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Shopping online can be a refreshing and enjoyable experience. But consumers may have forgotten that fact, after years of using identikit ecommerce sites that are functional but drab.
Thankfully, challengers and disruptors in retail are imbuing their websites with brand character and providing a customer experience not far removed from a store visit.
What are the components that make a great user experience?
These components can be ordered in a hierarchy or pyramid, with the most essential at the foot and the ultimate at the top. Let's examine this hierarchy, which is taken from Econsultancy's Best Practice Guide: User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web.
Digital user interfaces are an integral part of brand image, usability and often the business as a whole.
So, what does a UI designer do? Matt Bartlett is Senior UI Designer at web-design agency Ridgeway.
Here's what he does with his time...
How does digital technology enable the customer to manage their finances? Does your banking app check up on your spending?
The mobile is the device that should have transformed the way consumers manage their finances. And though there is now a slew of transfer/payment apps, and many banking apps are some of the slickest you'll ever use, their functionality rarely addresses a very common customer need - 'How can I protect myself from spending too much?'
In 2017, more websites will be reducing their primary navigation options.
But why, and who has done this already?
The hamburger menu has always been contentious, with many believing its rather smug parallel lines are too abstract, not understood by all users.
Even as the icon proliferated, as more and more company websites went responsive, it has seldom been viewed as a standard.
Customer journey mapping, AI, VR and design; how do our experts see UX changing in 2017?
Here's what they had to say...
Chatbots are firmly on the radar (for good or bad), along with new tools and new business processes.
Have a read of everything that stood out to our UX experts in 2016.
If you're looking for an organisational guide to user experience and interaction design, look no further.
Econsultancy has just published User Experience and Interaction Design for Mobile and Web, a best practice guide available to subscribers.
As digital technology becomes more sophisticated and penetrates more parts of our lives, the importance of design thinking increases, too.
Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to spend a week or so in Japan and there were several bits of everyday and unassuming design that struck me.
Though these were not digital examples, I thought I should share them anyway to provide a bit of inspiration.
This week, we're spending a day in the life of a UX professional within an innovative agency.
Josh Payton has been around since the dotcom boom, grew up in Seattle creating websites for punk bands, and is now a champion of company culture and hands-on creativity.
Let's hear what a UX head does with their time...