In recent years, people have been spending more and more of their time in front of screens. This leads businesses, especially in the APAC region, to focus on online channels to reach potential customers. Siteefy indicates that there are nearly 200 million active websites around the world, with almost 252,000 new websites created every day. Such figures show the fierce competition among businesses in the online market. Given that, those expecting to stand out need to optimize their digital products in order to bring the best experience for their customers, in which the investment in UX Design cannot be ignored!
This blog will delve deeper into the primary reasons why businesses in today’s digital world, particularly in APAC countries, should prioritize UX designs. Let’s explore!
According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), there are 12 reasons leading to the failure of software products, and one of those is the deficiencies in setting requirements. When requirements are not well defined, the wrong problems might be prioritized. This causes a domino effect for the whole project!
In this scenario, UX experts can apply their research expertise, like usability testing or stakeholder interviews, to explore the problem space and frame the right problem. Once the problem is properly defined, UX professionals can come up with a suitable solution and create a list of requirements to actualize the solution. In software development, early UX investment can help businesses identify the core problem and establish proper improvement initiatives right from the start.
With proper UX investment, enterprises give their product teams a chance to explore the problems they’re hoping to solve, from different perspectives and analyze different scenarios and solutions. This leaves space for insight, allowing the product team to approach the product they’re developing from a new perspective and, in turn, leading to innovation.
Let’s take GrabFood, a food delivery service based in Southeast Asia, as an example. According to Jay Demetillo, Lead UX Designer at Grab, “GrabFood was a mess” in 2017, with little to no localization of each country’s culture on the app. However, GrabFood’s homepage has evolved incredibly after many iterations with strong insights from their user research sessions and A/B tests, which is currently scalable in many countries.
In the Indonesian market, a “Nearest to you” carousel section is added, displaying restaurants near users’ location. In a region that traffic congestion occurs commonly like Indonesia, this was especially significant as delivery times could range even up to 2-3 hours. Indicating the proximity of restaurants to users made the app more inclusive for this market.
UX helps businesses embrace the local preferences and then tailor their products according to that. Statista reveals that more than 83% of smartphones used in APAC are powered by Android operating systems, in which a large number, especially ASEAN citizens, are using very old devices. Such research shows the importance of software product optimizations for Android devices in this region.
In addition, the above example about Grabfood also demonstrates the importance of UX in tailoring products to local preferences. The e-business previously explored an interesting insight that Singaporean users tend to buy things from domestic businesses. This led them to a great customization initiative! They created a special category, called “Local Heroes”, listing all local F&B businesses operating on their app to adapt to the unique willingness of users only in the Singapore market.
An article written by Pabini Gabriel-Petit revealed that 51% of completed software projects are significantly behind schedule, over budget, and lack crucial features and requirements.
When UX experts take part in projects, they can outline necessary requirements and solutions via research. This brings practical value for businesses since they develop digital products in the APAC region with more than 3200 languages and dialects. As the text length on each digital interface needs to be concise, it is a tough challenge to display content in different languages with appropriate lengths while maintaining unique cultural characteristics.
Having a detailed UX plan right at the beginning, product leads and managers have the necessary information to plan out timelines accurately and minimize the possibility of arising problems. Project managers are also able to provide more accurate budgets to business leads, avoiding unexpectedly delaying in the implementation phase.
Creating a good UX design can certainly drive business’ growth. As a prominent example, Shopee, an e-commerce platform in ASEAN and East Asia regions, has shared about their cohesive design language system in a recent webinar. In particular, the digital products of Shopee are designed by a team with members sharing the same goal and respecting current designs in order not to disarranger user familiarity. In addition, Shopee designers prioritize usability and adopt a service mindset that puts the user in the center.
The practice of integrating a design system into building websites and apps contributes to Shopee’ current position as the leading e-commerce business in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. According to Statista, Shopee’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) hit $19 Billion in the second quarter of 2022.
In short, the participation of UX Experts in the product development process is vital to businesses operating in the APAC region, which is home to several different languages and cultural backgrounds. Building digital products with excellent UX Design help businesses not only win user satisfaction or gain more profits but also facilitate innovation.