User eXperience, a term theorized for the first time in 1988 by Donald Norman in his book “The Design of everyday things,” designates all of the interactions that a user has with a product or service. By extension, UX Design is, therefore, the discipline which consists in designing an optimal experience for this user. So why has UX Design become a cornerstone in the design of a product or service?
Highlighting user needs in the face of business objectives: The user is at the center of the UX Design thinking lens. It is first a question of identifying it, then give a detailed description (age, gender, profession, habits, passions) and finally determining its frustrations, expectations, and needs in a specific situation, to which the product/service must respond. UX Research (“user research”) is therefore essential because it lays the foundations for reflection on the experience.
The design cycle is reversed: we no longer seek to sell at all costs what we consider to be a solution, we first seek to design the most suitable solution according to the needs of our target. Several tools make it possible to precisely determine these needs, these frustrations, and these expectations: interviews, analytics, surveys, workshops… This methodology could be opposed at first sight to business objectives because it makes the company the “subordinate” of the user.
On the contrary, it is possible to offer a more relevant offer with adapted and prioritized functionalities according to the needs of users. This saves time (and therefore, money) during development. Finally, a product/service centered around the user reduces the number of complaints lodged and generates a reduction in the After-Sales Service. Customer satisfaction and retention increase, and a positive experience being the cement of a lasting relationship.
Offer a relevant and personalized experience: The UX is made up of three pillars. First of all, the Look (“Appearance”) designates the experience’s visual aspect, by which the company must inspire confidence and credibility. But also transmit its brand image. Then the Feel (“Feeling”) designates all the interactions that the user will have with the interface, their reactions, and state of mind.
Finally, the Usability describes the functionalities offered and how they are presented to the user. By optimizing and combining these three components, a company can provide a complete experience and differentiate itself in a competitive market.
Also, the current routes are omnichannel (different contact and sales channels are mobilized) and complex: users juggle between different devices (“devices”), quickly consult a site and then resume their navigation later. Both danger and an opportunity for businesses.
Optimizing the route to boost ROI: Information architecture is a critical subject in UX Design. What information does the user seek first? How to deliver them to him in the most transparent and fastest way possible? The idea is to optimize the design of the experience to facilitate navigation and increase satisfaction. This makes it possible to drop the bounce rate (the percentage of Internet users who entered a web page and who left the site afterward without consulting other pages) because it is easy to find, and the course is fluid.
The definition of a compelling user journey depends on the objective of the product. It will generate different optimizations. A newspaper wanting to improve the conversion rate of its subscription page could, for example, facilitate the completion of the registration form (by reducing the number of fields and allowing auto-completion). An e-commerce site will have every interest in shortening its acquisition tunnel as much as possible and in facilitating basket validation and purchase.
Finally, integrating UX thinking into the design of your site allows you to create a virtuous circle improving the interface’s relevance, avoids the user’s frustration, and, therefore, increases the time spent on the site. The Google algorithm takes this factor into account in its natural referencing, and the site appears more in searches, which generates a relative increase in traffic and potential conversions.
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