What is “User Experience”?
User experience is the series of encounters and interactions that your customers have with your business, online and offline, and the process of designing and building them.
We design user experience to facilitate rewarding and successful interactions from your company’s perspective and your user’s perspective. We do this through a rigorous, methodical process.
User experience is important for a number of reasons. Foremost, if you are offering your prospective customers a good experience, they will be successful in understanding your product or service and making a purchase. Furthermore, a rewarding user experience will lead your new-found customer to return to your company in the future when they have needs you can meet. And, finally, if your customers feel good about the experience you are offering them, they will likely recommend your company to their friends when they have a similar need.
In the offline world, respected companies pour enormous amounts of money into user experience. They refer to it with terms like customer service, quality service, sales team training, store layout and customer communications. All these are focused on providing customers with the right information, the right product and the right process to lead to a sale and provide a great follow-up to ensure the customer is satisfied.
User experience is the same thing–but more focused to the online world.
To design a successful user experience, we first need to understand the situation. That involves knowing you and your company as well as your current and desired customers. We have numerous tools and activities that help us in this process from workshops and interviews to heuristic evaluation and surveys. The end goal of it all is to fully understand the situation.
Once we know the situation, we can start designing how to make it play-out successfully for both you and your customers. This involves thinking about how the information you share with your customers is organized and what types of words we use to communicate. It also dives into the mental state of your customers to understand what types of interactions that are interested in having and in what mediums. And, ultimately, it’s about determining how to communicate the value proposition of your products or services to your customers in a way that they understand and excites them to successfully complete a purchase (or qualify as a lead, or make a donation, or perform whatever action you are hoping to guide them through).
And the best part about user experience is that once you have designed and implemented it, you don’t have to continually re-train a multitude of points-of-contact–every sales person, customer service rep and support tech–to ensure your customers continue to have great experiences each time they come back to your company. Instead we have great (and simple) tools for monitoring the success of the solution. We can constantly monitor success–tuning, evolving and/or expanding over time to ensure the experience we’ve built continually creates the experience our users need.