty flexible when it comes to dates). To my surprise, we’ve noted users interacted with the search field 9,5% less than with the input group of country+date. Our interpretation of this was derivative of the fact that users spend most of their time on other sites, and at the time of the test all major booking sites included date fields.

In case you need some help with your design or you came across a UX issue that  seems impossible to solve - drop me a line! I will prove to you (and myself) that we can make it work! PM me: or use my Calendly!

HelpStay website

5. Netflix - engagement through personalization

The company now prepares a half dozen images for each and every video and tests these images themselves with a subset of its user base. The winners are then used as imagery for all of Netflix’s members. Video viewing increased between 20-30% for titles with images that have been chosen through these kinds of tests.


6. Virgin America - call center cost reduction

The redesign provided a whooping 20% decrease in web-related phone calls in the first two quarters of the new website running.

Virgin America
Virgin America website

7. British telecom TV

A redesign and relaunch of the BT TV service had an impressive effect on viewer metrics. Net Promoter Score (NPS), a key customer loyalty metric, improved by 7 points, seeing an 11% drop in dissatisfied customers and a 7% drop in customers likely to leave BT TV.

British telecom TV
British telecom TV

What can go wrong with UX?

Developing an app can be resource and cost intensive. In 2013 Avon terminated a $125 million software overhaul after the results showed that it was too difficult to use on the iPad. UX measurements done early on prototypes learn from users and re-validate these learnings as you progress with development. This way usability activities help you save making changes later on when it’s too expensive or too late. It’s easy to relate to sending an angry email by accident or or navigating tediously trying to find information on government sites, but costs aside bad design can have some very serious consequences.

In one case in Dallas, a switch of interface workflows made the hospital discharge a patient with the Ebola virus, while another contributed to the death of a patient when hydration doses where not distributed properly because the nurses tried to figure out how to operate the software. The designers you’re hiring should be aware of the responsibility they carry, design choices can really affect people’s lives for the better or worse.  

UX impact
Small changes can have huge impact

A leap of faith

When speaking to clients we came across some tough opinions on design. There was a conversation with a client that told us he tried a bunch of UX designers and he didn’t get any proof that the work they did influenced his business. He was expecting to see undoubtable data that the time they burned, equaled a certain amount of money made.

For a lot of designers it’s very tempting to give in to the notion that if I do “A” I’m sure “B” will happen. Saying that we can increase your conversion by more than 10% with a design sprint would be fantastic, but designers just shouldn’t have that kind of certainty. Design should be able to take risks and diverge.

Design related metrics are influenced by a lot of other business factors and the process, just like business models, requires trial and error, time for ideas to mature and a balance between humility and confidence.

According to a study done by Forrester, companies that invest in UX see a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention and increased market share. Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia lists design as one of the key factors of the success of Airbnb. Design just has a very wide spread impact on business, that’s nearly impossible to pin down to a specific number.

Final thoughts

Alan Cooper in his article mentioned earlier is pretty critical of making designers track ROI, but at the same time has no doubt about the value of design.

The value of interaction design is massive and awesome! You can see its value a mile away. Interaction design makes users love their products, and makes product managers look like heroes.

In Leah Buley’s report about the state of UX in 2016 when high-impact respondents were asked

— What measurable outcomes resulting from user experience are you most proud of?"

they gave responses like:

— Multimillion dollar increases in conversion and customer lifetime value.

By contrast, one low-impact respondent answered,

—We are moving so fast there has been no time or resources for testing/outcomes – even for small usability improvements.

That just shows there is really little to no excuse to not incorporate design in your workflow. Design tools are really trying to stay up to speed with the pace of the ever-changing industry. Not long ago, real-time collaboration, an integrated cloud, version control, responsive built-in and conversion from design to actual code were in the dream state. There has never been a time where businesses could benefit more and faster from good design.

Special thanks to Daniel Gościmiński, who helped us a lot while working on this post! Daniel, your knowledge, UI/UX expertise and insights were priceless. You're the MAN!
Software Brothers Team