What kind of experience do your customers want from your product? Well, that depends heavily on what the product is and its use case. Generally, users are only using your product because they’re trying to achieve something – not for the pleasure of using it. This can be hard to remember for designers, who are dedicated to providing a delightful experience, and for the business which has its own goals.
Balancing user needs and expectations against business goals is where UX Architects come in – to give customers the experience they really want (or at least need). So what is the digital experience they want? There any many many factors that go into it but the basics of a good experience are pretty easy.
As simple as possible and no simpler.
Reducing the elements of a product to only include the core functionality can be a challenge. The business will often have goals that are contradictory to the user’s goals.
For example, when a user signs up for a demo or a free trial or to collect an offer the business probably wants to gather data about the customer – so the first instinct might be to put a sign up form with questions about demographic data. Unfortunately, users are often wary of giving up so much personal information. They may have privacy concerns or be afraid that the business will constantly bother them with sales emails.
A recent client had a promotion that required users to fill out a long sign up form in order to receive free products. The form was so long and arduous that they had a completion rate hovering around 15%. And they were giving away product for free!
If the user had their way, the sign up might be just a few fields and the business wouldn’t get their demographic information at all. Balancing these needs is of the utmost importance for the success of the product.
Make their job easy
Users don’t want to have to think too hard about what they’re trying to accomplish. Make sure that there are no unnecessary steps that are getting in the way of the user finishing their job. And don’t surprise them – make sure there is consistency in the design throughout the product and that it’s up to date with current best practices. That’s what your customers will be expecting, so if it makes sense, that’s what you should give them.
Apple’s design has a consistent look and feel across all of their products. This makes it easy and intuitive for a user to interact with an iPhone, and iPad, and an iPod Touch.
With the release of the iPhone 5s and Touch ID, Apple simplified many tasks for their users. Among them, users were now able to download free apps without inputting their password in the App Store, or unlocking their phone quickly while maintaining security.
The user is trying to engage with your product for a reason – maybe it’s to buy apps, maybe it’s to talk to people, but either way they’re not doing it for the fun of it but rather to accomplish their goal. Help them do it.
Don’t be sneaky
This one should be obvious. Don’t try to trick your users into doing something that blatantly benefits the business with little or no tangible benefit for the user.
Having the “yes send me promotional emails” box pre-checked off is a great way to annoy your users. If they want the emails they’ll check yes.
A more extreme example:
Automatically signing them up for expedited shipping (with an extra cost) at the end of their checkout process and requiring them to de-select it if they don’t want it. You’ll piss off your users and potentially lose the sale, and is that worth cheating them out of an extra 10 bucks?
What is the experience your users want?
A simple, transparent experience that makes your users lives easier will go a long way. Digital experience is the part of the customer experience that you have the most of control over. Your customers/users have high expectations for your product and you should do the best you can to meet those expectations. Give them the experience that they want!