The Edit Blog

A quickfire introduction to UX

ARTICLE BY Marc Bowers
READ TIME: 3 mins
22nd March 2019

We hear the term UX thrown around a lot these days – but what exactly is it?

According to Don Norman and Jackob Nielson’s definition of UX: “User Experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

That sounds tidy, but what does it actually mean? When you begin to explore UX in more detail, it quickly reveals itself to be a complex field that has its own specialist areas.

There are different UX processes across different companies and industries. In the marketing world, UX is how somebody feels at the point in which they interact with your system, product, service or company.

Putting UX in context

When looking at UX through the lens of websites and digital marketing, you might ask

  • How does it look? (Is it trustworthy, credible, harmonious?)
  • How does it feel? (Was it a joy to use? Did it react to your interaction?)
  • Did it prevent you from making errors? (Was it functional, did it meet your individual needs, how predictable was it?)

If you look at your website and are receiving negative answers to these questions, you probably need to reconsider the overall user experience, in order to better service your existing and new customers. The impact of this goes way beyond basic interactions with your website.

These seemingly insignificant experiences play a vital role in the user’s perception of your brand, product, or service. You need to look at your UX holistically and design with your users in mind, considering their wants and needs at each touchpoint.

Why is this important?

A positive user experience promotes trust and loyalty to your brand and ultimately allows you to achieve your business goals.

How do we achieve a better UX?

Depending on your brand and your website, aspects of user experience can be subjective, making it almost impossible to define what a ‘good’ user experience is. However, adhering to some basics can go a long way in helping you define a better user experience for your customers.

  • Competitor analysis: A review of the competitor landscape will highlight the positive and negative elements of their products and services.
  • Heuristic analysis: A heuristic evaluation of the current product or service, focusing on its usability.
  • User testing: Capturing what your users are doing using video, audio, and screen recording can give you priceless insight of actual users using your product or service.
  • Personas: A representation of the different users who will be using your product or service, understanding their motivations, technical limitations, and pain points (to name a few).
  • User surveys: Ask users for their feedback about engaging with your site, such as how they felt carrying out a specific task or what elements they might have found to be confusing.
  • Wireframes: Help you define the structure of your pages in terms of layout and hierarchy of content, allowing you to iterate and develop the pages early on.
  • Prototyping: Interactive prototypes allow your product come to life, meaning you can test how well users respond to the system and make iterations as you go.
  • Testing: However you choose to test, one of the most important things to is test your solution with its intended audience – what seems obvious to you and your team might be missed by the people that matter.
  • Visual design: The visual design helps define the user experience and should consider many principles such as unity, space, hierarchy, contrast, similarity etc.
  • You’ve most likely heard of several of these processes but perhaps never made the connection to UX, and therefore you’ve probably already made a start!
  • This is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many more UX tasks you can execute, depending what’s required for your specific project. It might be the case that one individual is responsible, or there might be several specialists involved.
  • The most important thing to remember is that it all feeds into a common goal of creating a better experience for your customers. This can only be achieved by working with them and continually improving your offering by creating intuitive, engaging, and memorable experiences for your users, which will set you apart from your competitors.

If you need help defining your UX, find out how our media team can help you or check out our blogs for more expert insight and tips about design.

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