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    Welcome to the second post in this three-part series on how your brand impacts your user experience. In our first post, we discussed our quickly evolving digital age and how simply focusing on just your brand or just your user experience will not be enough in this competitive market. Exceptional branding & user experience work together to bring power and recognition to your brand and can hugely impact the growth of your business.

    That said, it is critical to understand not just one of the two but both Brand & User Experience equally. In our first post, we dove into Branding 101 – if you missed it, make sure you read the quick takeaway below to get up-to-speed.

    Branding 101 Quick Summary: Understanding your brand means knowing who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to be perceived. While you may not have total control over what people think of your business, you can certainly impact those perceptions. However, in order to impact perceptions, it is critical that you have taken the time to understand your core brand identity, promise, and have it organized in a manner that will lend to consistency in messaging.

    User Experience 101

    In regards to a website, User Experience (UX)  is the overall feeling a user has when visiting a website – it is the journey a user goes through in order to reach their goals. User experience is less about the emotional gut feelings and more about the interactions a user has with your product. UX is almost 100 percent user-oriented while influenced by an SEO strategy. Your website is a place customers or potential customers can experience your brand while maintaining and evolving your UX is a way to improve that experience.  It is all about seeing through the eyes of your customer and serving them content in the exact way they would expect it to be served so they can immediately reach their goals upon visiting your website.

    There are several areas that play a large role in the overall user experience:

    Is it easy to complete tasks? For example, if there is a pop-up window that takes over your screen and you can’t click out of it then you won’t be able to access the homepage that you were attempting to explore. Users want to be able to find what they are looking for in the quickest and easiest way possible.

    Is it easy to complete tasks? For example, if there is a pop-up window that takes over your screen and you can’t click out of it then you won’t be able to access the homepage that you were attempting to explore. Users want to be able to find what they are looking for in the quickest and easiest way possible.

    Users have a need which is why they are coming to you. Make sure you communicate the value that you can provide them straight away.

    We all still judge a book by the cover and that is why design plays such a critical role in UX. Color, image, identity, brand, etc. all work together to draw emotions out of the user to lend to the overall experience.

    The information on the site needs to be navigable and organized in an intuitive way that users can easily find what they are looking for.

    To wrap up. . .

    Focusing on your customers’ needs and truly putting yourself in the shoes of your customer when making UX decisions is critical. What motivates them? What are they looking for? Why are they leaving? User experience is a way to better understand your customers. Through heat mapping, bounce rates, etc. you can actually test your user experience to make informed decisions that will back design enhancements, technology integrations, and marketing budgets.

    Keep an eye out for our final iteration of this series: How brand impacts UX.