One of the exciting – and sometimes daunting – challenges that’s evolved from the digital age is that businesses are constantly given more and better ways to communicate with customers and prospects. Relaying brand messages and creating engagement are two of a marketer’s most critical job responsibilities, so this expanded reach impacts these professionals significantly.
As content is increasingly created and consumed via mobile devices and desktop websites alike, it is paramount to understand the multiple channels available and how consumers use them. The user experience (UX) no longer rests solely at the development team’s feet; marketers must have a working knowledge of the concept as well.
With that in mind, here are a few crucial points that marketers should understand about UX:
You Can’t Separate Your Brand Image from Your User Experience Design
Any good marketer understands that when it comes to brand image, perception is reality. The way people view a business and the associations they make with it have direct financial consequences on the business itself. For example, a recent infographic titled “12 Fascinating Web Design Statistics” from Inspired Magazine and created based on Econsultancy and Forrester research, found that 88 percent of users are less likely to re-engage with a brand after having a negative user experience. So rather than treating it as a separate entity best left to developers alone, marketers should be involved with the decisions related to how users interact with their applications and websites. Providing a quality user experience design to your consumers is now part of a successful marketing strategy.
Responsive Design Is a Must
Design that ensures a consistent UX on every device was always important, but it has become even more critical now that Google is incorporating “mobile friendliness” into its search algorithms. A recent study by Acquity Group titled “Uncovering the Shifting Landscape in B2B Commerce” found that 77 percent of B2B buyers—many of whom are conducting a majority of their business on mobile devices—use Google as a research tool. So, incorporating responsive design and a mobile focus into your digital marketing strategy is imperative. The truth is that no matter how excellent your product or service is—or how clever your marketing department might be—users will quickly go elsewhere if they can’t easily read the content on their mobile devices or figure out how to navigate a site.
Great User Experience Design Breeds Customer Loyalty
Most marketers are familiar with the litany of stats that illustrate how important customer service is in today’s marketplace. In many cases, a top-notch service experience—either with a contact center agent or in-person representative—is what keeps customers coming back. As such, marketers should begin to think about their user experience the same way. If a consumer takes the time to search for and download an app, lack of usability and intuitive design in the software will likely lead to frustration and eventually churn. Conversely, customers engage repeatedly with brands that they trust to deliver a quality experience. Take Apple, a company that owes it success less to true innovation than to excellence in product design and usability; the technology company enjoys an incredible 90 percent retention rate for the iPhone, according to data from Morgan Stanley Research.
User Experience Design Is Only Going to Become More Important
According to research from the Nielsen Group, 85 percent of Millennials own a smartphone and numerous industry analysts have predicted that number to approach 100 percent in the next five years. These younger consumers don’t just want a high-quality user experience … they expect it. Millennials make up a large portion of the B2B and B2C markets and that number only grows stronger with each passing year. This means UX design will have an increasingly significant impact on businesses moving forward.
Partnering with a UX Design Consultant
Understanding why user experience design is important is a great first step, but for marketers who don’t have the skillset to create it themselves—or don’t have access to the expertise in-house—that knowledge isn’t particularly useful. Creating a first-class user experience may not be a core competency for every business, but that doesn’t mean these companies should abandon the goal of providing one. UX design consultants and developers can help fill the knowledge gaps for these organizations by taking a project from the “idea” phase all the way through to launch.