Brand Design

How to Optimise the Customer Experience (with UI/UX Design)

By Andy Clowes 9 August 2017

These days, advances in technology are – depending on your outlook – anything from awe-inspiringly inspirational to bafflingly incomprehensible. But even if you’re leveraging the latest and most powerful digital products, you won’t get far if you rely on technology alone.

Looking for ways to optimise the user experience? Then you need people. UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) designers, specifically. Whether you’re talking about apps, websites or Chatbots, UI (how the product looks) and UX (how the product feels) experts are crucial to giving your customers the best experience.

From telling a story to simplifying implementation, UI and UX designers are (rightly) beginning to have their say in product design. And if want your business to stand out, you need to ensure that your UI and UX tactics fit into your overall communications strategy.

Here’s how.

Don’t be tempted to focus solely on technology

You may find yourself drawn to the latest technology and convince yourself that it holds the key to growing your business. However, if you’re looking for ways to enhance the customer experience, you need to think about the overall value to your users.

So (to use a topical example), while Chatbots are highly anticipated and in demand, it’s no use investing heavily in one that doesn’t fulfil a specific purpose or add value to the customer experience.

First and foremost, you need to understand your customers. Then – and here’s when your UI and UX designers come in – you need to create an intelligent Chatbot whose personality reflects your brand and ties in with your identity.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to ensure that the technology you utilise adds to – rather than detracts from – your overall brand experience. Consider the tone of voice of your Chatbot and contrast it with that reflected in your website, apps and other products. As UX Booth puts it, an intelligent chatbot is reactive and aware of customer needs. One that isn’t becomes irritating and is likely to put customers off, damaging your brand.

Keep your customers’ attention to keep their business

Did you know that, on average, you hold your customers’ attention for just 8 seconds? Or that – given 15 minutes to consume content – 2/3 of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain?

Join the pieces of the puzzle and it’s hard to overstate the importance of UI and UX, both of which play a crucial role in encouraging your customers to continue using your service and technology.

What’s more, while everyone retains information in their own way, UX Planet have some fascinating insight into how understanding memory can help you improve the user experience.

For example, it’s important not to attempt to get the user to memorise too many items at once, or to give them too much choice. The latter – according to UX Planet’s research – is overly strenuous for short-term memory and can distract your user from making a final decision.

If you focus on creating human-centred interfaces – corresponding to customers’ natural abilities – you’ll boost usability and reduce the effort they need to make.

With this in mind, consider whether your communications provide customers with information they’re going to retain. For example, is your content contextually relevant and highly personalised to draw them in? Monitor your interactions across multiple touchpoints and ensure that your UI is a clear reflection of the customer journey.

Tell a story across multiple channels with your interface and design

All successful brands – think Uber, Airbnb or Evernote – have stories, and they’re not purely created by powerful words or impactful logos. Telling your brand’s story requires you to engage your customers. And that’s why UX and UI designers are so crucial.

To tell (and sell) your story successfully, you need to make your UI and UX customer centric. From websites to apps and Chatbots, it’s vital to consider (and thoroughly research) how your story looks and feels for the user.

Again, consistency is key to success. You need to create a sleek, memorable and inspirational end-to-end experience that makes life easy for your customers.

What’s more, with an extensive offering of communication channels – and conversational commerce on the rise – it’s vital to be able to deliver your story, whatever your customer’s touchpoint of choice.

Don’t be rigid, but ensure that the design of your campaign is consistent across all channels. For example, think about how it appears on multiple devices and consider whether it’s recognisable and easy to navigate.

Ultimately, you’ll be successful if you make the customer experience easy and enjoyable. And you’ll do this with a consistent and creative approach to UI and UX design.

Get in touch to find out more about how you can deliver a consistent, cross-channel experience for your customers.

See other posts by Andy Clowes

Head of Design and UI/UX

As Head of Design & UX/UI for Engage Hub, Andy has over 17 years’ experience across blue-chip organisations; from technology and financial services to automotive and consumer-lead industries. Being Prince2 certified & following ISO 9241 principles, Andy is a specialist in brand management, research-driven UX design and delivering creative, yet native, digital solutions for customers.

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