User Experience (UX) design typically refers to the creation of website experiences, guided by aspects like usability research, seamless interaction design, logical information architecture, and visually pleasing user interface design, just to name a few.
While the pursuit of “user experience happiness” is a valuable one, I also believe that it should go deeper than just the website; for true UX success, we need a collaborative approach between the brand, website, and most importantly, the performance marketing team and/or agencies involved.
Where’s the value in UX?
During the process of building a website, the UX team (comprising UX practitioners, business stakeholders, developers and designers) focus on delivering experience-rich web functionality that encourages usage, drives buy-in of the product, and ensures a delightful brand experience for viewers.
Good UX is measurable; it leads to longer time on site, increased conversion rates, higher return traffic (which lowers the cost of customer acquisition), longer customer retention, and ultimately increased market share.
In terms of performance marketing, the teams involved in building and executing the campaigns that drive traffic onto these websites also care greatly about the conversion rates and costs involved in taking prospects from advert to conversion.
In a recent study from Forrester Research, a well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to a 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%. Source: Forbes
Why UX matters beyond websites alone
Performance marketing at its core is about buying or paying for a specific action via a digital advertising channel. We look at these specific actions as generating a lead, creating a transaction, getting a click, or serving an ad impression.
We do so much work around gathering insights that then inform our customer journeys and help us build accurate personas and derive behavioural insights – all of which gives our campaigns the best opportunity at performing well.
But so many brands and advertisers overlook one simple concept: making sure that the desired experience from an ad matches the one that is presented on the landing page. And when the user doesn’t experience what they expect or desire, performance decreases.
88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. Source: econsultancy
Who should drive and champion the UX journey?
It’s all very well to aim for a seamless ad-to-website user experience, but who should be responsible for designing, creating and enforcing it?
Should it be the team who created the campaign, and who are doubtless highly invested in how well it performs? Or should it be the team who designed the overall experience on the website?
It’s clear that both teams often care about the approach from their individual perspectives. Therefore, the brand and all the agencies it works with must step up to this challenge and build more cohesive experiences if they want more efficient performance.
In theory it might sound challenging to achieve, however if the brand has clear USPs and sales messaging already mapped out and both the design and performance agencies are working from the same briefs, it can be a smooth and seamless process.
From experience, this tends to work best when the performance aspects are covered before the brief goes to the UX or design team, as the visuals and structure can then be moulded to fit around the commercial objective of the page – but this will of course vary with each individual project.