The Importance of Data-Driven Design

Feb 12th Design

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We’ve mentioned before about the importance of data-driven design to create a digital project that reaches your clients’ goals and fulfils their customers’ needs. Naturally, as designers and users are different from a demographic point of view, even the best designers in the world cannot predict exactly what a user wants. Without data-driven design, there may be a number of inaccuracies between what a designer thinks will be beneficial to the user and what the user actually expects from the UI and UX. Therefore, data-driven design plays an important role within the design process and should be referred to at every stage when influencing key design decisions.

Data-driven design enables creators to move beyond technical, compatibility and best practise, and accurately identify the pain points and expectations of the user.

By implementing user interviews, anonymous screen recordings, interaction heat maps and A/B testing, designers can tailor the UI and UX to the user and ensure that they can get the most out of their experience. By putting the needs of the user first, organizations can encourage conversion and help reach their long term objectives.

Here at Univers Labs, we implement our data-driven design methodology into every digital project we create and avoid single point of view designs by looking at four key aspects:

  • Business Objectives.
  • User Needs.
  • Historical UX Data.
  • Competitor, Comparator and Benchmark Experiences.

Balancing User Needs and Business Objectives

Many organisations struggle to find a balance between their users needs and their business objectives. For example, for some businesses, one of their main objectives could be to increase both macro and micro conversions, such as newsletter sign-ups, account creation and of course, sales. Whilst most individuals’ find that pop-ups interrupt their user experience when browsing a website or mobile app, many organisations still use pop-up features as a valuable tool to encourage sign-ups. Therefore, designers need to find the right balance between satisfying the users needs while fulfilling the client’s business goals.

This week on Medium, we discuss how we implemented our data-driven design approach into our work with PromoCell, to help them achieve their long term goals and satisfy their customers needs.

What PromoCell Wanted

In November 2018, German-based biomedical research cell supplier, PromoCell came to us for help. They’d recently launched a new e-commerce website, however, the new site wasn’t performing effectively and did not fulfill PromoCell’s business objectives. We were brought in to rescue their newly launched site and help them achieve their goals. In addition to fixing technical issues on the site, PromoCell’s main strategic objectives were to:

  • Increase online sales.
  • Increase cross-selling of related products.
  • Increase user retention.
  • Improve the customer experience.

Our Data-driven Approach

We installed our user experience tracking software and conducted a full audit of PromoCell’s website, undertaking an in-depth analysis of their analytics and UX data, utilising interaction heat maps, scroll-depths and user testing to gain a deep understanding of how their customers used the site. It was clear from the discovery that several UX/UI issues could be improved on the current site.

What we Found

  • The Search: The main route to products was through the search engine, however, the current search functionality did not allow products to be found easily, specifically the method of search keywords such as product codes.
  • PromoCell’s contact information was hidden.
  • Localisation pop up feature.
  • Lower than average conversion rate.

Before we were brought in to help, PromoCell had little knowledge about how their customers were interacting with their website. Our UX research determined that most of Promocell’s customers used the search bar to locate products on the site, however, the current search did not allow products to be found by their product code, making it difficult for users to find what they were looking for. In addition, PromoCell’s website offered an extensive range of research papers and scientific resources to its users online, but the current website made it difficult to search for these papers and products.

PromoCell’s current website featured a localisation pop-up, whereby users had to manually enter their location. This was an important feature for PromoCell as the input of this information determined the appropriate currency, price and delivery options for that user. However, it was clear from the UX analytics that users’ were put-off by the localisation tool as it disrupted the customer journey at every page load.

The UX analysis also identified that most users struggled to find PromoCell’s contact information as it was hidden in their dropdown menu. At the time, a lot of PromoCell’s sales were done via the phone, so this was an important UX issue which needed to be resolved to increase sales in general.

What we Did

It was clear that the current search was not performing effectively, therefore, we replaced it with a new search function, designing a new advanced search experience that auto-detected search intent and among other improvements could autocomplete product codes. This made user search dramatically faster, enabling the user to search for any item on the site through product code, description or information source and return results whilst the user is still typing.


We enabled a user’s location to be auto-detected when they entered the site, preventing disruption to the user journey and allowing them to have access to relevant prices, currency and distribution information for that location.

A New Website Reskin

Our data-driven approach helped determine how we could improve call to actions of the site and what content should be prioritised on the website. As a lot of PromoCell’s sales were created via the phone, it was vital that customers could easily find PromoCell’s contact information. We made the contact CTA more prominent, implementing it into PromoCell’s header to make it more visual to users. Using our data-driven approach, in collaboration with the branding agency SomeOne, we created a new reskin for PromoCell’s website. Providing a more professional representation of the brand and enhancing the trust and credibility of PromoCell.

The Results

Launching PromoCell’s new website has significantly increased PromoCell’s online sales in under 12 months, selling thousands of products to Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Also, PromoCell’s average order value (AOV) has grown by 25.54% over the first four quarters since the launch of the new site, signalling a positive increase in confidence from users buying online. Furthermore, website sessions have increased by 5.7% since the launch of the new site.

This is an ongoing project and we are continuously making improvements to ensure that the new website continues to achieves PromoCell’s business objectives and fulfills their customers needs based on a strategic roadmap we have designed for PromoCell.