Digital transformation starts with customers in mind. A top-notch UX (user experience) is key to keeping customers engaged with a brand and attaining a competitive edge. Businesses have become increasingly aware of the necessity to be more user-centric to be successful in their digital transition projects.
So what exactly constitutes a good UX?
UX is a set of practices designed to make software, a website, or business application more ergonomic, accessible, intuitive, and pleasant to use. The aim is to enable users to achieve their objective while using a product or service, be it searching for information, using a business application, or making a purchase. UX must also be consistent across desktop and mobile environments.
But is it really enough?
Remember the launch of Pokémon Go? People were found aimlessly walking roads, buildings, and parks, all in search of Pokémon characters. In less than two months of the game’s debut — it had racked up more than 500 million downloads. This augmented reality inspired game showed the world what the future has in store. This is the kind of experience users are looking for today.
Another example of user experience innovations revolves around our growing use of Virtual Assistants. It now seems a long time ago when business professionals talked about checking the calendar on their PDA (personal digital assistant). Today, virtual assistants, which essentially organize large parts of our lives, are a standard feature on smartphones. Virtual Digital Assistants (VDAs) including Google Now and Apple Siri allow us to perform tasks handsfree- from scanning information on emails and reminding us of what we should be doing at this very moment, to suggesting routes for travel and finding nearest movie theatre.
In fact, according to a new report from Tractica, enterprise adoption of VDAs will grow rapidly in the coming years, rising from 145.2 million unique active users worldwide in 2017 to more than 1 billion unique active users annually by 2025. By the end of that period, the market intelligence firm forecasts that the enterprise VDA market will reach $7.7 billion in global annual revenue. Brands that offer exceptional experiences in their products and services understand that user experience adds a high-level strategic value, building brand loyalty and increasing customer engagement.
Planning UX Design Projects
Integrating UX into a digital transformation project needs an accurate analysis of users’ needs. This step is only possible through surveys and workshops, or by observing the behavioral pattern of the target audience. Data retrieved from this process will empower the UX designers to create a set of tools which can be used to build user profile types and user experience maps, as well as a list of expected hurdles and solutions. The designers will develop a list of specifications for outlining the project architecture and the related interactions and interfaces. Then comes the design phase where the designers build mock-ups and prototypes, mostly interactive in nature, and add the necessary visual element to make the content easier to understand. In the test phase, the design team analyzes the user’s behavior to determine whether the project addresses the user’s requirements or not.
Criteria to Assess User Experience
- Searchability – how easy it is to find the site or application
- Accessibility – how easy it is to use and understand the app or software
- Desirability – how much influence it generates on users to use the app
- Consistency – does it provide same experience across all the devices
- Content – how intrigued is the content to keep user glued
- Design – is it beautiful, clean, and contains brand-enhancing visual design
- Usability – is it easy to use, understand, and learn
- Credibility – can users trust and believe in the product or service
- Usefulness – how valuable are the features and functions
The designers can also perform A/B testing and compare two variants to identify which one produces better results.
So, how does UX creates business magic?
For a company, UX innovations bring tangible and measurable business benefits.
- Increased use of existing software licenses
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Fewer data errors leading to lower costs
- Lower training costs
- Lesser load on IT service desks and faster resolution of IT issues
- Cost and time savings with mobile and cloud access
- Greater employee satisfaction
- Higher retention rates
- Better internal collaboration and cohesion
- Superior performance
The future of UX demands an experience that combines both physical and digital experiences. This hybrid experience must fully optimize the user experience based on context, as well as focus on human-oriented designs instead of technology-oriented ones.
Businesses should focus on a more holistic UX design and create an engaging and intuitive product, capable of enticing the customers and driving sales to new heights.