At first sight, the deeply empirical science of user experience design, and growth hacking, a loosely structured sub-field of marketing, seemingly don’t have a lot in common. They do, however, share common goals in the larger scheme of things, and complement one another in a number of ways. When executed to perfection, the convergence of UX design and growth hacking has been known to result in an explosive combination. Something that can shift the gears in an up-and-coming startup, while kick-starting an unstoppable viral chain that can last months, if not years.
UX designers rarely work with, or even discuss issues with the marketing team, their role is largely confined to the product side, particularly on design. In this article, we provide a brief primer on why this has to change and the monumental benefits that startups stand to gain by converging UX design with their growth marketing playbook.
Understanding The Role of UX Design In Marketing
UX design and marketing are essentially two sides of the same coin, with the coin in this case being sales and revenues. The UX designer, as the name implies, makes use of various tried and tested design principles to improve the overall experience of the product, by making it more accessible, efficient, and easy to use, among other things. Marketing, on the other hand, as most of you no doubt already know, deals with making target audiences and customers aware of the product or service. While both these roles have different objectives and performance metrics to target, there are a few instances where they overlap.
Starting with conversion rate optimization (CRO) where the buck stops with UX designers to ensure an enticing, user-friendly interface that results in conversions, along with marketers, and their ability to drive targeted traffic, with a high probability of resulting in conversions. This is followed by a few other key metrics, such as the churn rate, or the rate at which customers stop subscribing to a product or service, along with bounce rate, which refers to the percentage of visitors to a page who leave within a few seconds, with no other recorded activity.
The Convergence of UX Design & Growth Hacking
Apart from these, there is a slew of other qualitative metrics that have overlapping dependencies across marketing and design. This makes it absolutely critical for the design team to work with marketers, and vice versa, in order to successfully hit a few common goals and objectives. While the convergence of marketing and UX design stands to add substantial value to a product or service, this value is exponentially higher when the former is paired with growth hacking.
At its core, growth hacking refers to an unorthodox, below-the-line product marketing strategy that results in rapid growth for a startup. These are often creative, low-cost strategies that bring targeted traffic and leads, helping a new product or service gain traction quickly. While the traffic generation strategies that are part of growth hacking can do absolute wonders for a startup, their true potential, however, lies in how they are received. Without the right landing page, order intake form, or customer onboarding, all part of UX design, the hordes of traffic that come from growth hacking will only stand to wither away over time.
With the right UX features, virality can essentially be built into a product, such that the initial traction gained via extensive growth hacking, will snowball into a larger referral audience over time. There are a handful of companies that have successfully achieved this, and they continue to reap steady rewards from this strategy.
At the end of the day, a bad user experience means that no matter how much traffic your site receives, conversions will always be lackluster. UX designers and marketers have a lot to offer to businesses when they work in conjunction with each other, and it is a shame that most don’t see eye-to-eye, or are often even at loggerheads with one another, leaving plenty of value on the table.