What if we told you that 70% of customers (Source: uxplanet.org) abandon their purchases because of bad user experience? This, amongst other things, is the very reason why excellent UX/UI design is crucial for your startup. You need brand-strengthening digital interfaces that attract customers instead of repelling them. In this article, we first explore the benefits of a branded user experience for tech startups and provide you with the steps to follow for an excellent user experience across all digital platforms.
What is the difference between UX and UI?
First things first: although there is a clear difference between those two disciplines, it's important to see how they interact with each other to capture users' attention and enhance their experience on a platform. Let's explore how.
UX (user experience) is not a physical, tangible thing, as it relates to how a user feels whenever they interact with and experience a product. The goal of the UX design process is to provide meaningful and holistic experiences by creating clear user journeys that are easy to follow: platforms should be designed in such a way that even new users feel as if they had been using the web or the app for years, they should not get lost on their way to purchasing your product. Good UX design meets users' needs, is easy to use and learn, and gives the user control and freedom. As you can see, UX involves quite a bit of psychology and understanding the target audience. Thus, it is characterized by a problem-solving approach.
UI (user interface) on the other hand relates to the visual and interactive features of websites, software, and apps. It includes the design of screens, buttons, and other elements, considering colors, typography, animations, and more. Of course, there is also a psychological aspect in all that, such as the colors you choose for a CTA. Also, when users have to decide between various platforms, the first glance at the design of a platform can be crucial.
Hence, to create intuitive designs that foster an effortless experience, it is important to consider UX as well as UI aspects. Another essential factor that we want to add at this point, however, is the importance of branding in UX/UI.
Especially as a tech startup, your brand is closely related to your product. Hence, your UX/UI is intertwined with your branding. Branded UX/UI not only enhances your overall brand experience by using your visual and verbal language but also serves to make the often tech-loaded user flows less dense. By adding branded animations and microinteractions as secret fine ingredients, you create a smooth user journey, making the interface lighter and more human. They contribute to a branded experience across all relevant platforms and add another dimension to your UX/UI.
Make users happy and convert them into brand ambassadors
As we mentioned earlier, a bad user experience most likely causes users to abandon your platform. Hence, by creating your UX in a way that pleases users and provides a solution to their problem, you increase the possibility of them completing the purchase. Thus, happy customers are more likely to come back to your website or app, and might even share or recommend it. Providing a good user experience can also help to reduce customer-service efforts, as impeccable user journeys create no need to contact support or complain.
Your product’s user experience is another important brand touchpoint, which can help you establish a close relationship between your brand and your product. Subtle animations and microinteractions bring a smile to users' lips and make them enjoy the experience. Therefore, you add another plus to your tech startup.
Up until now, we haven't been talking about numbers yet, and that is for a reason: the main point in making improvements in UX/UI design is to enhance customer satisfaction. Happy users mean happy feedback; happy feedback is most likely to increase user retention and can even attract new customers. So, don't worry too much about numbers (although we are aware that for startups the financial aspect is an important one), everything will pay off in the end.
Steps to good UX/UI design
Get to know your audience
In order to create awesome user experiences, you have to know the preferences of your target audience and understand users' needs, motivations and goals. Tools that may find their way into the research are product audits, A/B tests, user interviews, analyses via Google Analytics, etc.
Develop a solid strategy
The data you gain during the research should be analyzed in a clear direction to build a solid foundation for the future design process. While doing so, you should always keep in mind your goals, product roadmap, and brand identity, thus developing a strategy that incorporates both the customer's and company’s needs. (If you are struggling with your brand strategy, make your life easier by downloading our toolkit).
Create intelligent user flows
Try to solve your users' problems by creating user flows that will lead them to the solution, hence, the purchase. Organize information and content in an accessible way, identify pitfalls, and ensure every part of a particular flow is in line with your strategy and overall brand personality.
Apply an engaging design
Next, it's time to build the overall – branded – appearance of your product. The “bones and muscles” will be represented by wireframes, whereas the “skin and outerwear” is the interface design. Also, you better not forget about the power of words: create efficient and clear copy to guide users through experiences effectively and conversationally. Create a branded UX/UI that is in line with your startup.
Test, improve, repeat
Seeing the screens linked up and tappable can make the world of a difference. What might seemed clear in the beginning, might result being a hassle. That's why you should test every user interaction, continuously improving and developing the product.
To sum up, if you want to solve your customers' problems, meet their needs, and convert them into happy brand ambassadors, you should definitely go for branded UX/UI design. If you need any help, we are here to help. Feel free to reach out to us and have a look at our UX/UI services.