Spotlight|July 6, 2017

5 Minutes with a UX Designer

We talk a lot about the customer experience and how important it is to brand loyalty. For those that have a vague idea about the UX field, it’s a new way of understanding user interaction and the psychology behind the technology.

I sat down with Ingrid Thonet (@ithonet), Head of UX at ContentSquare, to talk about why web content needs UX.

Your company’s digital staff

Before the prominence of e-commerce, customer service was the sole responsibility of in-store sales associates. Store associates greet you when you walk in and assist you when you need help. They gauge your body language if you are window shopping or looking for something in particular.

“Usability is the perception and feelings of the user in the context of human-computer interactions,” states Ingrid. “The interaction is a conversation between product and user. The better the UX, the more it shouldn’t require much thought.”

Now, we think of UX as a website’s digital staff. The friendly smile that we’re used to is equivalent to a clean website design that is easy to use.

“The better the UX, the more it shouldn’t require much thought.”

Design for emotion

With Facebook’s rollout of their new like system, it responded to a clear need for defining emotional responses. In the same sense, we talk a lot about the contextual situation. While personas are useful in tailoring messages, Ingrid reinforced the understanding of contextual data because we all have varying levels of attention throughout the day.

Ingrid gave this example:

“Imagine you’re a working mother of two kids. You’re browsing your favorite site on your tablet after an email notification about a sale. You quickly browse on your phone during your morning coffee before the kids come downstairs to eat breakfast. Once you get to work, you eat lunch at your desk and go back to the site. You go down the rabbit hole of their product pages, opening multiple tabs of the products that pique your interest. Once you get home you’re ready to buy the items on the couch while watching your favorite show.”

It’s a process

Working in the UX field is often like a moving target. Since it is such a new field, it is essential to keep learning and not stay stagnant. Ingrid leaves the last piece of advice: “You’re nothing without the others in a project. You have to suppress your ego and ask for criticism. It’s an iterative process and to be successful you have to be at ease with the fact that you are one part of a team.”

Customer experience is the reigning competitive edge for brands in an oversaturated online marketplace. To stay afloat, brands need to not only support the UX team by upgrading their capabilities, but also brands need to educate the entire organization on the benefits of good design. When that support is there from the start, it shows in the final product.

Photo by Geoffrey Arduini

Kristine Ugalde

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