Applications designed for customers are tough. You want easy, frustration-less, get-what-you-need-fast functionality that keeps them coming back and grows stickiness with your brand. We all know that, but delivering on it keeps us up at night.
Good user experience (UX) takes a village of experts collaborating for this ultimate end. According to Gartner, in their report, “How to Build a User Experience Team,” the core includes experience researchers and designers, content strategists, and an experience lead.
These experts tackle the following activities:
User research focuses on the human-centered optimization of the user experience. It is a branch of social science research in which practitioners define the audience for a given solution and understand their motivations, behaviors, perceptions, impressions and expectations relative to a product, service or brand. The methods and techniques employed in user research vary based on the specific app, site or system. Common practices include usability testing, A/B testing, validation testing, contextual inquiry, participatory design, task analysis, ethnography, market research, competitive analysis and other feedback methodologies.
Often shared with the product management team, product strategy focuses on the strategic optimization of the user experience. It involves the identification of evidence, ideas and insights; and the translation of those findings into actionable concepts, approaches and plans driven by clear business objectives. Strong UX teams can generate new and innovative product strategies or evaluate strategies delivered to them from clients or executive leadership. They refine these ideas and their market value through an iterative test-and-learn process.
Interaction design is a branch of UX design dedicated to the functional optimization of the user experience. Interaction design involves the strategic design of audience-specific user flows, customer journeys, experience models, user interfaces and controls, system behaviors and wayfinding—all of which are grounded in creating the most useful, usable and enjoyable experience possible.
Visual design (aka graphic design) is a branch of UX design dedicated to the visual optimization of the user experience. Visual design involves the strategic application of visual or style elements such as color, composition, layout, typography, iconography, photography, illustration, etc. The purpose of visual design is to enhance and extend the interaction design and content while also adding an element of originality, brand impact and desirability that stands out relative to the competition.
User Experience Writing
UX writing (aka copywriting or content design) focuses on the textual optimization of the user experience. Good UX writing manifests the brand through the application of voice and tone, while also guiding, explaining and inspiring the user with clear, concise, action-oriented language. Common categories of UX writing include labeling, instructional copy, error copy, help text, descriptive text and narrative copy. Of all the core UX skills, UX writing is often the most neglected (to the detriment of the product and its associated brand).
Information architecture (IA) focuses on the organizational optimization of the user experience. It involves the creation of structure through a logical sitemap, taxonomy and indexing system, all of which facilitate navigation, selection, comprehension and overall usability. The goal is to help users find information quickly, complete important tasks and increase customer engagement. IA includes analytical tasks such as taxonomy design, labeling strategies, user flows, navigation and product accessibility.
Once a company assembles a strong team of UX professionals, collaboration becomes critical to getting important work done. Smart and talented experts need tools that leverage all their individual skills efficiently. How does the team know the status of their UX? What tools do they use to measure it? How do they determine the improvements that will drive the greatest usability improvements? How do they gauge the impact when delivering improvements in the application, content or visual design?
When we’re talking about digital experiences—web and mobile apps—there are powerful tools that the team can work with to accomplish those goals. Digital experience analytics digs into the exact experience of users and not only tells you what happened, but why. These insights inform every member of the team and give them one source of real truth. While their individual tools help optimize specific functions, it is digital experience analytics that provides the big picture and sets them all in a common direction. Without a central tool, objectives become misaligned and actions become fuzzy. People clash.
Glassbox keeps everything on track. It is a digital experience analytics solution that aligns and sharpens all the activity that goes into a great user experience. With Glassbox, every user journey is recorded and all experiences are assembled so the team can see stark reality. Problems—large and small—become obvious. Teams see not only technical issues, but how the content, visuals, and functions guide the user through the steps in the journey. Missteps are clearly identified and corrections can be made swiftly and with confidence. Great collaboration happens when everyone on the team has the same picture.
There is no doubt that customers will reward great user experiences handsomely. In the virtual world we all live in, there’s no better way to assure the growth and security of your business than meeting customer experience goals. We all know it. Digital experience analytics with Glassbox brings you the vision your UX village needs to realize customer delight.