When a customer interacts with your brand via a web application, you always want them to have an experience that’s intuitive as well as recognizably “you.” Users want applications that look and behave in a way that they are accustomed to, and they will come to love brands that do so in a visually consistent way.
Sites like Facebook and Medium are masters of simple consistency that’s immediately recognizable. When you see the buttons like, comment, and share, you immediately recognize Facebook. When you see the simple clap icon, your mind immediately is drawn to Medium.
So organizations must strive for a user experience that’s fast and convenient regardless of where they interact with your brand, which builds brand equity. But even more than than consistent functionality, these experiences should have a consistent look and feel across different devices, channels, and applications.
When you couple ease of use with a distinct look that defines your brand, you're able to turn casual users into all out fans.
Maintaining a standardized experience is always difficult, but especially so in larger organizations. When your enterprise has multiple teams of UX designers and developers across many applications, each with their own user interface and consumer experience, it can become extremely difficult to ensure that these experiences are harmonized across every application and channel. But the organizations that excel here often are the ones that gain a considerable competitive edge.
Here are 3 key steps in developing a modern user experience that’s standardized across your enterprise.
This may seem simple, but it’s incredibly important. In order to cultivate a consistent user experience across your organization’s applications and channels, you must first identify where the inconsistencies currently lie. What aspects of your consumer’s experience are clunky when switching between channels or apps? Maybe notification symbols and sounds are different. Maybe menu options are inconsistent. These inconsistencies slow down your user and muddy your brand’s identity.
Take care to discover what will create a more fluid experience for the user. You can do this by constructing a customer journey map, documenting every experience a customer would have with you. Discover and define what the user’s goals are, and see how to best enable your user to achieve them.
The larger and more complex your organization, the more likely it is that certain inconsistencies and pain points will begin to present themselves during this research, especially if you haven’t paid special attention to UX consistency in the past. Organizations don’t naturally trend toward simplicity and standardization. It must be intentional.
These customer journey maps will enable you to see where your overall user experience can be improved from a standardization perspective. So conduct UX research with a particular emphasis on discovering where one part of the consumer experience is disunified from another.
Key to empowering independent yet harmonized design decisions across your teams is a unifying vision for your organization's UX design that is communicated clearly and consistently. You need to intentionally develop a design language system that defines your organization’s unique but consistent approach to UX design. Your teams need a grid through which to filter all of their design ideas.
A design language is more than a style guide that defines things like color palette and font; rather it outlines how an experience ought to be laid out, how it should be animated, and how it captures the essence of your brand.
Google’s Material Design, IBM, and the BBC all serve as excellent examples as to how a common design language can be developed and communicated. A good design language system promotes unity over uniformity, enabling designers to express creativity while maintaining and even enhancing a cohesive vision for brand identity.
You want to empower your UX engineers and designers to make their own decisions, but to frame that freedom within an agreed upon framework.
One very effective way to ensure that your design language system is being adhered to across your organization is to build reusable micro frontends that can be leveraged across multiple projects. Rather than building large monolithic structures, micro frontends enable agility in updating user experiences and empower code reuse. These reusable components should be stored in a central repository for your teams to access.
This enables you to standardize your look and feel and accelerates development of new features and functions without needing to reinvent the wheel.
Over time, as you build a robust repository, you are able to drive the cost of development down while also increasing consistency across your applications.
When release cycles take months instead of weeks, your business is left unable to deliver modern online experiences. Development bottlenecks slow your ability to make application updates, keeping you from iterating and innovating. And outdated or clunky UX keeps you from winning customers over and retaining them.
So that’s why we created a platform to help you get your ideas to market faster.
Entando is the leading micro frontend platform for building enterprise web apps on Kubernetes. We want to change the way enterprises think about building their apps, sites, and portals in order to innovate more quickly.
With Entando, you can leverage customized blueprints to quickly create micro frontends and assemble them onto a single page. Then reuse UI/UX components across multiple projects via the Entando Component Repository, saving money and increasing development speed. Scale quickly and effectively with Entando’s custom Kubernetes operator, automating the deployment of scalable, self-healing applications.
Entando is open source with available enterprise support. Begin developing on the platform today, and get a quote to see how our Professional Services team can help your enterprise build better apps, sites, and portals--faster.
This white paper outlines how your organization can accelerate UX innovation by developing with micro frontends on Kubernetes, as well as how a micro frontend platform can help you execute this methodology more effectively.