We hear a lot about user experience, but what does that term actually mean when you cut through the jargon? It means being able to buy a pair of jeans online without accidentally putting 10 pairs in your cart and then not being able to find the “buy” button. It means easily locating the “careers” section on a potential employers page – the job search is hard enough, but good UX can make it easier.
Done Norman, previous User Experience (UX) Architect and VP of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple, coined the term ‘user experience’ “because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual.”
If a user experiences difficulty and frustration navigating your brand, they may not think your brand is for them. You are too complex and, therefore, not a good fit.
How a consumer interacts with your brand – and all of its pieces – goes beyond whether or not your product/service gets the job done. More often than not, it is grounded in how your brand makes them feel. We are a species of innate emotions, and your brand is bound to trigger at least one of them.
In order to have a successful e-commerce site or online scheduling platform, or simply enable customers to find and follow your company blog, your digital platform needs to be simple to use and headache-free. The information architecture of your site or platform has to make sense, and information must be presented in a way that’s both intuitive and engaging.
What this means in practice will differ according to your platform’s purpose and objectives. In some cases, it may be necessary to hold the hand of the consumer throughout the process of utilizing your platform; in other situations, a minimalist approach may be best. The most important thing for brands is that they take the time to figure that out – look at your digital experience from the perspective of a wide variety of potential users (people new to your brand, returning customers, etc.) and make sure you land in a place that is well suited to serve each of those key groups.
Though UX is a term often associated with websites, it’s not limited to the digital space – the concept is important to consider when developing anything consumer-facing that’s got your brand attached to it. Whether you’re creating a billboard, lookbook, or product, UX should remain a core focus.
Recently, a client came to us with a variety of marketing-related needs. Let’s talk about two of the more traditional asks: a brochure, and a high-end lookbook.
Our team kept UX front of mind as we designed the lookbook. Utilizing experimental font types and vibrant visuals, our goal went beyond detailing the brand’s unique features and benefits: we wanted to take readers on a joyful journey through the pages. After all, design, functional or not, can bring joy.
We took similar care with the brochure, focusing on designing a piece that would trigger specific emotions in a prospective customer, influencing his or her feelings about the brand as a whole. It’s a delicate balance, trying to develop something fresh and sophisticated but also functional. Will a traditional half-fold booklet get the information across but not quite “wow” the reader, or is an interactive pop-up the way to go? The answers to those questions will differ project by project… all we ask is that you stay away from the most frustrating fold of all – the classic zillion-fold map (no one needs to be reminded of memories of family vacations and trying to refold the map to Florida while your little brother asks “Are we there yet?” for 12 straight hours).
This blog is the second installment in our series breaking down how emotions and psychology play in to marketing. Missed Part 1 on the role of color? Come and get it.
The folks here at [ 2 one 5 ] Creative understand that a sub-par UX = lost customers. We know how to create a superior experience, and are eager to help to get you there. Let’s talk.