Why Designing for Electronics is Different

From a business perspective, it is essential to understand the parts and pieces required to build a site that offers both an exceptional User Experience (UX) and an aesthetic User Interface (UI). UI provides the form (how it looks), while UX offers the function (how a site works and feels). Without one, the other falters. Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the electronics industry, where expectations are higher and features more complex, says Big Zeta Director of UI/UX Brandon Kitto.

“For example, the number of products available is extremely high, which is something we have to consider from site mapping to wireframing. How can we get customers to a particular product fast? How will we navigate there? It’s a lot to think about,” says Kitto.

Why Designing for Electronics is Different

The Basics Matter

Kitto emphasizes that, as in all UI/UX design, the basics absolutely matter. Improving the overall usability of a site and delivering quality interactions for customers matter, usually resulting in clients meeting their business objectives.

Good UI and UX lead to faster, more efficient sites that convert customers and build brand loyalty. Through thoughtful, data-driven design, extensive user knowledge, careful research, and informed strategy, Kitto and his team offer Big Zeta clients top-of-the-line UI/UX design to help them achieve their business goals.

Search

Because engineers are always searching for a specific part, strong search is crucial to electronics-industry websites. Kitto’s team works with clients to design navigation and search solutions (keyword and parametric) to help users find what they need.

“There are two different types of people — searchers and browsers,” Kitto explains. “In this industry, the majority of people are searchers.” Of course, this complicates things because there’s a greater emphasis on guided navigation flows, which make the experience of getting to the information easy, no matter a user’s familiarity with a site.

Knowing the Buyer

While there are variations in each individual looking to make a purchase, electronics buyers typically take more time to make a purchase than other ecommerce buyers, which makes familiarity with this particular buyer journey central to the design process. “Through buyer research, we’re able to build a level of trust between companies and customers,” says Kitto.

With his team, he works to develop personas that represent different kinds of technical buyers, ranging from marketing leaders to engineers. Kitto explains that conversion often happens as a result of personalized buyer’s journeys. “So when you’re supporting these people in a mindful way, from a design perspective, you’re serving a client well.

Data-driven Design

As part of the design process, Kitto’s team interfaces with a team of electrical engineers to get information about industry trends, predictions, etc. With their feedback, which occurs anywhere from project kickoff to retrospectives, designers adjust their strategy to better meet the needs of working engineers.

With these focus groups, research becomes both qualitative and quantitative. “Having that information allows us to provide a real analysis, turning data into information that we can present to the client,” Kitto says. “Then, we can make recommendations based on real information.”

Data offers the what, but not necessarily the why — there’s plenty of gut instinct that drives designers, too. Kitto explains that, while data is invaluable to the process, relying entirely upon it results in lackluster outcomes. That’s why Big Zeta’s designers offer such a unique service: data-driven design guided by instinct from folks who know the industry. Design excels where qualitative and quantitative research meet.

SEO

A lot of SEO work comes from the development side, but UI/UX designers help optimize websites, too. By designing pages with concise and logical titles, consistency, and mindful organization, they contribute to the overall ranking of a site. There’s also the work of, among other things, infusing images and videos, managing header code, and placing elements, such as call to action buttons, appropriately for both users and search engines.

“The biggest piece of this is just ensuring that users have a good experience — Google actually scores that,” Kitto says.

Going beyond hard data, Kitto and his team approach every new project as part science, part art. “We will always blend both worlds to deliver the best for our clients. That is our mission,” says Kitto.

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