User experience or UX is a broad space that focuses on one thing and one thing alone: how users experience every moment they engage with your organization. It doesn't stop there. It's the journey to get from their starting point to your office, the process of booking an appointment, how they experience your advertising messages, and how you communicate with them by email all influence the experience.
These experiences can be on digital interfaces such as a website, app, form, and other contact points. They can also occur in the physical space as in a store, at an automated payment station, walking down a hallway, entering a room, or reading advertising material. With an important share of our time being spent in both the physical and digital spaces, user experiences often overlap, but don't always flow. Our goal is to make the experience seamless.
The user experience transpires everywhere and all the time. On the phone, as you read an ad, as you are redirected to another page or completing a form, on a bus ride, and any other touchpoint the user has with your organization, understanding the user journey is paramount.
Good user experience is paramount at anytime on the internet. Potential for engagement is fleeting, and you're on a journey to capture the full attention of your visitors or passerby's.
Good UX helps :
- align with the user's intent;
- make the experience as pleasant as possible which strengthens your brand;
- increase findability;
- raise engagement levels and over time traffic;
- boost conversions by attracting the the right visitors;
- capture new user profiles to develop content that will cater to these new groups or personas;
- boost your social proofing factor, both online and offline.
Sounds simple... yet not always easy!
A few guiding principles to help design the user experience: always design for people, listen and observe, be clear and engage.
People at the center
Align your business with its visitors, users, and clients. The people. Our society is about people, or humans. Not robots and computers. The latter help us organize and facilitate our experiences. Design for people to remain ahead of others. People come to your website to get a job done whether it's to gather information out of curiosity or to solve a problem. If they cannot find an answer to the job they need done, they will navigate away.
Listen more than you talk. Most of us assume the world and others around us see things the way we do. It's a natural thing to do. As a rule of thumb they don't. Align your message to capture their attention by observing what they do, how they get it done, and how they respond to external stimuli.
Keep it concise. We are all guilty of overloading a communication. Targeted messaging with a narrative that accounts for where your audience is coming from and where it wants to go wins over others. If your online visitors cannot find an answer to what they are looking for, they will quickly move on.
Manage your relationships to meet people where they are. Once you've established a relationship with your client, it opens the door to new opportunities. The answers to many of your challenges are often right in front of us. Your clients know what they need. Engage with them to get your answers. They are helping you help them.
UX Online vs Offline
User experience extends far beyond the online space. With the right research and implementation strategies, it's possible to coordinate online and offline activities to make the experience as seamless as possible.
Design to meet the users in the digital space - search engine, website, e-commerce store, survey, newsletter, blog, to name a few.
Design to meet the user intent as they navigate between your digital and physical spaces.
Design to meet the users in the physical space - store, booth, uptake office, triage, commute.
Design to meet the user's connected to the digital space - search engine, website, e-commerce store, survey, newsletter, blog
Design to meet the user's operating in the physical plane - store, booth, uptake office, triage, commute
Design to meet the user intent as they navigate between the digital and physical experiences
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