Josh Lehman on the value of UX design:
A weak user experience was forgivable during a time when software was more expensive (sunk-cost fallacy in action), the competitive playing field was much more “sparse” and users unwrapped a nice shiny manual which accompanied their software acquisition. Users in this bygone era understood that they would likely need to alter themselves to meet the demands of the software. When the interface didn’t make sense the user would blame themselves and cite the fact that they “hadn’t yet learned it”.
Things are very different today. Customers now expect the softwares (apps) to meet their needs and match their usability expectations right out of the proverbial box. If you’re building a new consumer-focused app, great design and solid usability are no longer just positive differentiators or features on a checklist. A solid, usable design is part of your entry fee into the software market, giving you a chance at success. Without a solid design your app can too easily become a casualty of the new “discardable apps” phenomenon.