January 19th, 2021 | Updated on August 4th, 2021
Picture this, Tommy and Arabella are best friends partaking in many activities together as they share quite a few interests.
Recently one of their favorite brands relaunched its website. On her mobile, Arabella found the website to be smooth and easy to navigate quickly and found all her favorite styles and lines.
On the other hand, Tommy was not a fan. If anything he found the new interface to be confusing and frustrating, making him quickly lose interest in browsing.
Tommy and Arabella’s difference in opinions towards browsing a new site is an example of the user experience, where both consumers share a love for this particular brand, but its new site faces challenges with its target audience.
Within marketing, one of the most important elements is to have a full understanding of the industry and its target audience. Without knowing what exactly your target audience is looking for and understanding their attitudes and behaviors, it will only lead to difficulty in producing successful services/products.
In this article we will be taking a quick look at what the user experience is, the importance of it, and a brief discussion of UX/UI agencies that specialise in this field, helping brands to become stronger.
The User Experience
The next question you may be asking is, how can companies successfully cater to their target audience making sure everyone is happy? The answer to this question is no two people are the same, so not everyone in your target audience will like everything you produce.
By taking into account three factors: market research, studying the attitudes and behaviors of consumers, and the user experience, this will help companies have a firmer grasp on their target audience, and the similar interests they all share with the brand.
The user experience is particularly important as it helps to determine how successful the product/service is and the steps it takes to acquire.
What exactly is the user experience though? What does it mean and what does it entail?
The user experience (UX or UE) relates to a person’s emotions/attitudes encompassing all aspects of the user’s interaction with the company’s products/services. Here are a few tips for companies to keep in mind when creating the user experience or hiring UI/UI agencies to do so :
- The user experience requires companies to meet the exact needs and requirements of customers without any fuss or bother
- The product must be simple and seen as a joy to own and use
- The true user experience won’t just stop at giving customers what they want. Instead it’ll go even further, providing a checklist of additional features for customers to use at their wish
- There must be a cohesive synergy between the various disciplines such as engineering, marketing and design, to achieve the ultimate user experience.
In short, for companies to have a successful user experience they must understand, firstly the attitudes and behaviors of their target audience, and how to successfully cater to them through the combination of engineering, marketing, and designing its services/products so that the customers are happy and satisfied with their journey.
Still a bit confused? Let’s circle back to Arabella and Tommy for an example.
The user experience can vary across fields such as e-commerce websites, marketing websites, web applications and so on. In this scenario, let’s say the site relaunch was with an e-commerce brand.
Arabella enjoyed her experience on the website as she felt it was easy to find the various products she wanted, and everything was displayed in an organized and simple manner for her. She was able to scroll and click through tabs easily with a quick loading page time. All of these features left Arabella’s shopping experience to be positive.
For Tommy he found the site to be confusing and had difficulty finding what he was looking for. He found that there were too many new features, and it was more complex than the initial website, creating a negative experience for him. After a few minutes, Tommy gave up and left the site frustrated.
User Experience Design
In the digital design world, user experience or UX is defined as something that decides how a user is going to interact with a digital product. Digital products could be an app, or a mobile, or even a website. Usually, people take into account these criteria to evaluate their experience.
- Does the product add value for me?
- How does this product work?
- Is it easy or difficult to use?
- Have I enjoyed using this product?
- Have I understood all its features and functions?
- What is the overall experience?
The term “user experience” was coined by Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group. He defined “User Experience” as: “User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
Watch the following video in which Norman explains the term UX, and when we should this term.
Some of the important things you need to know about UX are:
How users think about a product is determined by both their real experience and their emotion.
User experience is also about context. Before designing a product, you need to understand the context.
More often than not, a user changes his opinion about a product. Initially, a user may not be entirely satisfied with your product. However, their opinion may change over time. They may start loving your product, or they simply get annoyed with the design and features of the product.
UX is almost always followed by the word “design.” You could say that UX designers are people who design for UX.
When it comes to brands focussing on the user experience (UX), user interface (UI) design is needed. The UI design helps to focus on what users need to make sure that the interface has elements that are easy to understand, access, and use.
Companies may either have an in-house UX/UI team working on this, but many times, companies outsource it, hiring a UX/UI agency.
When hiring an agency, companies should take some pros and cons into consideration so they know what they’re getting themselves into:
- Working with a UX/UI agency gives you more cost control on the project
- Contract work where you and the agency must agree to a statement of work and stick to the terms
- The agency staff has tons of experience in various UX/UI design as this is their main area of expertise
- It is essential companies look out for agencies who are in it for the quality of service and not the money
- The search for the right agency can be time consuming
- It is important to have access to the agency’s portfolio to understand and see their experience
- Agencies can be super costly as you are paying for the experience and reliability and not everyone can meet these expectations
All in all, hiring a UX/UI agency allows for projects to be completed by a team of user experience experts but with pros come cons, so companies must make sure they understand what comes along with hiring a UX/UI agency.
Whether brands have an in-house team to develop this or outsource a team (UX agency), this element is vital in order to successfully cater and reach its entire target audience.
For those in England looking for a UX/UI agency, one that particularly specializes in the user experience is an agency based in Leeds and London. Their services range from project management and strategy, designing, and technology, helping its clients to have a positive experience with their brand.