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Our defining principles of experience design in 2017

By Avery Hennings

As we move into 2017, after what we can all agree was a little iffy 2016, the Experience Design team at Omobono wanted to kick things off on a positive note. We’ve been thinking about what defines our Experience Design practices. Particularly looking to condense them into a set of principles that not only match our own values, but also the trends that we see in Experience Design this year.

This is our promise to ourselves, our clients and the B2B industry. Experience Design is driving your brand, and great Customer Experience is our passion. Why does this matter you ask? 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on their customer experience, a better designed experience drives your brand.

Signature Moments Matter
If it doesn’t provoke joy, delight, surprise, or even just a smile, the user won’t be satisfied.

User Experience has firmly entered the business consciousness. As our lives become progressively more digitally enabled, so do our expectations of the usability of those services. If a product or service doesn’t instantly work in the manner that we expect it to, we react negatively and berate the companies responsible, loudly and via social media. Whilst 89% of buyers will share a positive customer experience, 98% will share a negative customer experience. Our expectations of good User Experience now exceed just following the best practices and design patterns. Because experience isn’t only a matter of if a product or service is easy to use (that should be a given), it’s about the emotional response produced in the user.

Extended Experience Thinking
Our thinking needs to be big picture, not just the solution at hand, but how it slots into the larger brand experience overall.

As expectations evolve, so too must our Experience Design thinking. Audiences now assume the same high-quality experience no matter how they’re interacting with your brand, and they expect the transition between those touchpoints to be seamless. Recently, almost every major project that has come to my desk has included a requirement for customer experience mapping, with clients very keen to optimise the way they engage with users throughout the interaction.

Purposeful Design
A close relationship with Content Strategists and Creatives is vital., Great content, designed effectively, is a beautiful thing.

This principle used to be referred to as Objective Driven Design, but we felt it was more important than that. Whenever personas are created – whether for B2B or B2C – clients all too frequently say they have no time to engage in the research and insights required (often fearing hidden and unnecessary costs). However, just as we streamline and improve our processes to add client value, we recommend applying the same principle to their activities and audience relationships. Every activity performed during an Experience Design project has a purpose behind it. Every element of a new solution has an objective. Clarity = high engagement. Simplicity = increased efficiency.

Effortlessly Responsive
Responsive design isn’t a target anymore, it’s a basic requirement.

Responsive design should be the standard. For the most part, the B2B sector has recognised this. The main question now is whether the application should be adaptive or responsive? Does it need to tailor its functionality, based on the platform, or does the design need to change to show the functionality effectively? In our view, a successful web experience should be available on the go, at any time; on whichever device the user chooses.

Enabling “Human” Interactions
Emotional experience has always mattered to people, now, it is becoming more important to business.

If you’ve ever been to an Omobono office, you’ll recognise that we’re people-people. That’s because humans are naturally sociable animals. We seek companionship and interaction – and we love to talk. Therefore, we predict that conversational interfaces such as Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are here to stay, especially given the advances in natural language processing. The ability to have a near complete conversation with the technology rather than just a series of stilted voice commands, makes the whole process feel a lot more comfortable. It’s starting the right way too, getting people comfortable using it in their homes, away from the social stigma of talking to an inanimate object. This is a widely accepted reason for why voice-based solutions like Siri haven’t achieved widespread adoption. We’re just not comfortable talking to tech, in front of people…yet.

In Summary
Brand experience is now becoming the deciding factor for where customers place their loyalty. Customer expectations have never been higher and their social voice has never been louder. There is a whole new range of interfaces through which a customer can experience your brand.

Experience Design has gone from a nice-to-have to mission critical and we think that’s really exciting. We can’t wait to be a part of bringing your brand into their lives, in brand new ways. Let’s go to work.

We are the digital experience company for business brands.

In today’s connected world, experience is brand.

So we help you create better experiences for your customers, employees, partners and stakeholders. Ones that work in empathy with them to achieve their goals, engage and delight them, and build brand loyalty.