The introduction of the mobile device has had a tremendous impact on brands, society, and life. The biggest opportunity brands have today is to connect consumers with relevant and helpful experiences. Fully utilizing this opportunity can be achieved through a user-first design.
Designing experience for humans is essential, and the mobile experience is becoming (and in many cases, has already become) the norm. A user-first orientation is more important than channels as some traditional ad agencies would have you believe. Mobile is the main platform for searches and even online purchases. People spend more than 3.5 hours a day on their mobile devices. Fifty-three percent of users will leave a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Not only are people often choosing mobile over desktop experiences, but Google has also announced that they have begun switching to mobile-first indexing for all websites starting in March 2018 (after 1.5 years of experimentation). Google’s algorithms, following many core algorithm updates, now rank the pages of a site based on the content available on mobile. The snippets that appear on search results will come from the mobile version of a website. Another relevant change is that Google will use mobile content to make sense of structured data—machine-readable information that Googlebot utilizes in its knowledge graph and results in general. Now, with both Google and users prioritizing mobile because of it’s inherent user-first attributes, it is clear that that user-first design is the way of the future and needs to be your organization’s top priority.
Nobody wants a bad experience, but all too often we don’t offer our users what they want: best-in-class experience. We need internal alignment. It’s extremely important that we deliver what the user needs in a way that makes sense to them. Consumers think in values and outcomes. For example, a consumer thinks: “I need to complete task X,” which could be “I need to order a plane ticket.” It’s our job to make sure our UX is designed to make it as easy as possible for users to achieve their outcomes.
There are several barriers to prioritizing user-first design. Securing leadership buy-in may be one hurdle you are facing. Leaders have to be confident in their vision for their product. They need to know what they want to do and what their priorities are. Leadership buy-in is important because company leaders set the tone and might dismiss prioritizing user-first experience if they don’t understand its value.
A second obstacle to user-first design occurs when a company’s teams are so isolated in their silos that they do not harmonize with each other. When communication across silos is weak, teams can actually be at odds with each other in producing a user-first design, resulting in a less-than-stellar UX.
One more important hurdle is when a company has ambiguous goals. Teams need to work toward reaching and aligning on shared goals. KPIs should be formalized and should prioritize user-first design.
Product marketing helps translate user insights and narrative. Also, product marketing helps translate the technology and engineering in terms of how it comes to market. This helps prioritize making products relevant based on the company’s strategic objectives.
Another opportunity that will help prioritize a user-first focus is running more experiments and collecting more data. After running 460,000 experiments, Google made 3,600 improvements to Google Search. These improvements directly improved the user experience. Developing a culture of test and iterate is extremely important. Collecting shared data points drastically improves our understanding of user interactions before and after the changes.
Ultimately, it’s extremely important to keep the user’s needs in mind. Focus on understanding consumer expectations, what consumers are going through, and how you can help them in your own unique way.
Be resourceful: understand how factors are changing human behavior and learn about how technology is changing to meet people’s needs. Analyze this understanding in the context of what it means for your brand and how you’ll shape your UX moving forward.
Take the opportunity to focus on the long-run. To be successful, focus on what you bring to the table, because that’s how people are going to uniquely value you. Think about your past successes and your innate talents, and consider how they might help users meet their needs.
Balancing data with empathy is the key to developing user-first experiences. Companies need to take steps to verify that their mobile sites work flawlessly and respond to user needs. Prioritizing a user-first design will ensure that your company will grow with users’ changing needs.
We’ve all been customers of a business that offered a great product or service, but a terrible experience. It never fails; no matter how great that product is, if the customer experience is lacking, people tend to do business elsewhere.
Every business knows that customer experience is of the utmost importance and that it can either make or break things for them. But many business owners are unaware of how to transform the customer experience that they are already providing into something amazing that will build loyalty and customer retention.
The most successful transformations occur when businesses focus on three simple aspects.
If you are going to transform your business, there needs to be a cohesive vision with specific goals that are known and shared amongst your entire team. Determine the vision you have in regards to customer experience and ensure that there is buy-in within your organization. Getting everyone focused on specific goals and onboard to make the necessary changes, is imperative for successful change.
Figure out specific things that you can change that will increase customer experience. Much like holding a campaign, you will implement changes that will essentially redesign your brand. Set out with a new mission, vision, or slogan. Discover new ways to appear relevant and reach your target market. Redesign yourself so that you can be the business that consumers would be loyal to.
These steps are essential in the transformation process. They are known as critical enablers, and they are steps that literally enable you to make the changes that you need to make. These are the step-by-step instructions in a recipe. They are the guidebook that takes you through each aspect of your business, helping you reimagine it to look the way that it should. These critical enablers provide you with doable changes that you and your team need to follow to get there.
Once you have followed these steps through every area of your business, you will have made the transformations that you and your team set out to make. You will have new leads, conversions, and will be building a strong and loyal customer base.