Saturday, 25 March 2017

What is the difference between UX & UI?

Remember when we were young and wanted to use ketchup and it did not fall down from the glass bottle in the dish? We had to turn the bottle upside down and smack it on the bottom to pour it. The company did not realize that making the glass bottle with attractive label looks good but actual experience of using it is very bad. 

That is the simple difference between user interface (the glass bottle) and user experience (pouring the ketchup).

A User interface is a simple, intuitive means for a user to interact with PCs, smart mobile devices, websites, communication devices, and software applications.

All our five senses Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste are user interface for us to interact with the world and what we get is user experience of the world.

Today with so much digital all around us, User interface (UI) focuses on the look and feel of screens, pages, forms, text boxes, and visual elements, like images, videos, buttons and icons that you use to interact with a device, web site or product.

User experience (UX), on the other hand, is the experience that a person has as they use, interact with products and services.

Imagine when you ask a query to Google and it took more than 1 minutes to get a result. Even if the interface stayed the same, your experience with Google would be dramatically different.

UI will more focus on look and feel, responsiveness of the product. It cares for if the function works or not. UX design not only cares for its function but the users' emotion, how the users feel about when their interaction to UI.

Positive User experience enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the customer and the product. 

UI is when you go to a five star hotel for dinner and see food arranged beautifully and UX is when you eat it to find it fantastic too.

You must have visited Disneyland with your kids….the attractive colors, and themes they use to pull the crowds of children and adults at same time is user interface while after sitting on the rides like space mountain, rock n roller coaster, free fall etc. what you get is thrilling user experience.

Your Car’s steering wheel, brakes, accelerator are all UI, while kind of experience you get driving is UX.

Your UI design can make or break the success of your website or app and it is the door to the great or worst user experience.

There are some basic principles for UI to be successful:
·       Make UI as intuitive & responsive as possible
·       Don’t overload the information
·       Keep it simple to view
·       Group things appropriately
·       Multi language support with proper tool tips

Something that looks great but difficult to use and something that looks terrible but very easy to use, both are failures in today’s digital age.

UX and UI are the two most integral concepts in the world of website development. Both need to work well in relation to each other to offer the best overall outcome.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Numerous reasons why Digital Transformation fails

Many organizations today have realized that digital transformation is essential to their success.

But many of them forget that focus of a digital transformation is not digitization or even technology, it is the Customer!

Digital Transformation is not easy or small endeavor for any business. Several levers will need to be turned in unison just to ensure resources are aligned and budgets are not being wasted.

Many a times I have seen that the top boss is not digital savvy. In such cases without top leadership, they are unlikely to have real impact on their road to digital.

Another reason is, many companies focus on siloed, just few digital projects instead of overall business model transformation. Such independent, tactical initiatives, which are costly and create bad publicity inside and outside the organization.

I had a worst experience with one of the largest telecom company. While acquiring customers they go out the way to give everything free and promise everything digital. But their customer service is pathetic. I just wanted to disconnect my internet dongle and it was not possible online. I had to call customer service 5-6 times, every time I was kept on hold saying they are checking system status.  At one time, when I got frustrated I asked why it is painful just to disconnect, the rep told me sir your call has just consumed 39 seconds and we are trained to hold customer for more than a minute!!! See how they earn money at customer’s cost.

Finally they told me go and sort it out in one of their store. Again no digital there – I had to fill out a hard copy form, provide all my id proofs again, and I was told it will take 10 more days to just disconnect the service, so I have to pay for those 10 days.  What is worst is, I again get a bill after 1 month that I have not paid latest bill.

From the telecom’s perspective, they think they have done everything right for digital transformation:

1. They have provided online access to manage account; 
2. They have a sleek mobile app
3. They have provided access to a 24x7 customer support line
4. Their web site UX and design gives good online experience
5. They provide email updates letting customers know the status on their requests.

But if they had walked in customer’s shoes, to identify instances where things could do wrong and address them quickly, it would have been more successful.

If with everything at the end the customer experience is bad it is a failure.

Lack of clear vision - Often times, companies that are not succeeding simply haven't painted a clear picture of what they want or need to be, when they digitally "grow up."

Poor internal communication within employees is another critical reason to fail. All the customer touch points don’t communicate with each other to have single version of customer truth. A comprehensive use of Big Data Analytics is essential to have all the details of customer at service rep’s fingertips.

Amazon, Netflix and Uber digital success stories have the effective gathering, storing and leveraging of customer data at the core.

Forrester has cited example of digital transformation failure at BBC for weak project management, reporting, lack of focus on business change.

Which reasons resonate with you? Happy to hear your thoughts!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Better know your customers for survival in this Digital age

With Digital Transformation, we are living in direct-to-customer world. 

Consumers don’t want to talk to middlemen or brokers when they need something. They also don’t want to be bombarded with irrelevant ads, nor do they want to be on the receiving end of a blanket, irrelevant marketing campaign.

Customer expectations are high, and growing! To provide a differentiating customer experience, you must exceed, or at least meet their expectations.

Almost anything you read today talks about customer engagement and customer experience. It’s not because those are the latest buzzwords, it’s because they really affects your top line. 

It is also a compliance matter now a days to know your customers well.

Customer simple expectations are Know Me, Understand me, Respect me, Listen to me, and Respond to me anytime, anyplace.

Modern customers demand intelligence from the organizations they engage with. They demand knowledge, care, and tailored content and campaigns.

Digital technology has turned customers into moving targets. Customers are hopping the channels all the day – start with smartphone, tablet at the breakfast, continuing on mobile while commuting to work, then hoping to laptop/pc in office, and again moving to other devices when out of office and then TV, tablet, mobile at home before finishing the day. This leaves huge digital footprint for businesses to further analyze.

Today, customer data, knowledge, and insights are more valuable and of more strategic importance than ever before

Business have to adopt to various key elements to engage customers:
·       Involve customers: allow customers to engage and involve in your business goals
·      Anywhere anytime Access: give them flexibility to connect to your business from anywhere, on any device, anytime
·   Relevant content to Engage: provide the content which makes sense to customers
·       Hyper personalize: customize the content to the very personal level meeting specific needs
·       Responsiveness: quick and effective response on customer interaction

Businesses can deploy big data analytics to bring in all the advanced customer intelligence while interacting with customers:
·     Customer journey data: Collecting all the customer data across all the touch points of your business
·    Behavior data: How customers have behaved while interacting with your business
·   Sentiments data: What customers are saying about your products and services – good or bad

This helps in Knowing the customers better than the competition does, not only knowing who they are and what they have purchased, but also understanding what they want at a particular moment in time.

Amazon, Disney, Apple, Starbucks go to great lengths to exceed customer expectations by leveraging customer information and insights.

Finally knowing the customer helps you in marketing, advertising, customer service, customer retention and loyalty and above all improve the customer experience.

Knowing your customer is key to survive. Find out who they are and how you can create products that truly solve their needs

How is your organization putting efforts to know your customers in digital age?

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