User Experience Design Strategy and Planning
When it comes to choosing who we buy from, or do business with, there are two factors that most people consider these days – the quality of the product and the user experience. With the increase of people buying from the internet, it is now a lot easier to find the product that you are after. For example, if you knew that you wanted a specific product, the internet gives you the option of a number of different places to buy it from, and this means that people are now looking for other reasons to choose to buy from one business, instead of another.
One of the main reasons why people choose a particular business is the experience of researching and buying a product. By ensuring that users can find out about, get to and buy a product easily, quickly and in the way that is best for them, you can help to ensure that they go through with the purchase, as well as come back to you.
Research suggests that companies who invest in a user experience design strategy can increase their ROI by 37%, showing just how important the customer experience really is.Fundamental Ideas of UX
In user experience planning, there are some fundamental ideas which need to be considered. The main ones are:
- Context – The user needs to be aware of where they are in the context of their journey on your website at all times
- Users – You should have your users in mind on every page and at every stage of your website – remember, it is for THEM not YOU, so user centred design is essential
- Human – Be transparent, trustworthy, human and approachable
- Easy – Try to make the user’s journey as easy as possible – without insulting their intelligence, help them continue their journey quickly and easily, giving their brain a rest but with the best outcome
- Simple – Make sure that you avoid distractions such as unnecessary pop-ups, adverts, jargon and pictures that take a long time to load.
By getting these user experience essentials right in the planning, you can then go on to put it into practise and start to see the results.Information Architecture
Designing information architecture is no big mystery. In fact, it is fairly logical, if you can look at it from the outside. Organising the information on your website should be based around three factors, of course keeping the user in mind at all times:
- Organization of content
- The facilitation of information relationship
Managing UX Projects
It is vital that you get the information architecture right because it is this, more than anything which will determine how easily a user can find the information that they are looking for, as well as carry out the task that they came to your site for – whether it is finding out information or actually buying a product or service.
To ensure that you are always offering the best, improved customer experience that is possible, a UX project isn’t one that is finished and left. It needs to be continually reviewed and tweaked as new information, products and technology become available.
Whilst some businesses decide that they can handle the ongoing management of their UX projects themselves, by far the most effective method is for the business to work alongside a specialist in UX projects to ensure that the user experience focused design is always spot on and that businesses are getting the most out of their websites.
A clearly defined project plan, along with measurable information statistics can give businesses vital information about the progress of a progress and its effectiveness. Goals and how to measure them should be defined at the beginning of the project – with of course the option to change if necessary.Building a Customer Focus into your Plans
Depending on your business, as well as your target customer, the strategy which is employed to make the customer experience as good as it can get will differ. Something which is useful to one person is useless to another, and what might be attentive to one age group might seem annoying and meddling to a different one, so it is important that you know who your customers are and craft your customer experience planning accordingly.
There are, however some things to bear in mind, which are universal to the success of any customer experience. One of the main factors is to remember that your website is there to suit your customer’s needs, not your own. Think about what they will want to know, not what you want them to know. Focus on the user’s needs, not the company’s needs and you will be well on your way. Part of the UX strategy might be, however, to educate or provide information, but try to keep the focus on the customer and how this information can help them.
Remember that your website is often the first contact that a potential customer could have with you, so you need to make the right impression. As well as ensuring that it is easy to navigate and that the information that a user needs is available right away, you need to ensure that everything is in line with company branding – both visually and in the style and subject of the content, and of course, completely professional. Presenting a professional looking website is vital as the content which you are presenting, an amateur looking website can put off potential customers right away.
It is impossible to stress too much the importance of the customer experience in the success of a business’s website, and this is why many businesses invest so much time and money into creating and maintaining the right one.
If you have any questions about user experiences, UX project managing, or how to create an effective website for your business, get in touch with Studioworx either via email ([email protected]
), telephone +44 (0)1603 274285 or the website (http://studioworx.co.uk).