Five Website Characteristics can provide a Good User Experience

There are five website characteristics, which can provide a good user experience. These are:

  1. Coherence: the site must make sense to the user and have a simplistic but creative design as well as be easy to read and not have an information overload, adequate font, and readable sizes.
  2. Complexity: the site must have different categories of text on different pages, so the user is not overwhelmed by the amount of info on one webpage. The different pages should be clearly named with what they contain so the user can find them easily and fast.
  3. Legibility: there should be a home menu link on every page of the site and it will let the user move back and forward to different pages easily and they will not get lost and frustrated when using the webpage.
  4. Site personality and style: This means that the site should be clear to the user through the colors and the images as well as the content contained within the webpage. It lets the user know if the webpage is a fun social one or a more serious business one.
  5. Visual design: the user experience also depends on how well the webpage works like the downloading speed as well as the resolution of the screen of the computer and the type of web browser that is used and what device the user is accessing the webpage on.

Two types of User Experience (UX)

There are two types of User Experience (UX).

One type of UX is called tactical or technical UX: this represents the core principles of good user interaction and design are applied. A good interaction design makes sure that every user interaction is well thought through and that it serves the user in the simplest and most effective way possible. Conversion optimization focuses on ensuring that the user finds their way to the end of their goal of going on the page without dropping out of the conversion funnel. This type of UX uses the conversion rate as well as the method of split A/B testing

The other type of UX is Strategic or human UX: For this type of UX, the company gets into the realm of user insights and brand. the role of UX at this point is to find out about the needs of people and to design an experience that meets those needs in a way that fits the brand. The whole point of using this type of UX can be many different reasons. It can be used to create a fun place for people to hang out. It can be used to create a no-nonsense solution-based experience. It can be used to create a content-heavy deep site or a place where people can chat and discuss topics or make an exclusive and members-only site.

Important Tools for your User Experience (UX) Research

The following tools are very useful for your User Experience (UX) Research

Heatmap software. This is a tool that shows researchers where the users move around the website with their mouse and where they hover their mouse and for how long. It gives the researchers an indication of where the appeal for most users comes from and what are elements of the page the users are more interested in. The following image is an example of heatmap software used on the Scales4research.com website. The Blue dots provide an indication of where the appeal for most users comes from and what are elements of the page the users are more interested in.

Heat Map Example

Usability testing. This is when the researcher and the users are together while the users use the website, and the user will test the UX and will let the researcher know of any improvements needed and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the UX, and what can be improved.
Eyeball tracking. This is when the users’ eyes are tracked to see where they are looking on the screen. It lets the researcher know what more appealing aspects of the page are and what users are more attracted to.
Split A/B testing. This is useful when two different versions of the same webpage are running simultaneously to see which one is the better performer and is more suitable for the UX.
Web analytics. This is used across all websites to provide detailed numbers of visitors to the site and how long they spent on it and how they got there and where.

Why you should consider mobile device users for your User experience (UX) design?

The definition of UX is the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or an app, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.

Companies can no longer assume that if they have built a great and easy-to-use website that it will still satisfy all users. Users on a mobile phone will have a different view and experience as they will interact with the website through touch rather than a keyboard. Users on a mobile phone can also be interrupted by calls and are more likely to be looking to absorb on the website than actually make a purchase compared to a desktop user. These differences are a very important factor for the company to keep in mind.

Two Main Methods of Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising

Search Engine Marketing
This consists of enhancing the visibility of a website when someone searches something using a keyword/term on a search engine like Google. It consists of two main methods: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the process of bringing traffic to a website through organic search engine results. It has 2 factors of ranking: Content and Backlinks. An SEO has 3 elements: Title Tag, URL, and meta-description.
Search Engine Results on google
-How to configure these 3 elements?
• Title tag
• 50-70 characters
• Company name is specified.
• Attractive to click.
Domain Name is not the URL. A domain should be made up of keywords and be easy to read.
• The Domain name should be as short as possible in order to make it memorable and understandable. It should be pertinent catchy and should be a description of the activity.
• Meta description should be a short eye-catching description of the website.
• Content that is more engaged with will be more successful i.e. if someone cites or links your website it will go to a higher position on google.
• Back-links or entering links are separate links to your website for different sectors.
The popularity of a Website:
Three elements are used to measure the popularity/ rating of a website:

1)The number of links

2)Quality of website

3)Context of the link.


Social media do not have a direct impact on SEO. However, there is an indirect impact on SEO.

Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
SEA stands for Search Engine Advertising, which is also referred to as PPC or Pay-Per-Click. It is advertising directly on a search engine. It shows ad results (sponsored) at the top.
Quality Ads
• Define the reason you are doing the ad.
• Make an attractive description.
• Adapt your landing page according to your advertisement.

What are the future tendencies in the mobile app development industry

Mobile app development: what lies ahead for the industry

Can you believe there were just 500 apps on the Apple store’s offer back in 2008? Much has changed since then, didn’t it?

Mobile app development has revolutionized business operations with an impeccable app that streamlines the processes involved in various aspects of the business. For effective mobile app development, it needs to be done in a series of steps that various mobile app development services have to follow. Let’s take a look at how to structure your app development process.

Mobile app development market growth

Lately, smartphones and apps have gone from nice-to-haves to absolute essentials for many consumers and businesses. Case in point, in 2017 there were almost 4 billion connected mobile devices generating 178 billion annual app downloads and more than $81 billion in in-app store consumer spending.

According to Q2 202 Statista report, users downloaded about 28 billion apps from Google Play Store and about 7.9 million from the App Store. Additionally, by the end of 2022, US consumers will spend around $34 billion and even more on apps via the app stores. 

As recorded in 2021, worldwide, there are about 7.1 billion app users. Every smartphone user has installed about 35 and more apps on their devices. Out of those, they uninstall some because of some issues like performance. Still, nothing has stopped the growth of the mobile app development industry. The global app revenue of about $581 billion in 2020 is expected to reach nearly $808 billion in 2022. 

Noticing the hike in these stats, more and more startups and enterprises are emerging to develop mobile app ideas for their business. Besides, this increased the competition in the mobile app development industry.

Voice-enabled technologies

Voice-enabled technologies allow users to communicate with their apps without touching their phones. At this point, it is still not possible to have complete conversations with voice assistants. However, phone owners can use voice controls to get their apps to perform specific functions. While the technology is imperfect, it is improving rapidly.

The use of voice-enabled technology can offer the option of hands-free app use to anyone. This option is something that all smartphone users may soon come to expect from their apps.

5G technology

Why is there so much buzz about 5G? 5G technology may radically change the way people use mobile apps. It will reduce latency and increase data-sharing speeds for mobile phones. The environment will encourage the exchange of massive amounts of data between apps and services, and make the benefits of cloud computing even more accessible for all kinds of devices. This development could open up new app markets.

Not only will developers need to create apps that can keep up with this amount of data, but they will be racing to be the first to develop apps that can take advantage of real-time data to create new and more useful apps.

IoT

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the number of devices with embedded computer hardware is increasing by the day. The IoT covers a vast array of systems.

Many users may already be familiar with home internet-connected systems — smart home technology — that control lights and heating. The IoT also connects medical device monitors, auto information centers, smart refrigerators, and automated manufacturing equipment controls.

More and more consumers will expect to monitor their devices from mobile phones and get operational data and warnings of malfunctions. Healthcare and manufacturing are two industries that will expect apps that can monitor patients and production, respectively.

e-Commerce

Payments via mobile wallets, such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay, continue to grow in popularity. Companies want to offer consumers the option of cashless and cardless payments, and the trend toward mobile commerce, in general, is leading to new app development.

Existing companies, including those with brick-and-mortar locations, want to offer mobile payment and shopping options, and newer businesses can start with lower overhead by using mobile commerce solutions.

Augmented and virtual reality

In 2021, the AR, VR, and mixed reality market will likely reach $30.7 billion and catch up with about $300 billion by 2024. Augmented reality mobile apps have the feature to simulate products in actual size in virtual trial rooms, which is giving customers a virtual in-store experience.

In the retail sector, AR mobile apps can allow users to try on clothes by using virtual fitting rooms, saving time and effort. The apps that use augmented reality can also enable the store to showcase more stock than they can physically manage. Augmented reality examples of such apps are Converse, Sephora, and L’Oréal.

The viral Pokemon Go app was an early example of the possibilities of augmented reality. Both Google and Apple have augmented reality frameworks for app developers to use.

The real estate industry is taking maximum advantage of augmented reality business applications. Realtors and real estate agents are using the AR app to sell the benefits of the property. AR is embedded in the mobile app to give potential buyers or tenants a 3D experience of the apartment or flat.

Blockchain

As per the predictions, the global blockchain revenues will grow in the future by about $39 billion by 2025. Blockchain integration solutions will change the way the apps are developed and deployed. 

Initially, blockchain technology was famous for the stable functioning of all cryptocurrencies. Now it’s used as a database that one can use for almost every app like a fintech app, retail app, health app, and more. 

Final thoughts

As we move forward, the mobile app development industry also advances over time. This is the main technological aspect that will surely make the development of mobile applications more advanced. And over time, new technologies will emerge to open up new possibilities and develop applications.

Other emerging technologies like blockchain are quickly becoming mainstream in mobile app development. We will also see how mobile app security will reach new heights with a higher-level user experience. To reach a balance between pricing and quality, consider hiring an experienced mobile app development company to help you build an outstanding mobile product that fully meets your business objectives.

Author’s Bio: 

Alex Kulitski is Founder and CEO of Smart IT and is the co-founder and executive CTO at MEDvidi. Being a serial entrepreneur, he is a keen investor in technology startups and runs several successful side projects besides Smart IT and MEDvidi.

Understanding Different Touchpoints and Customer Journey for your Digital Marketing Strategy

Brand-owned Touchpoints

  • These are the interactions of customers with an organization that are solely controlled by the organization,
  • Examples of these are all brand-owned media platforms, also brand-controlled elements of the marketing mix for example the packaging or the attributes of the product itself.

Partner-owned Touchpoints

  • The touchpoints are the customer interactions that involve an experience that is created by the firm itself and one or more partners of said firm.
  • The partners involved can be marketing agencies and communication channel partners.
  • An example would be apps developed by a firm but are available on the Apple App Store.

Customer-owned Touchpoints

  • These customer interactions refer to ones which the brand or partners or others have no control over it is purely based on customers’ own experience.
  • Customers decide on what their own needs are during the need recognition phase of the buying process.
  • The customer’s choice of payment is a good example of a customer-owned touchpoint.
  • The time at which customer touchpoints are most recognizable is during the post-purchase stage of the buying process. Here they are able to figure out for themselves if they are happy or disappointed with their purchases.

Social/External and Independent Touchpoints

  • These touchpoints recognize the important roles of others in the customer experience.
  • There are many external touchpoints that can influence a customer during their buying process, for example, other customers, peer reviews, independent information sources such as TripAdvisor, or social media influencers.

We also need to understand the consumer journey to understand the impact of different touchpoints on our digital marketing strategy.

The Customer Journey consists of three stages:

  1. Pre-Purchase
  2. Purchase
  3. Post-Purchase

Each touchpoint mentioned above is prevalent in each stage of the customer journey. It is important for companies to get information from these touchpoints and then feed it back into previous experiences of each part of the customer journey this information can then be combined to help predict what the future experience of the customers will be in regard to your brand and can also help with the development of strategies to help ensure that these future experiences are greater than ones previous.

3 Things to Consider to Plan your Digital Marketing Strategy

3 Things to Consider to Plan your Digital Marketing Strategy

  1. Where are we now? – (A) this can be understood by doing some research about your company through data collection or viewing insights.
  2. Where do we want to get to? (B)-this can be understood from your mission statements and vision statements.
  3. How do we get there? – This is where strategy comes into place to get from A-B. you first chose a desirable goal/outcome for your organization.

This goal is then broken down into further objectives or milestones which can be shaped around a model like SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based). Each objective then requires a strategy to be implemented in order to complete the said objective. The chosen strategy needs an action plan to help break down the strategy into smaller more detailed individual tasks which in turn will lead to the implementation of the strategy.

Barriers, and Consideration for your digital marketing strategy

The following barriers, and considerations you need to consider for your digital marketing strategies:

Technology:

  • You can buy technology and it does not have to be built (outsourcing)
  • Every program that you roll out needs a rollback plan

Skills:

  • People can be brought into the company via recruitment to do tasks that require certain skills that the recruited employees will possess.
  • Instead of recruiting new people to do jobs try to upskill current employees by training as these people understand aspects of the business such as organizational culture.

Budget and Resources

  • Restrictions on expenditure such as salary caps can cause growth to become somewhat stagnant.
  • The external environment may give rise to poor economic conditions which hamper the improvement of the Digital Marketing section of a business as this requires lots of funding.
  • Trying to impose a new method of work into the organization can be very time-consuming and causes stress on employees, leading to poor productivity (time=money).

Business Priorities:

  • A new competitor enters the market
  • New rules and regulations put into place
  • An Economic crisis
  • New top management employed with a different style
  • All of these factors can mean that the business has to move focus and thus resources to the new priority which then takes away from the expansion of the Digital Marketing strategy

Different technology solutions, and analytic tools available for your Digital Marketing

DMP-(Data Management Platform), Social Media Listening Vendors, Social Media Content, Email Marketing Platform, Data Visualization Tools, and Chatbot Solutions are the essential technology solutions available for your digital marketing.

Data Management Platform – DMP:   contains methods for the organization to organize data so that plans and techniques can be created. Oracle Data Management Platform is an example of a DMP.

Social Media Listening Vendors: becoming increasingly relevant in the business world as machine learning is implemented. The Talkwalker, for example, has excellent data coverage, strong image recognition, a specific virality map, and a trending ranking.

Social Media Content:  In recent years, marketing through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has developed rapidly. In recent years, it has become an important marketing tool.

Email Marketing Platform:  Has the opportunity to send out notifications about new items, among other things. Newsletters are a clear example of this. A newsletter is appealing to consumers and provides valuable information that a buyer should know before buying, such as appealing names, a connection to the product featured in the newsletter, a recommendation for an external link to imagine the product online, contact information, and social media.

Chatbot Solutions:  Take a look at Facebook’s chatbot solution, for example. It is thought that using a chat box solution would increase revenue, lower costs, and automate support on Facebook. There are three forms of subscriptions available, ranging from free to Pro to premium, each with improved benefits as you go up in price. Customers will engage in live chat with the chat boxes. It optimizes conversions, boosts efficiency, and increases customer satisfaction, and while doing so it personalizes your brand.

Data Visualization software:  Contains charts and other information through technology such as Google Charts, Tableau, and Domo. These technology tools are simple to use and provide a range of visualization types. Small businesses should use resources like Domo and Tableau since they are easily available.