Feedback from users should be constant. To be a truly customer-led or user-centred organisation there needs to exist a consistent feedback loop that sends insight from users back into the business.
And we mean all parts of the business.
One business area that seems an obvious contender for regular user updates is marketing. As the part of the business that is speaking directly to customers knowing where to send those messages and the language that should be used is essential for developing effective campaigns. Yet having worked in a number of marketing departments, I know that too often this is not the case. Decisions on marketing content and design are made based on internal priorities and assumptions about what customers want. And as we have said before, bad UX is every time you make an assumption about what your users do or want.
How to get feedback from users
There are so many ways to get feedback from users that really there is no excuse! Analytics, A/B testing, pop up forms, surveys, focus groups, 1-2-1 research sessions. The list goes on.
Different techniques will tell you different things. Analytics and A/B testing are great at telling you where problems lie or which solution is preferred. However, they do not tell you why the problem exists or whether a better solution is available.
Pop up forms and unmoderated research are a great way to test simple journeys or get snapshot feedback from users. But if you want to delve deeper into how content or design makes users feel it can be hard to surface that insight this way.
For those that really want to answer the ‘why’ question, moderated user research is the way forward. If you’re asking yourself why are people leaving your website on certain page, why you are getting so many phone calls on a specific topic or why your marketing campaigns are not performing as well as we would like, it’s time to speak to some users, one-on-one.
This was exactly what one of our clients did.
A case study: getting user feedback on marketing materials
Our client, a publisher of medical journals, were in the run up to launching a shiny new, large-scale marketing campaign for their clinical support tool. With two design concepts in the running and lots of internal opinions floating around, they felt they needed something more concrete on which to base their decision: evidence from users.
Gathering this evidence had two advantages:
- they could truly understand what about the campaign did and did not work for users and get confirmation on whether the designs would make users take action
- it shut down loud, internal resistance to certain design or copy ideas
The two campaign designs were put in front of 20 target users in 15 minutes, 1-2-1 sessions. Respondents were asked for their initial impressions, how it made them feel and if they instantly knew what they were looking at. Further probing explored which aspects of the designs worked for the respondents and why, as well as exploring the parts that did not resonate so well and why.
Very quickly a consensus from the user evidence began to appear. Strong imagery was key but there was a subtle nuance between being off-putting and realistic. The language used needed to be empowering but not patronising and specific words were picked up as being out of place and not the language used by our respondents.
By the end of the research, our client had a clear steer on which campaign design was most effective and why, along with feedback on how to improve the design even further.
“It has been a really helpful experience and it has made our decision much simpler in moving forward with one concept.” – Marketing Manager
Results from the campaign are still pending and, while we know the proof will be in the pudding, by getting feedback from users prior to launch, this organisation have really adopted a user-first approach to their marketing. And this can only improve results in the long run.