Nowadays people much prefer visually appealing content and Google is rewarding websites with better User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) by ranking them higher on search results. Therefore, it is important for marketers to focus on UI/UX when working on marketing content and landing pages.
“UI/UX” are often placed together as a single term. UI relates to the visual layout and elements of an application, whether it’s buttons, text, images, transitions or more. UX also relates to the user interface but covers the experience of the application – how easy or difficult it is to interact with the UI and how seamless is the experience.
Here are just a few of the reasons why marketers need a basic understanding of UI and UX:
Most people use Google to search queries, which makes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) a crucial part of marketing as Google decides which pages will rank higher on a result page. The good old times of stuffing an article with keywords and getting Google to rank your site has passed. Now Google has put more emphasis on website that facilitate a good user experience.
UX reflects the effectiveness of the UI. Does a website solve the problems of users? Do users find the content or product in the website useful? How long do they stay on the website? Do they perform any actions that shows they trust the website and want more future content and services from it?
When a website has bad design and is not optimized for speed, it’s highly likely more users will drop off no matter how useful that website content might have been.
When it comes to writers and marketers, UX does not end at just design. It is necessary to incorporate quality copywriting, effective message delivery, and ease of understanding into site design.
This next section is a walkthrough of UI/UX knowledge that every digital marketer should get familiar with. It is broken down into 5 categories:
A customer journey map (CJM) gives a visual overview of how customers interact with your website, products, or business across multiple touchpoints.
Visualizing the actions of visitors probes the actions, thoughts, and emotions of users and hence their experience, so a customer journey map helps you better understand them and identify the pain points they encounter.
A narrow CJM will allow you to zoom in an issue and go in-depth on solving a particular Pinpoint.
A broad CJM will give you a broader, holistic understanding of how customers experience your Business
Regardless of the scope, the best customer journey maps are created with real customer data collected and analyzed. The insight can be shared across the entire business so everyone gets a clear and comprehensive overview of a customer’s journey.
A wireframe is a bare-bones version of a website used to show only its basic functionalities. Most elements are visible in a wireframe, but other less relevant factors are left out of a wireframe.
Wireframes are used early in the design process for testing and research.
Image from Pinterest
A prototype is an early model of a product that is used for testing or tracking the progress of a product over time until the final model is launched. Prototypes are part of the learning curve for the product.
Image from Pinterest
A mood board is a collection of different media that inspires the artistic direction of the product being created. Mood boards allow for free reign of the creative thought process. Here, all ideas are welcome and tested before settling on the final concept.
Image from Milanote
You may have heard of the term "mockups". These are visualizations of a product being used in everyday life. For example, if a UI designer creates a website, then they will create a mockup of the website being displayed by a smartphone or desktop computer.
Mockup templates are also available, and they provide digital illustrations of devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
Image from Freepik
A site map is an essential aspect of UI design, which is a model of the structure and content of a site. It is essential to users because it provides a visualization of how to navigate the site.
Image from Freepik
Heatmaps are used to visualize the areas in a webpage where visitors appear to linger longer - this suggests that those areas attract the most attention. Heatmaps are used in conjunction with eye-tracking software to determine exactly where a user's eyesight is being drawn towards.
Flowcharts are popular for visualizing complex systems or activities. A flow chart is a sequential diagram that shows the steps taken by a user when they are exploring a site. Flowcharts can be as simple as blocks of text pointing to other steps in the system. Flowcharts can also be in the form of screenshots showing the natural progression of a web app.
Image from Freepik
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a type of testing where there are two variants of the same product. These two variants are used to research which of the two design types brings in more success. It is also used to determine which of the two has more accessibility and better user experience.
Design thinking is a 5-part process where design concepts are created with the user in mind. It is a flexible project development concept because of the iterations involved. There are 5 steps involved in design thinking, among which are:
Empathize: This step involves stepping into the user’s shoes to view the problem they need a solution to.
Define: Defining the root of the user's problem is the second step in creating a solution.
Ideate: Figure out ways to solve the user’s problem.
Prototype: This will be the first version of a project that seeks to solve a user’s problem.
Test: Testing requires iterations of trying and testing out the product.
Shaping a great customer experience includes addressing what didn't work with your prototype. Most of our most valuable lessons come from mistakes and unintended consequences.
We can ask the following questions
What doesn’t come out as planned?
Where do users drop off / disengage?
Are there any unexpected outcomes?
After answers to these questions are gathered by web analytics and qualitative user feedbacks, get each team member to review those outcomes and assess if that feature should be stopped, continued, or modified.
Basic UI/UX for marketers includes creating websites that can be accessed easily using different types of devices. People use desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, tablet computers and even smart watches to access content. If a website is adaptive or responsive, this means that it can detect what device it is being viewed on, and adjust its dimensions and elements to that device’s specifications.
Breadcrumbs are a type of site navigation concept where a user can tell the origin of the current page they are on. Breadcrumbs allow users to view "ancestor" pages that lead up to the current page. This allows them to access other relevant pages on a site easily.
Users will usually scan a web article in an F-Shaped pattern. The F-shape is formed by the boldness of horizontal subheadings and then any elements in the side of the webpage, providing the vertical line in the capital F.
The golden ratio is a design concept that produces symmetric and balanced visuals that are appealing to the human eye. Mathematically, the golden ratio works on a ratio of 1:1.618.
Gamification is a concept used in UI/UX digital marketing design that aims to make things fun for users by making their experience similar to that of playing a game. After a user surpasses a milestone, they can be awarded points in the form of coins or gems. If we dig deeper into psychology, the concept of gamification releases dopamine in the brain, making users enjoy using the site.
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