Imagine capturing your audience's attention in just 0.05 seconds! In the fast-paced digital world, your website's user experience (UX) can make or break first impressions. Creating an impactful UX is crucial for businesses striving to enhance customer satisfaction, boost loyalty, drive conversion rates, and cut development costs.

Research by the Neilson Norman Group highlights the immediate impact of UX design on user perceptions. It reveals that users form an opinion about a website’s credibility within just 0.05 seconds of landing on it, with a staggering 94% of these first impressions being design-driven. This striking statistic emphasises the vital importance of UX fundamentals in shaping users’ perceptions of a site’s trustworthiness and credibility, clearly showing that these principles are indispensable.

At the heart of these experiences are five key pillars, which we explore in this blog: simplifying user journeys, accessibility, cross-platform experiences, sustainability, and emotional design.

1.  Simplifying Digital Journeys

What is it?

A user journey outlines the steps a user takes when interacting with a digital product, from initial contact to goal completion. Research by the Baymard Institute shows that users quickly leave sites that are complex or difficult to navigate. Simplifying these journeys through UX design is crucial to making them user-friendly and keeping users engaged.

Simplifying digital journeys considers the time it takes for a user to accomplish tasks, access content, or interact with elements within a digital interface. It’s essential that users can do this at an appropriate pace to keep them engaged on your website.

UX Design Simplified Journey Mando ExampleKey aspects of simplifying digital journeys include:

  • Consistent Hierarchy: Allows users to grasp the site structure and navigate between sections easily.
  • Logical Search Function: Features like auto-suggestions, filters, and advanced search options help users quickly find specific information or products.
  • Intuitive Navigation: Ensures users can smoothly transition between steps.
  • Clear Calls to Action: Essential for guiding users towards successful journey completion.

What does providing simplified journeys do for your business?

Providing simplified journeys offers a multitude of benefits for your business, including:

  • Improves user satisfaction by reducing friction and frustration in digital journeys.
  • Enhances brand reputation, leading to increased user engagement and loyalty.
  • Users are likely to return due to convenient and easy online interactions.
  • Reduces business support costs and the need for client assistance.
  • Provides more actionable data insights as tracking user interactions through analytics is easier.
  • Increases conversion rates by streamlining user experiences.

How have we applied this principle with clients?

One of our utility company clients at Mando used to have a lengthy and tedious process for users to set up a connection. This user journey took an average of 3.5 days and involved printing documents, phone calls, and meetings. We built an innovative online solution that streamlined the entire process to a mere 20 minutes. By reducing the setup time from days to minutes, we transformed a cumbersome procedure into a straightforward, effortless, and gratifying experience for users.

2.  Accessibility

What is it?

At Mando, accessibility is fundamental—it is at the core of our design philosophy, guiding us for over 20 years to deliver inclusive experiences for all users, regardless of their abilities. Our commitment to inclusive design is proven through our award-winning work, including the Health and Safety Executive’s website, intranet, and extranet.

Accessible UX design is more than just providing access to digital content; it’s about creating interfaces that allow everyone to independently and effectively navigate, understand, and engage with digital content. This involves integrating key elements like colour contrast, visibility, and semantic HTML in line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.2), ensuring our designs are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for users with disabilities.

WCAG provides a clear framework to enhance digital accessibility, such as adding alternative text for images, optimising colour contrast, and logically structuring pages. More than adhering to standards, accessible design embraces diversity and empowers users. By leveraging feedback and user testing from diverse groups, our designers capture essential insights, tackle real-world challenges, and foster continuous innovation.

Importantly, designing with accessibility in mind benefits all users, not just those with disabilities. Features like clear navigation and intuitive interfaces make our digital products more user-friendly for everyone, enhancing the overall user experience.

Web-Accessibility-MandoWhat does accessible UX mean for your business?

Embracing accessible UX design significantly benefits your business by:

  • Demonstrating a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Enhancing your brand reputation and building trust, fostering stronger relationships with users and stakeholders.
  • Expanding your reach and boosting user engagement.
  • Attracting a broader audience, driving higher engagement and increasing user satisfaction and loyalty over time.
  • Reducing user obstacles, leading to prolonged interaction with the digital product.

How have we applied this trend with clients?

Our accessibility reviews are designed to evaluate digital platforms or products thoroughly, ensuring they are fully usable and navigable for people with disabilities. Recently, one of our clients expressed concerns about their website's usability for vulnerable users and asked us to undertake an accessibility review.

We identified over 30 accessibility fails ranging from minor (e.g. missing attributes) to more severe (e.g. colour contrast accessibility failures resulting in unreadable text) issues. The discovery of these faults, which had previously gone unnoticed, surprised our client. By integrating these findings into their backlog, we knew the items we were working against would be improving the experience for all their users.

3.  Cross-platform experiences

What is it?

Medium describes a cross-platform experience as “a concept that provide users with a consistent and intuitive interaction across various digital mediums.

With today’s plethora of digital channels, it’s crucial that everything functions seamlessly across all devices. This approach ensures that whether you’re using your phone during a commute or your laptop at your desk, you access the same high-quality experience. Cross-platform experiences maintain the integrity of one experience without compromising another, ensuring consistency and satisfaction irrespective of the device used.

Consistency is the glue of effective cross-platform experiences. It holds everything together, reinforcing brand identity and messaging while enhancing the overall user experience. Users encountering a consistent interface across different devices feel more at home, understood and inclined to engage.

Cross-Platform-UX-Design-MandoSo, what is involved in creating these seamless experiences? Key aspects include responsive design, adaptive design, and considered navigation strategies:

  • Responsive design: This ensures that websites and applications adapt fluidly to the size of the screen, delivering an optimal experience no matter the device.
  • Adaptive design: In contrast, adaptive design uses static breakpoints, catering to common screen widths for a tailored experience.
  • Navigation considerations: Each platform’s navigation has its nuances. From hamburger menus on mobile to traditional menu bars on desktops, tailoring navigation to different screen sizes ensures that users can effortlessly find what they are looking for, no matter the device.

Why does UX in cross-platform experience matter for your business?

Implementing UX in cross-platform experiences is pivotal for your business, providing:

  • A strategic advantage, allowing access to a broader audience across mobile, desktop, and web platforms.
  • Streamlined development, lower costs, and unified analytics for deeper insights through utilising a single codebase for multiple platforms.
  • Unmatched control and convenience for your users.
  • Seamless transitions between devices, e.g. the like of Spotify, illustrate this when users continue playing a song from where it was paused across phones, laptops, and TV, without interruption.
  • Enhanced empowerment without compromising functionality or usability, as users can choose their preferred device and access services anywhere.

How have we applied this trend with clients?

At Mando, we're committed to making our digital products accessible and easy to use for everyone. We go beyond designing just for desktops; our approach includes creating tailored solutions for all screen sizes.

Take our work with a utility company, for example. Insight gained during a persona session revealed that most users would only interact with a particular interactive wizard application via mobile devices. In response, we developed a mobile-first solution that simplifies task completion on smartphones while still effectively supporting desktop use.

This strategy was validated during our UX discovery clinic. Without this step, the priority for a mobile-first design might have been overlooked. Post-project data confirmed our direction, showing that 75% of users accessed the application on mobile devices, underscoring the value of our UX clinic.

4.  Sustainability

What is it?

Sustainable UX design integrates environmental awareness into every aspect of digital interaction. The UX Collective points out that ‘Sustainable design focuses not just on environmental impact but also on long-term usability and value for the user’.  It spans from the initial product development phase to daily user interactions, ensuring every decision is committed to sustainability.

With sustainable UX, design decisions aren't just about what looks good but about what's good for the planet. Think eco-friendly design practices, sustainable content strategies, and even biophilic design elements that bring a touch of nature to the digital realm.

Eco-friendly design practices involve carefully considering the environmental effects of each design decision, from choosing energy-efficient colours to designing layouts that reduce the need to scroll. Sustainable content strategies enhance performance and accessibility, involving measures like reducing file sizes and load times to decrease energy use and cut carbon emissions.

Web-Sustainability-MandoHow does sustainable UX positively impact the environment?

It reduces the digital carbon footprint by enhancing energy efficiency and optimising resources, which, in turn, lowers carbon emissions and crafts a more sustainable digital environment. Furthermore, by focusing on durability and longevity, sustainable UX minimises the need for frequent replacements and reduces electronic waste, contributing to a greener digital future.

What does sustainable UX mean for your businesses?

There are three key areas in which sustainable UX has positive benefits. These are:

Sustainability targets and accreditations

  • Supports environmental initiatives and global Net Zero targets.
  • Enhances your ability to achieve IS0 14001, B Corp and other standards.

Cost reduction

  • Reduces energy consumption and infrastructure expenses.
  • Extends the lifespan of digital products.

Market positioning

  • Attracts eco-conscious consumers.
  • Establishes your brand as a leader in corporate social responsibility.

How have we applied this trend with clients?

We have successfully partnered with clients to enhance their website sustainability through enhanced user experience (UX). Taking a utility company as an example, we reduced their page load time from 5.08 seconds to 2.08 seconds, achieving a 59% decrease. This improvement enhances the user experience and significantly reduces the energy required to load pages, decreasing the carbon footprint over time.

Moreover, we observed a reduction in the number of pages viewed per session, from 2.68 to 1.90. Coupled with a lower overall website bounce rate, it's evident that users are locating what they need more swiftly and engaging more with relevant content. Viewing fewer pages means less energy is used to complete their online journey, supporting our clients' commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and prioritising sustainability.

5.  Designing for emotion

What is it?

The UX Design Institute describes emotional design as ‘designing in a way that elicits emotions, such as excitement or satisfaction, to deliver a positive experience for the user’. Emotional design delves deeper than just functionality and aesthetics by addressing how users emotionally interact with a product or service.

Understanding that humans are emotionally driven rather than purely rational, emotional design can profoundly influence how users perceive and interact with a product. Emotions significantly affect behaviour; when users form an emotional bond with a product or service, they are more likely to use it, recommend it to others, and return to it.

Emotional UX design encompasses various touchpoints aimed to elicit desired emotions, including visual design, storytelling, and user onboarding. For example, the use of colours, typography and imagery can trigger different feelings—warm colours can generate excitement, while cool colours might promote calmness and trust.

Furthermore, storytelling can forge emotional connections and enhance user immersion, whereas effective user onboarding can set the stage for a positive experience by using welcoming language and captivating visuals. Together, these elements play vital roles in influencing users' emotional reactions and overall engagement with a digital product.

Designing-for-Emotion-MandoWhat does emotional design mean for your businesses?  

  • Emotional design can help achieve your digital goals by:
  • Influencing user decision-making positively to increase conversion rates.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction scores through compelling user experiences.
  • Strengthening customer-brand bonds, fostering repeat purchases and advocacy.

How have we applied this trend with clients?

One of our charity clients supports some of society's most vulnerable people.  Recognising the critical importance of every digital touchpoint, we meticulously planned and delivered a series of persona workshops.

These sessions were designed to be welcoming and inclusive. Participants were allowed to bring someone they trusted, thereby enhancing their comfort and engagement. The insights from these workshops were crucial in crafting UX wireframes to support the development of a thoughtful digital solution that is mindful of human psychological complexities. Throughout the subsequent user testing phase, we also ensured participants felt supported, actively addressing any challenges they encountered.

By applying emotional UX principles, we captured users' exact issues, aiding them in ways previously unconsidered. For example, to assist users unsure of the actions required at various stages, we implemented APIs that aided in completing certain metrics, helping them stay focused on completing their tasks effectively. This approach improved user experience and reinforced the fundamental goal of completing that journey. 

Are you seeking to increase user engagement and online conversions?

If you are concerned about the user experience on your website, let’s look at this together. Our consultants specialise in identifying potential issues across a digital experience and provide clear recommendations for improvement. Contact us now through our Get In Touch form for a review of your website against UX best practices.

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