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UX Writer

Ewa Filipiak

UX Writer

27.1.2022
-
5
reading min.

What is UX?

UX stands for user experience, which in Polish means the user's experience when interacting with a digital product. Find out how to consciously design it in your online business to increase both customer satisfaction and your business results.

What will you learn from this article?

  1. What is UX and why bother with it?
  2. Who is part of the UX team?
  3. What are the stages of UX design?
  4. What are the benefits of investing in UX?

You may have heard at an industry conference that "if you're not investing in UX, you're not really deciding, you're guessing".

Or maybe your business was doing great stationary, but after moving online it's no longer as good as it was.

Or you are doing even ok in this digital world, but competitors with similar products are performing much better.

Whatever your exact situation is - I assume you want to find out what all this UX is and whether it can actually be useful to you.

So get to work!

What is UX and why bother with it?

UX is a collective term for all the emotions, sensory stimuli and thoughts that people experience when using websites, apps and other digital products.

If you sell online, customers always come away from you with some sort of experience - and although 'experience' seems like something abstract, it's not at all.

You have influence over them and can consciously design them.

It is simply about making your product:

  • respond to the needs of the people,
  • was logical, easy to learn and comfortable to use,
  • It was aesthetically pleasing to users and evoked positive emotions in them.

"Did he evoke positive emotions? I just have an online shop"

You also have competition and (as research shows) about 20 seconds to keep your customers' attention. If your solution doesn't make a good impression on them or they don't see the value in it, they won't spend any more time on it - after all, they have plenty of other options at their fingertips.

The same can happen, for example, when shopping. If the user gets lost in the information jungle, gets frustrated or does not find what he is looking for, he will simply give up after a short while.

"I have great products at good prices. I think that's a rational reason to buy from me."

This is true. It's just that unless you are the only or one of the few companies on the market offering a particular product, competing on goods or price is not enough.

Besides, people are not only guided by reason in their choices. Emotions are equally important.

Imagine this situation.

A post about a new cafe catches your eye - the menu looks good, the prices are affordable, plus the place is only a few minutes from your house. It looks great! You go there and... you're pretty disappointed.

The place is close, but it's also dingy and the music is so loud you can barely hear yourself think, plus the barista seems more interested in his phone than in your order. And the barista seems more interested in his phone than in your order. It also turns out that you can't pay by card, so you thank fate for that unexpected change in your pocket.

And coffee? Coffee is cheap and quite good.

A few days later, you go for a longer walk and visit another pub. The person at the door greets you with a smile, then asks about your tastes and recommends a coffee to match. You get your drink in an elegant cup and sip it slowly while listening to relaxing music. You pay a little more than at the previous place, but somehow you don't mind. Maybe you'll even order a cake today?

If we assume that the choice is to be rational, the better option is definitely coffee at the first establishment. It is good, cheaper and closer to home.

I don't know about you, but I still wouldn't choose it.

The same is true of products and services on the Internet, which:

  • are discouraged by outdated or underdeveloped design,
  • are full of pop-ups,
  • have an illogical arrangement of information,
  • require you to create an account to shop,
  • contain other errors that leave the user confused, feeling incompetent and frustrated.

They may get customers once. But they will not keep them.

"After all, my website is logical. You know what and how."

From your perspective, of course! After all, you are still working on it and know the project inside out.

But can you 100% say that others perceive it similarly?

Fortunately, you don't have to deal with all these conundrums on your own and by feel. You can play it strategically by taking care of the UX.

Psst! If you want to test the usability of your product and the emotions it evokes, a good first step would be to reach out to UX audit.

Who is part of the UX team?

According to experts at Nielsen Norman Group:

"[...] to provide a superior user experience, there must be a seamless blending of multiple disciplines: engineering, marketing, graphic design, industrial design and interface design" (EF translation)

Don Norman, Jakob Nielsen [in:]. The Definition of User Experience

Sounds like something complicated and abstract?

It just sounds. It is, by the way, a repetition of what you already know.

Remember how I mentioned that your product needs to be responsive, and on top of that it should be simple to use and aesthetically pleasing? Well, let's break that down into pieces:

  • it must be needs-responsive - you need to investigate what people need in order to help them solve the problem effectively,
  • It must be easy to use - it must be designed to be intuitive for future users, in line with their way of thinking and lifestyle,
  • must be aesthetically pleasing - you need to produce a graphic design that pleases the eye and complements the product, but does not distract from the users' goals.

"That's still a lot!"

You're right, UX design requires many different competencies. This is why you will need a team. It's worth inviting to it:

  • UX Researcher - who will research the problem, get to know the target users and then test the product on an ongoing basis,
  • UX Designer - who will determine how it should all work, i.e. refine all the processes and the way information is arranged in the product, keeping in mind the researcher's findings and your business goals,
  • UI Designer - who will give the whole thing a graphic shape and turn the rough prototype into an attractive interface,
  • UX Writer - who will give your product a unique voice and do everything to ensure that messages and other textual signposts carry users straight to their destination.

What are the stages of UX design?

Perhaps you are caught in doubt.

"Involving so many people is a big cost and risk. How can you be sure it makes sense?"

In fact, investing in UX will save you a lot of money, but I'll tell you more about that later.

Let's deal with the risk. You'll admit that it's virtually minimal once you understand the approach that UX design professionals use - the design thinking double diamond approach.

Graphically, they are usually presented in this way:

4 stages of UX design
4 stages of UX design

As you can see, the process consists of 4 stages:

  1. Empathising,
  2. Defining,
  3. Generating ideas,
  4. Verification and testing.

Let me give you a brief introduction to each of them.

Before we begin: remember that UX work doesn't usually follow a linear path. If research or testing shows a need, the team will step back to quickly correct the direction of the work and provide you with the best possible solution.

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1. empathising

In this phase, team members take a broad thinking path: they get to know users, their needs and the problems your product is supposed to answer. They analyse the context - all the factors that make up a given state of affairs.

That is, they carry out so-called exploration, for which they use e.g:

  • individual interviews - to get to know the audience, their language, but also their likes, problems and things that annoy them,
  • observation, netnography and contextual interviews - to discover people's natural behaviour patterns (in the real and virtual worlds) and process flows,
  • surveys - to collect a large amount of data and then extract patterns and trends from it.

The team also becomes familiar with your business context and gains knowledge:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What are the design constraints?
  • What resources (e.g. time, budget) does the team have at its disposal?

Knowing the answers and then reconciling these two issues (human needs and business goals) is essential if you want long-term success.

2. defining

The specialists then bring together the findings from the previous stage to get to the essence: they define the problems to which the product is to respond.

That way you can be sure that your future solution will accurately address your customers' defined needs and help them effectively. So you don't end up with something "for everything and nothing".

3. generating ideas

This is the time when designers broaden their perspective again and come up with ideas for a solution.

Many ideas which they then turn into prototypes and test to start working with you on the best one.

"And when do I know what I want? Isn't one idea enough?"

Testing many ideas protects you from an unfavourable decision. Even if it turns out that you were right - thanks to testing there will be no doubt that this is objectively the best solution.

Because why risk and invest in something based on a hunch when you can simply bet on a certain option.

4 Verification and testing

At this stage, your team is already working on the selected concept. It carries out user tests, makes corrections, develops the graphic design, and when everything works as it should - it submits the project for implementation.

____

What I have outlined to you is obviously a kind of model and a mental shortcut. The actual process will vary depending on what stage your product is at.

An idea? A solution that doesn't work? Or maybe you have something pretty ok but are looking for room for improvement?

Either way, you can certainly already feel why investing in a researched, consciously designed and continuously improved user experience pays off for you.

Now let us turn these premonitions into specifics.

What are the benefits of investing in UX?

Embedding UX into your business process is a mature approach by which you make a difference:

"the president's idea" for "an accurate response to human needs"

The idea may seem visionary, but it will be the market that verifies it. But before that happens, you will need to invest a lot of time and money in making it happen.

What if it doesn't work out?

When you have user experience in mind, you build a product based on verified wants and needs. By providing people with something they will really want to use, you minimise the risk of a bad investment and increase your chances of success.

"customer acquisition" to "customer acquisition and retention"

When people can use your product, understand it and like it - they will come back to you. You've got it in the bank.

Instead of random people, you will only attract specific people who can become regular customers that provide your business with the conditions for growth.

Think of yourself.

Do you look for solutions somewhere else every time? Or am I guessing correctly that you have a few tried and tested places that you return to in order to get what you need to get done quickly, conveniently and pleasantly?

Let your company be just such a place for people.

"a product like many" to "a consciously built brand"

I have just been talking about customer retention, but it does not stop there.

If people have a great experience (which is due to your conscious decisions and choices), there is a good chance they will recommend your business to others.

And as science shows - social proof is the best advertising you can have. Renowned researcher Jen Cardello, for example, writes about this in this article.

"Somehow it will be" to "I have a plan for every circumstance"

Entrepreneurs who do not take into account the customer perspective design products and services for standard cases. And when a problem occurs, they react on the fly, which is usually chaotic, inefficient and without influence on the outcome of the situation.

You don't have to put yourself at risk for this. During UX design, a good team will analyse different scenarios for you.

What do you gain from it?

According to experts from the Interaction Design Foundation - When you take problematic moments into account right from the experience design stage, you have the chance to turn them into magical moments and unhappy customers into brand fans who feel that their cause is really important to you.

"necessary costs" to "optimal use of resources"

When you intentionally ensure that your product is simple and convenient to use, you simply gain a lot.

Recipients who know how to benefit from what you offer them:

  • They do what they want quickly and without hesitation - their satisfaction and your results increase,
  • can handle themselves - you can significantly reduce the resources (time, money) that customer service has so far consumed,
  • feel good about your product and tell their relatives about it - in other words, they actively contribute to promoting your business.

Now you know what UX is, and I have no doubt that you will make use of this knowledge and make the best decision for your clients and business.

Because life is too short for bad experiences. For coffee in bad places too 😉

CONTACT US

Want to learn more about UX design? Get in touch with us!

Questions? Get in touch with us!

Let's talkLet's talk
Hola, hola, this is not the end! The rest of the article is under the banner.

CONTACT US

Questions? Get in touch with us!

Let's talk