Skip to content

Insights > Knowledge > User experience (UX): the key to optimising digital interaction

User experience (UX): the key to optimising digital interaction

Deep Dive

Agenda:


In an increasingly digitalised world, user experience (UX) is no longer just a "nice extra", but has long since become a strategic success factor. After all, the way in which people use and perceive digital products and services is constantly changing. Companies need to adapt to this rapid development if they want to reach and successfully engage with their customers in the future.

User experience promotes business success

The importance of UX lies in its ability to shape and optimise the way in which customers experience digital interactions. At its core, it is about how pleasantly, efficiently and effectively users can interact with a digital platform or application. A positive user experience contributes significantly to customer loyalty, increases satisfaction and ultimately promotes business success. But user experience goes far beyond mere customer friendliness - it also influences the efficiency of internal processes and the productivity of employees.

User experience potentially offers companies the following advantages, among others:

zusammenarbeit1
Customer loyalty

Satisfied customers remain loyal and recommend products or services to others.

geld2
Cost savings

A good user experience can reduce the number of support requests and increase the efficiency of processes.

innovation
Innovation

Close collaboration with users in the design of the user experience can lead to innovative ideas and new product developments.

qualität
Brand image

A positive user experience strengthens the brand image and customer trust.

What is user experience (UX)?

By user experience (UX), we mean the totality of all impressions and emotions that users experience when interacting with a digital platform, an application or a product. It is about the way in which they perceive the user-friendliness, design, efficiency and effectiveness of a digital product or service. Overall, the user experience is the decisive factor that determines whether users love a digital solution and use it again and again or give up in frustration.

The core components of the user experience (UX) are:
Utility

A product or application must offer a clear benefit and fulfil the needs of the user.

Usability

The platform should be simple and intuitive to use, without unnecessary complexity or confusion.

Aesthetics

The visual design and layout should be appealing and reflect the brand image.

Satisfaction

Ultimately, the interaction should be positive and enjoyable in order to satisfy the customer.

The difference between user experience (UX) and user interface (UI)

Although user experience and user interface are closely related, they are not the same thing. The user interface (UI) refers to the concrete interface that users use to interact with an application or product. The focus here is on visual elements such as buttons, menus and icons. The user interface is therefore definitely a part of the user experience, but not the entire experience. 

User experience, on the other hand, goes far beyond visual design and encompasses all aspects of interaction, including the arrangement of elements, navigation, performance and overall satisfaction. An appealing user interface is important, but without a well-thought-out user experience, even the most appealing design cannot optimise the user experience.
 

Why is user experience important?

Investing in a first-class user experience is an investment in business success. Companies that recognise its importance and work on it consistently will be rewarded in the long term.

The importance of user experience
The users take centre stage

An outstanding user experience ensures that the needs, expectations and preferences of customers are understood and fulfilled. It stands for a customer-centred mindset.

Positive emotions and customer loyalty

A good user experience generates positive emotions among users. They feel valued and understood, which leads to greater customer loyalty. Loyalty is a valuable asset as it promotes repeat business and positive word of mouth.

Competitive advantage

In a highly competitive market environment, a superior user experience can set companies apart from the competition. Customers often choose products or services based on their user-friendliness and experience.

The effects of good and bad user experience

Providing users with a smooth and enjoyable experience with a product or platform can lead to various positive business outcomes:

geld
Increase in sales

Satisfied customers are more willing to spend more money and make use of additional services.

kunde
Customer loyalty

They return more frequently and remain customers in the long term.

qualität
Good brand image

A positive user experience strengthens the brand image and can lead to positive word of mouth.

On the other hand, a poor user experience can have an extremely negative impact on business success:
umsatzverlust
Loss of revenue

Customers leave the platform in frustration due to the poor user experience and shop elsewhere.

schlechtes image
Poor brand image

Negative experiences can damage a brand's reputation and have a lasting negative impact on the customer relationship.

geld2
Higher support costs

A poor user experience often leads to an increase in support requests and therefore to higher customer service costs.


User interface design: building a bridge to the user experience

User interface design (UI design) is a central component of the user experience (UX) through which users interact with digital products and services. It is the visual and interactive design that largely determines how user-friendly and appealing an application or platform is perceived.

Basics of interface design 

The basics of UI design include visual components such as layouts, colour schemes, fonts, images and icons. At the same time, UI design includes interaction elements such as buttons, menus and forms. These visual and interactive elements are crucial for the user experience, as they have a significant influence on usability and aesthetics.

Best practices in user interface design

To ensure a first-class user experience, the following best practices should be observed in UI design:

Clarity and consistency

Standardised layouts, symbols and navigation elements create familiarity and make it easier for users to find their way around.

User-centred

The design should be tailored to the needs and expectations of the target group.

Responsive design

The interface should adapt to different screen sizes and devices to ensure a consistent experience.

Accessibility

The design should be accessible to all users, including people with disabilities.

Performance

Fast loading times and smooth interactions are crucial for a positive user experience.

The importance of responsive design

Responsive design is a key component in UI design. It enables digital platforms or applications to function and display optimally on different end devices - from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. This ensures a consistent user experience on all devices.

Digital transformation and user experience

The topics of digital transformation and user experience are inextricably linked. While digital transformation paves the way for innovative solutions, user experience is the key to successful implementation and achieving strategic goals. Companies that skilfully combine these two aspects are ideally positioned to succeed in the digital age. 

The role of user experience in digital transformation
The importance of prototyping

Prototyping is a crucial step in the early phase of the design process to visualise ideas, test interactions and point out potential problems at an early stage. Through prototyping, companies can ensure that subsequent development and implementation is based on a solid foundation and fulfils user expectations.

Fulfilment of customer expectations

In an increasingly digitalised world, customers expect seamless and user-friendly digital interactions. A first-class user experience fulfils these expectations and helps to attract and retain customers.

Increased efficiency

A well-designed user experience can optimise internal processes and increase productivity. This enables companies to utilise resources more efficiently.

Competitiveness

Companies that offer an outstanding user experience are able to stand out in a highly competitive market. A convincing user experience can become a decisive competitive advantage.

Partnerships to optimise the user experience

In the world of digital transformation, collaboration between companies and digital agencies is key to ensuring an optimal user experience. Here are some reasons why these partnerships are so important:

Expertise and experience

Digital agencies have the necessary expertise and experience to design first-class user experiences. They know the latest trends, tools and techniques and can help companies to optimise their user experiences.

Customer focus

Digital agencies bring a fresh perspective and a customer-centred mindset. They work closely with users to understand their needs and expectations and integrate them into the design.

Efficiency

Working with digital agencies can speed up the development process and ensure that the user experience is designed correctly from the outset.

Scalability

Digital agencies can help organisations scale the user experience across different platforms and devices to ensure a consistent experience.

In short: the partnership between companies and digital agencies is key to successful digital transformation and optimising the user experience. Together, they can ensure that digital interaction is seamless, efficient and satisfying for users.

End-to-End User Experience strategy

A comprehensive end-to-end user experience (UX) strategy is a crucial building block for realising a seamless and satisfying user experience with digital products or services in all phases of customer interaction. This includes the planning, design and implementation of digital solutions as well as continuous monitoring and improvement. A successful user experience strategy takes the following key elements into account:

Technology

Choosing the right technologies and tools is crucial to ensure seamless interaction and performance.

Data

Collecting and analysing user data makes it possible to identify weak points and make continuous improvements.

Organisation

Implementing and integrating the user experience strategy into the entire organisation is essential to ensure that all departments and employees understand and consider the importance of user experience.

Best practices for an end-to-end user experience strategy

A first-class end-to-end user experience strategy should include the following best practices:

Customer centricity

The strategy should be based on the needs and expectations of customers and place them at the centre.

Design Thinking

A design thinking approach that promotes creative ideas and empathetic understanding is crucial for successful UX strategies.

Agile methods

The use of agile methods enables the flexible and iterative development of user experience designs.

Continuous improvement

The strategy should include continuous monitoring and optimisation of the user experience to ensure that the experience is constantly improving.

Usability testing in the end-to-end strategy

Usability testing is an integral part of an end-to-end user experience strategy. Testing makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of the design and user-friendliness. By testing with real users, weaknesses and problems can be recognised and rectified at an early stage, which improves the overall quality of the user experience.

Heuristic evaluation and the overall strategy

Heuristic evaluation is a method for evaluating usability in which experts check the design using predefined heuristics. This evaluation method can be seamlessly integrated into the overall strategy to ensure regular reviews and improvements to the user experience. Heuristic evaluation complements usability testing and helps to ensure that the user experience can be continuously optimised.

User experience in various industries

The requirements for an optimal user experience can vary greatly in different industries and require individual customisation in order to meet the specific needs of customers. Companies that understand and implement this benefit from higher customer satisfaction, greater success and a stronger market position.

Individual specifics of the user experience in different industries

Every industry has its own challenges and requirements for the user experience. For example, the healthcare industry requires a particularly sensitive and accessible user experience, while the entertainment industry focuses on emotional connection and entertainment. Here are some industry-specific differences:

Healthcare

The user experience in the healthcare sector must fulfil the highest security and data protection standards. The focus here is on the health and well-being of patients.

E-Commerce

In the e-commerce industry, user-friendly navigation and a simple checkout process are crucial. Above all, customers expect a seamless shopping experience.

Automotive

User experience is playing an increasingly important role in the automotive industry. From infotainment systems to the control of autonomous vehicles, an intuitive and distraction-free user experience is essential.

Financial services

This is primarily about trust and security. The user experience must be transparent and secure in order to gain and maintain customer trust.

Case studies: Successful user experiences in various industries

Successful companies such as Volkswagen and Bosch have already benefited from improved user experience designs:

Volkswagen

Volkswagen has optimised the user experience in its vehicles with an improved infotainment system. The intuitive design and seamless integration of technology have increased customer satisfaction and strengthened the brand image. 

Bosch

Bosch is active in various industries and has invested in its IoT products across all sectors. By improving usability and connectivity, Bosch has strengthened its market leadership in various industries.

Customer journey mapping in various industries

The customer journey is of crucial importance in every industry. It helps companies to understand and optimise the needs and experiences of their customers. In the healthcare industry, this can include exploring the patient pathway from appointment to treatment, while e-commerce companies can track the journey from product search to purchase. Customer journey mapping enables companies to identify relevant touchpoints and make targeted improvements.

 

Tools and expertise for a better user experience

A first-class user experience (UX) requires not only creative design, but also the use of the right tools and the necessary expertise.

Important tools and techniques for a better user experience
Usability tests

Usability tests enable companies to evaluate the user-friendliness of their products or services by involving real users. By identifying problems in the interaction, companies can make targeted improvements.

Prototyping tools

Prototyping tools such as Sketch, Figma and Adobe XD enable UX designers to create interactive prototypes of applications. These prototypes help to visualise and test the design before the actual development begins.

User Research

User research tools such as surveys, heat maps and analytics software help companies to understand the behaviour and needs of their users. This is crucial for making well-founded user experience decisions.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a creative method for solving complex problems. It enables teams to think empathetically and develop innovative solutions that fulfil the needs of users.

Acquisition of the necessary expertise

The expertise to improve the user experience can be acquired in various ways:

Trainings and workshops

Companies can organise training courses and workshops for their employees to promote an understanding of user experience principles and methods.

Hiring of experts

Hiring user experience experts and designers with the relevant experience can ensure that user experience expertise is available within the company.

Use of online resources

There are a variety of online courses, blogs and resources that can help companies and employees deepen their user experience knowledge.

The importance of information architecture

Information architecture is a central concept in user experience design. It deals with the structuring of information and content to ensure that users can find and understand it efficiently. A clear information architecture helps to reduce confusion and increase user-friendliness. It includes the organisation of menus, navigation elements, categories and tags. 

A well thought-out information architecture is like the framework of a building. It forms the basis for effective user experience design and ensures that users can easily find the information they are looking for. Companies should be aware that the right information architecture has a decisive influence on user satisfaction and the success of their digital products.

Global user experience trends

User experience (UX) developments are diverse and can vary greatly in different parts of the world. This is due to cultural differences, technological trends and regional preferences. Companies should be aware of these differences in order to realise an optimal user experience in all markets around the world.

Current UX trends from Europe, North America and Asia

Country-specific developments and regional differences influence the user experience and give rise to different trends in Europe, North America and Asia. 

Europe

  • Accessibility: Europe places great emphasis on accessible designs to ensure that digital products and services are accessible to all.
  • Data protection: Due to data protection laws such as the GDPR, data protection and security take centre stage.
  • Sustainability: Environmental awareness and sustainability are on the rise and are also having an impact on user experience design.

North America

  • Personalisation: In North America, the focus is increasingly on a personalised user experience that takes individual needs and requirements into account.
  • Voice User Interface (VUI): The use of voice control and recognition is gaining traction, especially in the US.
  • Simplicity and minimalism: Clear, simple designs are popular in order to increase user-friendliness.

Asia

  • Mobile-First: Asia is a leader in mobile technology, and the development of mobile user experience designs is a clear focus here.
  • Gamification: Gamification elements are often used to increase user loyalty.
  • Visual excellence: Aesthetics and visual design are of great importance when it comes to appealing to users.

The digital ecosystem and its importance for the user experience

A functioning digital ecosystem can significantly improve the user experience (UX) by enabling users to interact seamlessly and consistently with digital products or services. A digital ecosystem encompasses all digital touchpoints, platforms and interactions that users have with a company.

5 steps to creating an efficient digital ecosystem

01

Understanding user needs
 

Companies need to understand the needs, expectations and preferences of their users precisely. This requires comprehensive research and analysis.

02

Integration of the platforms
 

Different digital platforms and channels should be seamlessly linked to enable smooth interaction.

03

Consistent brand message
 

The brand message and design should be consistent across all touchpoints to promote trust and recognition.

04

Personalisation
 

An efficient digital ecosystem enables the personalisation of content and offers to meet the needs of individual users.

05

Use interaction data
 

Data analysis and insights should be used to continuously improve the user experience and optimise interactions.


Identification and optimisation of relevant touchpoints in the digital ecosystem

An efficient digital ecosystem requires the continuous optimisation of its channels. Companies should continuously collect feedback from users and adapt their touchpoints accordingly to ensure an outstanding user experience.

Website

The website is often the first point of contact. It should be designed to be user-friendly, provide easily accessible information and enable clear navigation.

Mobile apps

Mobile apps should work smoothly, have fast loading times and make important functions easily accessible.

Social media

Interaction in social media requires quick reactions and consistent communication in order to maintain the brand image.

E-mail communication

Email campaigns should be personalised and relevant in order to strengthen user loyalty.

Customer support

Customer support should be easily accessible and offer efficient solutions to gain the trust of users.

The role of employees in the user experience

A company's employees play a key role in designing and optimising the user experience (UX). Their interactions, feedback and skills contribute directly to adapting products and services to the needs of users and further increasing user satisfaction.

How employees improve the user experience 

Employees are the ones who interact directly with users. Their feedback is therefore invaluable for creating a positive user experience. Here are some ways in which employees can contribute:

Collect customer feedback

Employees should be able to collect and pass on customer feedback. This can include complaints, suggestions or positive feedback.

Test usability

Employees can carry out usability tests to assess the usability of digital products or services.

Exchange of ideas

Employees should be able to contribute ideas and suggestions for improvements to the user experience, as they often know first-hand what users need.

Training and development of employees to optimise the user experience

The training and development of employees is an important aspect of enabling them to contribute to improving the user experience. This can be achieved through training and workshops on the following topics:

UX basics

Employees should understand the basics of user experience, including the importance of user-centricity and usability.

Customer satisfaction

Training courses on customer orientation and communication can help employees to collect and pass on customer feedback effectively.

Usability tests

Training in usability testing can enable employees to evaluate user-friendliness and make suggestions for improvement.

A/B tests as a feedback method

A/B testing is a valuable method for measuring the impact of design changes. Employees can carry out A/B tests to test different design variants and determine which variant offers the better user experience. Based on the results, design improvements can be made to continuously optimise the user experience.

Summary and outlook

User experience (UX) remains a key success factor in the digital world and will continue to grow in importance in the future. The future of UX will be characterised above all by technological developments such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and voice control. 

Companies should also focus on personalised and immersive experiences in order to meet user expectations. Mobile use and data protection will continue to be key issues that companies will need to pay particular attention to.

User experience as a central element of the digital strategy

User experience should not be seen by companies as an isolated task, but as an integral part of their overall digital strategy. A first-class user experience can increase customer satisfaction, promote brand loyalty and ultimately influence business success. Companies should therefore place user experience at the clear centre of their decision-making processes and investments. 

Importance of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) for future user experiences 

Conversion rate optimisation is a continuous process that aims to improve user conversion rates. An effective CRO strategy enables companies to maximise the success of their digital products or services. It is based on data-driven insights and testing to understand user behaviour and make optimisations. 

CRO is particularly important as it helps to measure the effectiveness of user experience designs and ensure that they deliver the desired results. Companies should continuously conduct tests and analyses to adapt their digital products and services to the needs and expectations of users.


Our Insights

We are convinced of change. That's why we want to share our knowledge and provide inspiration with our guides & reports.

Data Growth & AI
Playtime is over
De-Hyping the Hype
dicobot AI chatbot
CxO Survey
Data Mesh

Newsletter

Get exclusive access to innovations, knowledge, and methodology for business and technology. Our monthly newsletter will keep you up to date on events and curated topics by our experts.  

Subscribe