Graphic design has always been driven by the need to solve problems and communicate effectively with end users. As part of the creative design process, benchmarking, market research and customer feedback helped to shape design development and the final communication solution. Accessibility to technology and the ease at which we have been able to create and disseminate personal data on transparent networks, social media and the like, have simplified the gathering of information, tracking of purchasing habits and user experiences. Suddenly, we are all UX specialists. Why should you be concerned? The term is frequently misused in an attempt to provide validity to the services that people offer.
Call it what you may, user experience (UX) is not revolutionary. It is a coined term, similar to new and improved, and as an attention grabber it's meant to inspire you to act, hire the best staff, or to include to your growing list of credentials. In a transparent world your end users need to know that what concerns them matters to you and that you are committed to making changes for their betterment. Hence UX. What else could matter more than the user?
To simplify, continue doing what you've always been doing while your organization collectively prioritizes user experience. More specifically, start by thinking about your product or service and ask yourself if it improves a process or solves a problem and if so, how are your users interacting with your product or service? What strategies are you using to collect your data? In an ever growing and very competitive marketplace users are making purchasing decisions in a matter of seconds. How are you simplifying the decision making process for them? Are you communicating the right message to your audience? What colours, typefaces slogans are you employing to differentiate your product or service? How visible is your website and how many clicks does it take before your visitors make an online purchase? Finally, how effective is your social media strategy?
There is no right or wrong approach to creating an effective user experience. Your approach will ultimately be shaped by the needs an preferences of your end user. Ultimately it will require a dedicated commitment and an effective marketing strategy as well as a great deal of feedback and collaborative team effort.