If you’re wondering how a User Experience (UX) affects your branding, then consider what a brand is. See article: What is a branding ?
A brand is not limited to the visual recognition of your product, service, or organisation but the entire character that is associated with it. A brand provokes an emotional response from your audience.
When you consider that every brand touchpoint contributes to the impression that a customer will have of your offer, you can understand the importance of your end-to-end user experience.
What is the User Experience ?
UX, is the overall aspect of the user interaction with your company, services and products in terms of how easy and pleasing it is to consume.
UX is less about look than design
User Experience is not how beautiful your product looks like, it is about interaction. To have a good looking page is important, but if your user doesn’t know how to interact with your service, the shape of it doesn’t matter at all. If your business is based on the user you should care about the experience they have when consuming your services.
Improving the UX with Fred
For those that have followed the Fred saga, (see the article Fred super hero), you will know that his unequalled stupidity can be transformed into an asset for just about every aspect of your company. Studying Fred as he stumbles his way through your offer will expose every conceivable obstacle that lies in the way of giving an impeccable User Experience.
Does your User Experience work ?
Because Fred has limited intelligence and patience, he will quickly draw the conclusion that it doesn’t work. Something in your process becomes a blocking point. It could be one or a cocktail of several reasons. This is the first thing you want to fix. Before being fancy or good looking, the experience needs to be functional.
Study which steps are confusing Fred, then find a way of making them more obvious. Fred needs to be able to do this in the dark!
Any user can be stupid at times. If you can’t deliver a product that is easy to use, then make it easy to learn how to use with instructions and tutorials.
Special considerations for digital UX
Even if it’s much more than that, User Experience is more often associated with digital services like websites and mobile apps. Again, this is about the interaction the user has with your business.
Like any user experience, the first question should be: does it work? If this is a web application, be sure that it is fully functional and optimized for PC, tablet and phone.
Is it fast?
Fred like many users, is impatient. If your product is slow compared to others, your user will leave.
90% of users say they stop using an app if performance is poor.
Users have become flighty, expecting web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. And they will abandon a site or uninstall an app if it takes more than 4 seconds.
Is it accessible?
52% of users say that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with the company.
Your content must be accessible to everyone within your target audience. Kids, blind people, young, elderly, Mac, Windows, iOS, Android etc.
How hard is it to use?
This is where Fred comes into his element. Watch how he navigates, see if he can find the information he’s looking for, can he complete the experience without getting frustrated? If there are stumbling blocks, search and see how the competition has resolved this problem, then improve it if you can, and apply it to your offer.
How is your product prepared for user mistakes?
Fred is not alone in his stupidity, a lot of users are stupid but many others are just tired, in a hurry or inattentive. Accidents happen, customers change their mind and go back, they mistype, they forget text fields in forms, and they forget passwords. Everyone will fail at some point, so make sure that you build this into your experience.
So, what does a satisfying User Experience do for your brand? Firstly, if carefully planned it creates pleasure and shows your company’s empathy for customer needs. Your product or service is solving a problem. It also shows competence and reliability. More importantly, in the fickle and flakey world that Internet has created, it is the only chance you stand of gaining customer loyalty.
User Experience is a matter of business survival today. It is based on experiments and validation; learn how to improve the User Experience you deliver through your business and you’ll discover why you should care about it.
Branding Consultant at Pont Bleu Communication
Daren Birchall’s career spans more than 30 years. He is a graphic designer, writer, analyst and communications strategist, marketing consultant, media buyer, production manager, and for quite some time was an advertising agent. He loves photography but his glasses bother him.