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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

The Importance of UX Research in the Coming On-Demand Era

headphonesMcKinsey & Company recently published an article in which they outline the future of consumer experience (The Coming Era of ‘On-demand’ Marketing). In the article, the authors state that the coupling of emerging technologies and consumers’ new on-demand attitudes will necessitate marketers focus on the following four areas, summarized as:

  1. Now: Consumers will want to interact anywhere at any time.
  2. Can I: They will want to do truly new disparate things that create value for them.
  3. For me: They will expect all data stored about them to be targeted precisely to their needs.
  4. Simply: They will expect all interactions to be easy.

The article paints a picture of what we can expect in 2020 by providing a rather complex scenario in which a consumer engages with a physical product (a pair of headphones), interacts with the product online to virtually try them, shares her experience via social media, and responds to a multitude of personalized marketing messages that extend her interactions with the brand long after her purchase of the product. Without getting too far into the specifics of the above example, we’d like to point out how important it is that scenarios like the one above do not place a high cognitive load on the user.  In other words, not only must the technologies/user interfaces be simple, so must the actual processes required of the user (i.e. QR Code confusion).

This is all the more reason to perform user experience research in the early stages of developing your technology, your interface, and the actual processes that make up the consumer journey in dealing with your product/brand. While emerging technologies will undoubtedly continue to change how we interact with companies and brands, ensuring “simplicity” would be #1 on our list. Technological wizardry and clever marketing tactics will only work if designed from the user’s perspective. When charting  this new territory of “on-demand marketing”, user research is an integral piece of the puzzle to ensure high cognitive loads don’t foil the underlying business purpose. Jason Vasilas Senior User Experience Strategist, Usability Sciences  


REFERENCE:   The coming era of ‘on-demand’ marketing — April 2013 — by Peter Dahlström and David Edelman Source: Mckinsey.com

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