When we talk about user experience (UX), we are referring to something much broader than customer satisfaction when making a purchase or acquiring a product or service. The user experience or, in English, user experience is a set of factors and elements related to the interaction of the user with a specific environment, be it a site, a platform or an application, from its first approach to the assimilation of the user. himself and incorporation into his way of life.
More than a tool or a strategy, the UX is a structure that defines the journey that the user makes from the moment he begins to interact with a service or product until finally deciding whether or not to make a purchase, acquisition or subscription. In the middle of this process, there are several stages and states of mind that the potential client goes through and that the UX, through a series of steps, must know how to interpret in order to offer solutions. For this reason, the user experience is not limited to completing a purchase, but rather encompasses the entire journey that the user takes to achieve their goal.
Defined by cognitive scientist Don Norman, author of the bestselling book The Design of Everyday Things , the term gained notoriety from his role as a User Experience Architect at Apple in the early 1990s. While he was the first person to bring UX as a title, the concept dates back a long time, since it is linked to all aspects of the human relationship with a system, from design to the theoretical aspect, through the interface, graphics and physical interaction. The various strategies to optimize the relationship of the individual with his environment have years of history and, in a certain sense, are what are now known as UX.
If the UX timeline is taken into account, one can think, in millennial terms, of Feng Shui, one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, as a precursor philosophy of the user experience, since it is about a system that seeks to harmonize beings with the environment. If one thinks, also, in ancient Greece, the concept of ergonomics resonates with UX since it is a " scientific discipline that deals with the interactions between human beings and other elements of a system, as well as the profession that applies theory , principles, data and methods to the design in order to optimize the well-being of the human being and the overall result of the system”.
Later, around 1900, in the middle of the Second Industrial Revolution, work began with an eye toward optimizing and efficiency of the machines that were incorporated to solve complex industrial production tasks. The goal, once again, was focused on improving the consumer experience. Over time, the idea of interaction behind UX was applied to early telecommunication devices like the telegraph and telegram. Then, in 1955, industrial engineer Henry Dreyfuss, author of Designing for People , pushed forward a usability breakthrough for iconic products of the day, like the Hoover vacuum cleaner and the desk phone.
But it was none other than Walt Disney who, in 1955, made a leap into the history of UX with the opening of Disneyland, the great amusement park in California that is, in principle, an experience focused on the interactive possibilities of the user. unpublished until now. In a way, the magical and immersive universe of Disney served as the basis for the UX principles linked to knowing the dreams, desires, fantasies, and also the fears of the target audience. That is why, before the virtual age, the principles of UX were in full use, development and evolution.
Already in the 1970s, with the personal computer revolution, work began on design, interaction and the graphical user interface in a specific way. The appearance of Xerox Parc or simply Parc (Palo Alto Research Center) laid the computing foundations from substantial technological developments linked to software and hardware. Inventions such as laser printing and object-oriented programming were conceived with the aim of making the user's experience more satisfactory and expanding their interactive possibilities with a virtual or digital environment. These advances, over time, were key to understanding the dimension of UX in people's lives, offering clarity on ways and habits of consumption.
According to Jakob Nielsen , known as "the king of usability" and co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group with Don Norman, this concept allows the user to measure the ease or difficulty of interacting with a given interface or platform. Usability relates to the user's ability to learn: what is their level of difficulty in completing basic tasks . It also has to do with efficiency: how you relate to the interface after learning how it works . And finally, with satisfaction: whether or not the user will use the interface again . The functional use of an interface is key in the structure of the UX.
Bearing in mind that the UX aims at a satisfactory , efficient and dynamic experience, accessibility has to do with all the elements that make the interaction of the person with the interface, taking into account the context of use, the material conditions and the skills of the user. If, for example, a person has a specific disability or a specific need to complete their experience, the UX must guarantee adequate access to avoid unnecessary efforts. For this reason, the good practices of the UX structure must include an open and inclusive look .
Interaction is the key to the UX experience, since it is what configures the points of contact between the user and the interface. The user person or, in English, user person must be able to determine their way of relating to the product or service and, for its part, the interface must guide the user in a non-invasive way along a potential happy path that guides and provides information linked to your wants and needs.
If a dynamic and efficient interaction cannot be guaranteed, there is a risk that the user does not understand the steps to follow and decides to abandon the purchase or subscription process. Therefore, it is important to establish, from the beginning, a friendly interaction that guides the user persona along a functional path.
If you seek to optimize the experience of the real or potential customer, incorporating UX into the marketing strategy can bring benefits in many ways, from the visual relationship that the user has with a product or service to the interaction that continues to have even after a visit. purchase or subscription. It is important to remember that the user experience is not limited to the customer purchasing or consuming a certain brand, but rather encompasses everything known as the customer journey , the customer's interactive journey that goes through curiosity, interest, decision and then, if the product is incorporated into their consumer profile, the recommendation and dissemination of it.
Today, a digital marketing strategy must not only have a plan of defined objectives, a knowledge of the target audience and an understanding of the customer's needs and their pain points, but also with a user experience that allows a dynamic interaction that goes beyond the acquisition of a product or service. In short, it is about the user having an experience that they can share, recommend and, in the best of cases, be part of their lives.
Among the elements that the UX must offer within the marketing strategy are:
- Reliable and relevant information that allows the user to fully understand the nature of the product or service.
- Quality audiovisual content that accompanies the information in a detailed and entertaining way.
- A friendly web structure that allows browsing the site without difficulties.
- A consistent language that speaks to the user enthusiastically and resolutely.
- Efficient care response that helps the user to solve any inconvenience.
In terms of digital marketing optimization, UX works in several ways:
- Improves search engine rankings, as search engines highlight sites that respond to user needs, such as an accessible interface, a design that can be adapted to mobile phones, and the ease of use of the platform.
- Increases engagement and conversion, as functional usability, intuitive design, quality content, and the voice and tone of a site help build a complete user experience and thus contribute to brand awareness. be assimilated by the user in a positive way, generating comments and recommendations.
- It helps to achieve a greater flow of customers through a friendly language, a pleasant design and a functional structure that invites you to experience a relationship with the product or service that does not end with the purchase, but rather becomes part of the consumer's habits. the user person.
To apply the UX to the marketing strategy, it is necessary, above all, to understand the needs, desires and aspirations of the target audience, as well as their pain points, that is, those aspects where an unresolved need lies and that the user experience comes to solve through usability, interaction and accessibility , key pieces to achieve a satisfactory, memorable and recommendable experience.
To create a user journey or, in English, an effective user journey , it is advisable to make a list of the possible problems that the user may have and the solutions that the product or service has to offer through a functional interface. The design of the route of the user and their different states of mind must be clear, simple and efficient. The idea is that the real or potential client finds a concrete answer to each question that is presented to him in his journey. If the answers are functional and effective, this path will be a happy one.
Another important aspect to take into account is the ease of finding the website, since the user does not want to waste time browsing to find solutions to their problems or needs. A new product or service does not work without a memorable, accessible and friendly site, with a language and an interface that is within the reach of the majority of the target audience. In addition, building a personality and an identity for the site is key if what is sought is that the user achieves an identification with said product or service.
As you can see, the user experience (UX) is much more than a means to reach or retain customers: it is an advance in the way of relating to the needs of the target audience and can be a key ally for digital marketing . Incorporating the advantages that the UX brings can generate substantial benefits not only when it comes to knowing in depth the needs of the user, but also to perfect and optimize the product or service that is offered through an intelligent interface. In this way, user and environment achieve a functional link thanks to the UX.
If what you are looking for is business growth, expanding a business or starting a new venture, incorporating UX into the marketing strategy is a significant leap in terms of business management, innovation and business culture. The user experience is not a minor aspect of business management but a key to taking business to a level of greater empathy, efficiency and communication.