Optimizing the User Experience

What’s Your Brand Missing?

Blog // 10.29.2018 // Optimizing the User Experience

man wearing hat looking a computer with goggles on

What if you thought of your brand not as a thing but as an experience? And what if you translated that so your customers and potential customers could soak it in too? It’s called user experience, and it makes a huge difference in how and if people interact with your brand.

In fact, studies show that a better user experience on your website could translate to conversion rates as high as 400%! But what does user experience mean? It’s more than just making your website look good. While there’s something to be said for visual appeal, the fact is, good looks can only get you so far, in life and online.

Part of this comes from the fact that today’s digital world means that often the bulk of our brand interaction comes electronically. So it stands to reason that a superior user experience should be part of any effective brand today. It’s easy to look at a logo, but hard to experience the brand online.

woman with glasses working on computer surrounded by wireframe drawings of websites

Enter user experience: tapping into tools like wireframes, persona studies, user flows. That means a complete merging of electronic and real-world interactions, a melding of futuristic tools and everyday moves. Nike’s new concept store in California is a great example, with personalized app offers when you cross the threshold, QR code scanning to call salespeople and high-touch zones that allow treadmill tryouts and personal consultations.

The user experience isn’t limited to consumer brands either. Hospitals successfully translate their brands to user experiences too, integrating telehealth, apps that give patients immediate access to their records and meds, digital kiosks that help navigate maze-like buildings. Illinois’ own Carle Foundation Hospital has created an electronic education platform that puts notes, treatments and diagnoses in one place for patients, and even lets them request food and change the room temperature with a click.

woman talking on phone surrounded by various drawings of shopping bags, phones, etc.

Smart brands know user experience extends far beyond the logo, to ads, websites, social media, signage and more. That also means they have scores of touchpoints to manage – more than ever before, which is why more and more brands are integrating external resources into their marketing teams or utilizing expert marketers as their own.

Knowing the audience is key, and regardless of demographic, gone are the days of consumers settling in to soak in 10 pages on any one topic. Grabbing 10 minutes – sometimes even 10 seconds – of their time could be considered a success. Successful content today is measured in skimability and sound bites, and considering how content can be chopped, recut and repurposed serves brands well in effectiveness and economy.

That doesn’t mean long-form white papers or videos have gone by the wayside, just that they aren’t the key entry point. Rather a mix of images, audio, text and video can be distilled into nuggets as brands see fit for mobile apps, messaging, social media and more.

2 small yellow chicks with question marks over their heads

So how do you start?

Ask yourself a few key questions:

What does your audience want? How does your product or service fit into their lives, and where do you have an opportunity to reach them?

Look outside your category. Take inspiration from the innovators of the world and leverage it for your own business. There’s a reason why behemoths like Netflix and Nike are household brands; learn from them. That doesn’t mean doing what they do. It means taking in their moves as inspiration, then flipping it to fit your business and your goals.

Follow your customers. Are you focusing all of your efforts on driving people to your website? What about driving to where your customers are? Find them and feed their needs.

McD Marketing
branding, user experience

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