How User Experience Defines Your Brand


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As the lines between brands and apps blur, User Experience (UX) has become ever more important. It describes how a user explores his or her way through your product, but also how they learned about it, what they use it for, and how they feel when they do that. It covers the brand identity, but also the visual appearance, the interface (covering both physical hardware and graphical software), and much more.

So it should come as no surprise that User Experience is one of the most defining factors for any brand. Even the strongest brands have been stymied by bad UX, and even the newest, youngest upstarts have benefitted from an innovative and intuitive interface. We’ve assembled some of the most important ways brands can benefit from—or be hurt by—User Experience. Read on.

Keep your ambition in check

Remember that everything you do reflects back onto your brand. If you make promises you can’t keep, users will associate that with your brand, sometimes for a long time. Remember the launch of Apple Maps? Prematurely released in what was essentially an unfinished public beta, the app left hapless iPhone users sometimes literally stranded in the woods.

A confusing app is a confusing brand

If your app isn’t comprehensible to a person within a few minutes, it’s likely they will never bother to understand it. Compared to computers 20 years ago, most apps today are marvels of intuitive design. Yours should be too. No modern technology user would have the patience to sit and tip-tap commands into a terminal, and you shouldn’t expect them to.

There’s no second chance to make a first impression

A new brand usually only has one chance with consumers—the first one. Whoever said that elephants never forget should have talked to a tech writer! Remember, there’s usually nothing tying a customer to your brand, and there’s plenty of competition around. Most users won’t hesitate to shop around if they feel like they might have a better experience somewhere else. It’s your job to give them the best experience possible.

For this reason, it’s better to push a launch back than to prematurely release an unfinished product. The initial failure, once it’s noticed—and it will be—your brand is damaged in the eyes of the consumer, sometimes permanently.

Take responsibility

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If you’ve screwed up, save yourself the trouble and apologize. Accept the responsibility as soon as possible, and you can hope that things won’t get out of hand. In this age of social media, any attempt to evade responsibility or otherwise pass the buck can just as easily result in a public relations firestorm ten times worse than it needs to be. Don’t delete that tweet! Just own up to your mistake, fix it, and say you’re sorry. There we go—crow doesn’t taste that bad, does it?

UX is critical to a brand’s success

Because the term is so broad, and encompasses so much, it can be tempting to pay less attention to User Experience. However that is a crucial mistake. Brands with a UX at launch often make a big stir—but not the kind you want. In this case, there is such a thing as bad publicity. The takeaway here? Don’t risk turning your brand into a punchline! Pay attention to UX and the rest will fall into place.

Russel Cooke
Russel Cooke is a journalist, business consultant, and software designer based in Los Angeles, CA. and Louisville, KY.


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