UX Surgeries — Interesting Differences in B2B v/s B2C World

4 March 2016 by Shivam Sahai No comments

User experience design has really seeped deep into both enterprise and the consumer digital world. This has resulted in some interesting observations in terms of how clients/product owners respond of UX services, depending on whether the product undergoing UX surgery falls into B2B or a B2C category.

Let’s talk about the B2B products: This landscape is changing and changing really fast. Competition is aggressive, and B2B companies have realized UX can give them a lead in the competitive landscape. Consumerisation of UX is on the roll; product owners no more want to continue with the ugly face of their products. They are open to design companies who can perform a complete UX surgery on their products. They are open to relook at the product strategy, they are open to relook at the information architecture, they are really open to new freshness UX designers bring on the table. In short, they want to simplify the legacy which has grown into a beast. Unlike in the B2C world, enterprise product owners have a slightly upper hand. Their users are ‘paid’ to use the product. Whether the surgery is forced down-the-throat of the end users or is welcomed by them, they do not have the option to not use the product. Keeping the pessimism aside; 99.9% times a UX surgery is like fresh air and elevates the user experience to a next level.

Let’s talk about the B2C products: This is a different landscape altogether, and for a reason. It’s about money, it’s about revenues. It’s like touching a live wire. Consumers have all the reasons to switch to competing products without a second thought. In such context, you got to be careful. B2C product owners, for this reason, are normally apprehensive about design revamps. Nobody wants to see a negative impact on their customer base. As a UX consultant, this game can pose some new challenges in front of you. You can get too constrained to try out new things. In such cases, it’s your responsibility to educate your clients about possible ways to make the transition happen, to rationalize your design suggestions. It’s up to you to know the rules of the game, strategize the transition to help your client meet the business objectives and grow their customer base, and progressively transition the existing customers to the new experience. Technically, a B2C design project should put even more emphasis on user research, validation and testing techniques like concept testing, A/B testing, in qualitative or quantitative forms; these activities should find a proper presence in the design roadmap. After all, the facts derived from quantitative and qualitative research/testing techniques should inform how you transition the users to a new experience, and still meet the business objectives.

Shivam Sahai

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