In almost every industry, there are myths. These myths are sometimes believed as fact, even if they are not true.
You’ve probably heard the term User Experience (UX) a great deal. If you’re not familiar with it you’re either struggling to understand it, or sick to death of hearing about it. Regardless of what you know UX is often misunderstood.
To help clarify what UX means, in the most simple terms:
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products. – Nielsen Norman Group
Many times, I hear people dismiss the importance of UX as part of the process when designing any aspect of their business assets from a company website, brochure and collateral materials and even things like the way a Newsletter is laid out. The following is a list of the top 10 most common myths about user experience we’ve heard:
- It doesn’t really matter
Myth. User Experience matters. Everything about how your customers and clients interact with your business and the experience they have while they are doing it, matters. Every interaction leaves an impression, good or bad. If we brush it off with the attitude of “it doesn’t matter” then the end customer can tell that you actually don’t care about your business or them, the customer. You may not realize it, but the “it doesn’t matter” attitude actually translates to “I don’t really care”. That isn’t the image you want to project to your customers. It also will not help build your brand image. And if you don't care, why should your customers care?
- No one will notice
Myth. People definitely notice when something is bad. They may not realize that what they are noticing is referred to as good or bad user experience, but they do know when something is hard to use, or if they had an horrible experience shopping or using a product. They know when they had a good experience and they like telling people. On the contrary, as we all know very well, people definitely complain when they are dissatisfied.
- People will just figure it out
Myth. We can't assume what people will do or what they know. We have to help them by making it as easy as possible. “Keep it simple” is the best way to get and keep customers. Allowing your visitors to be free from having to think about what they're supposed to do is the best way to make them happy and convert them into customers (and hopefully repeat customers). If you make the process complicated or difficult, you run the risk of creating a frustrated or even angry visitor who will leave (without you even knowing) and potentially complaining on social media.
- We’ll just use a template
Myth. Everything around us has been designed for the specific experience we are having right now. Hopefully, those things have been designed well but those times when we get frustrated are because the experiences are bad, frustrating or don't make any sense. Usually, it's the result of poor planning and bad design. So, why would you want to be the result of a cookie cutter mold when you could be an original model designed for your customers’ best experience and engagement? Templates are seemingly great and easy on the outside but you end up looking exactly like everyone else. You also run the risk of having a poorly coded site that you can't manage or fix when things go awry. After spending so much time and energy creating that new brand to sell a fantastic unique service and be a leader in your industry, why not have a set of unique branded assets to match, custom tailored for your audience?
- Our competitors aren’t focusing on it
Myth. Your successful competitors are absolutely working on this. In fact, even as I write this post, they are diligently working on their strategy. While you're planning to skip the rough stuff like unique designs custom tailored for your audience, your competitors are researching and analyzing data to conquer the market. That could be you! Why let them have all the fun? Show them what you've got with fresh and unique designs to make your business stand out, and attract the right customers.
- UX only applies to mobile apps
Myth. Many people think user experience is isolated to mobile apps when in fact it applies to the entire customer experience from the second your potential customer interacts with your brand. Whether it's navigating a website, touring a retail store, calling into a customer service center, looking through a brochure, and even filling out a contact form, every single person is having an experience. All these elements involve design. Yes, even a form is designed for optimal user experience. Some forms are a nightmare (paper or online) and I'm sure you've wanted to scream filling them out because of how bad they are. You've even thought about how they could be better if [insert improvement here]. That is a user experience example right there! If planned and designed well, the customer will have a great experience, turn into a paying customer, tell another person, give you a referral and give you repeat business. Success!
- We can’t afford it
Myth. Making sure your customers have the best experience when they interact with your brand doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think. On the other hand, poor planning and design could backfire and be more costly to your business and you won’t know it until it’s too late. Too often, companies think hiring an inexperienced designer to create their website or business collateral, or even do it themselves, find out it's much more than they bargained for.
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional designer, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair
- We are too small for that
Myth. All businesses have to start somewhere. No one starts out at the top of the Fortune 500 list. Even if that’s not your goal, every business has a plan for success and growth. No matter how small your company is, without happy customers you’ll have a hard time finding and keeping them. With a great design and constant planning and engagement with your audience, you will insure success.
- We are already successful
Myth. No matter how successful you are, things can change overnight and that change can come from one really poor customer experience. Very few small to medium sized business owners can claim to have everything figured out so well that they don’t NEED to keep up with changing technology and user trends. Some businesses might look back and wonder how their once very successful business started to slow down and realize it’s because they didn’t do enough to keep up with the latest user behaviors and trends, which are always changing and evolving.
- UX is just a phase
Myth. I once heard someone say that the internet is just a phase, and that their business didn’t need a website or any of the other fancy-schmancy things that were getting developed. Perhaps in that particular instance, “they” were successful and didn’t suffer from not adapting. However, it’s a risky approach and unlikely that any business can survive without getting in touch with what their customers are thinking and feeling about the products offered. Customers will never stop having emotions and experiences when they interact with your brand, whether you are offering a consumer product or a business to business service.
We can help.
Do you have a new project coming up? Working with us on your next project will help ensure that you’re reaching your customers and offering the best experience possible. We’ll create a plan that will evolve as the trends change so we can grow with you.