OneLeg Up

E0104 - UX/UI with Special Guest Josh Braines-Mead

March 12, 2021 OneLeg Inc Season 1 Episode 4
OneLeg Up
E0104 - UX/UI with Special Guest Josh Braines-Mead
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode Josh explains the difference between UX and UI and gives a few tips that small business owners should consider when building their websites.

Edward Davis:

Welcome to OneLeg Up, where we discuss how you can deliver the very best customer experience and how you can achieve zero marketing waste. I'm Ed Davis, chief operations ninja here at OneLeg and today I'm joined by our digital experience partner, Joshua Braines-Mead. Josh, how are you doing today?

Josh Braines-Mead:

I'm feeling good, man. I've got my coffee. I'm all prepared. I'm in a completely different time zone from you. So it's, it's morning here, it's afternoon there.

Edward Davis:

Well timezone is a bit of a misnomer, right? You're in a completely different hemisphere. And in all honesty, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Josh, he is located on the sunny continent of Australia, not as some people might think the island of Australia, it is actually, I can't remember what the defining characteristics are of a continent. But there we go. And today, we brought Josh on, he's going to talk to us about user experience and user interface, which is, and Josh and I were doing a little bit of the talking before we hit record on this podcast. Because I've always struggled with what exactly is the difference, he's going to walk us through that he's going to walk us through how you can make your user experience and user interface better as a probably a small business owner. And we'll get into some of the key differences and key things you need to be aware of, as you tried to grow and build your your business. Here moving forward. So let's get the basics out of the way, Josh? A Why is this topic important? And what are the basic definitions of user experience and user interface?

Josh Braines-Mead:

Yeah, sure. I think the first thing to talk about is what UX is as a concept and what UI is a concept. So these are kind of technical terms that have started becoming quite common in, in all businesses nowadays, whether it's a small startup, or whether it's a large enterprise with a dedicated, experienced team. Back in the good old days of like the 90s, in the 2000s, not every business had a website. And so the question then was just how can we get a website up? How can we just make a digital hub for people to come to now that we're, we're in a more modern age, where we've come a long way? Every business has a website? And now it's a question of how does your business stand out? Online amongst the crowd? And the answer to that? Yeah, yeah, exactly. And so the answer for that usually comes down to user experience. So to click a bit more formal definition, user interface is essentially what the user sees when they open up the website. So it could be just a one page website, it could be a mobile application, anything on the surface level that you can see with your eyes and, and describe visually, user experiences pretty much everything else. So user experiences this big banner that covers everything, from user to experience, to use a test in user research, to customer experience, to marketing, essentially, it's the feeling that people get when they interact with your brand. So you might get an email from a company with a special promotion, that's user experience, you open up the website, and you find the product really easily. That's user experience, you feel compelled to buy it because of the way it's been marketed to you. That's user experience. And so it's been a big shift, I think in the focuses of a lot of businesses nowadays, away from the aesthetics and the visual flair, and more into creating websites and products that really speak to what people are looking for. And so in the past, it would be that you would have a team of designers who would just kind of try and make some that looks pretty quiet flash or Yeah, pretty. Try and win some awards, but then real people would try and use that software or that site, and they wouldn't be able to find what they're looking for, or they would get really frustrated. And that's because the user experience hasn't been designed for. So what people like myself do is we help businesses kind of analyze what it is that people are looking for. By looking at stuff like Google Analytics, or in the best case, actually talking to those people and finding out their pain points and their frustrations and their goals. And then we use that to craft new journeys and new experiences that essentially make it as easy as possible for people to do what they want to want to do. And enjoy that. You know, like the best websites are the ones that you go on to and you feel a sense of joy and you want to share it with your friends. And then these all feed back into the UI. So UX and UI are very interrelated in the sense that if a website looks like crap, you're going to feel kind of dodgy about it. But in the same sense, if a website looks fantastic, but you, you know, you can't find out how to get to a page where you can't find what you're looking for, it doesn't really matter what it looks like. So it's kind of like a more technical definition of what UX and UI is. Yeah.

Edward Davis:

And why you've been walking through that, obviously, we have up on the screen, sort of the left brain, right brain, UX versus UI, but you provide an image that's even more simplistic. And one that I actually get, which is this right, so you know, the actual Heinz tomato ketchup bottle, the original design, I daresay, which was glass and had the cap and sat up, right. You know, for those who may be just listening and not seeing the visuals, that is representative of UI, but in order to give somebody a better experience, what was it I think maybe 12-15 years ago, they flip that upside down, they made it a squeeze bottle, you know, because you would always bang on the bottom of the, of the Heinz tomato ketchup bottle. Just as a bit of a side story, I used to run a restaurant when I was just out of high school and, somebody was banging on one of those jars, and it burst open and cut his cut his hand wide open. And it was really hard to tell what was the ketchup and what was the blood. So, so that, to me, this visual, and that description of the difference between UI and UX, if somebody who's listening to this doesn't get it after this, there's no help for you. Just go ahead and put pause on the on the podcast. It doesn't matter at this point. So right. So I think the other things we want to talk about, is let's get into the nitty gritty of it. And like I sort of said at the top of the show, what is it 60-70% of the worlds of business within the world are independent contractors, consultants, you know, and then small businesses, much like OneLeg. They're not hese monolithic companies who ave entire web and IT teams, nd back end designers and rogrammers and all that kind of tuff. So what are those small usiness owners? What are the hings that you see they often verlook? Whether it be on the I side, or the UX side, that ren't overly complicated, or xpensive to implement, that eople should be thinking about?

Josh Braines-Mead:

Hmm, that's a really good question. I think the biggest struggle that I often see small businesses and startups do is that they look at their competitors. And they worry, okay, well, they're selling very similar products or services to what we're selling, maybe it's a more affordable rate, you know, maybe a customer experience team is better, though. And so in order to try and stand out what they do, is they try and sell their products or sell their, their service as much as possible. So from the get go, it's walls of text explaining what makes their product better. It's constant kind of in your face for emotions, it's very overwhelming. And I think, if you look at the big tech companies, you look at the apples, and Microsoft's they don't need to do that often. Because instead, what they do is a technique called storytelling, which is essentially, if you're trying to sell a new product, rather than writing 100 paragraphs of text that people probably aren't going to read, if you can write, like a handful of copy that people read, and it makes them feel a certain way, right? It's going to be better than anything that they read in a big in a big like spreadsheet. And so I think a lot of these websites I see, try and overwhelm the person with wireless products like this is why this product is superior. But they haven't actually told the story of the product. So they haven't actually spoken to the customer to say, you know, this is why we stand out. This is why we're different. This is why you would want to consider us for a purchase.

Edward Davis:

Do you find that people do that? In terms of let's put everything we can think of you know about this product or service on the actual web page, even if it you know, you've got to scroll for five minutes to get through it all. Do you find that people are doing that? Because there's there's there's this mystery or lack of understanding around things like SERP and SEO and the Google algorithms and all of that, or is it more fundamental than that, that people just don't, they don't understand how to actually market their products and services.

Josh Braines-Mead:

I think it's a combination of both. I think Every one that's kind of worked with SEO in the past, has an understanding of the more that time that someone spends on the website, the better it is for us, right. But what they kind of fail to recognize is that most people don't spend a lot of time on websites. If I am looking at a new product or a new service, I'll probably like speed browse the website for about 1020 seconds. And if I'm not immediately hooked in that, I can't find what I'm looking for, I just go somewhere else. So as you said, there's no point in having a website where the user has to scroll for a few minutes to read all the content on the homepage. Because people don't do that. By the time people come to your website, and they're spending several minutes on it, they've probably already made up their minds for everyone not they're going to buy your your service for so that first impression is really what the most important thing is. And then what you were talking about, about how they could sell from struggled to tie their marketing efforts into their customers. problem that I often see with a lot of these smaller businesses is that they, they look at what the business is looking for, and what the customer might want from a product. But they're struggling to kind of find that common ground. And what they kind of do is they they have this strategy where the more information, the customer knows the better. And said we'll just put as much information on the site as possible. But sometimes less is more. And this kind of goes back to what I was saying before, where if a user feels overwhelmed when they go on a website, looking at product or service, it really ruins that story for them, because you got to walk before you can run. So if you don't understand the story behind this product, you're never going to be inclined to buy it. You know, you look at how Apple sells a new iPhone, for example, the specifications on the iPhone, like you talk about that all day, you know, 25, zoom, or a camera or whatever. But they purposefully hold that information back until the point where you have already kind of made up your mind whether or not you would buy that product. Instead, what they do at the start is I tell the story of Hey, look, this is the brand that you know have, look how great it looks, because we've got all this fantastic photography. Without us saying any specs, don't you want an iPhone? Because you can see how people using it? So yeah, coming back to your point, I think it's just a question of making the content on the website meaningful to the person that's reading it? Well,

Edward Davis:

I think that gets to, you know, we have a whole other, we have a couple other podcasts that talk about customer experience, and, and storytelling for that matter. And and I think this is where small businesses go, Ryan, I think part of it is they don't understand it. And the other part of it is they don't invest the time or the effort or the energy to do this. And essentially what Apple's doing what a united might be doing, or quantas Airlines or BMW or Mercedes, and you hit on it there. What they are saying what they are doing what they are presenting to you is a story in the form of typically one way or the other, there's no way to get around it. pitchers, ideally moving pictures. And what they're saying is, this brand will allow you to live like this, right? Whether it's I drive on curvy roads and my family safe, and, and I look stylish and all that. And what they're hoping you do is go, yeah, that's how I want to be, right. They're telling you a story about how you can live. And they're painting a picture of what your life can look like, if you interact and you use their brand. And then to your point, once you've got that in your head, well then the features how many miles to the gallon, it gets, you know how many how many points you get by flying in first class or whatever, that I'll just reinforce forces the decision that you've made based on the story that they've told you. And I think that that's one of the things that people they do get wrong, right? Because they just immediately go, you know, I have an idea for a restaurant or I have an idea for a brewery or or a coffee shop or something like that. And I think it's just as simple as throwing up a name, a logo, and here's our menu or whatever the case may be. And I think if every company, every organization, no matter how small took a minute to go, Okay, what am I actually really about? And what is our story? What is our vision? Why am I different? Because this is you know, and, you know, Josh works with us on a couple of our clients and we won't Name the client. But we do have a client who's sort of in this transition from a commoditized product that people typically think about, you know, once a decade. And when they do think about it, they want to try and get the best price that they can. And we're trying to move them into sort of luxury brand space, which is a really hard transition. But you have to put it, but everybody can do that everybody can everybody can do that the exercises that we're doing and craft, the mission, the vision, the wording, the story, as you rightfully called it, to help your customers envision themselves in your brand story is really how I would characterize that. So I think that's a really interesting, a really interesting bit. And so let's go into our other favorite topic. And you sort of broach that with small companies. The other place that that one leg plays and that you've helped us out on is in the home improvement space. And, and we all have this running commentary on. It's, it's funny, right? Because you know, all of these companies, whether they're a plumber, a roofer, a solar company, a bath remodeling company, they're all fundamentally different in their own little ways, even though they sit under this home improvement umbrella. But I think the thing that we've all been baffled at is if you put up their individual websites, it is shocking how similar they all are. Right? So what are the what are the two or three things that you see within the home improvement space that people do, and you go, you're not helping yourself, but

Josh Braines-Mead:

I fitness, how long is a piece of string? You know, there's a lot I could talk about. I think from looking at several Home Improvement companies, through our work together on some of these one leg projects, I think it all comes back down to what I was talking about before about struggling to tell that story. A lot of Home Improvement websites, kind of kick things off by saying this is a special deal. You know, this is a summer deal. This is their 2021 special. This is who we are like, this is why we're different to other contractors. But what they don't really talk about is what the user is going through by looking at a home improvement company, because improving your home is a pretty, pretty big decision. Right? It's a pretty, dare I say life changing undertaking. And so it's actually a feeling of nervousness and excitement at the same time. And I think what leads companies should do is pivot instead from our, as people you know, this is what makes us different as contractors list is how cheap Our services are. This is an experience, and instead talk about how like and help the user with with their undertaking. So this is what your dream home could be like this is stuff we've done in the past, look at least visual examples of how we've helped other people like you successfully improve their homes. We don't want to just give you the marketing spin off the back of the box, we want to listen to you understand what it is you're trying to do with your home because every home is unique. And so we need to understand why you improve in your home to begin with what what thoughts and feelings you haven't? And how can we help you on that journey. And I think a good place to actually look at for inspiration for the lobbies is funnily enough like a lot of banking websites. You go into into a home loan website, for example. And they don't kick start up, kick things off by by saying hey, look at how the lower rates are or how much money you could save and look how trusted branches you can trust us. They usually kick stuff off with a big hero image or big video of like a newlywed couple moving into their home for the first year. And it it sparks that emotional feeling of Oh my God, look how nervous excited they are. Imagine that feeling of walking in for the first time and the improvements done and your home looks completely different to before and it feels like everything has fallen into place. That feeling alone just from seeing that picture has immediately reinforced your perception of the brand. And I think that's the second thing to talk about is that brand perception. If you're a customer looking to do a home improvement project, they're usually a pretty hefty sum of money. And so you don't want to go for a company that you don't necessarily trust. And when it comes to brand, a lot of people these days think brand is just what's the logo look like what what the colors look like. But brand is so much more than that. brand is, how do you feel about this business? How do you describe this business to other people when they ask you about it? What do you think of that business when an email appears in your inbox, or you see them on social media? It's a story that continues to grow and continues to evolve across different platforms. And so, for example, if, if you heard about a home improvement company, and you know, a friend told you in real life, I said, Hey, check these guys out, I did them. You'd be like, Okay, cool. I've got someone that's told me that maybe they're a bit more reliable, I've got some history. And then you open up their website, and their website looks like a sales catalog shouting in your face and saying, buy, buy, buy, like come to cheap services. Your brand, perception just goes straight down. And if you don't feel like your time is being respected as a consumer, there's another competitor out there somewhere that that does respect

Edward Davis:

that time. Well, I'm in the home improvement space, there's probably about a dozen competitors.

Josh Braines-Mead:

Yeah, absolutely. That's right. And that's the thing about home improvement is a lot of it is it's very personal stuff, because a lot of family businesses involved in this as well. And so it's a bit of a waste when you go into a home improvement site that's family run or family operated. And instead of telling that story about how personal and intimate this this company is, I just go straight onto our cable, this is a summer plan. And this is how cheap we can do your remodeling for I think the biggest thing is understanding what people are trying to do when it comes to home improvement, respecting that and understanding that and respecting their time and their effort to try and give you their their consideration for your purchase. And in return, you should respect that by giving them the content, they want to see them and find out as soon as possible, what makes your business different and how you can help them. And I wanted to touch base on this kind of final point about what you were talking on. When it comes to media photography. You don't need a dedicated photography team like apple or Microsoft, you know, not everyone has a team of 50 photographers that I can just call up on hand and say, Hey, can you get Photoshop for this? For a lot of these small businesses, all these startups, it's quite hard because there isn't this photography on hand to them. And so what a lot of them resort to is stock imagery, or illustrations. And stock imagery, I think is fine if it's used correctly and in moderation. But there's nothing worse than opening up a website and it looking like something from early 2000s. Like clipart, you know, exactly, you've got clipart illustrations, you've got like a generic stock photo of like a man in a suit with like a thumbs up. And there's like a graph behind them. I think a lot, a lot of imagery for home improvement could kind of be improved by having a lot more shots of the actual home. Because that's the important thing here, right is the improvement of the home. And so I opened up a lot of these home improvement websites. And the first thing I see is like a contractor or builder and I go, Okay, that's great. But as a as a customer, I care about my home. That's what I'm improving here. This isn't the builder improver projects I'm undertaking. That's your business. It's almost a bit selfish to describe it like this. But as a customer, I am purchasing you to upgrade my home. So I don't really care about seeing people in workouts on the on the homepage, I want to see examples of the previous homes that you've improved or upgraded. So I can say well look at that before and after Man, I wish my house, maybe they could do something like that for my home. So a lot of stuff that we kind of do one leg is helping businesses refine this visual display, not just making UI changes, but making UX changes. And that's where, you know, as you know, our creative team, we look at these imagery in these media, as well as the copy and the journey and we deleted all feel in tandem. Do they all work together? You know, maybe the copy on the website is superb. But then you scroll down and you've got that stock photo of the man with the thumbs up. And so I think we did a really good job of understanding what the appeal is of this business and finding imagery that really suits that exactly, as you said. That people look at and they say, Well, I wish I was in that situation. Look how pitcher wrestlers. Because when people open up a website, or or navigate website, the eyes are always drawn to, to pitches or to videos first. Usually as a baseline for UI, it goes media titles, body content. And so if all of your like, main selling points is in the body content, it's not going to really help. That's worth exactly because, you know, people are very visual creatures, they open up website, and if it looks pretty, and it's a really kick ass looking hero banner, people are going to notice that straightaway, and then boom, you've got brand perception improving. And that's before people even read your copy. Yeah. Whereas if people open a website, and it's, it just looks boring, then they're gonna take that feeling into reading your copy, and you're already at a disadvantage. Yeah, I mean, look, I could talk about this stuff all day, I think there's, there's so much you could improve on. But a lot of it does depend on each business, and what each business is trying to do and trying to sell, because every business's subtly unique, whether it's a family business, like I was talking about before, whether it's a big enterprise, Every business has a unique selling point and a unique story to tell. And I think it's just about how they can tell that story the most effectively to their customers.

Edward Davis:

Well, and to your point, we could go on and on these podcasts are meant to be to be short, little snippets, glimpses into the world and some of the challenges that that we're helping clients work through at any given time. And we can certainly come back and talk the photography one is a really interesting one, right? Because to your point, and we will do, I'll make a note here, and we will do a whole other show and we'll bring Beri on, we'll bring you on. And we'll we'll do it specifically on photography, but you know, just simple things, you are going to have to use some level of stock imagery or, or you're going to go out and take a picture. And it's going to be horrible. But I think the just really quickly the thing that people usually don't think about but us in the creative world do is just because you have an image that you've taken a picture of. Okay, you can zoom in on that image, you can apply a filter to it, you can blur it out a little bit, you can do any number of things to make that more interesting, more eye appealing. And there are little tricks and trading dates. It's a really good point, Josh. And we will we will do a very specific show on stock imagery, because that's the default for people. You know, and the other really quick tip that that people find out really quickly is don't get caught just downloading random images from Google are owned by somebody. So great. This has been a fantastic conversation. We really appreciate you coming on Josh. I'll make a little note here. As long as I don't screw up the next 35-40 seconds. We can be happy with the fact that we've done this in one take all the way through. So root for me as we close it out here. As you know, If you want a better user interface and experience that accelerates conversions, give us a shout. Give me a shout at ed.davis@1leg.co. And at OneLeg we are experts and practitioners of omotenashi, the highest level of customer care and experience. Visit us at 1leg.co and wherever you see this is where I totally fucked it up. Dammit,

Josh Braines-Mead:

You jinxed yourself

Edward Davis:

Alright, I'll take a breath we'll let it because we have so just so you know what we'll put on the screen is this

Josh Braines-Mead:

cool? Yeah. Hands.

Edward Davis:

OneLeg believes poor marketing pollutes the planet and that business is full of tired, outdated, indistinct, unremarkable, and underperforming marketing that sucks. But what sucks even more is that many companies have forgotten the most important thing of all the customer. We are on a mission on behalf of our clients customers to change that. To learn more, go to 1leg.co. We hope you've enjoye our chat today and learne a couple things. Find us, foll w us and rate us wherever you ocialize online. Thanks agai . We'll talk to you next time