In this article I am going to explore how User Experience Design strategies can be used to achieve your online Inbound Marketing objectives.
User Experience Design
In the online world, this is often abbreviated to UI/UX design. Where the UI stands for User Interface, and the UX stands for User Experience. It is a process by which a website and /or mobile application is designed to meet the needs of both the owner and its’ users.
Inbound marketing is a way of promoting your business through what is often termed ‘Content Marketing’. This content is often informative and educational in nature, and it typically takes the form of blogs, podcasts, videos, eBooks, white papers and posts on social media platforms.
Inbound marketing has become increasingly popular for businesses of all sizes and sectors, whether they are in the B2C or the B2B arena. And the reason is simple, many potential buyers will use the internet to check out potential suppliers before they come close to a buying decision. Research also suggests that some buyers have already made up their minds based on their internet research, before they contact a company and engage with them.
UI/UX Design Challenge
These inbound marketing insights give you your first design challenge. Why is someone visiting your website? Are they in camp one: Researching your company and its’ products or services. Or are they in camp two: They have done their research and are now ready to proceed to the next stage.
In this simple, two element scenario, the following key design areas need to be addressed. Firstly, the visual user interface, secondly the navigation requirements and layout, and thirdly the information architecture needed to support these two distinct scenarios.
It is actually very easy to confuse these two very different user needs in the way your commission and manage your website or mobile app.
A Key UI/UX Design Principle
One of the key principles in creating a successful online design is that of Progressive Disclosure. What this means is that information presented to someone who isn’t interested in it, or who isn’t ready to process it, is just more noise.
And, almost all of us, suffer from an information overload of which is creating too much noise.
So, in the example, above where we have two distinct visitor scenarios. One doing research and one looking for the next step, we have to be very specific and clear in the visual information presented and the site navigation messages we use, so that these visitors are guided to their desired destination.
How to Guide Users?
There are some simple to apply techniques which you can use to guide users on the most appropriate journey for them. One important technique is what’s known as visual weight. What you give visual weight to attracts attention first and holds it for longer. The factors which most influence visual weight are bright colours, relative size and real (or implied) direction.
If you try to emphasise everything, you end up confusing a visitor and emphasising nothing. And a confused visitor leaves very quickly. This over-the-top approach isn’t seen so often nowadays, but if you have ever visited a website which screams BUY NOW everywhere you turn, and is decked out in numerous bright colours, you’ll know what I mean.
Design User Journeys
So design clear user journeys with care for your website or app which reflect its’ principle purpose or multiple purposes. And you will see improved returns on your online marketing activities.