User Experience 101

Marketers can’t escape hearing about website best practices, including a lot of terminologies that are better suited for their designers and developers. One term that is casually tossed around is “user experience,” also known as simply UX.

This might sound like a simple concept, but it is actually very complex and involves several customer touchpoints. Before diving head first into all things UX, here’s a crash course on some of the basic concepts you should know about UX.

The first thing you should understand is how the industry defines UX. Generally, UX is accepted as the process of understanding your users and their needs, focusing on providing value, and working within the limitations that they have.

It’s an integrated business practice with a simple goal: surprise and delight your customers whenever and wherever you interact with them to achieve quality relationships. Through UX, companies aim to make the customer journey easier and more enjoyable, to increase satisfaction and gain loyalty.

In order to maximize your UX program, you need to consider how your customers find meaning and value in experiences and content and determine ways to provide that. Here are some of the best practices to consider when you start preparing to have conversations about your company’s UX:

Build Trust

If your customers don’t trust you, then they won’t even receive your messages. You can build trust through transparent communication, and by delivering on your promises. Companies might be tempted to hide unpopular policies in the fine print, but this will just cause issues later, and ruin your customer’s trust.

If customers don’t trust the basis of your business, all of your other messaging – emails, ads, blogs – will fail to be believable.

Make Things Easy

This is a broad statement, but that is because it can be applied across the board. Your brick and mortar store should be easy to find. Your hours should reflect your customers’ shopping habits. Your shelves should be easy to browse. Your website address should be intuitive. Your content should be optimized for search results.

Your website navigation should be visible and concise. The most important information for the user should be front and center. Your contact information should provide options, like email addresses and phone numbers, and be prominently visible.

Set Out to Fulfill an Existing Need

There is no need to spend time creating problems, and then trying to solve them; there are enough real problems out there already. Do some research to find out what needs exist, then work to create original, engaging content that will serve your customers.

Focus on Aesthetic

Design goes beyond just the way something looks at first glance. Build a consistent identity and corresponding branding that is visible and recognizable across your business so that customers can connect with you and your product. Use design elements – like color, font, and shapes – to help make emotional connections that motivate action.

For more on generating the best experience for your visitors, check out: There Is No Substitute For Good Content