Many people have heard about the term “User Experience” or UX. However, what this term actually means is not clear to many of us.
In practice user experience encloses all the types of online and offline interaction of a user with your company. To help understand the importance of user experience we will use in this post the example of the KPMG website to demonstrate the different aspects of UX as well as the different points of improvement.
Our user wants to get some specific information about KPMG and thus is navigating through the KPMG website. The interaction with the website - the easiness of finding the required information, the user interface, the speed, and quality of the design – can create a good or a bad experience for our user. If the user finds the right information on the KPMG website, he is more likely to ask for a proposal or contact the right teams within KPMG, in a different case the user might even create a negative opinion about the quality of the services of the company in general.
So UX is not only the visual interface of your product. It is the entire journey a user of your product takes. This includes:
The goal is to create a website where the users can achieve their goals, and eventually revisit. But what makes the user experience of your site good? User Experience focusses on the end-user and the achievement of their goals. There are 7 facets to keep in mind when designing for the User Experience:
Usable: Site must be easy to use
Useful: Your content should be original and fulfill a need
Desirable: Image, identity, brand, and other design elements are used to evoke emotion and appreciation
Valuable: Site must deliver value for all stakeholders.
Findable: Content needs to be navigable and locatable onsite and offsite
Credible: Users must trust and believe what you tell them
Accessible: Content needs to be accessible to people with disabilities
Another factor that is very important to look at, is the current usage of your website. What are people looking for, which different audiences can you identify and how can you differentiate the website for these different audience and how do users achieve their goals on the site? The current usage can be evaluated based on analytics and usability tests. If you find issues a redesign can help to solve these issues.
To value the User Experience testing with actual users is key. Getting data from focus groups, diary sessions, ethnographic research, usability studies and statistics will give you insights in behavior, goals and lives of your end-user. A powerful User Experience begins and ends with this kind of data and is defined by a consistent and valuable engagement with users.
One should never forget that in this fast pacing, constantly evolving technological world the users are always in the center, demanding responding solutions to their changing needs. Focus on user experience design and great customer service are keys to competitive advantage.
Author Jill Roelofs is a senior consultant in KPMG's Technology Advisory practice