The service is the product. Regardless of whether Amazon, Airbnb, eBay, Paypal, or Netflix: the brand value lies in the customer service. In other words, the process and usability behind the digital offer must convince the user. We need a positive experience overall!
How to connect with the user emotionally?
First, to connect with the user emotionally, we have to know what is a human emotion and how to influence human emotions.
What is human emotion?
Human emotion is a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort.
According to Don Norman (a prominent academic in the field of cognitive science, design, and usability engineering), numerous areas of the human brain is responsible for human emotions. These areas are collectively called the Emotional System.
How to influence human emotion?
In the book Emotional Design, Don Norman states that there are three different and interconnected levels, each of which influences human decisions in a particular way. The three-levels are
Each of these three levels influences design in a specific way. Below are the three corresponding levels of design that help the user to connect with a product emotionally.
The product development should ensure just that. In addition to the classic roles of the concept designer and developer, there are specialists who deal intensively with the needs and habits of the users. You design the intuitive and easy usability of the digital application (e.g. software, website) from start to finish and maybe even put a satisfied smile on the user's face. The area that deals with these aspects of usage are called User Experience - UX for short. The position is usually filled by the design department. The specialists are affectionately known as UX people.
UX is convincing
UX fulfills numerous aspects: trust, identification, findability, aesthetics, technology, strategy and concept, useful, valuable, usable, assessable, holistic.
All of these points flow into the usability and user experience of a product. The better these are implemented, the happier the user. It can even be measured.
The nice thing about it: Many of the aspects mentioned can be influenced and designed directly. Users need orientation in the flood of information and the multitude of functions of a digital application. UX acts here as a control system. It influences the architecture of a product and ensures that the needs of the user are covered in the functions offered. An important contribution to a happy customer.
The combination of these functions must create an overall picture. A uniform language in word, form, and process is spoken across all touchpoints (interaction points). The smallest negative experience of the customer or user in the application leads to disappointment. Complex UX in the product kills the brand on the launchpad.
Positive experiences with a product, on the other hand, flow directly into trust and loyalty to the company. As in most disciplines, continuity is the be-all and end-all. How can we ensure that it will still work well tomorrow? The added value that user experience design makes is based not only on the cross-functional experience in a product but also on the further development of the product. It is, therefore, worthwhile to use analytical methods to make sure that the implemented UX is still convincing.
And how does good UX work nowadays?
The aspects and added value of UX are clear. How do we get a good user experience? The key is the user himself.
The product development team must understand what makes the user click, what wants and needs he has, and, above all, what habits and problems he has in the daily life that he would like to see captured in the digital product.
The UXers, therefore, work in close cooperation with other disciplines of the team.
He uses a wide variety of methods to first of all build an understanding of the user and his situation. The most common working methods include, for example, user interviews, user observations (shadowing), focus groups, and design sprints.
The important thing is that the focus is on the user and his or her ecosystem. The earlier the user is involved in the development of ideas, the more targeted the work and the more valuable the outcome. The exchange with people who have interfaces with the user, such as sales and customer support, is always helpful here. The findings from the discussions and observations in this research phase are then incorporated into user stories, user flows, and wireframes, which serve as the basis for developing visual and technical solutions. It is really important to listen carefully to the potential users. We know it from project management: the earlier inconsistencies or even mistakes are discovered, the cheaper it is for the project.
Also in the second phase, the implementation of the product idea, it is important to keep in touch with future users. With the help of simplified functional models of the idea, also called prototypes, feedback on the developed solutions can be obtained even in the early stages of development. Every user is grateful if these tests take place before the product goes live and not afterward. This saves the user, the product development team, and, last but not least, the company a lot of trouble.
" In order to create and design a good user experience, the priority must be orientation, acceptance, and trust. "
UX is measurable
We don't want trouble, so keep your eyes and ears open: What exactly is being reported back? How often is something mentioned? How do users feel about the product? How do they move within the application, how do they behave? The qualitative/quantitative assessment helps a designer to understand the UX metrics. This can measure during development or live the product. Because UX is a going process. Even during use, it is good to stay on the ball and to collect and evaluate the feedback of all kinds. A solid product will always help the sales team to sell.
An example of continuous polling of the user's mood is the NPS: Net Promoter Score. This is a key figure that determines to what extent users would recommend a product or the service behind it. The user can choose between “happy smiley” - yes, I would recommend the product to others, to “grim smiley” - no, I would definitely not recommend the product to others.
Other measurable data are UX indicators. They give an insight into the effort or use of resources and can later be set in the relationship of the business KPIs. These include B .:
- Amount of UX experts on the product team
- Number of UX methods used
- Number of test subjects used for interviews and prototype testing
- Number of commissioned services
They also supported arguments: A feedback on the product that is repeated by many test persons, for example, has a greater impact than isolated feedback. We are welcome to point out this multitude in decision-making processes.
Not to be forgotten are the business KPIs on the company side. Numbers from marketing, support, sales, etc. are relevant to UX. Data on topics such as willingness to pay after UX adaptation, error reduction, support calls, product calls, and length of stay provide information on whether a UX is successful.
These are all important points for a strong argumentation base that can be used in the company. It is important that this data is not only available to management, but also to the product team.
Measurable UX with continuous user feedback
In order to create and design a good user experience, the priority must be orientation, acceptance, and trust. These are clear influencing factors on the growth and longevity of a product.
Involving the user in the development of the solution is not only goal-oriented and eye-opening but also saves costs in the long term.
The measurability of UX is a very good decision-making aid in the design and development process and offers a strong argumentation for persuasion on the company side.
Satisfied users are good customers. ✌
In short -
- An influential factor that makes the user happy is a good user experience.
- A good user experience will give a delightful feel to the users and make them use the product continuously.
- The best way to provide a good user experience is to connect with the user emotionally.
- The three levels of the emotional system that influences the design in their specific way are Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective.
- Other measures like UI and IxD also help in improving the user experience of the product.
- There are also some business benefits of making users happy.