Joe Dawson

Joe is the director of Creative.onl and oversees all of the design and technical work that we produce. Find him on Twitter.

When talking about UX, we spend a lot of time discussing things like interface design, menu navigation, and ease of use of websites and apps. But there are other, wider UX factors which you shouldn’t neglect. These include the following four important aspects of your digital operations:

  1. Language
  2. Continuity and coherence
  3. Journey signposting
  4. Trust

1. Why language matters

Just like in real life your language use and tone of delivery are the building blocks of your customer experience. How you talk to your customers will determine whether they leave your website happy with their treatment and feeling positive about your products or services, or leave dismayed about their experience.

Mark Twain once famously said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” 

Every day businesses are turning off their customers through using the wrong tone and language on their website. This includes their choice of on-screen instructional language used to guide customers around the website, even down to often overlooked technical details such as what error messages are displayed when their navigation goes wrong. 

Grab the opportunity to connect 

Strong branding is vital but so is your User Experience. You have the opportunity to fill your website with sincere, honest, welcoming and friendly language that creates a positive customer experience and increases their desire to stay on your site. 

Your choice of positive language and the ease of tone you use will greatly help customers that are looking for good choices and are keen to seek out a fruitful relationship.

Using the right tone and language on your website can be a valuable tool. Be sure to include sharing empathy with your customers to show you understand why they are here and what solutions they are looking for.

Make room for conversation

Never neglect the human-touch. Being ‘real’ in your customer’s eyes can help to change hearts and minds in your favour. 

Make good use of your blog and social media pages to create plenty of space for customer engagement and conversation. Be present on these platforms and be prepared to answer your customer queries with genuinely helpful answers and advice. 

2. Continuity and coherence

Do the various aspects of your customer communications tie together well? E.g. do automated emails match the format of your website? Does your social media activity tally with your current website promotion?

It is not only the continuity of your chosen style and theme flowing throughout your website and other forms of customer communications that are important for building consistency, but it is also crucial that you stay on point with your message across all of your communication platforms. 

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Information overload

Your prospective customers are facing a huge barrage of branded content every single day. Website marketers know that their messages need to be relevant at all times. 

Think of your website promotions and social media marketing activities as a form of digital storytelling. When you read a book or listen to a story being read out loud, you will want the story to be consistent and coherent to make sense. 

When done right your digital storytelling can be a very valuable tool that enables you to create a story and an immersive and engaging experience between your brand and your customers. 

We are talking here about going further than simply repurposing a single piece of content for different media channels – that would be following a cross-media technique where the information delivered is basically the same. Instead, you would look at creating a form of transmedia storytelling.

Creating a deeper customer experience 

Transmedia storytelling is where you look at your website and social media channels as an individual piece of a much larger puzzle. Each channel you use will tell a different part of the same overall story. The ideal is that your customer will discover something new and exciting by following your trail of breadcrumbs. 

Using this form of interconnection between your website and other communication channels will draw your customers into a larger and much deeper user experience over multiple channels to deliver a holistic story that will eventually lead to a strong call to action to purchase your product or service.

Don’t forget to make good use of different delivery approaches to telling your story. As mainly visual learners, nearly 70% of us would prefer a short videoto learn about a new product or service than other types of content such as a written text or infographics. But using a multi-faceted approach will capture and engage with a broader audience. 

3. Journey signposting

Do you have sufficient messaging to make sure your customer understands where they are in a process, and what will happen next?

Your user journey is a key part of your customer experience. The journey that your customer takes around your website will have an influence on the success of your site and your customer conversion rates.

What we mean here is making sure that the journey your users takes through your website to complete their desired task is as easy and smooth as possible. 

Depending on the nature of your business, your customer could be visiting your site to book a hotel room, purchase a product or hire your services, sign up to your mailing list, grab a free download or enter a competition that you are running etc. 

There are usually two big common mistakes that are made here that you will want to avoid if possible:

  • You will be more concerned about how your site looks than your actual user journey
  • You will create new content around your promotion, competition or end product without first  reverse engineering the user journey
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While it is important to make sure your website looks attractive to the eye and reads well, you need to ensure that your user journey to get to the desired target works.

Assess your customer needs

Before you start your website design work to make your site look pretty, stop to think about your user journey and what your desired business outcomes are for your website.

Ask yourself what you want your customers to do while on your website. Start with your end product and reverse engineer the steps back to your customer working out what actions or steps they will need to take to take possession of what they desire. 

Is your user journey too long or overly complicated? Are there too many hoops to jump through before they get what they desire? Can you improve their journey by cutting down or cutting out some steps? 

Remember that your sale could hinge on your customer’s immediate desire to ‘buy right now’. If your user journey is too long, distracting or overly complicated then your customer could lose their desire for your product or service by the time they actually have the chance to click the buy button. 

4. Trust

UX plays an important role in how much your customers trust you. Does your website have an SSL certificate and display the browser padlock icon? Are your customer reviews positive? Are you reliable in consistently delivering your services and products?

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are still very common and they are an effective way to gain access to your company data. 

According to Microsoft’s latest security intelligence report, adversaries continue to use phishing as a preferred method of breaching businesses: detections rose 250% between January and December 2018.

As a company, you are legally responsible for the protection of your customer’s sensitive personal data so you need to make sure you have strong preventative measures in place to prevent data breaches. 

By clearly demonstrating that you have security at the forefront of your mind you will be reassuring your customers that their personal data is safe in your hands and protected from phishing attempts. 

At Creative.onl we offer a wide range of specialist services and can help you with everything from UX design to your digital marketing strategy. 

Contact us todayif you’d like to find out more, or you can request a free consultation.

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