User Experience (UX) design covers a wide range of subjects that all play a role in your online visibility and the relationships you create with consumers. Our experts at Axis41 are here to help you understand what UX is, why it matters, and what you can do to improve it for your business.
What Is UX Design?
UX design encompasses every touchpoint of a product, website, or brand — it’s the full experience your company creates for its consumers. This also means that your brand is making an impression before, during, and after a consumer’s interaction with it.
Regardless of the angle with which you approach design, experience isn’t a single element you can manipulate. Written copy, images, programming, design, and more are all elements that influence the user’s experience as a whole. Every thought and interaction a user has with a brand can be considered a part of the UX. And UX deliverables, like journey maps and interviews, can help you understand what the current experience is and where you can take it.
The most impactful changes you can make on your site (or product) start by first understanding the current experience. UX designers will ask pointed questions to product stakeholders, customers, and technical teams in order to best understand the current experience. Questions like: “Why is someone coming to this site?” “What were they doing previous to it?” “What might their bias be coming into it?” The answers to these questions will help you better understand the current environment; business goals, users challenges, what is currently working, etc. — all with the goal of designing better solutions for your digital ecosystem.
Important UX Design Principles
There’s always a balance between business objectives and user needs. Brands that are successful in building a strong UX are brands that think about the user at every touchpoint and in all the content they develop. Although they have important business goals, they also remain aware of the user perspective. Important UX-oriented questions are centered around the user perspective, such as “What do users need from us?” and “At what point do they need this information?”
Throughout the entire process, companies deliver positive customer experiences when they think about who is interacting with them, and not just about pushing their business. This can be difficult to do, given the expectations of businesses, tight deadlines and budget constraints, but it’s important to be able to step back and focus on who’s actually going to consume the information. Throughout your processes, be willing to ask, “What does the user need?”
Another important consideration is to think of the experience holistically. Consider the impact of all elements together. For example, your image choice can affect the way a user feels when they are reading the page, and therefore the way they interpret your content. Your font choice can impact the speed in which your user can read and understand your content. Finding the right balance between imagery, video, color, and text can render your content memorable to a user. No element of a page is seen in a silo.
Tools for Understanding Experiences
Access to your users is one of the most valuable tools when it comes to understanding the UX of your digital media. A population to talk to and interactions through the Internet (such as online forums and even Reddit boards) are a valuable resource to help you get into the mind of users and what they’re talking about. Once you know what your consumers think, you can start to form direct solutions.
Any chance to hear from customers, whether it’s a survey tool like SurveyMonkey or an in-person consumer interview, is valuable to UX design. When you hear feedback from a customer, you should make note of sticky or negative experiences that they’ve run into, and that will help you begin to document and understand the current experience.
UX Has Its Own Unique Challenges, Too
Situations where a team doesn’t have enough information to get the full picture of a company’s UX can be a major challenge. Having an accurate current state analysis of analytics, SEO performance, and the current customer and business experiences are critical to informing strategic UX decisions. Without this information, or access to it, incorrect conclusions drawn about the current experience may mean your UX team focuses their time and resources solving the wrong problems.
One of the most common misconceptions about UX is the idea that it’s something tangible. You can’t contain all of UX to one item in digital media. Every touchpoint that users have with your company or brand shapes their overall understanding and opinion of your company. You tell your brand story to your users across every touchpoint, and it all impacts their experiences. In essence, you have to see the whole picture of your company’s digital experience for the consumer.
At Axis41, A Merkle Company, UX Is a Holistic Concept
Our team loves researching and performing interviews to help find those nuggets of truth. From customer research to design, our team brings the user front and center throughout the process. Whether we are focused on the layout of a website or on creating content that shines, we balance the customer needs with business expectations to find the right solutions.
Contact us today to discover how our UX experts can help you understand your customer base, create digital strategies to improve UX, and build websites that will help your company leave a positive impression.