It's almost March. How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? For 2016, I decided to simplify -- starting with several trips to Goodwill and cancelling unused services with Comcast, Verizon, and the gym. Why on earth was I paying for four different credit monitoring and identify theft services?
If you're responsible for digital experiences across websites, mobile, and apps, consider the case for simplification. In the last 5-10 years, many of our favorite online brands have gone from true user experience innovators to Frankensteins. By adding extensive services, features, tools, and properties to aging platforms, companies like eBay and Amazon have created unwieldy experiences that make within-site and between-platform design innovation extremely difficult. This complexity detracts from first-rate user experiences, and hundreds of millions of dollars can be left on the table as a result.
Is your user experience leaving money on the table? Take a fresh look at your digital strategy and leverage these four opportunities to simplify UX for greater returns:
Streamline & Reallocate Digital Investment
Which of your digital experiences drive ROI for the business, on the dimensions of brand, conversion, and customer retention? Assess your true returns across all of your digital properties. Then double-down investment in higher-performing properties and cut the laggards. A clean and efficient digital ecosystem will have a greater payoff than a highly-fragmented one.
Address Feature Bloat
Which features within your digital properties have grown stale and are simply taking up precious real estate with little payoff? Take a hard look at your websites and apps, and drop the features that no longer support key customer goals. Be focused and ruthless. Sure, there's a development cost to changing code. However, our research has shown that unused features distract customers from core tasks related to conversion and reduce revenue potential.
Optimize for Simple, Seamless Cross-Platform Journeys
A one-size-fits-all approach across digital platforms adds complexity and distracts from primary user goals that support conversion and retention. Do you understand how customers need to interact with your company on each digital touchpoint? Find out what users truly need to accomplish on each platform and customize the experience for each. Then, take that one step further; enhance your user experiences by thinking through customer journeys across digital properties. Our research has shown that in this device-agnostic world, users expect to start tasks on mobile and finish them on desktop - and vice versa.
Deliver a Consistent Brand Message -- Everywhere
When was the last time you audited all of your digital experiences for how well they still convey your brand? Sites built years ago may have outdated colors, logos, and most importantly, brand messaging and value propositions. Reassess your properties to see if they communicate your brand value uniformly across the digital ecosystem. Each and every sub-par customer touchpoint leads to incremental erosion of brand trust from customers, a drop out of the conversion funnel, and one more reason for a customer to leave.
If you've found opportunities to optimize with the above strategies, it's time to take action and clean house. Start by prioritizing the issues based on their potential profit contribution if remedied. Retire content, sites, and apps that are no longer offering ROI. Reallocate design and development resources to the properties and content that best support your customer journeys. And finally, set a plan to annually re-evaluate your digital ecosystem to ensure that every page and property is driving impact for your company.