What is UX? Well it stands for User Experience and simply put, user experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your company, its services, and its products. So, when designing a piece of business collateral UX should be considered before any images or text are applied to print, website, marketing materials or even paid advertising.
Here are some key areas that will impact on the final design of work you have commissioned from your agency.
Is the design a credible representation of you and your business. Does it speak to your audience in a way they can relate too or is it to fanciful? Think about your brand values, what does the business stand for? Many brands today sell their products based on emotive factors such as environmental credentials or social responsibility.
Does your audience trust you through the marketing that represents your business? Are you over promising, but under delivering?
Is there a continuity of message to market? Are you using different messages across different channels to market or is your message recognisable in print, digital, social or does it feel fragmented when viewed over all.
When it comes to design, humans convey a sense of value to an item in several ways, these can be spiritual, religious, cultural or fiscal. The key consideration for these categorisations can vary dependent on the origins of the individual, but over time, objects or concepts can take on a higher value than was first designed into them. Therefore, when designing something whether this is a piece of advertising or digital collateral it is worth considering what your audience holds dear and reflecting their values back to them.
In the industrial age of Britain’s heyday, objects and design were often regarded as quality based on their weight, today the opposite is true, and people interact with objects in completely different ways. Therefore, the interactions we have with design need fresh considerations. Words like “plush, smooth, svelte are more important than strong, solid or robust. This is true of online interactions as well and sometimes less is more and quicker interactions with the user can deliver better results than a meandering journey.
This is the sweet spot in terms of the UX design process. Obviously by thinking through all the factors in your design process, the goal is to encourage the user to react in the way you want them to react. This could take the form of buying of your products, making an enquiry via a form or using a discount code on a flyer. The key physiological thing to remember is people’s behaviour remains constant whether online or not. Most of us want to do the right thing in life so by gently guiding them through an intuitive process, it is more likely you can predict the outcomes at the end. There will always be several factors at play here such as cart abandonments, stock availability or simple human nature (preferences in taste etc.), but through good design and testing regimes this can be reduced.
Consider this element as one of the cornerstone of anything created, does it work for the user? Without the ability to use something that is beautifully designed, misses the point.
In design terms, trends come and go but copying an existing design in a salvage fashion is more often a mistake. In digital terms by the time a design has been accepted wholesale by the public, the design team have made several improvements to the original design. Also, as human beings we are looking for something unique to stimulate our imagination and therefore regurgitating the same thing in different colour pallets starts to feel stale and uninspiring.
This is an interesting area of design, predictability or familiarity is often a bonus in a world where everything we know changes so rapidly. A great example in practice would be your mobile phone. The more popular devices tend to retain the key features of their products over several generations enabling existing users to feel comfortable with a familiar set of functions and making the transition seamless for generation of one device to the next.