Ideally, a well-designed user experience should complement and support sales goals. Unfortunately, there can be tension between them. Conflicts may occur when short-term goals surpass long-term ones. In this article I wanted to raise a few scenarios where sales goals can be contrary to UX.
Let’s start with examples. The easiest one is that optimizing design for conversions might involve tactics like aggressive pop-ups, urgency messages, limited-time offers etc. While these strategies can boost sales in the short term, they may negatively impact the overall user experience and could potentially lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction. But these are only the most ethical cases.
Unfortunately, unethical designs that mislead users do exist, and these can harm trust, user satisfaction, and the reputation of the products or services involved. Here are a few examples of dark patterns, in other words – misleading practices, which in my opinion should be a shame for people who really believe in the UX’s values, so are contrary to UX:
Using misleading language or design to trick users into making choices they might not have made otherwise.
Making it difficult for users to cancel a subscription or opt-out of additional charges.
Displaying prices in a way that hides additional costs until later in the checkout process, leading users to believe a product is cheaper than it is.
Using pre-selected checkboxes that automatically oblige users to use services or contracts. Relying on users not noticing them or unchecking them.
Creating a false sense of urgency by displaying countdown timers or limited stock notifications.
Simulating notifications or alerts to make users think they have messages or updates when they don’t.
These practices can lead to short-term gains but are likely to result in long-term negative consequences, such as loss of trust, increased user frustration, and potentially legal issues. Companies that prioritize ethical design build stronger relationships with their users, fostering loyalty and long-term success. It’s important for UX designers and sales teams to collaborate, considering both short-term conversion goals and long-term customer satisfaction. This might involve iterative testing, user feedback, and data analysis to refine both the user experience and sales strategies over time.
- Sales goals can be contrary to UX, but they are not inherently contradictory.
- People should think not only about short-term gains but also about long-term consequences.
- Collaboration between sales teams and UX designers is the basis to work out common product success.
I also invite you to read my article: “Are AI-generated images a creation you want to pay for?”, in which I wonder what cooperation with designers may look like in the future.