The way we communicate with others is significantly affected by the user experience of the communication tool!
Digital communication has become essential since the introduction of the internet. I am sure we all love how we can communicate today in some way, shape, or form. Let's talk a bit about the user experience of communication tools and how it affects our communication. I'm your host, Chris, and this is the UX Globals Podcast!
The first part of communication that needs to get mentioned is the different available channels. We all know the possibilities we got. We can either send a direct message, an e-mail, share something on streaming platforms or social media, or simply call someone eventually even with a video-enabled device. These channels all have their advantages and disadvantages. Obviously, not everyone should read our personal messages that we send to our best friend about our new crush. But when we have seen this fantastic building on our holiday, we most of the time want to share it publicly with all our friends and maybe even with strangers that use the same social media platform.
This decision is closely related to the topic of privacy, which has a massive impact on the user experience we have with a communication tool. Many common messengers for example show the user that the chat is encrypted so no one else can read whatever you send to the other person in this chat. This increases trust in the solution if we know that our data are kept safe. If we believe what the messenger provider says or not is something completely different again, and this is related to the honesty of the brand, but that should not be the topic of the day. Privacy also plays an important role in business communication. It could have unbelievable impacts on a company's success if the information got into the wrong hands. Therefore safety standards play an even higher role for business messages.
A point that is also critical for a business's success is the speed at which the communication tool works. If it takes some days until a package arrives like it used to be back when we could only send letters, the digital communication tool will not have any chances on the market, obviously. But the user experience is already impacted by only slight delays. It can make a difference if it takes five seconds or ten minutes until a message gets delivered. Of course, it is only a tiny amount of time, but still. Performance always plays a vital role in the UX of any solution. But communication is unique from this perspective. In the real world, we are used to get an instant response from the person we are communicating with. Therefore we also want to have a digital communication tool that gives us the chance to talk quickly. Of course, the person we are messaging with does not always have the time to instantly respond to us, however, the system needs to give us the chance to do so.
Another aspect which is related to speed is how easy it is for us to discover certain elements we have written about before. Let's say we have agreed on an appointment with someone but forgot to put it into our calendar and want to find the message again. If there is a search function that will be easy, but if there is not, it will be challenging when we kept writing about other topics. Furthermore, opening different communication channels also gives us an excellent opportunity to filter the content we have written about and will, therefore, increase the user experience of the communication tool.
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