We’ve taken on several large-scale user-focused projects lately, requiring intensive research and strategy … including user experience testing. This has us thinking about the power of user testing, and we couldn’t help but sit down and discuss why this facet of a project is so important, and why our industry isn’t taking full advantage of it.
This post is the first in a series on user experience. We'll be covering each facet of user testing, with each discipline giving their take:
Brand = Reputation
I took a branding course in college that really opened my eyes to the power of brands. We were taught that your brand = your reputation. There’s certainly tremendous value in brand positioning, strategy, and promotion. But if your service, product, or the way you treat customers and clients doesn’t back it up, your brand may as well be a placeholder.
User Experience IS Brand Experience
79% of people who don’t like that they find on one site will go back and search for another site.*
Taking this point one step further, I recently read a piece on how the brand experience IS the user experience. Today your first point of interaction with a brand is most likely through its website. If you have a bad user experience with the website, you’re also having a bad experience with the brand.
By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.**
As UX takes the brand experience a step further, we need to do the same with our research and strategy. We know the power of focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and trends research. User testing takes all that we learned from this research and puts it to practice. It either solidifies or pokes holes in our thinking, and allows us to perfect the experience—as well as the messaging and design. We’re all experts in our selective fields, but if users of a certain brand demographic disagree, we can’t really ignore or dispute that.
The Power of Mobile AND User Testing
52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.***
Responsive design has been our philosophy for years at Sanger & Eby, and investment in this practice has paid off. A great user experience is needed independently on each device while also providing a seamless experience between devices. That means user testing should be done to ensure this transition is seamless. It’s time to combine the power of mobile with the power of user testing.
Ideally, this is a service we’d provide for every web client, because the user experience plays a part in all of our disciplines – site structure, design, development, content—even project management.
We’re going to continue to give our take on UX, getting insight from all facets of our business—from strategists to designers to developers to project managers. Stay tuned for more UX updates. We can’t wait to share them.
*Verma, Vikram (2014) Adobe. Lavacon 2014—The State of Mobile Publishing
**Customers 2020 (2014)—The Future of B2B Customer Experience
***Google (2012) What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today