Multi-Device Experience: Design for all Channels

In 2021 there were 4.66 billion active internet users. Almost everyone in the world has access to the internet, and it has become an essential part of everyday life for billions. Today you can access the internet in various ways through smartphones, PCs, TVs, tablets, and many more devices; as a result, companies are presented with the challenge of designing their user experience for all sorts of channels. A brand is considered a whole entity by customers, and they want to receive a unified experience. But how is this accomplished? And what are the critical elements of a cross-channel experience?

This blog will take a brief look at the multi-device experience and how designers can create for all channels.

Multi-Channel Experience

The crux of the multi-channel experience is about allowing users to engage via various channels and provide a unified experience.  48% of households have multiple personal computers, 43% own a tablet or e-book, and around 85% of adults own smartphones. So it is essential to allow users to switch from one device to another and still be able to interact with your product or service in a way that is an enjoyable and consistent matter where or how the users reach the design, there should be a cohesive user experience with seamless data transfer across channels. So what elements should we focus on when creating a cross-channel experience? Let’s take a closer look.

Elements of a Usable Cross Channel Experience

  • Consistency

First and foremost, we need to focus on consistency. Don’t surprise the customer by providing an inconsistent experience across each channel. Instead, place the customer at the center of the design process and create a unified experience that addresses their needs on each device. Some functional and visual optimization will have to be altered to ensure a high-class product, but elements such as navigation and content should generally remain consistent.

  • Availability

The omnichannel experience should be available across all touchpoints. Companies should allow their users to decide when and how to access their services. This means removing limits and ensuring maximum freedom with each channel.

  • Seamless Integration

Can a user start a task on one channel and complete it via another? This is called seamless integration. There should be a real-time data sync between all channels, enabling a seamless user experience.

  • Context Optimisation

You don’t need to deliver everything all the time. A context-driven perspective will help to improve the customer experience. For example, different devices may be better suited for other sorts of activities. Therefore, consistency across channels contexts will help customers get the most out of each experience.

 

Building a Cross-Channel Experience Strategy

The elements we need to focus on are clear. Now we should consider the actual steps designers can take to ensure they are incorporating these elements and building an actual cross-channel experience.

  • Common Goals: Before you implement anything, it is essential to align your team goals and metrics with its overall business goals. This will help designers measure performance, and it will simplify strategic decisions.
  • Map Customer Journey: Understand your users and customers. Draw a customer journey map to find out how they interact with your product or service. Which touchpoints are most popular?
  • Provide Value in Exchange for Data: If you ask for your users’ data, make sure you provide value in return. Know exactly what kind of data you’re collecting and understand how that information can improve the user experience.
  • Check for Redundancies: Look out for interruptions or disturbances in the user journey. Recheck the journey map and ensure a seamless data flow across all channels.
  • Measure, Analyse and Optimise: Collect data on standard metrics and understand whether the user experience you are delivering is living up to your expectations. Are your goals being met? Then you can continue to use the data to improve your existing strategies.
  • Communicate the Results: The final step is to communicate your results. Let your team and other teams know the results of your analysis and any other findings. Transparency across the organization will help you work towards common goals and refine your cross-channel user experience.

Design for all Channels

Creating a unified experience across all channels is an exciting challenge for brands. In today’s world, users have certain expectations.  Omni-channel synchronicity is important to users that interact with your product or service on various devices and via different channels. Building a cross-channel experience that incorporates all your product or service elements will be vital to expanding your user base and maintaining your success for years to come.

So, how do you design for all channels and deliver a consistently excellent UX? To learn more, get in contact with our UI and UX experts at Radiant Digital.


The Von Restorff Effect in UX Design

How do you create UX designs that stand out? For example, how can you improve the user's experience by simply changing the color or shape of an item? 

The Von Restorff Effect theory is that people are more likely to remember the outlying thing when presented with a list of similar items that includes one unique, isolated item. 

"If all but one item of a list are similar in some dimension, memory for the different item will be enhanced. The modern theory of the...effect emphasizes perceptual salience and accompanying differential attention to the isolated item as necessary for enhanced memory...Distinctiveness is a useful description of the effects of differences" - R. Reed Hunt.

The theory emerged from a study undertaken by the German pediatrician and psychiatrist Hedwig von Restorff, after whom the idea is named. It has since become a guiding principle for designers in many lines of work. 

The Von Restorff Effect is also called the "Isolation Effect." The effect is easily illustrated and can be found throughout our everyday lives. 

Look at the six circles: Which one is most memorable? 

Is it the five black circles or the one red circle that sticks in your mind? This is how simple the Von Restorff Theory is. In this example, the red circle is more memorable because it is distinct from the five black circles. There are five homogenous stimuli and one different stimulus. This theory can be used to enhance UI and UX design. Simple changes that create distinct elements within a design effectively transform user experiences. 

Memorable Design Aspects

Color is not the only aspect of design that can create something distinctive. You can alter designs in many ways to illustrate the Von Restorff Effect. Other design aspects include: 

● Shape

● Size

● Spacing

● Highlighting 

● Making bold or italic

● Underlining 

All UX designers should be aware of how these design aspects can impact the way users experience their designs. For example, how can you use the Von Restorff Effect to improve the experience if you design an app or web page? Maybe it's about making certain buttons or clickable options of different colors or sizes to emphasize their importance. Often the simpler, the better. Users will evaluate elements differently depending on whether they are isolated or placed next to an alternative. For example, as a designer, you can make one choice look more attractive by placing it next to an option that is bland and not distinct in any way. 

Usage

Many of us are visual beings and visual learners. Using the Von Restorff Effect to highlight important information amongst a group of similar information is a critical visual tool to improve UX. It can relieve the stress of sifting through multiple visual communication pieces to find the most relevant detail. For online retailers and e-commerce businesses, the Von Restorff Effect can be used to highlight discounts or changes in price. Below we've highlighted some real-time examples to illustrate how the Von Restorff Effect functions. 

Kissflow Pricing Page

In this example above of Kissflow's Pricing Page, the use of the 'Border Color' and 'Most Popular' tags distinguishes the 'Advanced' plan from the other three. This shows how you can draw the user's eye with a distinctive design. 

Myntra Product Listing Page

Equally, in this example from Myntra's Product Listing Page, our eyes are naturally drawn towards the "Trending" tag. This is because a small tag can considerably boost the sales of that product.

Interaction Design Foundation-Home Page

In this example above from Interaction Design Foundation's Home Page, by looking at the completed circle and it's color (red), it is evident that the first course is closed for enrollment. Simple design choices like this show how subtle and impactful the Von Restorff Effect can be. 

MacBook Menu Bar

Similarly, take a look at this MacBook Menu Bar. Again, the user can clearly distinguish which app requires their immediate attention. Furthermore, the bright red notification circle ensures that the messaging app receives the most attention. While the Von Restorff Effect has broad applicability, designers should also avoid overusing it. Too many distinguishing elements can cause users to become distracted and make your design feel cluttered. On the other hand, nothing will grab the users' attention if too much goes on. The essence of the Isolation Effect is about standing out. 

Standing Out 

Ultimately the Von Restorff Effect is about being distinctive and standing out from the crowd. This is harder than it seems in a design world where everyone is trying to create something new and unique. However, distinctiveness can be as subtle as it is about bright, eye-catching designs. If you are designing a product or service, a web page, or an app, the Von Restorff Effect can be a valuable guide to ensure that you are creating a distinctive and memorable design. 

At Radiant, we understand the value of being distinctive in a digital world. As we help businesses navigate the journey to a digital enterprise, we aim to create innovative and unique solutions. In the world of UX, particularly those who appreciate the Von Restorff Effect, we will create engaging and memorable interactions. 

To learn more about the Von Restorff Effect and UX Design, contact our UX experts. 


Designing for Personalized Experiences as one size does not fit all

Today, a personalized customer experience is at the heart of every business communication strategy and customer experience. This growth mantra helps acquire customers, engage, and retain them in a competitive market.UX designers and researchers are often in the driver's seat, defining the course of customer interactions and product design. A flexible design that promotes personalization adds so much value and satisfaction to customer-product interactions.

So, what exactly is personalization?

"Personalization is not a trend; it's a marketing tsunami" - Avi Dan. Personalization is identifying various user types and their needs to deliver relevant content and functionality to them. It focuses on UX enhancement by anticipating and meeting unique user needs that translate to customer conversions.

UX Design and Personalization:

According to Forrester's research, personalization offers crucial customer centricity and engagement that marketers can leverage. Thus, delivering user experience personalization has become a critical approach for CMOs to attract and convert potential customers.UX personalization helps anticipate and tailor customer journeys and experiences based on varied customer needs, contexts, and preferences instead of making them irrelevant and one-size-fits-all. This article delineates the importance of UX Personalization for designers and how it can add value to end-users.

Why Personalization?

Channelize Information and Reduce Overload: Personalization helps customers focus more on your offerings than on the excessive information flooding their pages. It reduces the amount of info and the options by guiding users through a customized funnel designed for them and their individual needs.

Helps Build Brand Affinity: Personalizing provides innovative customer interactions to strengthen their brand trust and loyalty. This is useful in planning effective UX design strategies across marketing and sales channels. UX Personalization also increases the Customer Lifetime Value when customers resonate with your brand. Studies show that 15% of a brand's loyal customers account for up to 70% of sales, and not personalizing can kill a significant opportunity to make your customers feel appreciated.

Increases Conversions: With personalization, users get better, more relevant, and individualized experiences. This ultimately translates into increased conversion rates through improved KPIs like page views, hit rates, interactions per session, etc. According to Evergage, 74% of marketers believe that personalization increases customer engagement.

Increases Lead Generation: Personalization increases users' chances to read and engage in a message, then perform the intended action. Leads relay to your product if you personalize a design by understanding each user's pain points.

Cross-Selling & Upselling: UX design personalization provides the ability to segregate customer segments and understand them better. Marketers can then plan the type of offers, design, and content they'd like to cross-sell or upsell to various customers (existing or new).

Increases User Engagement: Personalization creates a profound connection between a user and a brand through effective engagement. Also, when users find a personalized product, it reinforces a sense of identity, uniqueness, and relevance to increase preference and usage.

 In summary, UX design Personalization is beneficial in the following ways, according to

How to Start Personalizing UX?

Begin by defining your strategy and the why, who, where and what of personalizing an experience.

"Why" defines the reason for personalizing UX design to achieve

  • Increased conversions or decreased bounce/drop-off rates.
  • Improved user engagement.
  • More lead generation.
  • Increased customer retention.

Answering "Why" will outline the high-level and specific goals of UX personalization.

"Who"  defines the target groups you want to cater to differently and meaningfully. These may include:

  • Prospects and customers.
  • First-time users.
  • Users from different demographics or locations.

UX designers should define and map the differences between various users precisely based on their brand, category, interaction, and price preferences.

"Where" defines the areas in your design or the customer channels where you want to introduce personalization. These may include:

  • Websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Emails
  • Ads

Any channel where regular customer interactions take place qualifies for different levels of personalization. At this point, mapping the personalized customer journeys coherently and consistently for each target user comes in handy. To know exactly how, please read this article we wrote on customer journey mapping.

"What" defines the message you want to convey to each user group or the intent of UX personalization within the identified channels to achieve a defined goal or deliver a specific experience. This may include:

  • Recommendations.
  • Indicate different value proposition headlines based on geolocation.
  • Navigation or search results' personalization.
  • Promotional messages to specific geolocations, user roles, or interest groups.

When it comes to personalization, adding value to the visitor's experience is paramount. Providing potential customers with a better sense and understanding of your brand (through UX design) will make them feel comfortable with your brand while improving conversions.

Recommended Personalization Methods

Having rolled out many customer-centric UX designs successfully, Radiant Digital recommends the following personalization methods to UX designers.

Navigational Personalization: This method builds on a customer's browsing behavior and purchase history. You can customize how you want the user to navigate your website. For example, you could highlight a previous purchase for the customer on an eCommerce website to repeat the order or display a pop-up page for discounts and offers before the home page is displayed. This will increase the chances of a user clicking and performing a positive action on the website.

Predictive Recommendation: Recommendation engines can accurately analyze relevant buying behavior from similar users and recommend products or actions that a person might be interested in. This method is helpful for email campaigns, e-commerce sites, or transactional apps. For example, this method has been beneficial for Amazon, where 30% of their sales are generated via predictive recommendations.

Contextual Messaging: Using this personalization method, you can personalize messages for users based on their location, behavior, or device type. This helps design apps and deliver content more relevantly, which adds value to the customer interaction. For example, Amazon uses geolocation messaging to display if a user can ship the item to their location, along with the estimated delivery time.

Will Common Designs Work Hereafter?

Based on the following factors, the UX design should change and serve the user's intent.

  • Geolocation
  • Traffic source
  • The browser or device type
  • Number of site visits, logins, pages/screens viewed
  • Active time spent
  • The time of the last visit, email read, etc.
  • Purchases made, articles read, videos viewed, etc.
  • Mouse movement (scrolling, hovering, inactivity)

Standard designs will slowly fade soon, while competitive applications will use personalization to engage more customers through their interests and preferences to shape user-centric and design-led UX. Machines Learning will intelligently understand the story behind the user's interactions to adapt to contextual factors continuously. This will allow companies to implement real-time personalization in their designs.

Wrapping up

Who doesn't say 'Yes' to a personalized experience? Businesses can succeed in today's digital era by planning and aligning their customer empathy and UX enrichment strategies.

Want to connect better with your customers through personalized and empowering designs? Radiant Digital can help you get there. Call us today!