UX and UI Design in Digital Marketing: All You Need to Know

UI/UX Design in Digital Marketing

Though both UI design and UX became mundane tech terms in the 1990s, their history goes back even further.

On a philosophical level, it’s even possible to draw parallels between the Chinese pioneering interior design … and UX. Remembering the users’ needs and convenience when arranging furniture and planning the interiors of houses and palaces is an archaic example of UX design.

Fast forward 6000 years, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs massacred mediocrity by leveraging user experience in unimaginable ways. Both gave empathy a marketing context, with users becoming the hero while the product becomes their emphatic, helpful sidekick.

Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.

Steve Jobs

As a result, these men gave us some of the most satisfying, safe and efficient products – and in turn – experiences, in their respective markets.

Exploring UI and UX opportunities for growth open up digital marketing fronts such as product innovation, SEO, inbound marketing, content strategy, and voice search – just to mention a few.

What is UX in Digital Marketing?

User experience, or UX in digital marketing, is “the user’s journey when interacting with a product or service.” Source.

It is the attitude and feelings a user develops when they use the product or service.

Thus, crafting a user experience entails optimising the product or brand experience your users will undergo, resulting in user satisfaction.

UX designers do this by improving the following aspects:

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Pleasure

In digital marketing, UX is the experiences, sensations and feelings users develop when interacting with digital marketing touchpoints: landing pages, content and mobile apps.

Some examples are:

  • Accessibility of information on your website
  • Load speeds
  • Ad placements
  • Purchase processes
  • Personalised content
  • Ease of access
  • Brand voice and tone
  • The appropriate content for search intent
  • Gamification

UX design fine-tunes many digital marketing aspects such as SEO, website’s information architecture, satisfying user intent, advertising and content strategy. In turn, this brings about revenue profits and upgraded brand experience.

What You Should Know When Optimising for User Experience?

One of the major digital marketing mistakes businesses make while optimising UX is that they focus on conversions, SEO and profit. Such an approach blinds them by not enhancing the above three facets.

UX design has existed since the invention of a desk and a chair.

Contrary to popular perception, UX design is never an all-digital concept. It is only about elevating ease-of-use and the kind of experience the user gets when interacting with the (digital or non-digital) product or service.

Is UX Design Dying?

Hey, did you know that Skype is the most used video calling/conferencing tool right now?

You probably don’t. Because, news flash: Skype isn’t!

In the new normal, workforces are increasingly reliant on offshore technologies and platforms to connect.

But how did new entrant Zoom overtake good ol’ Skype to become the most used video conferencing software?

Skype is a classic case of big brands messing up UX to the bone.

UX design requires a sharp understanding of the customer’s needs. It’s not about flexing your marketing budget to pack in features that your users don’t even care about.

Even brands that have massive marketing budgets still fail miserably in documenting their user’s journeys and prepping them. Citibank suffered losses amounting to $900 million as it didn’t act upon feedback from user experience surveys. Source.

UX design cannot face extinction as it is solely dependent on two evergreen market forces: product innovation and the customer.

To declare user experience design dead is to declare that our capacity to innovate is dead.

What Does the UX Design Process Look Like?

UX designers answer the following questions in their UX design process:

  • What steps do the users take to relieve their pain points?
  • What tasks do they need to complete?
  • How straightforward is their experience while completing these tasks?
  • What kind of problems and pain points do users suffer from?
  • How can my product solve them?
  • What is the user’s journey across the website or product?
  • How is the content labelled and organized across a product?

After the UX designer answers these, they build prototypes and wireframes. Eventually, they map out the entire experience users go through.

Then come the UI designers – who turn these prototypes into a visual treat of a reality.

What is UI in Digital Marketing?

UI design or User Interface design is the visual cousin of UX.

By definition, it is the process designers use to build interfaces in software or computerised devices, making the interface visually appealing, interactive and usable.

In digital marketing, user interface design helps in building usable and visually appealing interfaces for digital marketing channels – websites, mobile apps, landing pages, blog pages and wearables.

User Interface designers develop interfaces for three formats:

  • Graphic user interfaces
  • Voice-controlled interfaces
  • Gesture-based interfaces

UI’s Importance in Digital Marketing

So where does UI design fit in digital marketing?

UI’s role in digital marketing is used to leverage branding.

While a great UX builds brand attributes, UI transfers these attributes to visual assets, such as a website or a mobile app.

Improvements in your website’s UI design can result in a significant increase in conversions. In mobile, more users develop a relationship with a company if that company sports a responsive, mobile-friendly site.

Planning a great UI involves accommodating these in your digital marketing plans:

  • Icons and buttons
  • Typography
  • Colour palette
  • Spacing
  • Images

The goal of UI design is to create a spectacle of a website, app and product interface. At the same time, the resulting interface should guide the user to accomplish their task.

UI Color Palette Inspiration - Notorious Nooch
A perfect example of a daring colour palette to perfect UI. Screenshot: Notorious Nooch

UI reinforces brand attributes by creating a visually pleasing experience. Consequently, this increases likeability for your brand.

Importance of Understanding User Experience in Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has a yawning gulf of differences and advantages over traditional marketing, but the foundational concept is the same.

Give the customer what they want: products, services, experiences, relationships, empathy and pain relievers.

This is what Albert Einstein has in his repertoire from which we can draw inspiration for UX:

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Albert Einstein

Similar to understanding a problem, you need to be meticulous in understanding the problems and pains your users go through on their purchase journey.

Here is where UX fits in with digital marketing.

Consider every novel or movie ever made. Each one has a hero going on an adventure. They meet people along the way who teach them a thing or two.

Consider your UX designer to be the wise people in the story (the knowledge giver, like Gandalf). Your job is to help your user (the hero) seamlessly interact with various digital touchpoints. These touchpoints can be anything, such as content, mobile websites, local landing pages, flash stores, AR mediums, etc.

By gaining the necessary information and carrying out tasks, they solve their business/ personal problems (the evil in the story) with your product (a magic wand or infinity stone).

Importance of UX by the numbers

So, what happens when you don’t focus on optimising these touchpoints?

The numbers are quite scary, to be honest.

Listen to this:

  • 24% of customers say that they will leave a review about their negative brand experiences.
  • 49% of customers would desert brands for good if they had just one bad brand experience.

Source: Statista

Scary, isn’t it?

Talk about selfish customers! Wait, no, don’t!

A bad UX experience will devastate the way people perceive your brand. UX can make you the next Coca Cola (a symbol of happiness) or the next Windows 8 (a laughing stock).

One of the most important uses of UX is that it can help you differentiate yourself. Building a relationship is the future of marketing.

In the future, conversations on social media and online forums will revolve more around your brand, and not about your customer.

In such cases, the experiences, attitudes, and feelings your users develop will determine customer satisfaction and repeat business.

So, where should you be optimizing your UX?

1) Websites

  • Users are 5 times more likely to abandon a website if it offers a poor mobile experience.
  • 40% of users will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Source: Baymard Institute

2) Product and Payment pages

  • 16% would abandon an online purchase if they couldn’t see or calculate the total cost of the order upfront. hotjar
  • 82% will abandon an online shopping cart if the account registration process is too complicated. Capterra
  • 60% become repeat buyers if their online shopping experience is personalised. Exploding Topics

3) Mobile

Example mobile sites with perfect UX/UI:

Benefits of UX

Users want products, apps and websites to be like Aladdin’s magic lamp. Rub (read: tap and scroll) them a few times and it shall give them what they want.

Is it possible?

Totally. Amazon’s 1-click buy? Zoom’s video calling app? Do they ring any bells?

User experience strategies aim at capturing one key resource: the user’s attention. By optimising for attention, UX designers can convert mere interest into revenue and sales.

UX designers can have an impact on:

  • SEO – by making content findable, accessible and useful, as well as adding more relevant pages. This lowers bounce rates and increases the average time spent on the page. Read more: The Beginner’s Guide to SEO
  • Advertising – improve ad placement on a website without losing context.
  • Website conversion and usability – enhance the usability of the website without hampering aesthetics. They can also make harsh, knowledgeable decisions on where to sacrifice beauty and to increase bounty.

Benefits of UI

UI is like that seamless icing on the UX cake.

A poorly designed website cannot compensate for great user experience. Poorly designed websites are often mistaken for spam.

UI design is all about the look and feel. Neurolinguistics and psychology cite several studies that tell us how typography and colour can persuade the human brain to take action.

Suppose you have the greatest product in the world. Good user interface improves the perception of your brilliant product and convinces users to buy from your brand.

A working example is the case of Mcafee, which cut its support calls by 90% after revamping its software’s user interface design.

Your website’s UI design should be one of the cornerstones of your digital marketing plan. When starting or scaling your business with content, a good, visually appealing website can retain more visitors.

UX and UI should go hand in hand. Bad, non-actionable content will make your users question the trustworthiness of your brand, regardless of how good the web design is.

SEO Impact UX/UI Services

Do you have any or all of the UI/UX troubles we mentioned above? SEO Impact is one of the best digital marketing agencies. We do not move a needle unless we fully understand your target market.

Once we do, we craft the most amazing brand experiences.

If you need more tips on UI/UX design, we are happy to help.

Conclusion

UX and UI are exactly as the name suggests, yet both have their differences.

Customers these days don’t buy products. They buy experiences. Each piece of content you disseminate is an experience in the offing.

Optimise it. Brand it. Sell it.

Branislav Nikolic

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