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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

How bad is one negative experience?

So you’re behind schedule and you need to get your designs out the door. The urge to “compromise” and sacrifice the user experience just to get to the minimum viable product is strong. “It’s ok,” someone in your organization probably says, “it’s at the top of the roadmap for v2.” But that might not be enough.

Once you have provided a customer with a bad experience, redemption is nearly impossible. Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers” states that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

Counting the Customer

Turns out, the cost of that compromise may be higher than you realized. The users that have been burned by v1 might never return to give you a chance for v2. And even if they do, will it be enough?

But what if you didn’t have to make that compromise? When you integrate UX into the design process from the beginning, you tackle the issue from both sides. Not only is the user experience validated from the beginning, but you’re also less likely to be behind schedule making these compromises in the first place!

That may seem crazy at first; a lot of people have this misconception that user research has to be a lengthy process that slows down design. But what we see in reality is very different. Not only can user research be done quickly and efficiently, but it also mitigates a number of other problems that slow down design and development, such as the design-by-committee problem; why dealing with conflicting requests, turn to the users.

When good user research is integrated into your workflow, it not only saves you time and money, it prevents bad experiences. Because one bad experience is bad enough.


Read more about integrating research into an Agile workflow, or simply reach out and we’d love to talk with you about this subject.

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