Improving Your User Experience

Looking to improve your user experience? You’re not alone: 77% of the respondents to Forrester Research’s Global Customer Experience Peer Research Panel Online Survey said that “Improving the online customer experience” was a major objective. If you build it, they may come…but if your user experience isn’t equal to the task, customers and prospects will click away from your site. Today’s chief marketing officers (CMOs), as well as their creative teams, often struggle to manage a mushrooming suite of poorly designed sites and apps that work against them and their goals.

“Top 10 Ways To Improve Digital Experiences” (free download from CMO.com) is Forrester Research’s comprehensive look at some of the best practices in digital user experiences. Whether you’re a CMO or graphic designer, it’s worth reading the whole thing, but wanted to call your attention to three of the key points that pertain to visual design and your brand.

  • No. 7: Adopt Proven User-centered Design Processes: “The right digital interactions, implemented the right way, don’t just happen. Instead, they must be actively designed. This requires learning—and then sticking to—the steps in a user-centered design process.”
  • No. 3: Bolster Your Company’s Brand: “Whether you’re fixing a small usability bug, gutting your entire website, or launching a new mobile app, every decision that you make will ultimately shape your brand in some way.”
  • No. 1: Unify the Overall Customer Experience: “Today’s digital landscape is distributed across a fractured array of services and devices…With customers able to interact through multiple channels at any given moment—and often using multiple touchpoints in pursuit of a single goal—companies need to ensure that they present a coherent face across all interactions.”

The common theme here is that brand design means delivering consistent, clear information across a wide range of digital channels and touchpoints. The Forrester report details what’s needed to achieve that: doing research, testing, and analysis.

Jakob Nielsen, considered the king of usability since the early days of the internet, puts it this way: “Usability is always relative to two things: who are the users, and what are they trying to accomplish with the user interface?”

And I’ll give the last word to Steve Jobs, because no person in our generation poured more blood, sweat, and tears into the user experience: “Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

What do you think? Continue the conversation by connecting with me on LinkedIn.

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