Indy AMA
Indianapolis Chapter of the American Marketing Association


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August AMA Indy Luncheon Recap: “Customer Experience Dos and Don’ts Every Marketer Should Know” with Dr. Susan Shapiro

By: Dawn Rigby

User experience (UX) is more than a buzzword and it's not just for designers. In our latest AMA Indy luncheon, we learned how to apply UX to improve customer experience and maximize our marketing impact.

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Dr. Susan Shapiro, Principal User Experience Consultant at GravityDrive, joined AMA Indy on August 14 to share tips to help marketers maximize their impact in today’s digital world. She explained how we can use what we know about our audience needs to support user behavior and improve the customer’s online experience.

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Here are the customer experience dos and don’ts every marketer should know:

"If you are not getting outside of your own experience, and thinking about the people who will use a product, you are likely to create some unfortunate problems in your design."

Do know your audience. What are their needs. What do they expect? What is the context?

Don’t ignore the needs of the people you are designing for. Consider the business needs AND the customer needs.


"Designs should be attractive and appealing to the people who use them whenever possible. It makes life more pleasant."

Do use new ideas if they work well. Don’t assume that they will work. Research and test.

Don’t get caught up in the latest trends. Long scrolling pages and too simple designs may be popular today, but people change and learn. Some trends should die.

Do attract attention. Use proven tools to emphasize what’s most important. Typestyle effects like dim, italic, or bold fonts are a subtle but effective way to attract attention. The use of size and whitespace are other effective tools for emphasis. Sound and movement are powerful ways to attract attention, and they should be used minimally.

Don’t just make it red. The color red is commonly used to attract attention, but studies show that red is less visible than other colors under lower light. Red also signifies danger, and it may not be an appropriate color choice for your brand.


"Learning about human physiology and behavior is an important part of being a design professional."

Don’t trick people. It makes them feel misunderstood, confused, insulted, abused, and disappointed.

Do occasionally be unpredictable. We don’t like tricks, but we do like surprises (and gifts)!


"A scientific mindset, where hypotheses are tested and evidence collected to make data-based design decisions."

Do the research. Understand the role of bias in your processes. Surveys and interviews use a limited sample, and you may be asking the wrong questions.

Don’t trust what people say. People want to appear competent, and they may not answer honestly. There are other ways to do the research.

Do observe behavior. Watch people. Where do they find or use your products? Look at the analytics. How many people opened your email? How many of those purchased the product?

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Krysten Schmidt