April 05, 2018
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What you may think your website or app needs and what customers or users really want can be two very different things — just look at Snapchat’s recent redesign as an example. All too often, we see marketers spend their budget on site ‘improvements’ that do little to actually improve the site — and why? Because they’ve underestimated the importance of user data and UX design.
In this blog post, UX Designer Luke Blacklock discusses the most important UX considerations to make early in the process. Your answers to each of the below questions should help you evaluate whether your app or site improvement work is justified.
Central to UX is understanding who you are targeting. Without clearly knowing which demographic or user type will benefit from your proposed project, you run the risk of entering guesswork territory — which could lead to ineffective changes and, ultimately, wasted budgets. That’s why it’s crucial to ask: who is my target audience?
Through effective data collection, you should be able to establish who your target audience is. If your demographic is broad, it’s wise to break it down into user types. Although they may be in the same demographic, user needs may vary, so only by fully understanding their expectations can you deliver a truly effective solution.
At this point, you may or may not have an idea of the solution you need to implement. However, understanding your target audience will either help you evaluate how feasible your potential solution is, or point you in the direction of one that is.
It’s important to understand what your competitors are doing. If you’re delivering a substandard user experience, or your site or app doesn’t include the features your users are looking for, you could be driving existing and potential customers to your competitors.
Review your core competitors’ sites in relation to your own — how do the user experiences compare? Examine what they are doing well and not so well, including what they are doing better than you. This isn’t an excuse to simply copy their site or app, but you can use your findings to shape your eventual solution.
When developing your digital presence, it’s very easy to focus on your industry — and rightly so. However, by becoming blinkered to how other sectors are using digital, you could miss out on interactions or features that can be translated for your audience. For example, virtual changing rooms and virtual car showrooms are based on the same functionality, yet clearly operate within very different sectors. Utilising such features could be the difference between you and your competitors.
Through looking at data around how users currently interact with your website or app, you can determine what your users want. For example, if mobile users are dropping off your site at the checkout, is the checkout form or process too long and complicated? Use data to establish what your users want and implement a solution that will combat any issues they face, add value to the user experience and ultimately make users choose you over your competitors.
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