Experience Design

Why does user experience matter?

Graeme Ashworth

We continue to lead increasingly busy lives, we are also frequently touched by new experiences in both a physical and digital dimension. These experiences can all kick start a journey. They generate an initial impression, one that really can count and one that can hopefully for a brand, lead to greater levels of engagement and a fruitful relationship with new customers.

Notepad which says Focus on User Experience

Many ingredients can contribute to this experience and collectively, they need to be carefully considered in an effort to support our differing and often demanding user needs. This is becoming so much harder too. In our ’24 x 7’ switched on digital society we are curating a staggering amount of fresh content. In every minute of every day we generate c277,000 Tweets, Google will process over 2 million search queries, 72 hours of new video will be uploaded to YouTube, more than 100 million emails will be sent, Facebook will process 350 GB of data and 571 new websites will be created.

If brands take time to consider and strive to deliver a truly intuitive and enjoyable connected experience, then we are more likely to hang around.

To find a path through this maze of increasing clutter and noise, we find ourselves having to rapidly adapt to new ways of searching, browsing and filtering, using multi-channel and multi-device approaches. We now have an infinite amount of choice but this can also fuel impatience, driven by our hectic lifestyles as we draw upon the ‘Power of now’. Quite simply, if brands take time to consider and strive to deliver a truly intuitive and enjoyable connected experience, then we are more likely to hang around. Fuel this noise with added complexity, we will probably be driven away.

Many brands to date have traded too much upon a level of comfort and the relationship drawn from their existing loyal customer base. Their perseverance is now becoming even harder to rely upon and levels of complacency has eroded online engagement and overall retention levels. The successful brands, the ones that have continued to thrive have targeted another key attribute, the value that can be gained from garnering a greater understanding of their potential customer needs. They have adopted a more centralised ‘User experience’ or UX approach as it is commonly termed, as part of their digital development process. They have joined up their main touch points and channels, combined purposeful user insight and technology to find a sweet spot for delivering their business requirements. They now surprise and delight building loyalty, permission, advocacy and trust.

Unfortunately it doesn’t take too long whilst we browse online to still discover many brands that have misjudged these requirements and continue to frustrate us all with poor navigation, structure and content. Often it appears too much time and effort has been spent crafting and distilling an over embellished technical solution or just a polished visual look and feel.

Take a few simple steps back before going forward and get under the skin to really understand your user. By carefully considering their needs you will enhance their path of discovery and they will in return inject greater value, delivering longer term revenue generation opportunities too.

Consider a UX approach

It is important to remember, user experience is not simply one thing. It’s everything and can provide the foundation for your customer loyalty.