UX Design is a Marketing DOH!


UX Design is a marketing D’OH! because marketers do not typically place it at the hub of their activities. The Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map demonstrates this error in thinking.

UX Design and Marketing are a DOH!UX design is a marketing D’OH! ala Homer Simpson because it is typically not a core hub activity of most marketers. Proof of this error is the recent Gartner digital marketing transit map which visually shows UX design out in the periphery of marketing activity.

Please do not get me wrong, I think the Gartner digital marketing transit map is pretty cool, as an infographic it is worth studying.

I’ve circled the UX Design area on the digital marketing transit map for easier identification.

Gartner Digital Media Map demonstrating improper placement of UX Design
Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map with placement of UX Design

For those of you unfamiliar with the map think of a subway map with various spokes representing different aspects of marketing activity. The hub or center of all spokes is the core of where activity joins. Interestingly, UX Design as noted on the map is clearly outside of the hub area, and indeed is pretty far up the design track.

Marketers do not understand UX Design

My belief is this represents the fact that most marketers, even the usually very impressive Gartner team, just do not understand UX Design. For most marketers that I have worked with over the years, the vast majority seem to associate UX design with visual design of a landing page or email or website. And typically that thinking does not occur until much later in the process of creating a marketing campaign.

Good Marketing is Good UX Design

I think that UX design (my definition is the holistic design of the entire user experience from first contact through to on-going engagement with a Brand) should be a core or hub component of any marketing activity and should occur at the center of all marketing tactics. Why?

Because marketing is ultimately about communicating and interacting with people, and making it easy for people to communicate and interact with is at the heart of UX design.

If I had been part of the team at Gartner working on this map, I would have pushed very hard to have UX design at the hub. This would represent the fact that good UX design is critical for success in any marketing activity. This includes mobile, email, web, print, telephone, all the communication tools marketers know and love.

Good UX Design equals Good Marketing Results

When good UX design is applied to marketing activities, typically better results occur. This means lower cost per lead and cost per sale, increased conversion and ultimately a better Return On Investment for your marketing activity.

Do Not Pull a Marketing D’OH!

For you marketers out there, do not pull a UX design and Marketing D’OH! Make sure you include UX Design at the hub of your marketing activities. And for you UX designers out there, feel free to use my version of the map to show marketing folks where you can and should be helping them. Used at the appropriate place, UX design improves all aspects of marketing.

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