User Experience Design (UXD) and the business case for PNG brands

…the next technological revolution and investment trend is humanity. Talking. Touching. Hugging. Caring. Educating. Helping. Succeeding Together. Healing.

Michael Eisenberg Forbes Tech Investor 2019

Michael Eisenberg’s quote above crystalizes an emerging design discipline today called ‘User Experience design’ or ‘UXD’. Utilised by leading global brands like Apple, Amazon and Instagram – this unique and exciting human-centred design process is an iterative method which promotes the design of products and services (digital/physical) based on direct and specific user feedback.

UXD seeks to create “delightful” experiences for users by placing their needs and goals at the forefront of the design process. Along with business objectives, design decisions are guided based on the user being able to accomplish their goals within a seamlessly functioning and aesthetically inspiring environment as much as possible (i.e. the customer journey). It is an ongoing design process that evolves with user behaviour and satisfaction.

Take a moment to think about how all your local experiences as a ‘user’ or ‘customer’ of PNG brands could potentially (dramatically) improve in sectors like banking, telecommunications, government services, retail, customer relations etc. How would your buyer behaviour change if ‘customer experiences’ were a KPI keenly understood, empathised with and actively invested in by all brands in PNG?

Consider, in the absence of a monopoly, what makes you “return” to your go-to brands in PNG?  What keeps you loyal?

Above all else, align with customers. Win when they win. Win only when they win.

Jeff Bezos Amazon - Founder & CEO

UXD considers more than the ‘usability’ (i.e. function) of the product/service, by exploring the sensory interactions (i.e. what the users are seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, saying) that occur throughout the customer journey, via an empathy map (see illustration below).

Empathy is the experience of understanding another person’s thoughts, feelings, and condition from their point of view, rather than from your own.

When you stop listening to your users, (or if your business has never genuinely listened to user/customer input) the risk is your brand remains out of touch.  Ultimately, when you don’t invest in tackling the full picture of your customers’ priorities and painpoints (because you think you already know), it will cost you in time, money and the critical opportunities to reduce barriers to purchase and building brand loyalty.

UXD values how the user feels during this journey of engagement and most importantly, whether their needs and goals are ultimately met.

Users will gravitate to your product/service if the experience builds their confidence and hope by making their life that much easier, meaningful, and/or more enjoyable.

But what if the firm was driven, not by the goal of short-term profitability, but by the goal of continuous innovation in service of finding new ways of delighting customers? The new bottom line of this kind of organisation becomes whether the customer is delighted. Conventional financial measures such as maximising shareholder value are subordinated to the new bottom line. Profit is a result, not a goal.

Clayton Christensen The Innovator's Dilemma