How Can UI UX Optimize Consumer Experience?
To survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive, consumer-centric and hi-tech business environment, it is not enough for your brand to have a strong digital footprint.
To survive and thrive in today’s highly competitive, consumer-centric, and hi-tech business environment, it is not enough for your brand to have a strong digital footprint. It is absolutely imperative that you strive towards optimizing the customer experience (CX), across the various digital platforms you create, to showcase your brand. This is where your UI UX designer plays a vital role in ensuring your brand’s success.
How UI and UX work together
UI (User Interface) design and UX (User Experience) design are similar in many ways. Both work towards attaining the same goal – that of enhancing the overall customer experience.
But while the two disciplines are closely interlinked and inter-dependent, they are by no means synonymous.
The former is more about the look and feel – the aesthetics and the mechanics. It’s about creating a more pleasurable and intuitive user interface. It appeals more to the senses and emotions.
The latter is more about the ways and means – the strategy and the objectives. It’s about creating a more meaningful and rewarding user experience. It appeals more to logic and reason.
Is your UI UX Designer always the same person?
Not necessarily, though it helps because the two must always work in concert.
But separate UI and UX designers can work just as effectively, as long as they work as a tightly knit unit collaborating towards a common goal, with mutual understanding and a shared vision of the ultimate objective. The fact is that both call for skillsets which, while they may overlap to a degree, are quite distinct:
UI design calls for creativity, for an innate feel for the form and flavor in which users prefer to consume and process information.
While UX design calls for rationality and a strategic understanding of your brand objectives, the narrative you want to spin, and the journey you want to take the consumer on.
Customer Experience: Front and Centre
The customer experience (CX) has emerged as the new buzzword in global business circles.
According to the Digital Marketing Trends Report 2019, by Econsultancy and Adobe, CX emerges as the single most exciting opportunity for businesses today.*
A 2019 study published by Temkin Group, claims that businesses that earn $1 billion annually can expect, on average, a 70% increase in their revenues, within 36 months of investing in CX.*
CX encompasses all interactions between a customer and your brand, across all conceivable touchpoints along the intended customer journey.
In plotting the course of this journey on your brand’s digital platforms, you may be tempted to adopt the latest advances in digital technology.
Flashy features and tools, add-ons, widgets, and bots – they may all have their uses, but you must desist from deploying them indiscriminately.
Creating the right narrative, enhancing customer value and taking them on a meaningful journey must take precedence. If new technologies enable you to do this in a more impactful way, then, by all means, deploy them. If not, then don’t.
In the words of the legendary Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of one of the world’s most iconic brands, Apple: You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.
Customer Experience Research
A recent study by Oracle found that 74% of senior executives are of the opinion that the willingness of a customer to be a loyal advocate is impacted by customer experience.* While another conducted by American Express reveals 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.*
Little wonder then that a whole new field of research has come up around CX, called Customer Experience Research (CXR), which collects and analyses data on the different variables that contribute to holistic customer experiences.
On a broad level, the two most important metrics measured are Customer Satisfaction and Customer Engagement.
On a more micro-level, and within the specific context of your brand's digital interfaces, Customer Experience Research explores several intricacies on various dimensions, all of which boil down to aspects of your UI and UX design. Just a few among these include:
- Aesthetic – Page layouts and elements of design that appeal to users and make them want to spend more time on an interface.
- Sensory-emotional – What attracts the user’s eye, sequential eye-ball tracking, the effect that various colors, shapes, graphics, images, auditory and audio-visual stimulation can have on them – What calms, excites, or inspires them.
- Behavioral – gestures, actions, commands, and mechanisms users prefer to use while navigating between various areas of an interface, time they spend on different types of content.
- Psychological – How the user’s brain processes information, understanding the user’s intent, the hierarchy of needs, fulfillment levels.
In conclusion, therefore, there is a direct correlation between UI and UX design and Customer Experience. Good UI UX does help optimize the customer experience. Taking the thought further, a great customer experience creates a favorable predisposition towards your brand, albeit on a subliminal level, within your customer’s consciousness. This can potentially give your brand that critical differential edge, in a complex, crowded, and competitive marketplace.
UX Design Process