Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
A lack of technology, skills and senior management support are hindering advancements to the online customer experience across Australian organisations, according to new research.
The Australia User Experience report, which was produced by Econsultancy in partnership with Macquarie Telecom, found 52 per cent of respondents rate user experience as ‘very important’ to their company, while 96 per cent agree user experience must lead all marketing and ecommerce activity.
Yet nearly half the companies surveyed rated the user experience on their or their clients’ digital properties as ‘okay’, while 16 per cent claimed it was either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. Just 37 per cent rated their performance as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Forty-seven per cent also believed the digital channels experience they provided was ‘not very consistent’.
The Econsultancy research was undertaken in May and June and is based on responses from senior marketing and technology staff from more than 200 Australian digital and ecommerce companies. These covered both client-side and agency businesses.
The report suggested a lack of senior management backing could be a reason for why online experiences are not improving fast enough, with 43 per cent of those surveyed dissatisfied with management’s understanding of its importance.
Skills development also appeared as an issue. Two-third of respondents believed the user experience skill set within their company was either ‘average’ or ‘poor’, and nearly half of all client-side companies surveyed employ no dedicated professionals for user experience online. A general lack of understanding around user experience as a discipline was also prevalent through the survey results.
Technology platforms, however, present the biggest challenge for many organisations, with half of client-side respondents claiming technology platform issues were a barrier to investment into good user experiences online.
Who should own user experience technology platforms also divided respondents, and hinted at the close collaboration that marketing and IT must continue to improve in order to win the digital customer battle.
While 87 per cent agreed user experience technologies should not be owned predominantly by IT departments, 41 per cent saw it as the responsibility of the CMO, and 44 per cent said it should be a mix of senior managers.