The digital landscape evolves so quickly that, if you're not careful, your users will forge their own paths, or worse, get lost in the woods. And we don't want that, do we?
I'm 40 years old. I've had an iPhone for a quarter of my life – and at first, we didn't even rate mobile browsing as a serious category. Flash forward: mobile has exploded, easily overtaking desktop as the preferred platform.
This kind of momentum requires us to keep thinking on our feet. We need to consider the next generation, who are mobile-ready and may never even own a desktop device.
Today we live in a multi-device age; people are connected from dawn until dusk. Our phones wake us up. They deliver our news and weather. They allow us to browse everything from fashion and design to music and film. They enable us to be aspirational and inspirational; to self-educate through YouTube. But that's just what we do online – what about how we use technology? That's where User Experience (UX) comes in.
UX allows us to define the paths that will guide a user towards their goal. Whether we're creating a new site from scratch, or rewriting and curating your existing one, it's all about defining user flows and journeys based on analytics. The goal? Creating an experience that engages users and helps them check out quicker and more efficiently than ever before, enabling them to find their way to the answers they want quickly. This will only happen with the right research, with developed scenarios that help us build better sites. The UX design process is one of discovery: we learn, we build, we adapt, constantly striving to find the best solution.
But it's not just about the human user journey. We need to think about the search engines that crawl our sites daily, bearing them in mind by creating, curating and delivering clearer, more efficient content. And we need to have the paths laid down for voice-based search, no longer a figment of the future but a reality of the now.
When we think about the user experience and journey, we think about what goals people are looking to achieve when they visit our sites. Are they checking the weather? Researching a holiday? Wherever they want to get to, our focus is on getting them there directly, quickly, comfortably and having them leaving with what they came for. Plain and simple, when it comes to defining the user journey, that's always our goal.
Paul Gosker is a Digital Designer at McCannBlue.
1. Header image by Jens Lelie