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How UX Best Practices Drive a Competitive Advantage In Today’s and Tomorrow’s Business World

How UX Best Practices Drive a Competitive Advantage In Today’s and Tomorrow’s Business World

by: George Iacovou
Today’s market competition is fierce, and keeping a competitive advantage is harder than ever. 
Whether you run a digital agency or a traditional business undertaking digital transformation, you’ve felt the pressure to adapt, evolve, and outpace your rivals. 
So, you’ve got a great product. It responds to a consumer need, and it’s backed by passionate employees. Yet, you’re struggling to engage and retain customers. They’re still slipping off to your competitors, and you don’t know why. 
In today’s world, innovation is the status quo. You need to go a step further by making use of everything you’ve got. 
There’s only one thing which you have that your competitors can’t touch. It’s your user experience (UX), and it can make or break your success. 
What is UX? It’s the experience which users receive when they interact with your brand. It’s primarily concerned with things like how quickly users can find information on your website, or how easy it is to complete a transaction. It’s measured with metrics like success rate, error rate, abandonment rate, and clicks to the completion of an action or transaction. 
Good UX is the backbone of a good customer experience. Read on to discover why UX matters, and how to put UX best practices to work for you. 

Your User’s Experience Matters. Design It Well.

In 2018, the CEO of Adobe remarked that people don’t buy products anymore; they buy experiences. The quality of a product is no longer the key differentiator between competitors in today’s markets. Customers expect to feel good about their decision to purchase from your company rather than another. 
It’s now your job to deliver on that expectation. The quality of your UX one of the most decisive factors when it comes to whether a consumer will choose you or your competitor. When done correctly, a strong UX game delivers benefits such as:
Stronger conversion rates. Market researcher Forrester found that a well-designed UX improves conversion rates up to 400%.
Improved ability to meet customer technology expectations. Users are 67% more likely to buy from a site with a mobile-optimised interface.
Greater sales. According to PwC, 73% of customers identify their experience as a driving force behind their decision to buy from a specific brand, and 43% will spend more money to have a better experience.
Good UX matters far beyond how easy it is to access and navigate your brand. It also has tangible effects when it comes to creating your reputation. Consider:
94% of first impressions are design-related.
75% of people will form their opinion about a company’s credibility based on the way their site and digital presence looks. 
60% of users won’t trust a company that hasn’t optimised its digital presence for mobile users.
46% of users won’t trust a company if its mission statement isn’t clear. 
40% of users won’t trust a site that looks messy. 
The user experience has salient effects on a company’s bottom line and revenue. Make it count. 

Introducing the Strategic User Experience (UX Strategy)

UX best practices aren’t there to simply make your brand interaction an enjoyable one for your customers. They exist to serve a purpose, and that purpose is to keep your company relevant, responsive, and efficient. To create a competitive advantage with a user experience strategy, keep these three things in mind.

1. You Must Take Connectivity A Step Further

The reality of your customer is a hyper-connected one. Mobile devices put an immense amount of knowledge and options at a consumer’s fingertips. Realising, this no longer constitutes a clever, innovative insight. It’s now a necessary element of survival. 
Businesses tend to overlook the degree of connectivity which exists in today’s world, which can lead to missed opportunities to enhance the user experience. Take connectivity a step further by:
Making it easier for customers to access the right people within your organisation when they need help or have questions.
Emphasizing communication techniques and feedback in your interface which keep your users informed about what’s going on or what’s coming next. 
Leveraging personalisation to inspire a sense of interpersonal connection with your users. 
Connectivity is no longer just about how well devices and technology play together. Think of connectivity in human terms. 

2. User-centred Designs Embrace the Human

According to PwC’s study, 82% of U.S. and 74% of non-U.S. customers desire more human interaction in their shopping experiences. Likewise, some 59% of customers feel that companies have lost their connection with the human element of the customer and user experience. Good UX design seeks to change that, returning a sense of purpose to a consumer’s interaction with your brand.
However, the irony of UX is that it accomplishes this by leveraging more sophisticated technology. This technology makes it more important than ever to design with the end-user in mind. Don’t just emphasise accessibility and functionality in your UX strategy. Include things like:
Measures for inclusiveness. Design for diversity by including accessibility features for visually impaired users. 
Acknowledgements of diversity. Recognise that your users are diverse and emphasise a UX design process which reflects this reality of humankind.  
Conscientiousness towards effects. Experiences have the power to affect and change people. Remain mindful of the potential of your UX to elicit more profound experiences in your users.
User-centric designs answer the compliant of customers that companies no longer recognise them. The user experience is your opportunity to showcase your brand’s awareness of and commitment to recognizing the human element.

3. Emphasise Value, Not Business

The core principles behind UX best practices mean that your emphasis should lie in delivering value rather than a product or service. Customers derive a brand’s value to them from their interaction with it. This might include actual value – such as what the product or service accomplishes for the individual – or perceived value like emotional satisfaction, social rewards, or a sense of trustworthiness. 
Create your user experience from a deep understanding of who your users are, what they value, need, and want in the world. UX best practices around this concept include:
Recognising and solving pain points. Deliver value by solving a problem.
Emphasizing credibility. Indicate why people should trust and believe you rather than a competitor.
Evoking a sense of desirability. Create a positive brand image so that consumers feel good about being associated with you. 
Focus on delivering value rather than selling your brand. Users will buy once you’ve differentiated yourself by being more valuable and useful than the competition. 

Why the User Experience Can Be a Competitive Advantage

The user experience can become a competitive advantage because it helps a business think critically about how its customers interact with its brand and arrive at the closure of a successful transaction. UX is ultimately a component of the customer experience – it’s what creates the technological backbone of your customer’s experience. 
Since the customer’s experience plays a huge role in whether they do business (again, if at all) with you, emphasizing the UX in your business strategy allows you to:
Send a strong message about your company’s commitment to meeting customers in their preferred digital environment. For example, adopting a mobile-first approach to your digital presence makes it clear to your customers that you are focused on them.
Lay the groundwork for long-term sustainability. UX often comprises an element of digital transformation because it introduces the tools your company needs to remain technologically relevant. 
Create experiences which your competitors cannot. Understanding UX allows you to address pain points and provide solutions which competitors may have missed in their own UX strategy.


Work With a Digital Marketing Agency That Knows UX Best Practices

The user experience matters not just because a customer-centric approach helps users feel recognised and understood but also because it has the potential to transform a company radically. In 2019, UX best practices encourage a shift in the way companies think about their role and relation to their customers. In turn, it affects the infrastructure the business uses to carry out that role.
When designed thoughtfully, the UX can create a competitive advantage for your company. Products and services can be improved upon by competitors, but the user experience is the only thing which rests firmly under your control. That makes it a valuable, worthwhile investment which you can’t afford to overlook in your quest to remain relevant and competitive. 
Embrace UX and the human element as the world races towards a digital reality. It’s the only way forward. 
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