How to Create a User Experience Fit for your Customer Centric Strategy in 2020 - Part 1

Starting with a customer centric approach and aligning your user experience with this mindset is a key puzzle piece to e-commerce growth going into 2020. If your user experience is focused on the customer and properly executed you can expect three main goals to be accomplished.

If you are seeing any of these as gap areas, it means it is time to review your user experience. Over the next couple weeks we will be giving insight into user centric design and creating a user experience fit for your customer centric strategy through a series of steps.

Understanding User Centric Design

Taking on user centric design means more than simply understanding your ideal audience. It’s a recipe of qualitative and qualitative methods that provides both internal constituents and customers an efficient and engaging experience. This week we are discussing user personas, user journeys and site maps to understand how they play a role in creating the ideal user experience through user centric design.

Understanding How User Personas Craft Your User Experience

User personas are a summary representation of a site’s intended users. They are fictional characters developed based on primary user research. 

When working towards understanding your user personas you should:

  1. Capture Goals & Needs of Users 
  2. Identify Behaviors 
  3. Frame Opportunities 
  4. Record information in a Personas Document

These user personas are then used to:

User personas enable the business to create truly differentiating customer-focused digital strategy & tactics, improve design quality and ensure that the entire design process is focused on specific needs & behavior of target audiences.

Creating User Journeys & Site Maps to Improve Your User Experience

User Journey Maps help articulate how a user is thinking about multiple touch points over many stages. It helps to show the larger context in which the user must navigate. To generate a more holistic experience, the user journey map allows us to move the persona work to the next level by contextualizing the behaviors in everyday scenarios. By breaking the journey into three parts (feeling, thinking, doing) it helps to be true to the user experience and push towards meeting those needs. 

A task flow highlights the specific steps that must be accomplished for a user to achieve a specific goal. Optimizing key tasks helps to make them smoother. Not everything within a digital experience can be represented via a simple, hierarchical site map or taxonomy. Some areas of the experience require development of sequential, linear flows, which may vary depending upon many conditions (e.g., logged in / not logged in user, type of product /purchase, etc.). 

Checkout is a great example of a linear, step-by-step experience which requires developing various flows (e.g., existing customer flow, guest flow, express checkout flow, etc.). Developing the flows upfront allows the project team to uncover all the business and customer related details & requirements early on in the process.

When working towards understanding your user journey you should:

  1. Determine Critical User Tasks & Feature Needs
  2. Create Baseline Flows and Journeys
  3. Review & Refinement User Journey
  4. Create a Site Map & Task Flow Document

By precisely mapping out key user tasks, understanding the core processes and watching actual user behavior you are fulfilling one piece to the user experience puzzle. Next, you will want to work on designing the experience to maximize efficiencies in their given tasks. We will discuss wireframes and design concepts next week in part two of Creating a User Experience Fit for Your Customer Centric Strategy.

If your user experience isn’t meeting these expectations it could mean it's time for a review.

Request a UX Site Audit

© 2017 Echidna