Design for co­her­ence

The mod­ern user jour­ney is in­creas­ingly frag­mented shouldn’t

Web Designer - - UX - New rules, top tools -

With more and more touch­points emerg­ing, or­gan­i­sa­tions are in danger of their user’s jour­ney be­com­ing so heav­ily frag­mented that it could be­come an in­co­her­ent mess. To add to the om­nichan­nel ex­pe­ri­ence there are now chat­bots and other voice in­ter­faces to con­sider in the user’s jour­ney, so the ex­pe­ri­ences and con­ver­sa­tions peo­ple have with them need care­fully de­sign­ing.

Plan­ning is key, tak­ing a ‘he­li­copter view’ of the en­tire user’s jour­ney with the busi­ness. This should in­clude do­ing as much user re­search as pos­si­ble to make sure the touch­points you design align with their goals, and what they’re do­ing in real life. Turn­ing this re­search into user jour­ney maps and per­sonas will help guide de­sign­ers on which touch­points should be used for dif­fer­ent au­di­ences. Many tools ex­ist for sup­port­ing th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties; Smaply caters for all of the above, and Xten­sio can be used to cre­ate sim­ple per­sonas and di­a­grams, but there are also more tra­di­tional off­line tools such as Ax­ure that you can use to get the job done.

It’s also im­por­tant to con­sider which touch­points be de­signed for, es­pe­cially if it is dis­cov­ered dur­ing the re­search that it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate to use cer­tain meth­ods to con­tact cer­tain au­di­ences. For ex­am­ple, on a dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence deal­ing with a home­less per­son reg­is­ter­ing for sup­port ser­vices, would it be ap­pro­pri­ate to ask for an ad­dress?

De­sign­ing a co­her­ent ex­pe­ri­ence means not just de­sign­ing for screens and apps any­more, but ev­ery means of con­tact the cus­tomer has with that or­gan­i­sa­tion, so that a unified mes­sage can be de­liv­ered, re­gard­less of the type of touch­point. It’s im­per­a­tive that this key mes­sage is de­cided on from the start. The en­tire UX team should know from re­search what mes­sage to de­liver. It’s a com­mon be­lief that the more ma­te­rial you present to the user, the greater chance that some of it will be re­mem­bered. It’s the old adage of throw­ing a load of mud in the hope some will stick, but this isn’t true. Your au­di­ence will end up con­fused about the mes­sage you are try­ing to de­liver.

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