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User Experience

User Experience (UX)

Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable.  The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.  

GfK’s User Experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services.

We bring your customers into the heart of the design process from the start; reducing the risk of failed products and costly post-launch changes. We project user insights into all stages of development, from early concepts and prototyping through launch and post-launch activity.

Our user experience findings reveal definitive plans on how to best differentiate your products and services, capitalize on current market opportunities, and guide the UX of future product and service design.

As a result our clients create experiences that are engaging and meaningful; driving user adoption and customer satisfaction. 

UX Labs

GfK’s custom-built UX laboratories across multiple key markets are standardized to ensure consistency and high quality, no matter where the research is conducted. We use our UX labs to host test scenarios to meet any need – from a simulated emergency room to a living room environment – and accommodate everything from focus groups to individual interviews. 

For user experience research outside the traditional laboratory environment, we have unmatched mobile studios that allow data-gathering to occur anywhere in the world, in any setting.

Read more about our UX labs

UXalliance

Our GfK UX team is a founding member of UXalliance, the international user experience network. With more than 500 UX professionals worldwide who speak 30-plus languages combined, the UXalliance gives you access to local experts with deep knowledge of local markets.

To ensure reports are comparable across countries, our partners adhere to strict quality standards and proprietary guidelines. And we have been making global UX research easy since 2005 by offering cost-savings and shorter timelines for multi-country projects.

Related Links:

UXalliance

UX Masterclass bi-annual conference 

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Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for User Experience. View all insights

    • 04/06/17
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Singapore
    • English

    GfK to host the 12th UX Masterclass in China

    GfK, in partnership with the UXalliance, will host the 12th UX Masterclass at the InterContinental Puxi in Shanghai on April 20. UX Masterclass is a flagship event of the UXalliance, an international network of 25 UX firms from around the world. This annual conference brings together experts and thought leaders in the fields of user experience (UX), innovation and market research to share knowledge and best practices.
    • 06/19/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Improving customer loyalty and retail experience through mobile payments

    Eight years ago, Starbucks developed its own app for mobile payments. Today, it’s still held up as the gold standard in the United States. In Asia’s rapidly developing market, where mobile payment is eight to nine years ahead of the West, things are quite different. In China, you can mobile pay for everything from a cab to a mojito or utility bill. In 2015, WeChat registered more financial transactions in one day than PayPal did during the entire 12 months. But it’s not just China that’s adopting the trend. Mobile payment is also making massive inroads in Southeast Asia as shopping apps are gaining popularity. In Singapore alone, there are 30,000 retail points accepting contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Android and Samsung Pay. In Indonesia, the most populous country in the region with 250 million people, most of the big traditional retailers are unveiling e-commerce plans of their own. In a recent GfK study: The Connected Asian Consumer, consumers in Singapore and Indonesia also reported fairly high usage incidence of shopping apps (37 and 35 percent respectively). This growth is fuelled by affordable smartphones, a massive young and tech-savvy population and efforts by governments and telco operators to expand and improve high-speed wireless networks. The future has never been clearer. It’s only a matter of time before mobile payment goes mainstream.

    The Connected Consumer

    Unfortunately for traditional retailers, the age of e-commerce has also produced a new consumer – we like to call them the ‘Connected Consumer’ – and their behaviors are shaping the future of retail. In the GfK 2016 FutureBuy survey of 20,000 consumers in 20 markets, it was found that shoppers are becoming less loyal to any one retailer. Almost half (46%) of all consumers (14-65 year olds) stated they were less loyal when shopping. This figure rises among the youngest consumers to 53% of Gen Y (18-29 years), and six in ten (58%) of Gen Z (14-17 years). For retailers who understand the Connected Consumer, there are opportunities to stay ahead of the competition – and mobile payments are a huge part of it.

    Customer loyalty

    Despite becoming less loyal, many Connected Consumers expect an omnichanel shopping experience when they interact with a brand. Connected Consumers in APAC seek the best of both worlds. For example, shoppers in China are the most likely to embrace omnichannel shopping – seven in 10 (71%) shop both online and in-store while Australian shoppers are the most likely to shun online: almost two thirds (62%) shop exclusively in-store. In contrast, Indians lead the way in online shopping with almost one quarter (23%) shopping the category exclusively online. Therefore it is important for retailers to understand the new reality of the omnichannel consumer, and know that the ‘whatever, whenever’ culture demands that user experience is seamless across all devices. If retailers don’t understand this, customers will simply delete their app and move on. We predict that mobile payment could halt the current trend for a decline in shopper loyalty. It makes sense, really. There are numerous benefits for shoppers: avoiding queues, centralizing loyalty rewards, checking stock, ordering ahead, enjoying customized offers and easy price comparison. At the same time, using customer and data analytics, retailers can receive customer data to offer more personalized services. In turn, this presents an opportunity to generate long-term relationships. However, it is important to note that not all Connected Consumers are the same. For example, older consumers aren’t as comfortable with sharing personal information as younger consumers. Understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is easier these days with research intelligence offering detailed information on the route shoppers take when making a purchase, and ways in which online and offline touchpoints influence their decisions. We believe that brands that understand, respect and protect consumers’ individual boundaries will deserve the loyalty they earn by doing so. As mobile payments continue to grow in APAC, businesses in various sectors such as financial services, cybersecurity and telco stand to gain and can evolve to support the changing landscape. For example, for telco operators, engaging with retail merchants and partners can help strengthen the overall service ecosystem to provide better end user experiences for consumers. Additionally, the design and development of payment services can also be integrated with other emerging technologies and competencies to offer differentiation to target audiences.

    Customer experiences

    Loyalty is great, but to really retain customers in today’s omnichannel space, shopping experience is equally important. To Connected Consumers, simplicity and convenience is paramount. Not only do they expect everything quickly, they also lose their patience faster.

    What does that mean for retailers?

    For large retailers, mobile payment offers the opportunity to segment and target consumers much more effectively with highly personalized offers and incentives. Discounts and offers can be integrated into mobile payment, replacing the need for physical coupons and entering information into a terminal. Connected Consumers will wave goodbye to the traditional checkout queue and benefit from a wealth of customized rewards. Mobile payment also offers a chance for small retailers to move into a new era of retailing. Freed from high transaction fees and with new ways to connect with consumers, small retailers can now embark on the kind of personalization and targeting that is usually the privilege of larger players. With e-commerce here to stay, there is plenty of potential for retail businesses to leverage research intelligence to adequately design and develop strategies to target this group of consumers. Essentially, the key to success is to fully understand shopper behavior and be led by what consumers ultimately want, without being blinded by what the technology can do. Karthik Venkatakrishnan is Regional Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email karthik.venkatakrishnan@gfk.com or leave a comment below.
    • 06/14/17
    • Retail
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    How retailers can build customer loyalty – one good experience at a time

    This post was co-authored by Heather Rakauskas. When asked to name their number-one challenge today, most retailers respond “improving customer loyalty”. At a time when online resources and ecommerce sites have placed shoppers firmly in control – able to find the best price, with SAP delivery, in seconds – having a long-term connection to consumers becomes invaluable. One of the few forces that can offset “lowest price wins” buying is consumer trust in and comfort with a brand.  

    The importance of customer loyalty programs

    This makes retailer loyalty programs even more important. They come in many shapes and sizes – personalized coupons, fuel rewards, VIP offers, surprises at checkout, free shipping, and points tiers, to name a few; but they all serve to remind customers why they should return to the brands they already know. Loyalty programs can also provide essential customer data that gives additional insights into promotion use, product trial and repeat, the identities of best customers, and more. And smart retailers assess the effectiveness of loyalty programs in a variety of ways – ongoing use of the offers, yearly value delivered by participants, and more. When launching a new loyalty effort, some retailers may even conduct a concept test, because this is a big investment with high expectations to meet. This due diligence often overlooks a key element of consumer satisfaction, though: the user experience.

    Applying UX research to loyalty programs

    Companies commonly apply “UX” principles and research to their websites and apps, closely observing and questioning users to find out what challenges and frustrations they might have experienced. By addressing the UX before launch, companies can head off major issues that could cripple acceptance and even create image problems for the brand. Loyalty programs deserve the same careful scrutiny – especially since they become an important part of the omni-channel experience, affecting communication and access both online and in-store. Loyalty use is experiential, not just transactional, and we should be viewing our programs through that lens. When assessing the user experience of a loyalty program, it is essential to look at both the offer and the interfaces (website, app and store), studying issues such as:
    • communication effectiveness for both process (how it works) and benefits
    • areas of confusion, irritation, inconveniences, and disconnection
    • delivery against expectations
    • drivers of and barriers to use — for both initial and return visits
    • consistency and usability across all program touchpoints
    One important tip for the work – include your front-line associates in this evaluation, if they are tasked with communicating or executing your program.

    Enhancing the overall customer experience

    When doing this work, you are determining how to optimize the program experience to encourage more sign-ups and, importantly, more active users. You are hoping this program experience not only drives purchases but enhances the overall customer experience, providing a halo effect on the overall brand and strengthening the relationships you have with your customers. With goals as lofty as these, it makes sense to employ UX research to make sure you are connecting with and satisfying users to the highest degree, with nothing left to chance. To share your thoughts, leave a comment below or email wendy.wallner@gfk.com or heather.rakauskas@gfk.com.
    • 06/08/17
    • Financial Services
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Revealing the correlation between UX and the brand experience

    Our research suggests that shifting investments from paid and owned media to optimize the user experience can more effectively lift long-term brand equity.
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