User experience design, often abbreviated as either UX or UED, is critical to the success of a website because how appealing a site is to navigate and look at is important for retaining the interest of visitors. The same holds true for software and other products that make use of some form of programming. Studies show that nearly nine out of ten online customers are unlikely to come back to a site that did not give them an appealing experience, and a fair fraction of the dissatisfied customers will spread negative word-of-mouth about their experiences with that site.
If a website or product's inability to address its consumers' needs is owed to the absence of competent UED, whoever originally designed or built it will have to adjust the UED - or completely restructure it - until it does result in the necessary level of customer satisfaction. By that point, however, a lot of avoidable labor expenses will already have been accrued. It has been suggested that roughly half of a given web or software developer's work is devoted to fixing and addressing UED issues with products that have already been released to the public. Furthermore, working to fix a product's UED after it has been released is orders of magnitude more expensive than doing so during the initial design process. For these reasons, strong and intuitive UED is the key to saving vast sums of money in the long term.
Beyond discouraging visitors from describing a site to others negatively, solid UED has a tangible effect on the likelihood that a given visitor will become a customer that comes back to the site for its services on multiple occasions. While fancy visuals can be a helpful component of UED, they can just as easily make navigating the site and making use of its services difficult to figure out. Being easy for a new user to see at a glance which links travel to which areas of an online store is what any online storefront most needs to take into consideration during its design process to be successful.