Dear UX designers : you keep doing “beautiful”, I’ll focus on profitable

Dear UX designers : you keep doing “beautiful”, I’ll focus on profitable

I’ve a pretty clear view of what I do – I design experiences that are effective and profitable. What drives me is creating something that gets the customers to where they need to be as quickly as is comfortable and as profitably as is reasonable. Time and again my clients have described me as “commercially minded” because of my focus on revenues and profits.

Yet so many UX professionals I come across use words like “beautiful” and “attractive” in their portfolios. Their propositions seem to be based on how clever they can show themselves to be, their mastery of animation or the amazing Javascript app they built.

So what?

As one of my early clients said, “It can be a great looking website, but if it doesn’t pay for itself who gives a shit?”

Compared to some my designs are somewhat flat and I’ve even been accused of being “uninspiring”. But they work. They’re driven by function, by finding what customers find useful and optimising it. They provide a solid, manageable baseline that can be iterated against to gradually lift whatever metric is being used to drive top and bottom lines.

(And in a couple of cases that’s been by ripping out the “beautification” animations and effects left behind by my predecessors).

So yes, UX designers, please continue to proclaim your focus is on creating “beautiful experiences”. I shall continue to focus on the intersection between utility for the customer and profit for my client.

About Ross A Hall

A business researcher and writer, I help companies find new markets, form strategies and build successful businesses.

Find out more about my work.

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