It can be difficult to accept when business isn’t booming quite as expected. Your company’s business model is sound, you have the right content in place, and your technology is up-to-date, so what could it be? We sometimes forget about one key aspect that is incredibly important to the viewer - the user experience.
Think about this: So take a step back and view your product or service as an outside user would. “Users” and “viewers” are just “people” like you and me. Acknowledging this is your first step toward gaining informed insights into where potential improvements may lie.
When you think of user experience, the first thing that may pop into your head is having a visually appealing user interface (UI). However, that is one of the most common misconceptions: user experience is more than just a pretty picture. In fact, with all the digital design advances in the past decades, UI elements are no longer enough to differentiate “an experience.”
Start by understanding your customer’s way of thinking. What is their motivation for using your product or service? What are their goals? Creating a lasting impression via experience is about aligning your user’s needs and goals with those of your business. Everything from design and language to story mapping and visualization are critical.
Take time to collect these insights as this is vital to create a starting point. Answering the five W’s can help kick start this process:
- Who are your typical users?
- What are they using your service for predominantly?
- When are they using it?
- Where are they accessing it from most regularly?
- Why you, and not your competition?
Have a chat with customer service – too many calls to the help desk may indicate a lack of self-service options for your service or uncover areas that require attention. Maybe subscribers are only signing up for your freemium service, and then cancelling once that trail period is over. A dive into the analytics might uncover that users who signed up on a “half price” introductory offer instead of a “free trial” are 60% more likely to continue as subscribers because they’ve already added their credit card details. It’s all about asking questions and testing resulting hypotheses.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. So what’s next is to take a look at the data you already collect, talk to experts, and of course, talk to your customers! If the Zen of UX can be summed up, it’s possibly in the words of Confucius, “by three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest.”