Things are getting personal. Marketing has gone from selling consumers just why they should buy something to convincing them that this product or service is part of who they are as individuals and what they need to satisfy personal needs and desires. As consumers form personal customer relationships with brands, user experience (UX) is becoming more important than ever.
This past weekend some of our team attended Midwest UX, a conference for user experience marketers, designers, researchers, and developers. We learned a lot of valuable information and wanted to share some of the key takeaways.
1. We Are In A User-centric Business ERA
The focus is on users. It’s not just about producing for or selling to them anymore. It’s about strengthening customer relationships, creating emotional connections, and offering highly personalized products and services that meet their needs and expectations. People are making choices based on how they define themselves. We need to think about people first, and if we’re really focused on them, the right products and services will follow.
2. Know Your Users
Spend time researching your users and know them well. Collect data before, during, and after the user experience. Develop targeted personas, and tell the story of each of their experiences. Get to know why they make the decisions they make by understanding their habits (the primary motivator for decision-making is habits).
3. Communicate Value
Always focus on the big picture—what value is being created for the user, and how can you communicate it to them? In our busy, information-overloaded world, people have limited attention and limited time, so find a way to engage them and demonstrate the value of what you’re offering.
4. Be Intentional
Good communication happens through good design. Always know the problem the user is looking to solve, and then offer the best solution. Design is not just about a visual experience. Everyone who is involved in creating a user experience is part of the design process. Anything that is intentionally created to be a certain way is designed. Always be intentional!
5. Good User Experience Pays Off
Companies that are intentional about designing good experiences for their users receive not only a higher ROI but also a higher level of customer satisfaction and better customer relationships. And in an era where users are fiercely loyal to brands, high customer satisfaction is key. People are becoming more aware of UX as part of daily life, and thus are placing more value on a good user experience.
6. Be Open To Evolution
As technology evolves, user needs are evolving too. Companies that can adapt quickly and effectively to changes will perform the best in the market. Be ready to reinvent and take a new approach. Remember to keep asking questions to keep your goals in focus, even if the methods change.
7. Technology Is Merging With The Individual
Currently, mobile is crucial, but it is only a matter of time until we evolve. We’ve gone from actual pages to static web pages, to layered, interactive experiences—but we’re still trapped on screens. We are working towards a future where technology becomes so integrated with our surroundings that it seemingly disappears into the background, and our lives are simply enhanced by it—as it gives us abilities, information, and other added values that we wouldn’t normally have.