1. Refresh your understanding
People change and businesses and brands change too, so refreshing your research to make sure you really do understand your current and future customers is a great place to start!
Try to make sure you know their habits so you can match your brand to people’s underlying tendencies and wants. Analytics are good at showing you what is happening, but not why. We find that looking at the stories behind decisions and interactions can help you spot something key, giving you that extra edge this year!
Good qualitative research bolstered by quantitative statistics and analytics will validate the decisions you are making, boost success and encourage innovation. We find diary studies give great insights, and are a good qualitative research method to start with.
2. Moving online offline (and vice-versa)
Last year, we did a lot of research into the merits of an omni-channel approach to business and customer experience. We found it to be extremely insightful - the things we took away from it in terms of quick wins and innovations is to look past the technology and observe the behaviours behind them is integral to omni-channel success.
For instance, taking the drivers and benefits that customers really appreciate when shopping online at home and bringing similar conveniences and experiences in-store will support your customers needs much better. (Take a look at the Burberry flagship store for some inspiration!) I’m looking forward to seeing how brands continue to move the online experience offline and the offline experience online as the customer experience becomes smoother, easier and ultimately much more satisfying.
3. Get lean get agile
Two important approaches to user experience that have been gaining traction in recent years are agile and lean UX. Essentially, agile UX speeds up software development whereas Lean UX is an approach which speeds up the design process of new digital products.
If you’re fighting for a user centered approach in your organisation and it isn’t moving as fast as you would like, then maybe adopting parts of these approaches will help – agile and lean UX promise quick sprint development, faster research, and overall less waste to get digital assets to market in a faster, more competitive time frame.
There are a few steps to follow to get this going in your organisation:
- First, you need a good customer experience strategy to help guide the direction of faster developments, so get your vision together and documented with targets and objectives for your brand or business in relation to customer experience. (In true agile and lean style, this strategy can change along the way with new findings, but it is key to have it there at the beginning.)
- Next instil the agile culture in your teams. Get them to think about processes and break them down into outcomes and resources, rearrange them to see how agile or lean UX could look. Physically doing this with post-its or cutting up printed process diagrams might work best.
- Finally, get going. You need to try it and then adapt to make it work for your business. This is about streamlining the user experience design processes and making it faster and adaptable – so don’t take too long contemplating it when you could be designing something!
What are your 2013 UX resolutions? We would love to know so please leave a comment below. If you are looking to give your customer experience new lease of life in 2013 but aren’t sure where to start, get in touch and we can help you have a great year!