UX and Digital Transformation: Why You Need to Tackle Bothhttps://www.lionandmason.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/featured-uxdt.jpg 800 449 Andrew Machin Andrew Machin https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/cb667299cf0ec64d85b1ff83184f4969?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Rather than focussing on the competition or trends within their industry, leading businesses are looking to user experience as a key to successful digital transformation. It’s no coincidence that this comes at a time where companies are embarking on major digital change initiatives, bringing their products and services up to scratch for the digital age. All this relates back to a demand for better, cohesive services offerings and transparency direct from customers.
But it’s the Top 100 companies that are appreciating the importance of user experience (UX) in digital transformation. A recent study by SAO discovered that 58% of the Top 100 put “customer empowerment as a global trend.” Other businesses it seems are still concentrating on their neighbours, trying to outsmart the market with product variations or price points.
There are other reasons to deliver a focussed user experience that goes far beyond the touchy-feely aspect of streamlining services, however. Getting that loyalty from customers allows businesses to nurture an environment where customers spend more, costs are lower and employee engagement higher. When it comes to business efficiency, this creates a persuasive argument for understanding your UX.
Experience separates you from the competition
Understanding and forming an appreciation of what your customers want isn’t something that’s easy to define. Although marketers may think they know how their customers like to interact with them, delve a little deeper, and a different picture emerges. User testing is the only true way of developing a clear idea of what direction you need to head in. Ask the Top 100, and they’ll tell you that if you get that right, you’ll be on the way to success.
The other factor is the way customer expectations are changing to match the age we live in. Digital innovation has become part of the fabric of modern life. Things once considered more sci-fi than real life, like AI for instance, are commonplace with inventions like Siri and Alexa. Customers expect more. Tailored content, smart apps, online help within tight timeframes, and a reliance on online reviews have all been cited by customers as key deciding factors for engaging with a brand. The pressure is on businesses to meet and exceed these expectations to stay relevant.
What great user experience looks like
You can only begin to think about your user experience by looking at the customer journey. Far from being a simple linear structure, customer journeys can be complex, and they differ from person to person. If you’re starting your digital transformation on the right foot, looking at customer journeys should already be high on the agenda. The great news is, digital tools enable you to dig deeper and uncover more information when it comes to customer journeys than ever before.
To take a truly customer-centric approach, you need to get feedback from people as they navigate your service. Through prototypes and testing, you can gather the information you need to see exactly where the pain points are, and what your customers want to see more of.
How UX fits into digital transformation
The truth is, UX and digital transformation are often seen as two different areas. But by using a joined-up approach, you’ll be hitting that sweet spot for business success.
Getting your front-facing applications optimised and ready to meet customer expectations is one thing, but to slot a UX strategy into digital transformation, you’ll need to look at the end-to-end processes across the business. This will enable you to create touchpoints that people want to use, defining your business as a valuable resource. The key is to look at it as a multifaceted yet intrinsically linked strategy. Ultimately, effective UX strategies rely on digital technologies, and without the right tech in place for your business, you’ll be at a stalemate.
Designing a user experience strategy
User experience covers every interaction someone has had with you from start to finish. That can include a lot of different touchpoints to say the least, so having the tools in place to effectively design a UX strategy will depend on a variety of techniques.
Ask another company how they approached their UX strategy, and chances are it won’t shed too much light on where you need to start. Why? Because of course, every business is unique. Without a personalised approach, you won’t get the results you need. There are some resources you can tap into to develop a bespoke UX strategy for your business, however. Here are just some of the things to consider:
- Design a roadmap – creating a vision for what you want to achieve and when you need to achieve it by is one element. You’ll also need to think about how this slots into the wider digital transformation strategy, including what tech and tools you’ll need to support each strategy from start to finish.
- Gain an understanding of pain points – customer feedback and testing is the best way of building a clear understanding of how accessible you are as a business, what barriers are in place for customers, and how intuitive your services are.
- Develop personal experiences – once you’ve gained thorough insights into your customers, you’ll be in a better position to pitch your products and services to them in a way that delights. All this will link neatly back into digital transformation initiatives, from creating targeted content to engage customers at all stages of the journey, to developing tech and apps to make their experience streamlined and simplistic.
Digital transformation needs to be user-centric
Although often treated as two separate entities, UX and digital transformation strategies are increasingly being seen as intrinsically linked. In a time where digital transformation is becoming more customer-centric, businesses are looking to their customer base for valuable insights. Staying relevant is now more important than staying ahead of the competition and being able to pitch targeted products and services to customers relies on a raft of finely tuned digital technologies and strategies.
By tying in your UX strategy to your digital transformation, you’ll be able to effectively meet client expectation, keep your business current, and act as a valuable resource in a world where the end user really is king.
With over 15 years’ experience in web design and digital marketing Andrew has helped many brands, both in the UK and US, create exceptional digital experiences, from websites to in-store retail experiences, such as John Lewis, Jet2, Virgin Holidays and Interflora.Through the success of such projects Andrew has received accolades that include high-profile awards that span innovation, strategy, design and results such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university and speak at seminars and conferences across the UK.Follow Andrew @The_MachinAll stories by: Andrew Machin