What is UX?
To explain UX or User Experience Design, I am going to be using a car analogy.
Let's imagine we are given the keys to two cars. I walk out to the parking lot and get into the first car. It's a Honda Civic. I take a look around. No surprises. It has a steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal, shift knob and they work as expected. I turn the car on and start driving. Again, no surprises. It accelerates when I want it to and comes to a stop when I press on the brake pedal. The Civic does what I expect and want it to do. It takes me from point A to point B.
I return back to the parking lot to get into the next car. This time I approach a blood red Porsche 911 GT3 RS. A track ready rocket from Porsche.
As I open the door, I already "feel" a difference. Something else is at play here. I sit down and the interior instantly feels "better". I see the quality of the materials and finish and my expectations for this vehicle are already higher than the Civic, even before I start the engine. I notice the steering wheel, gas pedal, brake pedal and shift knob are where they need to be, so no surprise there. They have the same functionality as in the Civic but for some reason I PREFER the Porsche. I look for the ignition and notice I don't need my key. I simply press the "Start" button and all of a sudden I hear a monster awaken. The deep rumble, slightly vibrating the steering wheel makes me believe this car has a different goal and purpose than the Civic.
I start driving and instantly notice the response from the throttle and feedback from the steering wheel. I glance at the rearview mirror and notice there is a smile on my face. I don't remember that in the Civic. I can feel my heart beating faster the more I step on the accelerator. My expectations for this car have been met! I want more! I don't want this experience to end!
UX in marketing
Marketing has always been a step behind product focused teams when it comes to technology, systems and processes, so it's no surprise people still build their marketing websites and forget about making any enhancements or optimizing it for conversions. UX plays a vital role for product teams, to make sure users enjoy using their product. UX design takes all the assumptions out of the equation and allows you to make decisions based on user feedback and data. UX in marketing allows you to see what is causing visitors to leave your site (bounce rate), or figure out if the information you are displaying, resonates with your target persona. Your website is a breathing living sales person, so don't just set it and forget it. Optimize it with UX!
Check out this article from Hubspot with 17 interesting, quantitative statistics.
Once on a company's homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company's products/services.
For every $1 spent on UX, expect $100 in return on investment. UX designers are not just visual designers. In the UX practice, there are researchers, information architects, visual designers, interaction designers and front end engineers. Hiring a generalist UX designer is a good start, but make sure to ask about their UX design process. UX in marketing involves using tools such as UserTesting and HotJar as well as various survey tools to gather valuable information from your visitors.
Danny is a UX designer with more than seven years' experience. Before slinging code and pushing pixels, he was a microbiologist. Danny's background is perfect for UX, bringing scientific methods to his designs to ensure the best user experience. In his spare time he teaches UX to more than 5,000 students worldwide.