On the Amazon homepage there is a reminder of how long you’ve been a customer. Mine says 19 years. This marker of the passage of time made me reflect on some of the big changes we’ve seen since I’ve been involved in creating digital experiences.
The biggest shift is that clients are no longer worshipping at the fount of your “knowledge”. The client is now as knowledgeable as you are on what’s right and what's wrong when it comes to a good or bad digital experience.
This is partly due to the homogeneous nature of digital. Amazon has the best shopping cart experience, so brands tend to follow that model. The template-based websites from the likes of Squarespace becomes a design norm. You start to see new websites popping up that gravitate to these design conventions as it helps brands navigate around the technobabble that exists in digital.
Our instincts, and tolerance, to how digital experiences work are sharper than ever. It’s rare now that we have to explain to our clients just why a certain navigation choice is maybe confusing. They get it.
This has created exciting possibilities for agencies like us. With less time spent educating about the basics of digital experiences, we can spend more time working with clients on honing that experience. We love working with clients on wireframing and prototyping. We’ve been able to get greater stakeholder buy-in quicker and easier as we’ve been on the journey together. Start quickly, hypothesize, test and refine.
So, does this brave new world diminish the need for the designer? Not at all. In fact, it frees the designer to add the value that digital is screaming for. It allows designers to focus on the detail, on shaping the digital design to delight and to entertain, without simply getting in the way. We can start to finesse and incrementally improve the customer experience.
If the customer’s experience on your site is better than your competitors, you’ll win. This battle isn’t fought over large images or Amazon-esque shopping carts. It's about small interactions. It’s about the text at the end of a shopping cart. It’s how your brand, your values, your personality, shines through.
The best way to improve the customer experience of a website is to make the design process a partnership. A partnership between the client and the agency that adds real value to your digital channels through thoughtful branded interactions. These all become incremental improvements to the overall customer experience.
If you’d like to find out more about how we work to create the best digital experience for your business and, most importantly your customers, we’d be delighted to chat.