User Experience, Digital Marketing and Web Design – Where art meets technology and psychology
Marketing campaigns needs to do justice to the budgets allocated. Digital marketing is no different. Just like all other mediums of marketing where understanding of user psychology plays a major role in determining the effectiveness of the campaigns, digital marketing is no different. The only difference is that the marketing is more interactive than any other platform in the digital medium.
Digital Marketing companies should be focussing more and more on User Experience Design than User Interfaces for their Web Design. More often these companies get lost in complex technical jargons forgetting the simple needs of their users.
Why would the user experience in my digital platform matter so much for my business ?
Customers use websites and applications to meet their personal or business needs. Web designers need to reduce the effort taken by customers to fulfil this need. We at INTUISYZ try to develop intuitive systems so that users intuitively know how to operate the system whether it is a website , web application or mobile application.
User experience and user interface are two different disciplines. All cars have steering wheels, but the driving experience greatly improved with power steering. Steering wheel is user interface, drive quality is user experience. Adding power to the steering wheel, you haven’t modified the user interface much, but the user experience has improved. Significant part of user experience is affected by a good interface design, but there is much more to user experience than just interface design.
User experience designers have a more holistic understanding of the business context. They generally start with a wireframe of the system, then move on to a prototype, discuss use case scenarios and develop the navigational elements required.
A user interface designer is generally more concerned with the brand alignment, visual impact and the content of the website. They may focus on the graphic design , colour scheme the layout , the fonts etc.
A great user experience makes a good impression on the customer making him more likely to trust you when deciding to purchase your products or services If you are lucky, your user experience designer and user interface designer may be the same person. This doesn’t happen very often though.
User experience design doesn’t always limit to the end user, when a content management system is used by the organisational staff to update contents of the website. Does your content management system work effortlessly ? is it a pain to update the website ? Most often when website designers do not depend on standard content management systems such as wordpress or joomla, their admin panels end up as pain point for businesses.
Why Technology and Art should work together ?
Most elements of user experience design are alien to engineers who generally single handedly develop websites and web applications. Engineers are more likely to focus more on the utility and functionality until they have an opportunity to empathise with the end user. Programmers often think the end users are just like them. This is why you need a user experience designer in your web development company.
Your user experience designer has to be in touch with the end user. He should know the demographic of the potential visitors to the website. Advance product management professionals engage target customers to evaluate
It helps to develop a wireframe first, communicate with the end user to develop a prototype first before jumping on to web development. This way, the user participates in the web design, and you can avoid a lot of rework if the customer doesn’t like your initial idea.
Following are some tips for digital marketers to improve conversion when they develop websites for their customers
Skeleton Screens and Progress Reporting – Very often websites are stuffed with too much information, they load very slowly eventually the user loses his patience and goes to your competitor’s website. Skeleton screens load faster, has less content and respond very fast to user input. They are very simple to develop and breaks down the functional complexity to into much smaller tasks for the user to perform. If you need your customer to update his profile, you need to break it down into several smaller pages, with progress bars. As opposed to huge forms to be filled, such simpler forms give the user the instant satisfaction as each part is completed.
Micro-feedback & Gamification- Humans are suckers for cognitive ease. The more effortful a task, we run away from them. Make it entertaining. Give them some simple but interesting tasks to perform as they are surfing your website. Small games are fun, and people love it when you make it entertaining for them. Give them interesting feedback as they are performing action. Beware, your feedback shouldn’t hinder the task, and should be lighting fast.
When you expect then customers to perform an action, you have an obligation to let him know whether his action worked or not. Very often websites do not show this basic courtesy.
Chat bots – Chat bots are not nearly as capable as your worst customer service executive managing your chat window. Having said that, chat bots have an advantage, they don’t sleep , they respond very fast. The customers these days don’t like to be wait after saying hello. Let your chat bot say ‘Good Morning’. This ensures the person waits a few more seconds till your customer service person springs into action
Design for repetition – That cute little sound is fun in the beginning. When you repeat the same sound very often, it starts annoying your users. Raise red flags if you suspect you may annoy your customer
Home Pages Vs Landing Pages – Gone are the days when everyone came through the front door, now businesses make customers visit the exact section that may interest the customer. A real estate company may have different landing pages for multiple cities. People in Kochi are more likely to look for flats in Kochi than Trivandrum. So, why show them Trivandrum. Search engines index inner pages relevant to the customer queries , so it is not necessary that the users go to your home page first.
Call to Action This is the reason you have set up a website. You want customers to take some action , fill a form, purchase a product or give you an enquiry. Animated call to action elements attract attention thereby increasing conversions.
Video Testimonials When your customers come before the camera and vouch for you , the impact is much higher than seeing the same in plain text. Such testimonials help bring up your credibility and adds that human element every customer seeks. If they are able to relate with the customer giving the testimonial, half of your work is done.
Least Resistance Path Imagine people are walking in a park with no walkways, you will soon notice that a path develops due to repeated walking through the path. This path is the least resistance path for the visitors. Wouldn’t it be great if the authorities constructed a walkway through exactly the same path ? You can use the same method in your website. Study the user behaviour, adapt the website to reduce effort for the end users.
Intuitive Interfaces Human behaviour is shaped by evolution. We respond to certain stimuli faster than other. The bigger the font, more importance we give to the content. So, important things shouldn’t be written in small fonts. Red colour is easily noticed. So, use it effectively. The more intuitive your interface is, that much easier it becomes for the customers to navigate your website.
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