The Inseparable Fate of User Experience and Digital Marketing
When you start a business online, user experience (UX) should be among your first considerations.
Postmodern consumers are used to world-class design, and companies are forced to build a better mousetrap to compete for attention. If you fail to embrace user experience marketing, you may lose to competitors who do.
At the beginning of the digital revolution, in the dark ages of digital user experience, the user’s fate was in the hands of the few. People who used computers were subjugated by cold command lines and user-unfriendly environments created by software engineers. User error and frustration ensued daily.
Some people blamed the computers, and some blamed themselves, but everyone had to live with it. While it went on like this for decades…breakthroughs like the mouse (1964) and the graphical user interface (1979) would provide a glimpse of what was yet to come.
Today user experience is one of the foundations of digital marketing and design. It’s also one of the fastest-growing fields on the planet. It seems like the standards for user experience get higher each year as more sophisticated methods and practices emerge.
What is Digital User Experience?
You may be wondering which discipline would win in a showdown between the latest trends of digital marketing vs. UX design, but the truth is that they are both essential for any online business.
User experience is more than just graphic design and pretty interfaces. It has much to do with the relationship between people (end-users) and technology.
Everyday user experiences include browsing the internet, trips to the ATM, playing video games, operating the dishwasher, etc. UX is all about improving those experiences by designing the interaction. UX professionals will go to any lengths to get the job done.
Why UX Matters
UX is a crucial, sustainable competitive advantage for any kind of product and service on the web. When it comes to growing your brand, good UX marketing is good business, no matter what industry you are in.
Any kind of digital media design should consider UX because it will have a big impact on your brand’s perception.
Every website is a breeding ground for unpleasant interactions (we call them interaccidents) waiting to happen. For the web, it’s especially important because websites and web services are self-serving technologies. The user experience should be intuitive and the content on your site needs to provide cues for desired actions.
A dissatisfactory experience will form a bad impression of your brand in the user’s mind. If you are lucky, they won’t tell any of their friends. On the other hand, a good user experience will keep your brand afloat and support healthy brand growth.
Google — Lessons From Masters in UX Digital Marketing
Google is a behemoth in the world of user experience marketing, and their homepage is an example of excellent user experience design. It was part of Google’s philosophy to “Focus on the user, and all else will follow.”
The digital marketing and design team at Google works hard to make the homepage as user-friendly as possible. First of all, the design is flawless, and the branding is consistent. The interface is simple, intuitive, and it’s obvious that the page’s main goal is for search.
The search engine application works great; relevant results load instantly after you submit a query. The information is organized into blocks that are easy to read, and ads are clearly marked. The application is intuitive and browsing the results page is self-explanatory. All the interactive elements and links are carefully placed for convenience and ease of use.
Peter Moreville’s User Experience Honeycomb
Peter Moreville, one of the first information architects and a pioneer in the field of user experience design, created the User Experience Honeycomb to describe the facets of digital UX design. It’s a bit of a manifesto, and it contains 7 elements:
Products and systems should be as useful as possible. To ensure this, it is necessary to regularly re-evaluate your products and systems to identify innovative solutions to make them more useful.
For example, our digital UX designer might be hired as a consultant to improve an online marketplace’s efficiency that sells over 6,000 different products. Our designer will investigate every aspect of the users’ shopping experience and identify ways to make shopping as convenient as possible. Changes could be as large in scope as an overhaul of the site’s taxonomy (how the products are organized) or something small like a tweak to the product page template and easier checkout.
Usability is a critical part of human-computer interaction design and a necessary part of UX. The interface must be intuitive, simple, and easy to understand.
Usability is all about getting the end-users perspective to ensure that they are as fulfilled as possible. There are three keys to building a site that fulfills all the user experience honeycomb facets.
Testing, Testing, and More testing.
Usability testers are UX professionals who evaluate the design of a website. They work with both the design team and users to find appropriate ways to test the UX. The goal is to address the pitfalls of user experience head-on. It takes work and patience to find solutions that dramatically improve UX, but it can lead to a great return on your investment.
Desirable Digital Design Aesthetics
Feelings are at the forefront of digital design, and a big part of UX marketing is recognizing humanity.
Our appreciation for natural beauty, order, identity, and other emotional design elements is a necessary part of professional design. It’s not enough for the technology to work well. It must also have an emotional appeal from elements like branding, graphic design, and imagery.
Knowing is half of the battle. If you can figure out the problems users face, you can find solutions to fix them.
The right kind of research will help you understand users’ needs and help you make decisions based on their needs. Interviews, surveys, and usability tests are all methods used to get insight into the user’s psyche.
UX professionals take this information to make design changes that help to support the users’ goals. Good website design and graphic design can be a powerful trigger for extrinsic motivation, leading to the desired action.
Easy to Find
Your audience should be able to locate your website, navigate the site without issue and easily find what they are looking for.
People find products in various ways like browsing, searching, and asking for suggestions on social media. If people can’t find your site, it may as well not even exist. That’s why you need to label, format, and organize your website content in a way that will make it easy to find for your audience as well as web crawlers like Google.
SEO is essential because if your website isn’t being picked up by the search engines, your target audience won’t find you. Our proven SEO strategy agency combines these techniques with well-written copy to not only help people find your site but also give them useful answers to their questions.
Also called inclusive design, accessibility is about designing experiences for users with disabilities. Websites need to remove any barriers or challenges that keep handicapped users from accessing the content.
15% of the world population has a disability, but accessibility shouldn’t be limited to differently-abled people with visual, motor, auditory, speech, or cognitive disabilities only. It should also include anyone who is permanently, temporarily, or situationally disabled.
For example, having no arms is a permanent disability but having both your arms tied up because you are holding a baby is a situational disability. The goal is to design universal spaces for all types of users, which is good for everybody.
The design of the website needs to be professional and contain elements that signify credibility. Jakob Nielsen listed 4 ways that brands increase their trustworthiness online:
- High-quality design
- Up-front disclosure
- Comprehensive, correct, and current content
- Connect to the rest of the web
Trust is a long-term proposition that gradually develops. A good website’s digital UX will slowly earn people’s trust as long as things stay consistent. One way to ensure a good user experience is to regularly interact with your audience to calibrate the design’s effectiveness.
The website must provide some sort of value to the company’s stakeholders and users. Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important business metrics for value. We use the conversion rate to measure the success of any changes made in the name of UX. It’s common for businesses to see an ROI of 10% after a successful UX makeover.
Choose LIVID as Your UX Digital Marketing Partner
Designing a good user experience is one of the most difficult aspects of digital marketing. While the fundamentals of good UX are easy to apply, the real challenge is incorporating everything together. There are lots of bases to cover and many different goals to consider.
At LIVID, our UX pros and digital marketing debutantes can upgrade your digital UX design and raise your bottom line. Ready to partner with us to get your website firing on all cylinders? Let’s do it!