The importance of strong UX & why human-centric design is here to stay

We put so much trust into new technology, that when it doesn’t work how we expect it to, our online experience with it becomes tainted. And since we have become so reliant on technology, that’s why UX is so important.

User experience can act as your number one selling point for your business and or brand. If your consumers’ have a positive interaction with your website, app or software then comfortability and loyalty towards your brand is pretty much a given. In the words of Steve Krug:

“If something requires a large investment of time – or looks like it will – it’s less likely to be used.” – Steve Krug

Your site or product’s usability is essential to increase conversion rates (especially if you’re an E-commerce site reading this). Implementing difficult navigation i.e. format-based navigation, won’t perform well from your users’ perspective. For example, including titles such as “videos” or “whitepapers” in the top nav – it tells the user the format rather than the topic. Your users are looking for a specific answer or product from the minute they land on your site. Customer loyalty is key, and they will not only just bounce from your website, but from your business altogether.

Human-centred design

Human-centred design is becoming the more popular route for brands, with it being more appealing to its new and existing customers. There is greater consideration to ensure customers have the best experience when using your site or product and go above and beyond its competitors. For example, Fitbit. Their watches and app together work hand-in-hand and are tailored to one individual. This fitness tracker not only tracks your calories or if you’ve reached your 10,000-step goal, but sends push notifications through the app including suggesting the time you should go to sleep, based on your lifestyle. Its clever development is made specifically to an individual’s needs and goals which is what makes it so appealing to its customers.

Another example being AI and voice search - we can now have a conversation with our phone without someone being at the other end of it. Its predicted that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 (Comscore). Voice search has become more of a relationship with humans rather than just a tool as 41% of people who own a voice-activated speaker says it feels like they’re talking to a friend (Think with Google).

As appealing as human-centric design is (and for some gaining a new friend), we have become lazy as technology evolves. We now have the expectation that our phone will tell us everything we need to know just by opening an app.

Before recent years, if we were to know how to navigate through a website, we had to adapt our own skills to work with what the technology could do.

The evolution of Biometrics

Biometrics has evolved from fancy hand scans we once thought only existed in movies to using it on a daily basis, every time our smartphone asks for our fingerprint to unlock it. It has integrated into our routines without us taking a second thought. Since 2016 we have seen it evolve even further into online banking as security measures have been amplified, and even more recently in late 2017 when Apple launched its iPhone X with Face ID to unlock your device.

So, how are biometric features helping us with our UX research?

Biometrics are being used more frequently by businesses to measure user experience and is widely popular with Ecommerce sites. Due to its ability to delve a deeper understanding of user behaviour on your site or product, it boasts a range of bonuses; improved CRO and suggested design changes to ensure a user is hooked. Biometric research boasts a range of bonuses including making relevant design changes and how your business can improve its CRO.

EEG, facial expression, eye tracking and GSR are just some of the vast range of biometrics testing. Eye tracking is particularly useful to highlight on page elements of your site where customers are drawn too. In turn, it shows the areas of the site which aren’t drawing any attention, and can assist in making relevant improvements to your site which is exactly what consumer healthcare company GSK did. They tested a variety of biometric products: eye tracking, facial and skin monitoring systems and recording devices, to understand how their customers used their products and what they really thought of them, and how to refine their products to suit those needs in the future.

This type of research allows us to understand what the customer is actually thinking without them saying anything at all. Like that famous saying goes “Facial expressions say a thousand words” (sort of).

Non-verbalised emotions (facial expression) involve analysis of emotional responses to stimuli, and can highlight where motivation has been lost when navigating a product or site. The test offers emotional feedback analysis which highlights problem areas to be improved on to increase customer experience and overall satisfaction. This is particularly successful when testing ads, TV or trailers. EEG (Electroencephalogram) is also a form of responses to emotional stimuli, focussing predominantly on the electrical activity of the brain. It shows information processed from each area of your brain, e.g. your occipital cortex processes visual stimuli (videos, images) and results show subconscious emotional responses to online activity, by measuring and tracking changes in responses to media.

At Square Owl, UX is at the heart of what we do for all our clients. Whether it's redesigning a website’s ‘Look and Feel’ or a simple job of optimising user interface, a user’s overall experience is at the forefront of our minds. Simple navigation and easy on the eye. UX drives ROI, which is something we analytically measure and track for our clients. Ensuring a high level of usability is part of ours and their success.

We personally can’t wait to see how biometrics can help business’ moving forward achieve their goals, this is only the beginning of an exciting future.