Let me cut right to the chase — marketing is no longer about a product. It’s about the experience. And in a digitally-driven world, this ‘experience’ extends to the online sphere as well, especially when building websites/apps, i.e. a brand’s main online touchpoints. So the question is, how do you ensure your target audience seamlessly navigates these, and most importantly, makes a purchase?
The answer lies in top-notch User Experience, better known as UX. Its roots lie in cognitive and behavioral psychology since it revolves around an understanding of the human brain to craft unique brand experiences, visually. Companies today leverage this with attractive interfaces and appealing content, making UX almost a modus operandi when building any website or app.
Interesting, right? Read to know more.
It all begins with soul searching.
UX’s goal is to bridge the gap between what you know and what you don’t know about your brand, in order to create a smooth navigation journey. This means research — something I stress on often — is a crucial part of the process. From identifying bottlenecks to mapping out user journeys, UX involves a lot of probing, digging, and all that jazz. However, I believe the thread that strings everything together is empathy. I say this because oftentimes, there’s a great difference between bird’s-eye view and looking at something up close. What you think maybe the problem might not be the real issue. That’s why, stepping into the user’s shoes — and sometimes, walking a mile — will give you a better perspective of their unique pain points.
I’ve put together a small checklist below that’ll equip you for this process:
- Define your users, culturally demographically
- Understand their objectives, challenges, and motivations
- Create in-depth user archetypes
- Map out customer journeys from end-to-end
You can use these as a starting point. But I suggest you explore other paths, such as mood boards, heuristic evaluations, and more if need be — because, in the end, UX is all about going that extra mile to truly resonate with the audience.
But wait, there’s more. While this user research will help you understand what customers want from your product and how they perceive a seamless user journey, complement this with market research to ensure quick and effective brand adoption. Analyse if your potential user base is wide enough to make this adoption profitable, and find out where marketing interventions can help introduce them to your products. Sure, it may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many skip this step!
One bullet. Three birds.
Based on the results of your research, a solid game plan is formulated and tested, shortcomings are eliminated, user-friendly design is built, and necessary features are incorporated in a website. And the end result is improved utility, usability, and consistency. Here’s how — the research process discussed earlier promotes structure, thereby helping determine functionalities and develop wireframes. Once the skeleton is ready, the design and imagery is added to enhance usability. According to numerous studies, 75% of users judge a website’s credibility based on its design, so the lesson here is — think visual, think uncomplicated.
A great example here is a dating app that gained popularity recently, especially among the young female population. The reason being, only women have the power to make the first move on the app. The design is a breath of fresh air and breaks stereotypes with its unique functionalities. Additionally, it provides essential information about all potential suitors in an easy-to-follow format, helping women make an informed choice. From setting up a profile to deleting the account — the architecture of the app is simple, easy-to-use, and clean — just the way today’s youngsters like it.
In a nutshell, UX is a powerful tool that affects brands positively in more ways than one. When implemented right, it generates quality leads, strengthens the brand, and increases the product’s appeal. In my opinion, the ‘tell less, show more’ approach is the present and the future of marketing communications!
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