The importance of UX design and its impact on your brand

 

In the world of web design, everybody is talking about user experience (UX) and how vital it is to promote customer engagement. Our Digital Lead, Shaun Drage, is currently collaborating on a UX project with designers from across Europe. We talked to him about what good UX design means.

Shaun said, “The aim of UX is to delight your customers and gain not only their loyalty but their advocacy. If the experience of engaging with your brand online is pleasing, customers are more likely to return. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure that your website is fully responsive and works in the same way across all devices and browsers, while also providing your customers with the experience and information that they expect.

“UX design focuses on a customer-led approach which is based on a thorough understanding of customers’ requirements, attitudes and behaviours and takes account of how they feel. Good UX aims to improve the quality of the user’s interaction with your brand and boost perceptions of your products and services. It relies on quantitative and qualitative data and research to create a well-informed user experience that is evidence-based and objective.

“Good UX relies on some basic hygiene factors. Design should apply the principles of emotional intelligence and take account of how users think and feel, or how you want them to think and feel, and the information they require at each stage of the journey. Ultimately you need to make sure that the online experience is simple and seamless and that customers can do what they want in easy steps. The best examples of UX design can almost feel invisible, allowing you to present seamless and clear solutions that make for an effortless and enjoyable experience.”

 

How does the UX process work?

“Once you have conducted your research, collected your data, and drawn your conclusions, your findings will form the basis of an iterative process that enables customers to engage in ways that meet their preferences. Understanding that no single, linear route will suit every customer, designing a good user experience should accommodate nuances and incorporate flexibility. Before starting the design process, it is important to agree your objectives to make sure that these are aligned with your business goals.

“There are a number of recognised UX frameworks that businesses use which have some attributes and themes in common. There are two key steps for UX delivery as identified in the diagram below which showcases a double diamond UX process. UX can be divided into two main elements of research and design. Research should always come first before you move on to the design stage. Once you develop and define your ideas and create a solution, the next step should be to test and measure the concept.

 

the_double_diamond_UX_process

“The research process should enable you to understand users’ issues and challenges and to drill down as far as possible into the detail. Armed with insights from your research, the ideation and design process can begin. The more diverse the team, the stronger and more far reaching your solutions will be. Involving key stakeholders in this process also ensures that any ideas will be aligned with both business and customer needs.

“The next step is to work up a prototype or wireframe before testing this on target users. Testing pre-launch can be carried out simply by enlisting the help of a sample of target users. Or you can invest in A/B testing with two different platforms running live at the same time. A beta version is a limited release of the final version tested amongst a limited audience to eliminate bugs before launch. The feedback and learning from these processes should inform further iterations of the design and functionality.”

Can my business measure UX?

“Yes, because UX principles are based on the use of information, evidence, analysis and insight. The process involves detailed research and testing based on live usage and behaviour and the testing phase presents data that demonstrates whether the customer journey is smooth or requires further adjustment. The more time and attention you pay to this part of the process, the more you will understand about your customers’ behaviour and that enables you to deliver a more refined and higher quality customer journey.”

 

Can UX improve my company’s website?

“Yes. Data gleaned from the UX design process can help to educate and inform your business about how customers engage with your website, who your main users are, what they are looking for, and where they might encounter difficulties. Reflecting on this information enables you to develop solutions that improve their experience and ultimately boost engagement and brand loyalty. Responding to UX feedback brings you closer to your customer base and demonstrates that you value their business and are willing to listen and adapt.”

 

What UX trends should we look out for in 2021?

“Communication often proves to be the key differentiator amongst brands and organisations offering similar and competing products and services. The way your business talks to its customers it vitally important. The best UX copywriters deploy a consistent tone of voice that complements your brand values and is reflected in every aspect of your website. Copy also needs to convey the information customers are seeking in an engaging and personal way. Clear information and an intuitive customer journey online all serve to promote loyalty.

“Another interesting aspect of UX this year is the forecast boom in digital health. Prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are engaging with health and wellbeing apps and fitness trackers. There has been an upsurge in the popularity of wearable technology, and everyone is getting used to video appointments with their GP. Our experiences during the pandemic have proved the value of utilising technology and opened the door for innovation in this arena.

“Sustainability is exercising most businesses now as they work hard to demonstrate the ways in which they have reduced their carbon footprint. Concepts that focus on the natural world and the green agenda are growing in popularity as individuals have learned to value the great outdoors during lockdown.”

What is the business case for implementing UX?

“Justifying investment in UX is straightforward. Understanding more about your customers means you are more likely to provide solutions that meet their specific requirements. This could lead to more efficient use of marketing budget, a more streamlined design and development process, a faster route to an end solution and overall, a better understanding of what your customers want. It also enhances your reputation as a company that listens to its customers which in turn builds brand loyalty.”

To talk to Shaun about how UX design could help improve loyalty to your brand, call 01933 672150 or email info@printdatasolutions.co.uk