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Good design systems focus on the intersection of User Experience and Brand Experience

Apr 14, 2022

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The saying that every digital experience is a brand experience is truer today than ever as digital touch points have become the brand front door. Creating digital experiences that tether buyers to brands and deliver measurable results is critical to success.

To do this effectively, it’s important to consider all the facets of user experience and how they intersect with brand experience.

Brand experience refers to all the sensations, thoughts, feelings, cognition and reactions that individuals have in response to a brand. Brand experience is not specific to a channel or media type but the behavioral responses to physical or digital media.

Unlike brand experience, user experience speaks specifically to a person’s takeaway from their interaction with a brand’s products, services, people, software, or other offerings. Positive user experiences also facilitate positive brand experiences.

User experience should incorporate consistent brand voice, visual elements, interaction models throughout using digital touch points. We want to recognize the brand within the experience regardless of the method or channel of interaction – landing pages, websites, social channels etc.

To facilitate this consistency and promote familiarity and trust, Cronin utilizes an insight-based approach to drive design and development with a digital experience design system and component libraries.

A digital experience design system improves speed to market and scales teams’ ability to build consistent products, sites and campaigns. The requirements of omnichannel delivery often span the involvement of diversified teams – so having an implementation playbook and guidelines becomes even more important.

Component libraries help us to solve the problem by creating a set of reusable common components that can be used throughout the application. A good component library can be utilized as the foundation to create a set of durable branded assets to be repurposed across any number of new pages, applications or other touch points.

There are three key benefits of building a systems approach focused on the intersection of brand and user experience:

  1. Allows Agencies to Co-Create with Clients to Craft Seamless Experiences
    A well-designed system makes interaction with the brand seamless, and technology more powerful and accessible. Promoting good omni-channel user experience is grounded in consistency of look, feel, branded elements and interactions.
  2. Accelerates The Design and Build Process
    Allows for support of rapid brand prototypes and user testing – pull the ingredients together quickly to test an idea. Additionally, when components are available to composable software architectures (like a front-end frameworks and headless CMS) the development and integration phases can be similarly accelerated.
  3. Generate Cross-Team Understanding
    A system approach brings marketers, copy writers, designers, partners and developers up to speed quickly on the elements and guidelines for digital applications

The complexities of working on rapidly changing marketing and brand-focused initiatives can be greatly aided by creating a set of reusable tools and not feeling the need to reinvent each time. Done properly with a long-term vision, the system will grow with your needs and overcome the perception that it promotes a cookie cutter look and feel. A set of components becomes a much more robust approach than themes or templates that are often the constraints imposed in traditional CMS systems.

Contact me to learn more about building a successful design system that delivers an effective user and brand experience.