Next Generation of Digital UX
UX is at the heart of all digital experiences and among the premier reasons why people’s expectations are met and surpassed, oftentimes. It’s the reason they will come back to your brand and your company. But what does that truly mean for a connected world?
We are tracking the various contexts throughout our everyday life, such as time of day, location, daily buying’s or even your dinner plans. What if every device was connected and all information is shared between them? What if any device could cross-reference that context with your daily routine and habits to customize and continuously improve your experience?
The world is becoming a hyper-connected place. The comprehensive design of our connected world will be among the key jobs of future UX Designers, as I proposed in one of my most recent articles “The Future of UX – What’s coming next?”
In fact, without such a design, this would mean that we would potentially receive all available information from all of our connected devices, ultimately resulting in a complete information overload. Thus, there has to be a solution for everyone, enabling us to successfully work with the relevant information at the relevant time. In essence, there truly is but one solution.
- The future of digital experience is personal.
- The future of experience is personal.
- The future of UX is personal.
The following studies showcase the road to be taken towards a well-designed future for our connected lives.
Nowadays, but even more so in the future, each person will experience “digital” in a unique way. It is like a personal filter on the digital world. It’s open to discussion, whether this is the way to go, or maybe not. The only thing certain within this context is that the moment we receive every available information, we stop processing and using it.
So the big challenge that we are already facing is the proper interaction with the customer, talking to him in his preferred channel, without losing him. But how can we do that?
You’ve heard about the new trend of Bots and Voice Interfaces. It’s the most common way for humans to interact. We also call it conversational UX or Design. Devices decide depending on proposed questions and your answers which information you will be presented with. Devices are connected and thus only filter the relevant data from a massive pool of information. Nowadays bots particularly enabe conversational chats, or are linked to special devices like Alexa or M. But there is room for innovation.
The future of digital conversation will be everywhere.
Every website can be personal, and present you with preselected information. This is definitely not only limited to eCommerce (despite being one of the prime areas of interest), but is applicable to every website. Your coffee machine, laptop, handy, the POI Screen. Everything will be personalized.
The future is what we like! Personal.
We as human want to be seen. We want a personal conversation. Appreciation. We don’t want to talk about things which are without a personal connection. Your devices already collect a lot of data about you, and it’s all going to be used in the future to enhance your experience. Privacy policies are the norm, but they’re essentially more about protection than actual information as to how much information is collected. So what is our next step? For individuals? For companies and organizations?
Let’s be honest: To get a blunt one-size-fits-all screen-design for your company will not be the ideal way of meeting these new requirements. Why? Because everyone ultimately will need to receive a different set of information. Consequently we have to design screen modules. Define the modules. Of course, if we don’t know anything about a customer we start with a predefined view. It will be the start, also for our systems. But we have to start.
How to Personalize Your Digital Experience?
Ever heard that you need to clearly define your target audience? Of course. It’s absolutely mandatory and has become an integral part of proper design. Thus, we also start with personas in this case. A lot of research and recommendations have been established within this area and there are a lot of online resources available, which is why I will refrain from going into further detail. Clearly, however, knowing your personas will also remain a key part in the future of design.
Progressive Persona Mapping
The progressive Persona map defines the buyer’s journey in different stages. It means to look on a product from a customer’s view. The tool is great, but it is strongly focused on a sales process. In the future we have to design in a much more holistic way, which is why I believe that in order to make perfect use of this tool, it needs to be enhanced. Customers are not always in focus of buying something and are following a particular road. They have meetings, go shopping, and have families to take care of. Maybe it takes a month to make a particular purchase decision. There will be thousands of touchpoints influencing your decision and constant distraction.
You will also find more information on Progressive Persona Mapping here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2017/04/01/the-next-generation-of-personas/#54885439326b
So in the next step we follow up with a customer journey map.
Customer Journey Mapping for every Persona
To design a customer journey is an important step, because we saw that a persona purchase process is not exactly the same as a customer journey. You have to know typical journeys and all different touchpoints and possibilities to design and innovate different processes. In following case, we mapped the journey for a loyalty program.
Including the journey mapping we included a detailed touchpoint analyses where we identified a lot of potential. The process of the journey was alright, but the detail of information in every touchpoint was not perfect. Thus, we had to rebuild the information flow, focusing on the question “When do customers get which information”, and redefine every “Call to Action” in order to achieve that customers actually identify it as a CTA and follow the CTA, instead of being overwhelmed with too much information.
If you finished with the definition of the customer journey and all touchpoints, it’s about time to start with the content design.
Conversational UX based Content Strategy
We know conversational UX from chatbots and voice interfaces. But let’s take one step further and now design the entire customer journey as a conversation between the user and the company. At every stage (touchpoint), a user has conscious or unconscious questions. We have to answer them, and of course because we want to personalize, we also have to ask questions to get more information. And we can ask questions in every touchpoint.
- Online simple checkboxes or radio buttons to choose for questions
- We can ask on a service desk
- We can give ABC options, and let the user decide
Don’t use a blunt online or offline questionnaire, because no one wants to answer it. That’s not like a conversation. Use simple questions at the right point of time. It is possible to ask a second or third question to find out more, but hardly recommendable to pose two different separate questions, as this could potentially create a subliminal unnatural interrogation-like atmosphere for the user.
One first exercise could be to talk to each other and document the conversation for every touchpoint for a future design. Also talk to customers for every single touchpoint. Which information do they want?
- Checkpoint Definition for personalized content change!
If you designed your conversation, you have to define the answers, or of course the content checkpoints, where you are able to personalize the content.
- Is it every time the same content you offer, only paraphrased?
- Do you have to change the content?
- Is it the exactly same content?
- Do you have to extend the content?
To design the conversational design is a huge effort, but you also have a great ROI!
After your checkpoint definition the most challenging step is to follow. You have to define the detailed content. So hurry up and let’s start to personalize!
Get more information at the World Usability Congress!
Written by Johannes Robier
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