User Experience or UX has come a long way from the information architecture of old. This year UX is about delighting the customer with a great digital experience they will never forget, and building a great brand in the process. The Restless CMO takes a look at how this growing industry can help brands in 2018.
What exactly is User Experience?
In short, UX Design is understanding user motivations with the goal of designing better digital experiences. It is the UX designer’s job to find out whether the product works (tested with current technologies, loading times), whether it is usable (users can quickly do what they need to, find the information they need), whether it’s an enjoyable experience and whether it brings meaning to a user’s life.
They do all of this by working with external user research agencies, and internal technicians and designers to create a user-centric product. The UX designer is essentially the customer’s advocate in this process.
How UX design helped IKEA online
IKEA USA had a problem: users were finding the current website architecture confusing and were frustrated that – unlike shopping in store – they couldn’t touch & feel the product. UX designers suggested many digital changes based on extensive user testing which – taken all together – helped to address these problems: they optimised the results page, improved the search prompts, created live chat, used 360 views and videos, simplified filters, and included inspirations.
But the UX design didn’t stop there: designers suggested a creative solution to the problem of touch & feel, that IKEA partner with local restaurants and hotels to display IKEA products where customers could go and experience them first-hand. IKEA customers now had a much-improved online product and a way to “touch & feel” the product without the need to travel to an out-of-town store.
What does UX do for brands?
Employing the services of UX designers does not come cheap. What are the benefits for brands thinking about investing?
- It cuts down on development costs: extensive user testing during the UX design process means a company identifies problems at a much earlier stage and ensures they are addressed when the product is still in the prototype stage.
- It increases sales: a 2017 study from Forrester Research showed that a well designed user interface could increase website’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%.
- It promotes user trust: In a post Facebook-scandal era, users are ever more cautious about how their data will be used. UX designers increasingly have an eye on this issue when they are developing and testing products. Marketplace Etsy is a good example:
- It increases customer loyalty: A huge 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience,according to a Gomez report, Why Web Performance Matters.
- It builds your brand: It is no surprisethat the big digital brands of our age – Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon – allinvest heavily in UX. Your user experience IS the brand and one that delightsyour customers will lead to greater word-of-mouth promotion and social sharing.