Category Archives: Theory

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UX, the foundation of the modern brand

We’re living in heady times as UX designers. The industry is booming, demand higher than ever before. Every company – from globalised conglomerate, to budding start-up – wants (needs) a UX department. Those that aren’t investing in UX? They’re behind the times, they’re not up to scratch.

Why this sudden focus on an industry that for so long worked behind the scenes, almost anonymously? As the marketing landscape moves from the salesmanship of old, to a system better focused on customer loyalty and quality of service, ‘Experience’ has been pushed to the fore.

Be it User Experience, Customer Experience, or whatever you want to name it: marketing is an experiential game. Brands are differentiating themselves not through the underhanded sales and pricing techniques of old, but by simply providing a better service – a better experience.

But how close is this link between UX and brand power? UX is famously difficult to quantify at the best of times. From our own data, we’re finally able to prove just how important UX is in that relationship – a little something to show your boss perhaps.

What is NPS?

To first understand how UX affects our brand, we must understand the marketing metric that gauges our brand strength: The Net Promoter Score.

Somewhat of an industry buzzword, the Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a tool used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. It all starts with a question:

How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?

Which then asks the user to leave a score on a scale of 0 to 10.

The answer to this question puts our user into one of 3 categories: Detractors, Passives, or Promoters, as we see below:

From these segments we can build our final NPS. By looking at the percentage of our users in each segment, we work out the difference between these segments – leaving us with a final score of -100 to +100.

This simple calculation is currently the darling of marketers worldwide – providing insight into their customers’ loyalty.

So now we have a number on our customer loyalty, we have the relatively simple task of working out how to increase this number – and thus our customer loyalty. Well, data shows we needn’t look too much further than that other buzzword – our very own favourite – user experience.

The link between Brand and UX

When users decide to leave feedback on one of Usabilla’s clients websites, they are asked to leave a rating – on a scale of 1-5 based – on their current emotion. This emotional rating aims to capture the user’s perception of the website or element as they browse. A simple but effective way to judge website UX.

It just so happens that many of our customers ask for an NPS alongside this UX rating. Gifting us unique insights into the relationship between NPS and User Experience.

The resulting relationship is exceptionally interesting.

Above we plot Average NPS together with the Average UX rating.

The close relationship is immediately apparently. As user experience changes, NPS changes, and vice versa. The brand loyalty of our users is evidently being manipulated by changes in website user experience.

This becomes even more noticeable when we break things down a little more. Below, we plot each of the five points of the UX rating against the average Net Promoter score submitted alongside it. (ie. a user could give a perfect UX score of 5 – a heart – but may give an NPS of only 4 – classing them as a demoter).

Here the impact that a poor website experience has on your brand is even more apparent.

Only a UX score of 5 – the highest and hardest to achieve – results in brand promoters.

Anything from a rating of 3, downwards, is almost guaranteed to land you with a demoter – someone who will think (and more importantly speak) negatively of your brand.

This is definitive proof that poor website experience will have a negative impact on your brand. We can even go as far as saying, without doubt, that by offering a detrimental website experience, you’re creating a negative perception of your brand. As good as your product may be, if your website is lacking your brand will feel the pain.

What does this mean for us?

This data is proof that UX is a key differentiator of brand image and customer loyalty. By providing users with negative experiences, we create a negative perception of our brand which inevitably has its consequences.

This in itself raises an extremely interesting subject. Recently, many have earmarked traditional marketing to be dead. Marketing in this day and age is all about loyalty, about customer experience. With so many competitors waiting to overtake us, with the potential for rivals to spring up anywhere in the world in our globalised economy, the differentiator of price is long dead – an Indian or Chinese rival can all too easily copy us for a fraction of the cost.

If we want to improve brand loyalty, we have to focus on key customer touchpoints. We have to focus on our customers’ interactions with our brand – our website. Thus, by providing positive experiences through our website, we automatically create positive perceptions of our brand – that is UX’s real value.

UX is the foundation of online marketing. It is our job to build brand loyalty – we have to differentiate ourselves from our competitors – by ensuring those key touchpoints offer the best possible experience. Just as the above data tells us, only by offering our users the best possible experience can we ensure those users keep coming back for more.


  • UX is essential to brand strength and customer loyalty.
  • Poor UX is guaranteed to create brand resentment.
  • Great UX is appreciated by your followers, and increases your brand’s strength.
  • The difference between a good and great user experience is key to maintaining a strong brand.
20percent Theory

20% of essential feedback is lost in User Interviews

  • “In my experience, many people confuse being cowardly with being nice.”

—Robert Kiyosaki

User interviews have a key flaw, a flaw many of us would be reluctant to admit. With the expectant eyes of our superiors bearing down upon us, we daren’t show any sign of weakness. This is a flaw which threatens to undo and unravel all of our hard work.

People are too nice.
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Artboard 1-1 Theory

The Great UX Race Intensifies – Web UX improved 2% in 2014

The internet’s quality has improved immensely these past few years, it goes without saying. The sites we frequent, the content we digest – everything is simpler, easier, and faster. Websites, brands, and designers are putting the user, the customer, first. This user centered approach isn’t new, but finally hit the mainstream with force.

CEOs are realising the profit potential of happy customers. Great user experiences = Happy customers = $$$. A simple equation.

This user centric focus has ensured online experiences are only improving. We’ve talked at length about the growth of the UX designer, but what are the causes & consequences?
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blog_img Design

The Death of Web Design

Medium, Shopify, Behance. What do they all have in common? High-quality website templates. No longer does an innovative idea require the web design skills to match; all manner of websites now exist, allowing you to implement that idea without the efforts of an experienced (expensive) web designer. This is perhaps the greatest web design shift of the past 3 years.
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glossary2 Theory

Usabilla UX Index – Fogg’s Behaviour model, Lean UX, Colour Theory and more…

Here we are again with another 5 words to update your vocabulary just in time for christmas.

Each month we continue to add new terms to our existing collection of Usability and UX definitions; terms we deem useful, interesting or – hopefully – a mixture of the two!

Discover something new, refresh your memory of the ones you thought you knew and find out interesting, little known, details.
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Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 13.06.48 Theory

3 Ways In Which Fluency Psychology Will Shake Up Usability Design

As usability professionals, we love to understand what makes a website or interface ‘feel’ right. While usability testing remains an indispensable tool in ironing out our interface’s bottlenecks, new insights into the ways in which people process information are always welcome. What brain circuits are sparked when someone interacts with our work? And how do these processes guide further courses of action?

Currently, one of cognitive psychology’s most treasured topics is processing fluency. It’s a simple concept, yet amazingly powerful in creating interfaces that work. Let’s dig in.
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ghv Theory

What Can Children Teach Us About UX Design?

On Wednesday afternoon we launched our new webinar series – Usabilla On Air – the first episode titled “What Can Children Teach Us About UX Design?’. If you’re unaware of Usabilla on Air we aim to produce one webinar a month, each with a different design theme and discussion with an expert in that field. All episodes will then remain on Youtube, so if you didn’t manage to catch it live you can still view Wednesday’s episode here in full.
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glossary Theory

Usabilla UX Index – Kano, Occam, Gestalt and more…

The ABC of Usability has resurfaced, although you may notice a few changes. Now known as UX Index, the concept is still the same and we’ve provided five fresh new phrases to learn. Each month we will continue to add five words to our existing collection of Usability and UX definitions which we hope you’ll find both interesting and useful.
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featured Design

Flat Design was just a Trend, Apparently

There is no doubting Flat design is the current darling of the design world. Flat, simple patterns provide a clean and fresh look. Minimalist designs perfectly adapted to the surge in mobile usage. Even a company like Apple, a longtime supporter of skeuomorphic design, has joined their contemporaries in the design switch up.

Flat design burst onto the scene in late 2012, heralding a new era for design. Windows proved the vanguard for these new principles. Implementing their Metro interface first on Xbox and Zune, before unveiling Flat to the world with Windows 8. The Windows shake up carried with it plenty of controversies, yet Flat Design has only grown from strength to strength.
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featured Theory

Consistency Counts: Never Forget Your User

“Reinventing the wheel” is a common trend in the UX field, as is it within the majority of creative disciplines. Keen designers want to leave their mark; to prove their creativity and talent through fresh concepts. Fair play to them. How else are we to ensure trends evolve and continue to keep us interested and excited?

UX however, is a strange beast. A place where boundless creativity must be kept in check. Where any hint of misplaced arrogance can, and will, break a design; where “Reinventing the Wheel” is a trap best avoided. UX is about consistency.
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