We believe that a great user experience requires understanding what your customers want and need, then making sure you’re delivering solutions to those wants and needs in the best way you can.
Therefore, UX isn’t just an exercise in great design or solid technology. It’s understanding how to tell the right story (through words and actions) that moves your customer through their journey from discovery to loyalty.
We’ve found that companies with the strongest user experiences typically invest in a content strategy that delivers exactly the right message to those customers at every step of that journey. We think you’ll be surprised at how that content strategy manifests everywhere in your business—not just in your marketing materials, but even the layout of your website or in user interface elements or “microcopy.”
The Importance of Content Strategy in UX
Content strategy involves creating a structured content model, which means that you identify who your target audience is, what interests them, what they want from the product or service you provide, and how they want to consume it. Because traditional persona exercises can sometimes result in overly rigid business requirements, we challenge our clients to think in broader terms about the types of ideal customers they want to attract.
Over time, you can build specific content tracks (and user experiences) that appeal to key portions of your audience. For instance, on our own website, we focus on folks who have already built a website that needs some help, and on folks who haven’t yet designed what they want their website to do.
Your website’s user interface should offer a clear path for each of your target groups. The best websites we’ve seen (and the most effective clients we’ve ever worked with) are also good at using content to exclude prospects who will never be a good fit for their businesses.
Understanding What Your Users Want
As you learn more about each user, you can deploy content that mirrors their journey more specifically. Your website’s user interface can help you with this, especially if you’re running an e-commerce operation that includes an account profile with personalization options.
Even if you’re not selling items through a shopping cart, you can still create “critical paths” that bring prospects back to the right place on your website for each moment in their journey. Instead of expecting them to hunt-and-peck through navigation elements or on-site search, targeted e-mail and social posts can send visitors directly to pages that speak to the pain points they’re trying to solve right now.
When blended with responsive design and privacy-focused analytics, you can serve up the right version of your message for the moment. Podcasts for prospects that crave a deep dive during a drive, white papers for workers who have to prove something to their bosses. The core message across all your content pieces may be the same, but the user experience of getting that content in the right format and context will set you apart from competitors with a “post it once and forget it” approach.
Content Design Amplifies User Experience
More than just a trendy buzz phrase, the content design trend encapsulates so much of what user experience practitioners have been advocating for years. Your most compelling argument won’t carry weight with a prospect if they can’t read it properly on their smartphone, or if they can’t print it out for the Senior Vice President in charge of their budget.
We’re always happy to take a quick peek at your website to discover if you’re a candidate for our Express UX Audit program. Schedule your discovery session today, and our team can start reviewing your content strategy and recommending how to layer it with the right user experience elements.