Websites are far more than just digital business cards. Modern companies need to invest in well-crafted, responsive, and easy-to-use websites so customers can expect quality performance and interactions every time they connect. The UX movement focuses on making customers’ interactions with the brands they love more meaningful and relevant.
While many people still conflate UI with UX, the two concepts are quite different. A beautiful UI is going to be visually striking to visitors on your site, but UX design focuses on how visitors interact with and navigate the site.
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UX also hinges on positive interactions between customers and companies. You can have the most beautiful UI design possible, but users won’t enjoy their time on your website if it doesn’t perform well. Website visitors should be able to quickly find what they need on your site, perform any necessary actions for completing their goals, and enjoy themselves while doing so.
UX is at the Heart of Customer Experience
More companies than ever are beginning to realize the value of putting customers’ experiences before any other priority. It’s absolutely vital today for companies to lead through design. Studies have even shown that design-led companies will outperform their competition in their markets by 228% over ten years. When companies take the time to invest in thoughtful, intuitive UX, it pays off tremendously over time.
A bad experience can easily turn off a customer from a brand for good. 89% of customers report they have stopped engaging with a brand after a bad experience. This is too high of a margin to test – customer experience must be a priority for every customer-oriented business.
In the quest for better UX, many marketing professionals have to contend with rigid management and corporate structures that do not enjoy change. Unless the value of a change is immediately visible and guaranteed to succeed, most company leaders won’t want to take the risk. However, as more and more companies begin to focus on UX, it’s more important than ever to get the necessary buy-in from management if you want your customers to have memorable experiences with your brand.
Get Management Onboard
One of the most difficult parts of getting buy-in for any type of project is demonstrating value. For upper management and the C-suite to sign off on a strategic decision, there has to be a clear purpose and measurable benefit. UX and content are the roots of most modern businesses’ struggles, even if it is sometimes difficult to identify the connections. If marketers want to convince their business superiors to invest in better UX, they need to draw clear connections between UX and the businesses’ problems.
If a company doesn’t have a clear content strategy or a definitive focus on UX, it’s vital to highlight how lacking these things hurts the company. To get the necessary buy-in, marketers must show how better UX will improve the bottom line, grow more leads, encourage online engagement, or have some tangible, positive impact on the company’s business goals.
Measure Your Progress
A UX overhaul or redesign must have clear goals. Before proposing a strategy to management, identify the indicators you must track to show the project works toward those goals. This could include employee retention and satisfaction, email click-through rate, conversion rate, sales, shares on social media, or countless other possibilities. Every brand will have unique challenges and assets.
When it comes time to present a UX strategy to management, marketers need to have a full-scale plan ready for action. Once you can establish a clear connection to the company’s pain points or strategic goals, getting management onboard with a UX project shouldn’t be very difficult.
Create a Company Culture Focused on UX
Poor website UX is one of the most often-cited weaknesses facing businesses. UX could be at the heart of several problems facing a company, including sales, customer relations, social media engagement, and more. It’s vital to remember that UX doesn’t solely apply to website design: it pertains to every interaction a customer has with a brand and could include sales calls, marketing communication, website navigation, customer support, or other aspects of the business.
It’s important to encourage a strong, consistent focus on customer experiences at every level of an organization. Everyone in the company contributes to its success, and providing valuable, intuitive, and relevant experiences to customers is one of the best ways for any company to succeed. When you develop your UX strategy, make it clear to management how the change will impact various areas of the business, what benefits those departments can expect from better UX, and which performance indicators will help measure success.
Some employees may not have an easy time discerning how their individual work contributes to better UX, so be sure to share the tracked progress of your project with the company. Let them see the value of their work, the reason for the changes, and let the successful results speak for themselves. Once employees start to realize how their daily activities help the company, they will be far more likely to perform at their best consistently.
Turn Your Company’s Website into a Top Priority
Modern websites are essential to success. Many marketing professionals rightly believe that if a company doesn’t exist online, it doesn’t really exist at all. There is simply too much online activity for any business to ignore the potential of a company website.
It’s no longer enough to simply post an informational site with contact information like in the early days of the internet; your website needs to be the hub of your brand where customers know they can expect top-notch experiences every time they visit.
You may want to consider offering short surveys to your website’s visitors. Most browsing customers won’t mind answering a few short questions about their experiences. If your site consistently experiences heavy traffic, you may want to consider sending a more robust survey to your mailing list. You could even incentivize survey participation with a coupon or exclusive offer.
One of the best ways to figure out your customers’ pain points is to ask them directly, so take their feedback seriously and think of ways to provide them with better experiences.
Change Your Perception of Your Website
It’s also very important to realize that internet traffic is moving off of desktop computers and onto handheld devices. There are a dizzying number of mobile devices in use today, and the number keeps growing. Your website absolutely must perform well on mobile devices. Most have adopted a “mobile-first” mentality, meaning they approach every new design project with mobile devices firmly in mind.
UX for mobile is much different than designing for desktop computer internet browsing. For starters, people typically use their thumbs to swipe and scroll through mobile websites. UX designers must have a firm understanding of mobile device optimization for your UX overhaul or redesign project to succeed.
Develop a Strategy before Approaching Management
Use this guide as a reference when developing your next UX initiative. Getting the right buy-in from upper management doesn’t have to be a struggle. A fully developed, well-rounded strategy backed by statistics and a visible potential for growth is difficult to ignore. Take the time to consider what a UX overhaul or redesign can do for your brand and help your company see the bigger picture.
As we move further into 2017, UX is going to be an even more prominent concept for modern businesses. More companies realize the tremendous impact UX can have on business goals, and more marketers are going to need to assess their business websites and customer relationships and find ways to improve.