Take a second to think, what was the last website you visited or the last app you played around on? Now ask yourself, what was your impression of that platform? What was the functionality like, was the layout attractive and above all else was it easy to navigate and perform the task you wanted?
One last question, how did your experience on that platform make you feel about that brand?
I ask all that, to say this: in today’s digital rat race, a brand is so much more than a flash 3D logo, bright colours and engaging advertising messages.
It’s all well and good to draw people to your website or for them to download your app, but what will they get when they open it up? Hopefully, they will come across a user-friendly interface that not only facilitates the outcome they desire but also provides them with a good experience and a positive perception of your brand.
This is where the terms User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) come into their own. Ultimately, they are the principles that govern how online platforms are designed and they should form a massive part of the design and development of your platforms. So don’t forget them!
I bet, you’ve heard of Snapchat and their recent struggles? Snapchat is the photo messaging app that allows people to send photos and videos to friends. Most famous for their themed filters, most notably the dog filter. Don’t act like you haven’t used the dog filter before.
But that is a conversation for another time. Recently, Snapchat redesigned their entire platform, to much outrage. Stocks plummeted, usage hit an all-time low and they had to scramble to fix the issue.
Essentially, the company is in a world of hurt right now because of this ill-fated redesign.
Don’t fall victim to the same issue, it is vital your business considers their digital platforms an integral part of their brand. Digital brand reputation is a conversation we have with virtually all of our clients. For us, it’s a huge issue, and it can make or break a company.
The building blocks of a strong digital brand are your UX and UI. Basically, UX refers to the experience someone has while on your platforms. While UI refers to the interface that creates the experience. It’s important, that both of these principles are factored in at the earliest stages of any redesign or a rebranding.
Snapchats issues stemmed from a recent redesign of their app, which they believed people would love. But a Kardashian lead public backlash had other ideas. The updates were originally implemented in order to maximise the monetization of the app through increased advertising potential. However, because the app’s usage took a blow, the revenue from advertisers dried up.
Ultimately, UX and UI are a big deal because customers are more likely to engage with a brands digital platform if they like the feel of its interface and if it provides a positive and seamless experience.
So as a business owner what should you do and how can you ensure you provide a positive online experience for your customers? We tell our clients, keep it simple! We’ve all experienced it, a website that is overcrowded with information (mostly useless and unhelpful), which makes it hard to find the information you want.
Consumers today, are visiting websites or apps because they want a solution to a problem, they don’t necessarily want you. That is why it’s important to make information and advice readily accessible. From there, they will be more likely to engage with you and seek your services to solve their problem.
Your UI should be attractive, simple and easy to navigate. It should also reflect the goals of the customer and of the business. As we mentioned, the goal for many customers is to seek information. Make this information easy to find and most of all straight to the point – don’t waffle. From there you can prompt action, in the form of CTA buttons or links to the next blog or ebook.
Another element of having an effective and simple UI is it will help your SEO ratings. The easier it is to find, the more people that’ll access it. Which will help you rocket up the SEO leaderboard.
We use Snapchat as an example because they are currently experiencing the effect of ill-fated decisions regarding their platforms UX/UI. Ultimately, if you take the time to understand the needs and wants of your clients before you design your online platforms, you’ll produce a much better product.
The fact is, we see it all the time and when potential clients come to us, it is one of the first things we talk about: what do your customers want and how can we provide that.