Why the next UX Revolution will start in India

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In Dan Senor and Saul Singer’s seminal book ‘Start-up Nation’, it describes why Israel is the powerhouse of innovation. One of the important factors they insist why Israel is a hotbed of world-changing start-ups is their culture revolving around non-hierarchy and willingness to question authority. This culture of innovation was created thanks to many factors that are unique to Israel. 

In the same way, India became the darling of technology companies when businesses realized that a vast population from this country could speak fluent English and many millions among them were armed with technical qualifications. English is the unifying language of business communication in the country, which is why Indians took it upon themselves to be proficient at it. Lakhs of graduates passing out every year meant that there is a huge pool of talent for employers to choose from. All these factors served as an attractive proposition for many multi-national companies to set their base in India.

The fact that Indian wages were significantly lower when compared with their US and European counterparts made the deal even sweeter. With more companies coming in, lots of Indians branched out as entrepreneurs as well and pitted themselves against the business behemoths of the world. This meant that a lot of cash was required and there were Angels and VCs who invested graciously. A Grant Thornton report says that, in 2018, Private Equity and VCs invested more than 20.5 billion USD in Indian start-ups

You might be asking what does all of this have to do with User Experience (UX)? So much, It’s a snowball effect. More companies mean more products and demand for better UX. Market Research Agency Kantar IMRB says that Internet users in India is all set to reach 627 million this year. Everyone wants to have a big share of this Indian pie and rightly so.

With a lot of options for the average consumer, the only way you can hook your customers apart from giving top-notch customer service is by building a website/app which is as smooth and highly functional as is possible. User Experience (UX) acts as the ultimate barometer that either brings in people or shoos them away. A study by UK Web Host Review says that visitors form a design opinion within 0.05 seconds, and you have only 10 seconds to impress. That’s a lot of pressure!

While India has been a little late to join the UX bandwagon, it is seeing rapid strides in the quality of User Experience that is delivered to the end consumer. That’s mainly because customers have become conscious about the kind of experience and quality they want. Good UX affects the entire customer lifecycle and not just during the buying process, a fact that Indian companies are realizing.

Apps like bookmyshow.com, Myntra.com and Flipkart.com are some of the best examples of UX that users love. Their simple interface with an intuitive design makes it easy for the end user to navigate and helps with the Stickiness Factor, a theory propounded by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, The Tipping Point. (Stickiness factor- Gladwell defines it as the quality that compels people to pay close, sustained attention to a product, concept or idea. In this case, UX is the quality) 

UX has a huge bearing on how the customers think of these brands, and obviously it affects the brand’s bottom-line too. Cookie-cutter designs are not only passé, but they would be frowned upon nowadays- the average Indian customer wants the best experience possible at all the customer touchpoints. The businesses that want to thrive in this part of the subcontinent will surely cater to this growing demand for excellent user experience. This will also make India a strong contender to be one of the top UX strongholds, directly competing with its western counterparts.