Let’s imagine you’re getting groceries from a warehouse, not a brand like Sam’s Club or Costco, but a real warehouse. All the boxes are brown, stacked, and look the same with no distinct labeling. You have a multipage map and spreadsheet to find everything you’re looking for. That’s what marketing without user experience design is like.
Marketing brought you to the warehouse, but how easy was it to find what you needed? And would you ever return to that store? Probably not. You might even discourage others from visiting because of your negative experience.
Traditional marketing places a high value on conversions while UX prioritizes the user’s needs. UX essentially goes beyond the initial conversion to deliver on what marketing promises.
Traditional marketing is simply an educated guess while UX is an informed strategy that has been researched and tested with real representative users. By using contextual data and research to reach your marketing targets, you’re not just throwing darts in the dark.
What is UX (User Experience)?
The term UX is widely used, but commonly misunderstood. The grandfather of UX design, Don Norman, coined the term “User Experience” and defined it as, “encompassing all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products“. Yep, that’s right – UX isn’t just about apps and websites. It’s everything including organizations, systems, structures, services, products, marketing, branding, customer experiences, and so on.
Sometimes design isn’t noticed until we encounter bad design and recognize the difficulty it causes in the moment. It may be easy to dismiss its value, but with UX you can prevent bad experiences, reduce loss of customers, prevent bad press, and promote your brand organically.
How do you design for UX?
First, it helps to remember that design is not always about aesthetics, it’s about function and structure too. UX design always starts with the end-user and understanding what the user’s needs and what their motivations are. This is done through user research, such as one-on-one interviews, surveys, and observations in real settings. The objective of user research is to gain insight into the issues that need solving from a user’s perspective. While this research may sound vast and abstract, everything from branding, a mailer ad, or a form, can be designed to perform better by applying user research.
How is UX design measured?
Traditionally, design was difficult to quantify until user experience made it more tangible by gathering both qualitative and quantitative data. While we can hypothesize this data, we cannot accurately predict user behavior or reactions without true user testing. Through testing we determine analytics such as how many click-throughs were garnered, ease of navigation on a web page, the average time it took for users to reach a certain page, or whether users were able to complete a given task—all providing quantitative data. The qualitative data, such as insights, reactions, and pain points, can give context to the why of data. The exciting thing about testing is that it allows us to discover areas to improve through user feedback without taking a huge risk in launching without testing.
The fact is, when UX testing is not implemented prior to launching, the design will still be tested for ease of use, only this time you’ll be hearing from real end-users who may or may not return after a negative experience. Considering this, we highly discourage any complex design to be launched without first testing it in a controlled group.
If you want a powerful, attractive brand, intuitive website, or user friendly design, we would love to help bring your vision to life!