User experience (UX) is a person’s overall experience with a product such as a website or application, and is typically measured by the ease of use and quality that a product holds. Marketers aim to cultivate a positive user experience to increase customer loyalty to a brand.

How is user experience measured?

User experience can be measured by weighing customer perceptions of the value, usefulness, and accessibility of an asset, such as a product, service, or website. Since ease of use correlates with user experience, it’s also important to measure accessibility, usability, and credibility.

User experience requires both qualitative and quantitative measurements — in other words, hard data about consumer experience and descriptive data that connects the dots between the brand’s assets and the underlying emotions it evokes in users. Ideally, qualitative and quantitative data are weighted equally, since they express different aspects of the user experience. Neither provides a standalone measurement of UX.

Qualitative feedback through surveys and usability studies can help define the user experience by illustrating how users feel about a product or brand. This will reveal what parts of the UX are working well, and where it may need improvement. Marketers can then fix underperforming aspects of the user experience in hopes of boosting a brand’s likeability and market share.

A/B tests, where users see different iterations of something, can provide quantitative data predicting which of two versions consumers will prefer. Marketers can use A/B testing to gauge which advertisement delivers a better UX, while web designers can use A/B tests to figure out which navigation menu is more helpful.

Why does user experience matter to marketers?

Positive user experiences correlate with high value, high usefulness, and ease of discoverability and accessibility. Think of a website that offers the exact product you need, and that product is easy to find, a fair price, and comes with free shipping.

Poor user experience correlates with the opposite qualities, from a website with impossible navigation and poor search to low-value products and subpar customer service.

A good user experience can increase customer loyalty, which positively affects a brand’s market share and revenue. When customers enjoy visiting a store or using a website, they’ll return to it. When they have a bad experience with a brand, they’ll shop for competitors.

Studies show that it’s much more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one — as much as five to 25 times more cost-effective, depending on the industry. For this reason, marketers should care about delivering a positive user experience for customers.

How can marketers enhance user experience?

By mapping all content to the customer journey and the brand’s audience, marketers can improve UX. When users receive the right information at the right time, presented in the right way, they will have a positive user experience.

User personas help influence UX by serving as stand-ins for the target audience. By crafting content toward a persona who represents the brand’s target customer — say, a mother in her 30s — marketers can ensure a strong fit and improve the likelihood of customer conversion.

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