Designers, product managers, and marketers are obsessed with the idea of the user experience in everything they do. But what is user experience? Why should you care about UX? How does it relate to marketing? And how can you improve your UX design? These are some of the topics covered in this article on why user experience is the future of digital marketing.
The role of design in technology
The products and services that people interact with daily are an enormous part of their lives. They have an impact on both their physical and emotional states, so they deserve thoughtful design. The way a product or service looks and feels, from the ease of use to overall user experience, plays a significant role in how people feel about using it or recommending it to others. As user behavior shifts online, digital companies should aim to connect emotionally with consumers through best practices in UX design. Focusing on usability and accessibility will help engage customers at every touchpoint. Technology can be transformative for businesses when designing for users, but only if there’s a deep understanding of consumer needs. Empathy drives innovation, which drives consumer loyalty—it all begins with a good user experience.
What you should know about UX
If you don’t already know, UX stands for user experience. To put it simply, it’s a fancy way to describe how we interact with different products and services. More specifically, user experience refers to how easy or difficult it is for us to navigate those products and services. Having a great UX means that your product or service will be easier for people to use and more useful when they do use it. Digital experiences provide rich and varied opportunities for crafting great user experiences so why not take advantage? As customer expectations grow every year, businesses need to step up their game if they want their websites and apps to stand out from competitors.
Understanding how UX can improve your business
When we talk about UX, we're not just talking about a pretty screen. Rather, UX encompasses everything that determines how our customers experience our brand. When you create a great customer experience (CX), you boost customer loyalty and sales, while reducing churn and support costs. For example, if your website takes too long to load or if your app crashes constantly, it hurts CX and increases churn; conversely, if you make it easy for customers to navigate around your site or app using clear calls-to-action with few distractions (and low cognitive load), you'll likely boost conversion rates as well as reduce support costs because people are using your product/service more effectively.
What UX means to digital marketers
The importance of user experience to digital marketers goes far beyond aesthetics and functional design. That’s just where it starts. If you don’t have a sound understanding of how your users interact with your product or website, you won’t know how to make it better—and worse yet, your company could be alienating users without realizing it. The relationship between UX and marketing goes hand-in-hand in creating an effective site or app for users; digital marketers should take advantage of UX experts to create a seamless experience for users on their sites and make sure their content meets both needs.
Tips for optimizing your website's UX
The digital landscape has changed so much in recent years that user experience (UX) can no longer be an afterthought. Organizations are now expected to optimize their websites for all users, not just those using desktop computers. When viewed on a mobile device, your website’s usability will have a direct impact on whether or not potential customers are willing to fill out your online forms or purchase products online. To ensure your site delivers optimal UX to everyone visiting it, follow these tips.
1. Keep your navigation easy to find and use
2. Place return links at every possible opportunity
3. Optimize graphics and images across screen sizes
4. Make sure links aren't broken by placing #anchors around hyperlinks
5. Design pages with touch screens in mind
6. Focus on readability and legibility
7. Build design flexibility into responsive design systems
8. Help visitors find what they're looking for faster: make CTAs big, bold, and clear.
Myths about user experience and digital marketing
Most marketers think that UX or user experience is just a way to sound modern and technologically advanced. In reality, UX has been a part of online marketing for many years—and it will continue to play an important role in the future. The digital landscape doesn’t just affect companies; it affects their customers as well. The idea behind user experience is to understand users better than they understand themselves, and then use that knowledge to create products and services tailored specifically for them.
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