UserZoom’s State of UX Survey 2022 is its fourth annual survey, which takes the temperature of the UX industry to see the trends, challenges, and opportunities ahead. This year 693 UX professionals from 40 countries were asked about the state of UX in their organizations.

Crucially, the Survey found that 45% of companies are failing to properly integrate user research practices into the full product development lifecycle, despite this being a clear business growth lever. 

The findings from this year’s State of UX Survey support our belief that every company should have a Chief Experience Officer responsible for customer-facing experiences and the critical business impacts those interactions drive.

This means a commitment at the board level to identify, measure and optimize critical customer journeys and the insights & design investments needed to fuel them. Below we present the State of UX 2022 – six key takeaways:

1.    User left out of product and user experience decisions

The Survey found that 43% of organizations admitted they do not have processes in place to make design and UX decisions based on feedback. 

By leaving users out of critical investment and product decisions, these companies are not getting the full benefit of their UX investment. As a result, they are missing out on the financial gains of using real UX insights to shape their products and services. 

2.    Organizations aren’t linking the power of great UX design to revenue

Despite a lack of executive leadership in the majority of organizations, the value of great UX is evident. More than two-thirds of respondents said that UX positively impacts customer satisfaction and a substantial majority (62%) say it improves brand perception. 

The Survey explained that in 2022 the most innovative organizations are moving UX management and strategy into the C-Suite, leaving behind the majority of organizations that still consider UX management to be primarily a tactical consideration. However, just 13% of organizations have a UX leader in the C-suite.

3.    There’s an over-reliance on incomplete UX metrics without actionable insight

The good news is that executives are using measurement to assess UX. The bad news is they’re often using the wrong metrics. The Survey found a reliance on UX performance measures that provide little guidance on how users react to experiences and how to improve them, despite the proven stated impact on CSAT and revenue. 

Organizations tend to use UX to discover usability issues (68%) and validate designs (66%) rather than drive product strategy or innovation (50%) or measure UX performance against competitors (36%). These organizations are missing a trick and overlooking higher value research opportunities that can inform broader business decision-making earlier in the process. 

4.    Time is the leading obstacle to creating a culture of user-centricity

The Survey found the top five UX research obstacles to be

  • Time constraints (55%)
  • Budget constraints (44%)
  • Resource constraints (44%)
  • Difficulty recruiting participants (34%)
  • Lack of stakeholder buy-in (28%)

There is a potential perception failure that UX research is seen to be time-consuming and adding extra steps in the product development process. 
This is often why the digital product, design, and research leaders are forced to trade off the quality of insights in favour of speed. They can either go faster with limited insights at a more frequent pace or go deeper with high-quality insights that slow down product development. Choosing either path can stop UX teams from contributing meaningfully. 

However, with the right system, users can take the digital experience advantage and deliver exceptional digital experiences by surfacing higher-quality UX insights at a faster pace. Satisfying both business demands and customer needs. 

5.    Demand for UX research is outpacing supply

Another key takeaway is that UX teams need to democratize and set up governance to expand capacity whilst ensuring quality data. The Survey’s results validate that democratization of UX is happening, but there is still a way to go. The training of people too, from other teams, is also vital to success. 50% of respondents said they centralize and share UX research insights, while 42% said their organization has a research operations team

6.    DE&I considerations are not standard practice in nearly half of UX teams

The Survey concluded that UX teams must have a strategy with inclusive sourcing and a culture that ensures inclusive and accessible design.  Moreover, 43% of respondents said diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) will be one of the most critical trends affecting user experience in the next five years. Without DE&I as a top consideration, respondents found their research paints an incomplete picture. 

With almost half the companies reporting that they fail to integrate user research into the entire product development life cycle, it’s critical that UX research, design & product teams are aligned with one another to embed research & ensure experiences are built on quality feedback, not just based on a guessing game,” said Kuldeep Kelkar, SVP Global UX Research, UserZoom. 

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