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What are the pros and cons of Data Driven UX Design?

Author: Marvin Kolb

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Sep 2023

You already know that Data Driven UX Design can improve your product with the help of data, but you want to get to know the advantages and disadvantages in order to be able to assess whether the solution offered also fits your specific case?

In this article, we will show you what Data Driven UX Design, or 3DUX® for short, can and cannot do. This list of advantages and disadvantages should help you to decide whether you can potentially benefit from Data Driven UX Design or not.

 

A few words about the basics:

Before we dive into the pros and cons of Data Driven UX Design, we’ve linked you back to the basics here:

In “Usability and User Experience Design for Expert Interfaces – How to do it right?” you’ll learn the step-by-step process of our 3DUX® process.

The article “From UX Testing to User Interface Design” explains how 3DUX® takes you from UX testing to a fully fleshed-out user interface design that is perfectly tailored to the user.

We are sure that Data Driven UX Design can guarantee better products and therefore a measurable increase in product success. Nevertheless, it is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. There may always be circumstances where 3DUX® is not the right solution. Let’s start with the pros and cons so you can make your own decision about whether Data Driven UX Design is the right approach for you and your needs.

 

The Pros of Data Driven UX Design

Let’s get to the benefits. What can Data Driven UX Design do and when is it the right solution for you?

 

Pro 1: Decisions are data-driven, not based on gut feeling

If you make important design decisions based on gut feeling, you run a very high risk of developing a product that does not satisfy the user group in many (possibly very important) aspects. Only those who base their design decisions on real user data know that they are developing a product that meets the requirements and wishes of the target group.

 

Pro 2: Long discussions about design decisions are a thing of the past

Often, different departments have different views on design decisions. This can end in lengthy discussions in which all sides insist on their ideas. The development process is inhibited and unnecessarily stressful for everyone involved.

With clear user data, it is very easy to argue convincingly for or against design decisions. Data Driven UX Design can therefore significantly simplify the decision-making process and give all departments the certainty that they have made the right decisions.

 

Pro 3: You can take the right direction early in the development process

If you test ideas, variants and approaches as early as possible in the development process, you can use UX testing to quickly find out which product variants will find acceptance among real users and which can be discarded.

If this happens at an early stage of your product, adjustments and restructurings can be made cheaply and quickly. If you notice that users do not accept a product that is almost finished, the costs and effort for a redesign are much higher.

So even in the development process, you get user feedback on whether your product is on the right track, or whether you need to adapt it. The data also gives you specific ideas for improvement. If a product is not accepted by users, Data Driven UX Design lets you know exactly why this is the case and how you can improve the product.

With Data Driven UX Design, you avoid getting negative customer feedback at launch. Negative reviews and testimonials about your product not only hurt you financially, they also attack your brand image. Accordingly, it’s best to let user testing point out flaws rather than clients who are dissatisfied with a product.

 

Pro 4: Data Driven UX Design is Made for Complex Applications

If your User Interface is going to solve very complex tasks, it is even more important that the design is able to present this complex content in the clearest and tidiest way possible. Especially if your user interface is going to be used in hectic, noisy and stressful places.

With Data Driven UX Design, you can quickly figure out the most important and critical user steps and, through deep user understanding, present them in the simplest way possible, without distractions.

 

Pro 5: One user interface, many user groups: Data Driven UX Design helps to adapt a product to many user groups

Many user groups have correspondingly many requirements and needs. With Data Driven UX Design, different groups can be understood. The user interface must then be tested with different user groups. The goal is to adapt to all requirements and competencies of the different users while maintaining clarity and good usability of the user interface.

An example of a complex user interface with a very wide range of applications (from weighing flour in industrial dough production to weighing containers on a crane) is the innovative CONiQ weighing system from Schenck Process. Here we have managed to design an easy-to-use user interface for several (very different) user groups. You can find out more about CONiQ in our case study.

 

Pro 6: A deeper customer understanding through Data Driven UX Design is enormously important for products with successor generations

If you want to constantly improve your product after launch to stay competitive or if you are already thinking about follow-on products, then it is essential for you to deeply understand and know your user group(s).

Follow-on products and improved product variants benefit greatly from the user understanding that comes from Data Driven UX Design. In addition, user research yields clear metrics and benchmarks that allow you to make clear statements about whether a follow-on product is truly an improvement over a previous version (or not).

When a product grows over time and gets more and more applications, you want to both not scare away old clients and inspire new ones. You can achieve this balancing act with well-integrated 3DUX®. With the right user research, you will find out early in the process whether your product manages to entice already established users with improvements, while new users find it easy to get started with your product.

 

Pro 7: 3DUX® creates a low error rate with high user enthusiasm.

You need feedback from real users about your product. When you guess user needs, you seldom hit the mark. So user research must be done with real users to measurably improve the user experience of a product. Data Driven UX Design puts user data at the center of product design to ensure high user engagement.

The usability of a product is improved in the iterative test runs of the 3DUX® process until the most important operating steps can be executed error-free by the users.

The end result of the Data Driven Design process is a product with a high level of user enthusiasm and outstanding usability.

 

Pro 8: You have the evidence that you have done everything possible to ensure the success of your product

You can also prove internally that you have taken the steps necessary to improve the product as effectively as possible. Should you need to prove that you did everything you could to make the product a success, the results of the Data Driven UX Design process will provide you with data that you can use to justify your product design decisions.

 

Pro 9: Data Driven UX Design can provide you with Unique Selling Points for your marketing

Do you want to know the features that will sell your product best? If you test with real users right from the beginning of the development process, you will gain very important insights into which features in your own product are perceived as most important by the target group. And you can do this at a very early stage, so that you have the opportunity to make these very features even better with the help of data, in order to gain greater advantages for your product and your own marketing.

 

The cons of Data Driven UX Design

Now let’s move on to the disadvantages of Data Driven UX Design. Among them are situations and circumstances where 3DUX® is simply not the right solution.

 

Con 1: 3DUX® costs time and money and these resources must be available

Time and money are two factors that should be planned for and used. Especially if you want to work with experts.

On the other hand, early integrated Data Driven UX Design saves time and money. The following applies: the earlier it is integrated, the greater the time and money savings. The development process is quickly steered in the right direction by the user data. This saves time-consuming reorientation and all efforts in product design are guaranteed to contribute to a better product.

If you have only realized shortly before the market launch that user research is needed for your own product, it may be too late for this. Especially if user research is to be done without the will to change the own product. This is where the next disadvantage arises.

 

Con 2: 3DUX® is an agile approach and requires the right mindset

If you are rock solidly convinced of your product idea and resist any criticism of it, then 3DUX® is the wrong method for you.

You need to approach user testing with the right mindset. You want to learn, and you learn first and foremost through feedback on mistakes. However, if you learn from negative user feedback, you will soon have an improved product that will stand the test of time.

Accordingly, you must also be willing to learn from user feedback and adapt your product. With each iterative test run, your product prototype will produce feedback to which you must respond agilely in product design.

 

Con 3: Data Driven UX Design requires real users – but they are not always easy to find

Without real users, there are also no valid results on the usability and user experience of your product. However, the more specialized your target group is, the more difficult it can be to recruit them for user testing. Here, you may have to resort to professional Data Driven UX Design agencies that work with internal recruiters and have built up large databases of potential users – but also reckon with the effort this entails.

 

Con 4: You need expertise to perform the UX testing

The right methodology and proper execution of testing are essential to the success of Data Driven UX Design. Accordingly, you need a lot of expertise for choosing the methodology and conducting the user testing. Also, the correct “translation” of user data into an improved User Interface Design requires some prior knowledge and intuition.

In addition, good Data Driven UX Design is interdisciplinary. A good team should consist of human experts (e.g. psychologists, sociologists) and “design” experts (e.g. engineers, UX designers). Expert personnel are not always easy to find or sufficiently represented in one’s own company.

 

Con 5: If you need an agency, it must be a good fit for you

Often, 3DUX® integrated into product development means long-term collaboration with external experts such as an agency. After all, you want to build on the User Research and User Interface Design already done for subsequent products as well. Accordingly, you need experts / an agency that fits you and your requirements. Everything must also be right in terms of people. As a little help, we have compiled “10 criteria with which you can immediately compare UX agencies“.

The most important thing for you is to be able to quickly assess whether experts / agencies really work data-driven! In an initial meeting, you can also recognize a very good agency by whether it blindly agrees to all your suggestions or comes up with independent (methodical) ideas on how to pragmatically and unerringly improve your product.

 

Con 6: Late-applied 3DUX® as a marketing tool is the wrong approach

Data Driven UX Design integrated early in the development process can, as already listed, generate important Unique Selling Points of your product and improve them in a targeted manner. That this results in clear advantages for marketing is clear.

However, if you only want to use 3DUX® at the end of product development to find out Unique Selling Points for your marketing without having improved your own product with real users beforehand, you might be disappointed. In most cases, these can only be generated after the Data Driven UX Design process.

 

Conclusion

Now you know the main advantages and disadvantages of Data Driven UX Design. For some, 3DUX® may not be the right solution. We also try to get to know our counterpart and their specific case in personal get-to-know conversations, to understand, but most importantly to see if and how we can help.

If we are of the opinion that our 3DUX® approach cannot help a client, then we say so clearly and do not even let it come to a cooperation.

Do you want to find out in a personal conversation if Data Driven UX Design fits you and your product? Then we would like to invite you to arrange a free introductory meeting with us. Here you can describe your specific case and get an assessment from us on how we can help you.

Please contact us via our contact form. We are looking forward to meeting you!

 

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