25 Jan Life is a user experience
Design isn’t just about the aesthetic; it has the potential to solve problems too. Businesses that understand this will be able to set themselves apart from their competitors and elevate the customer experience.
Understanding what your customers care about, how they behave and what drives that behavior is the basis of experience design. This understanding of the customer and having a clear endgame in mind will drive every aspect of your business, whether that is packaging, your website, apps or a physical environment. It also includes how your team interacts with customers – whether face-to-face, over the phone or online.
Experience design encompasses all aspects bridging the gap between a business and its customers, pulling together insight, strategy, design and technology. Businesses that aren’t creating a unified customer experience will lose out, with research showing that customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiators by 2020.
How can a business begin to create a unified customer experience?
You might have to rethink how you work and design can help with that process. Visualize the customer journey and share this with all the people within your business so that everyone is clear on what you want to achieve.
Narratives and creativity can help your team to understand the user journey. If you can integrate storylines and visuals into the online and offline experience, it will help to bring your brand to life.
Delivering extraordinary customer experience
The ultimate goal of experience design is to deliver an extraordinary customer experience that will elevate your brand beyond your competitors. Your product might well be exceptional, but if the consumer’s brand experience fails to meet expectations they will turn elsewhere. Similarly if a company has excellent customer experience, consumers are willing to spend more.
Consumers will stay loyal to brands when they experience meaningful interactions and it is easier to keep customers than find new ones. So it pays to take the time to consider your brand experience and its design.
Airbnb’s design principles
One great example is Airbnb who have clear design principles: unified, universal, iconic and conversational, that shape and influence every aspect of their customer experience. These principals define both their approach and the character of the brand.
Airbnb don’t just apply these principles to their customer experience, it also influences the way their teams work together across different disciplines. This helps to further cement their approach of delivering a unified system of applying creativity to solve problems in a collaborative way.
As long as you know how the different aspects of branding, UX and service design all relate to one another and you understand your customer journey, it is possible to create that seamless, memorable and amazing experience.