User Experience (UX): Understand What It Is and How to Apply It to Your Business
What is user experience and why has this concept gained prominence in the market?
I already say that, in a competitive market, UX is a golden word if you want to maintain a competitive edge .
But first, let’s go to a basic definition.
User experience is the experience that the customer has with a product or service.
If there is an excellent interaction, it is likely that the user will buy again from the company.
But if UX is bad, you lose the customer.
In other words, we are talking about an important issue for brands.
But how is the user experience planned?
There are several elements that contribute to a satisfying experience, from simple and organized design to ease of use.
Want to know more about the concept?
Check out some topics that we will explore throughout the article:
- What is user experience
- UX elements
- UX and UI: differences
- Tips for applying UX in the company.
What is User Experience (UX)?
User experience (UX) means user experience . It consists of the elements of the customer’s interaction with a product or service. As the name says, it is the experience he has with a particular item. For this reason, UX is decisive for the success or failure of a company in the market.
In other words, it is how the end customer interacts with the product, creating positive or negative experiences about the brand that offers it.
The term user experience was coined by Donald Norman in the 1990s, an engineer who worked at the time at Apple – a company that is a reference on the subject.
The focus of UX is entirely on the user.
There, products and services are designed precisely from the needs it presents.
In his book The elements of user experience (Pearson Education, 2010), Jesse James Garrett explains that the user experience does not specifically refer to the inner workings of a product or service.
In fact, it is how they work externally when people use them.
“When someone asks you what it’s like to use a product or service, they ask about the user experience. Is it difficult to do simple things? Is it easy to find out? How is the interaction with the product? ”, Says Garrett.
From the understanding of the concept of user experience, you can already see that it is essential for a company to be successful in the market among consumers.
The objective should be to create enchanting experiences, capable of building customer loyalty and creating reputation for the brand.
Therefore, the team needs to constantly reflect on how it is possible to leave a better product or service to the end customer.
In an article for Medium, the UX professional Heller de Paula mentions three important pillars of the concept:
In other words, according to him, a product or service must be the best option for the user, be easy and fast to use and be fun, interesting and rewarding.
The importance of user experience
Let’s go to a basic example of how the user experience works to understand its importance.
Imagine that you want to buy a pair of sneakers over the internet.
When you do a Google search, you click on an ad for a shoe you like.
However, when entering the virtual store, he realizes that the page does not load, navigation is difficult and the information is disorganized.
In other words, you have a bad user experience with that site.
What do you do?
It is very likely that you will quickly leave the site and look for an alternative to it, am I right?
So it is with diverse products and services.
If the customer does not have a good experience, he will look for something better in the competition.
On the contrary, if the company offers a charming experience, the customer will be loyal.
You can even become a brand advocate by recommending your products to others.
Then, the company has more success in the market, as it ends up selling more.
What I am trying to say is that the user experience is crucial to create a successful brand or an irrelevant brand in the market.
Especially in a competitive market, if you don’t have that differential, it is difficult to survive.
And yet I highlight another characteristic: with the explosion of digital products and services, people expect increasingly personalized experiences, capable of meeting their specific needs.
So if you don’t focus on the customer, you risk creating a solution that doesn’t live up to expectations.
But in order to create a user experience that matches your needs, you need to have extensive knowledge of your target audience.
“It is important to deeply understand our users and the market, so that we can create digital products that make a difference for the business and, of course, impact the lives of the people who are going to use it,” says Rogério Pereira in the book User experience design: how create digital products with a focus on people (Editora Casa do Código, 2018).
Elements of user experience
Peter Morville , president of consultancy Semantic Studios, highlights seven essential elements of UX in an article for the company’s website.
To do this, he created a beehive diagram, illustrating that a good user experience should be:
But, after all, what does each of these factors mean?
Morville gives a brief explanation of them:
According to the author, UX professionals must have the courage and creativity to question whether products and systems are useful in order to create innovative solutions.
Morville says that ease of use is still vital, while methods and perspectives of interaction between man and computer, centered on the interface, do not correspond to all dimensions of web design.
“In short, usability is necessary, but not enough,” he says.
According to the author, the search for efficiency must consider the appreciation of the power and value of the image, identity, brand and other elements characteristic of emotional design.
For Morville, websites need to add value to sponsors.
For nonprofit organizations, the user experience must advance the mission.
For profit, it must contribute to the final result and improve customer satisfaction.
It is the need to create navigable sites and localizable objects, so that users can find what they need.
Thinking about accessibility for people with disabilities is imperative when creating UX.
“Just as our buildings have elevators and ramps, our sites must be accessible to people with disabilities,” notes Morville.
It consists of the design elements that influence users’ confidence in what the company tells them.
Consider all elements in UX
Now that you know the elements of the user experience, is it time to reflect on them before creating a combined product or service?
After all, these factors, together, are responsible for generating customer satisfaction.
Do not disregard any element.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on what you think is most important to your target audience.
4 Advantages of UX for your company
Do you still need arguments to convince yourself that UX is crucial to a brand’s success?
So, in the next lines, check out four main benefits of investing in user experience. Come on?
- Increase in sales
When investing in quality user experience, one of the advantages is to optimize the consumer’s image in relation to the product you sell.
Brands that deliver satisfactory experiences stand out and gain recognition in the market.
What happens as the company builds its reputation?
Yes, sales rates go up, because current customers refer their products to other people.
And you get more profitable over time.
- Customer loyalty
Another direct advantage of a good user experience is the increased ability to retain current customers.
Look: if you offer an experience that meets all the expectations of the consumer, it is likely that he will buy other items of your brand again, as he has already established a relationship of trust with her.
This benefit is essential, as retaining customers is as important as attracting new customers.
- Lawyers for the brand
Have you considered why it is common for users of Apple phones and computers to defend the brand before others?
If you thought about the user experience, you are correct.
The experience and design of the products are important bets of the brand.
What does it achieve by offering these factors to customers?
It generates true brand advocates: people who are willing to defend the company and speak well of it to others.
So, use this example as a reference when planning the UX of your products and services.
- Competitive edge in the market
Let’s start from the fact that the market is competitive.
After all, when searching for a product, the consumer has the most varied alternatives to choose the best item, even considering that the brands offer similar options.
Therefore, you need to create a competitive advantage.
That is, a reason for the consumer to choose your brand instead of the competitor.
An efficient way is to invest in the user experience, exceeding the customer’s expectations and generating value for him.
UX and UI: what’s the difference?
When you do a quick Google search for UX, you will come across another similar acronym: UI.
Let’s start with the basic definition: UI is the acronym for user interface, or user interface in the Portuguese translation.
As the name says, it is the interface available to the user in a product.
In other words, they are the visual elements that the user sees when entering a platform, using a smartphone or interacting with a product, for example.
Okay, but what is the difference between UX and UI then?
In a simple to understand explanation, it is possible to state that the user interface is within the user experience.
However, the UI is focused on graphic and visual elements, as well as the organization of information on a screen.
In an article for Entrepreneur magazine, Michael Georgiou, CMO of the digital agency Imaginovation, states that the user interface pays attention to the buttons the user clicks and the paths they have to follow.
According to him, it is the appearance of a website, its responsiveness and interactivity .
And then, the author gives an example that illustrates the difference between UX and UI.
“A visitor may have an excellent user interface with your website, but leave it with a disappointing experience when they discover that you don’t have the content they are looking for,” says the author.
4 Tips on how to apply user experience in your company
Now that you know the concept of user experience, the time has come to implement it in your business.
To help with this task, I have separated four essential tips for you to follow.
Let’s go to them.
- Map the characteristics of your target audience
There’s no way to plan the user experience if you don’t know who he is.
Therefore, it is essential to identify the needs and desires of your target audience.
Assemble personas , which are representations of groups of real people, so that the team can easily visualize who a specific product or service is intended for.
Do interviews and surveys with customers of your company, looking for feedback on the user experience you offer.
Then, with all the information in hand, you will have the foundation to create the best solution for your client.
- Keep things simple in the UI
As we have seen, the user interface is an important part of the user experience and deserves the team’s focus.
In an article for Forbes magazine, Victoria Repa, co-founder of BetterMe, says that the key to success is simplicity.
“This means that the user interface must be intuitive, clear, clean and explanatory for millions of users with different backgrounds, habits and behavior on the web”, explains the author;
According to her, simple and consistent design wins over very sophisticated interfaces that only designers appreciate.
- Identify the public’s pain
What is the main problem you need to solve for your customer?
If you don’t have that answer, it is practically impossible to design a good user experience.
“User experience is all about the customer journey,” says Div Manickam, leader of Dell Boomi’s product and solutions marketing team, in an article for Forbes.
According to her, it is crucial to identify the pain points and the value for the corresponding persona that we can provide with the user interface design.
- Do usability tests
Conducting usability tests is essential to validate the user experience created in any product or service.
This activity must be done regularly so that the improvement of UX is continuous.
You can conduct tests even with real users to get feedback .
So, did you like the tips you just saw?
Now you know the importance of the user experience for success in the market.
The experience that the user has with your product or service is decisive for him to buy from you again.
So, remember that the first step is to know who your audience is, including their pains and needs.
Then focus on a simple design and create easy-to-use solutions.
Don’t forget to do usability tests to optimize the user experience.