Have you ever noticed that UX design doesn’t always go beyond the website? Have you ever considered that UX design should extend to other parts of the user experience with a brand?
The goal of the website is to develop rapport with the site users; that’s true. But other parts of the business should use the same elements and create the same experience as the website. The UX needs to carry beyond the website and create a smooth experience for the user, right down to the products they buy.
Continuing UX Design Beyond the Website
While designers usually don’t feel that they are or should be responsible for the UX design beyond the website. And yet, it’s crucial for a brand to be successful, from the website right down to their products, services, and customer support. The user experience should be similar all the way through. Yet, this is often not the case.
So, how can a brand extend its UX design beyond its website?
1). Their Mobile App
Many businesses have both a website and a mobile app these days. Of course, the usability for each is different in some ways. For instance, the layout of the website will be a little different for mobile users.
When it comes to the mobile app, desktop users will have a difficult time if they have to re-learn how to navigate and engage with the business. This can mean a loss of site users and conversions.
The app needs to be designed to work with a similar UI design, security, speed, navigation as the website. This is what site visitors expect and what they need to have successful, comfortable interactions with the brand through the mobile app.
2). Social Media
Social media channels are used by site users and companies. In fact, most business websites are connected to various social media platforms. What does this have to do with UX?
While you can’t control the aesthetics of each social media platform, it is possible to use design elements in the visuals and messages that match the brand’s website.
The goal is to create a UX that has the same look and feel that a site user experiences on the website. Their experience, as far as the company branding should be the same. The UX of the website needs to match the designs and experience on the brand’s social media channels.
What’s more, the UX should even carry over into customer service that’s offered via social media. The message, visuals, and service should be consistent with the website and other parts of the business.
Site users have come to expect that email messages should match the language, message, and design elements found on the website. This means branding needs to carry over into newsletters, purchase confirmation emails, and even lead generation messages.
It’s essential to get this correct because customers have certain expectations when dealing with an email from their preferred companies. When done correctly, email can serve to make the customer’s experience and expectations carry over from the website to the brand’s messages. This creates trust and credibility with customers.
Therefore, UX for emails should include:
- The same branding and visual styles as the website (colours, language, messages, and more)
- A subject line, which is personalised and offers a greeting and/or an offer
- Messages that are consistent with the site and have similar CTAs as the website
- An “unsubscribe” option should also be easy to find and perhaps with a contrasting font colour
UX for ads needs to follow the same pattern as for other types of messaging. This means ad aesthetics and CTAs need to contain branding elements that are consistent with the website. The UX must also be consistent from ad to ad. Otherwise, there’s the possibility that customers may not recognise the ad belongs to their favourite brand.
Ads in the following areas need to be consistent with the website’s UX:
- Google Search
- Direct mail
- Ad networks
- Social media channels
- And more
5). Product Packaging
And what about product packaging? This is a place where many brands fail to carry over their UX, leaving the customer experience less than it should be.
For instance, product packaging should contain the same branding as the website. Customers should be in no doubt where they purchased the product or what brand is behind the product.
In addition, the packaging needs to be easy to open. The packaging should also be environmentally friendly, as many customers are concerned about the environment and the effect their purchases have on the planet.
Finally, even the shipping label should match the UX used on the brand’s website. The package branding elements will clearly remind customers who sold the item and where to return it, if necessary.
6). The Brand’s Exterior
When it comes to branding, many companies fail to understand the importance of carrying their UX design even to the outside of their office. What’s more, they may not even consider the aesthetics of the building or the location. For instance, is the office easy to find? Is it located in a safe area? And what about the company’s signage? Is the brand recognisable on exterior signs?
The goal here is the same—to keep branding consistent across all aspects of the business, including the company’s office or building exterior. This makes for a better user experience and keeps the company recognisable to customers.
7). Business Interior
Should the UX even apply to the business interior? The answer is a resounding yes! Think of customers, clients, and partners who come to the business. Everything about the company needs to be consistent—from the website, communications (emails/social media) to the building exterior and interior.
UX applies to the following in a company’s office interior:
- Product discoverability
- Quality of customer service
- And more
No matter what type of products or services are offered, the UX design needs to be consistent across all areas of the business. This means the UX branding, colours, and more need to be included in the company’s building interior.
Summing It Up
UX design doesn’t end with a company’s website. Instead, the branding and UX need to be included across all aspects of a business. The goal is to create a consistent experience for customers, which leaves them feeling comfortable making purchases from the company or even making returns. The branding and treatment of the customer need to be consistent to create credibility and trust.
It may not be the designer’s job to help a client create a consistent UX across all areas of their business. However, pointing out the importance of a consistent UX can help your clients increase their credibility, revenues, and even customer loyalty. Those are benefits your clients will definitely appreciate, even if these areas are not necessarily part of being a designer.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent a decade working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.