It’s about time. If we’re going to be online and be in business online, then I want it to be as easy as possible. I don’t want to log in to some digital tool and get lost before I get to the second screen. And I especially don’t want to have to overthink in order to understand how to use the tool.
I’m at a crossroads and my guess is you may be at the same spot. I’m loving the technology—and the advances and the potential—but I am drawn to simplicity, as in “easy” (or at least “easier”) to use tools that solve my complicated marketing problems. (Most of the tools I use are for marketing purposes, such as content management systems like blogs and website frameworks, social network interfaces, email list building platforms, etc.).
In fact, I have changed my email list-building platform three times so far and every time it was because of the user experience. Two platforms looked great but weren’t intuitive (enough for me) to use—and I got lost in a maze of links and buttons. The third platform was easier to use, but ugly to look at—and I lost my marketing inspiration in that visually challenged back office.
But the tides are changing.
Are You a User Experience (UX) Expert?
OnwardSearch.com recently released a Guide to UX Careers. At left is an infographic highlighting the growing demand for User Experience Experts. While it breaks down the jobs and positions in this industry, it also exposes a possible opportunity for specialized small business owners and consultants.
There are more websites today, as well as a demand for more sophisticated components on our websites, such as landing pages and shopping carts. We demand these components look and function a certain way, while also being easy to implement. And this demand creates an opportunity, suggesting that it may be a good idea for freelancers and professionals in the emerging UX field to polish their skills so that they can take advantage of this shift.
But maybe you are on the other end.
Do You Need a User Experience (UX) Expert?
When the shoe is on the other foot and we find ourselves in front of the counter (as the customer) instead of behind it, then we are looking to have an excellent user experience. Likewise, our clients want the same thing from us. Brian Wallace, owner of NowSourcing.com and the designer of the infographic above, gave me three pieces of quick advice for small business owners who are looking to hire a User Experience Expert. He says:
- GET CLEAR. “Make sure you clearly scope your project. Define what you want to accomplish as well as the projected goals you hope to achieve.”
- BRING THE ENTHUSIASM. “Be prepared to sell the sizzle of your project. The best designers are attracted to the best projects, so be able to demonstrate why this would appeal to their skills.”
- PERSONALITY MATTERS. “It’s not just about their technical skills. Make sure you find someone you can work with, collaboratively, throughout the duration of the project.”
When he’s looking to add new team members to NowSourcing, Brian says he looks for a person with “outstanding creative insight.” And that’s what the user experience is about. At least that’s what we want it to be about—happy customers, easier use and a better look and feel. Now, that’s outstanding.