FAQ Friday: Creating a User Experience in 2016

faq-friday-creating-user-experience-in-2016_1000x576.jpgIn this edition of FAQ Friday, we will discuss how to create a user experience, why it is relevant to your business, and the many benefits of providing a pleasant user experience in 2016.

Why is creating a better user experience important? What benefits does it offer my business?

Creating a richer user experience for 2016 is on the mind of every marketer. Having a UX-designed website that's been usability tested and optimized for today's users gives companies so many advantages.

You can expect benefits like higher customer satisfaction, a subsequent rise in customer loyalty, more trust, more customer interactions, and emphasis on what your customers want out of your company.

Focusing on your clients and curating a more immersive, convenient, and just plain fun user experience makes customers feel like their voice is being heard. This almost automatically enhances the trust and connection that customers have with your brand. When customers feel like you're making an intelligent use of customer data to make your website and app as smooth as possible, they repay you with speedier checkouts, glowing customer testimonials, and favorable attention to social media.

It's often been said that even in the era of Big Data, customer relationship management systems, and more customer insights at your beck and call, you still need to have the right data and make an intelligent marketing move with it.

It's not merely enough to be sitting on a mountain of data if your data mining doesn't connect to higher usability scores on your website.

If you don’t talk to your customers, how will you know how to talk to your customers? –Will Evans

What are some UX design trends that I should keep an eye on and possibly incorporate?

UX design stands for user experience design, and it can be applied to your company's websites and apps to make them that much more convenient for your customers.

Although even the experts have slightly different definitions of what makes a good UX design, the consensus for active UX-designed websites and apps seems to be building your layout and content around the customer and taking advantage of the latest technologies and evolving customer preferences to do so.

With that definition out of the way, what are some actual UX design trends that you should incorporate into your next website re/design? The hottest one right now might be ensuring that your websites and apps have cross-device compatibility so that your customers won't run into any hassles or formatting issues when they go to interact with your brand.

Speak Human. Feedback is for human beings, so address them as such. Use the words your users use. –Dan Saffer

Why use responsive web design?

Your customers are increasingly doing research on mobile devices. This even applies to in-store shopping since 70% of more of your customers are using their smartphones as a price-compare and research tool when they're browsing around in brick-and-mortar stores. And purchases on mobile devices are increasing year after year.

Higher percentages of your clients are coming to your website through search engines and social media while on their smartphones and tablets. So your brand needs to be positioned to take advantage of that fact. Increasingly, creating an engaging, richer user experience hinges on responsive web design.

Simply put, responsive web design is the process of going about web design in a way that optimizes the user's viewing and interactive experience with your website.

You’re designing a product for people, and it doesn’t matter if it’s on Android or iPhone or Windows Phone. – Joey Flynn

When your website has been made more responsive, it makes it easier for your potential and returning customers to navigate seamlessly around, engage in e-commerce transactions on any device, and scroll through blog posts without having to worry about manually reformatting or painstakingly zooming when on a mobile device with a tiny mobile screen.

And Google says...

Even Google recommends that companies embrace responsive web design so that businesses can get the most mileage out of their website, reach more mobile users, and streamline their mobile SEO.

And when Google speaks, companies should listen. Google's search engine tends to run the table on how high your company's SEO campaigns can soar; they also own YouTube. So following through with their advice on embracing responsive web design should absolutely lead to your video marketing campaign getting off the runway and then some.

What are some other UX design industry best practices I need to know about?

The recent introduction of Google's flat design has caused a lot of designers to rethink the effectiveness of their websites' widespread appeal with customers.

What the heck is flat design, though?

Flat design is a minimalistic interface design of fewer stylistic elements that give users the experience of 3-D on a 2-D screen. The flat "material design" on new Google apps and Android devices makes use of different gradients and drop shadows to make texts and graphs pop.

Parallax scrolling is another UX design technique that should catch on this year since it also gives users the sensation of viewing your website and app in three dimensions. Of course, more personalized user experiences will continue to drive UX design throughout 2016 as well.

"Anything we can do to make things simpler and more transparent is a plus." — @cap #leads

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When implementing an effective user experience for your website, you must look to your audience. Ultimately, when your website is easy to use, your website visitors are logically more likely to visit it.

Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—ASK. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.

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