April 06, 2016
A Good User Experience is No Longer Optional
by Erin Johnson
The amount of time people spend mobile browsing and searching has skyrocketed over the past few years, and in 2015, Google confirmed what many had been anticipating: More searches now take place on mobile than on desktop.
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There are many implications here, but it highlights something that all marketers need to be concerned with: consumers and potential customers are interacting with brands in more ways than ever before, many of them enabled by new technologies like smartphones. And it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re doing what we can to make that experience a pleasant and informative one.
This is part of the reason why user experience—or UX—has become such a big deal for today’s leading brands. A poor experience can be the difference between purchasing from you or a competitor.
Don’t believe it? According to Forrester, roughly 85% of customers on average are likely to stay loyal to a business when offered superior experiences versus poor user experiences, demonstrating why we as marketers need to take a close look at UX.
So what is UX, exactly? More than any one single thing, it’s the combination of several principles, including visual design, information architecture, interaction design, usability, user research and content strategy. Peter Morville, one of the pioneers of information architecture and the president of the influential Michigan firm Semantic Studios, created what he calls the “UX honeycomb” to define how designers can deploy UX principles.
Importantly, Morville’s model for UX is flexible—while designing for each of those fulfillments is certainly ideal, it might be beyond your scope. It might be more important for your site to be valuable to your customers and easily findable than it is for it to be desirable—and using UX principles allows for this to work.
UX Is Everyone’s Responsibility
Much like content marketing has become an essential piece of plain old “marketing,” UX has become an essential part of our brands. User Experience Design Resources notes that while it’s a great time to be a “UX designer,” that person certainly doesn’t claim sole responsibility. UX is a combination of principles and requires everyone’s effort. You may have truly brilliant design and navigation on your mobile website—but you’ll have trouble being credible and useful if you’re lacking the information customers are seeking out in the first place.
Is your team working together to better the way customers interact with your brand? How are you doing it? Email me at Erin.Johnson@quanex.com.