Today’s consumers rely heavily upon technology and products that streamline tasks or otherwise simplify and enhance their daily lives. Whether these products take the shape of smart televisions, electric scooters or innovative thermostats, each is equipped with hardware that is essential to the way that users interact with them on a daily basis.
As knowledgeable and tech-savvy buyers, consumers focus heavily upon these interactions with products when deciding which ones to purchase. This is because they have certain expectations for how each product will perform and respond as they engage with it. While an attractive and user-friendly design is unquestionably one of these expectations, it takes more than an enticing look to retain a high level of engagement. This is where a pleasant user experience becomes crucial.
User experience (or UX) is a term which defines the overall ease and satisfaction of an interaction with a product. It is the scale by which nearly all things in the world are measured by and while it is subjective, when it comes to products, there are key factors that influence all consumers' perceptions. Essentially, consumers want a product that serves a useful purpose and functions as it should. To ensure that these basic desires are met, there must be user research and testing phases in place during the industrial design process. If the industrial design process is flawed, and these steps are skipped, the UX will suffer dramatically as users will be met with useless products, unnecessary functions or poor interactivity. As a result, you will see a steep decline in engagement with the product or company itself. In fact, studies show that 63% of customers report that a poor online customer experience makes them less likely to engage with the company in the future and it’s the same with a real product.
Products that are easy to understand and easily navigated, while demonstrating both interaction and functionality, prove to be much more successful than their lackluster counterparts. Essentially, they do exactly what the users expect them to do and they do it quickly, in response to the user’s actions. Users comment frequently on experiences where products respond exactly as they expect it to work with impeccable details and design elements. Reviews on such positive experiences travel the virtual highway with little effort, but negative ones can make their way to the forefront just as easily. Because of this, it is imperative that you set yourself up for positive reviews and steady engagement by delivering a product that users can enjoy interacting with. Simply put, your product should have a great interaction with focused directives and a clear call to action.
A good way to understand what users need pre-launch is to solicit input from the people in the industry that you are serving. For example, if you are creating a product, send a survey to your clients offering a small discount for their feedback on functionality with questions such as: How would you use this product? Information like this will not only cut laborious, menial tasks in half, but it will provide insight as to what the customer actually uses and desires. From there, be sure that the hardware within the product interacts flawlessly when operated for optimal UX. Above all, however, it is necessary to perform testing prior to a launch. As much as 85% of user experience related problems can be avoided by simply performing a small test on five users. This simple step capitalizes on efficiency in project management and allows your project to stay on task and on budget.
By tuning into the needs and desires of your users, you can position your brand to stand out among the crowd. Instead of being another clever or attractive design, a fantastic user experience will allow you to exceed expectations and retain user engagement for years to come.