Full day training course

Cross-Channel User Experience

Create a usable omnichannel experience, including the web, applications, email, social media, phone, kiosks, print and online chat

Users don't care about which team within an organization "owns" a channel and why the experience of interacting with an organization though one touch point (e.g. the web) is vastly different than engaging with that same organization on another (e.g. the phone, through online chat, or email). Instead, users see each and every interaction with an organization as part of the larger user experience.

For this reason, organizations should provide a cohesive user experience across all channels and touch points.  

This course presents guidelines for creating a usable experience across many channels, including the web, print collateral, mobile devices, email, social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.), phone, online chat, and kiosks. 

Topics Covered

  • Defining the cross-channel experience
    • Terms used to describe cross-channel user experience (omnichannel, multi-channel, transmedia, multi-platform, cross-media, cross-platform)
  • Why organizations should care
    • ​Making the case for providing an exceptional cross-channel experience
  • How users engage with organizations
    • Online, offline, online/offline hybrid touch points
    • Static vs. interactive
    • User preferences in various scenarios
  • Barriers to good cross-channel experiences and how to overcome them
    • ​No support or "buy in"
    • Organizational silos
    • Technology and infrastructure
    • Lack of design standards
  • Developing a cross-channel strategy and experience
    • Understanding users and their interactions
    • Mapping the customer journey
    • Identifying primary and secondary tasks on each channel
    • Prioritizing design resources
  • The 4 elements of a cross-channel experience
    • Consistency: Users have a familiar and expected experience across touch points
    • Seamlessness: An activity can be started on one channel and completed on another
    • Availability: Tasks can be completed regardless of the channel
    • Context-specific: The experience is optimized for the touch point
  • Channel-specific usability recommendations
    • Web 
    • Print (QR codes, brochures)
    • In-store and in-person (kiosks, customer service desk)
    • Mobile and tablet apps
    • Email (promotional, confirmation messages)
    • Phone
    • SMS/Text
  • Designing for future channels
    • Designing for the experience, not for the page or screen
    • Wearable devices (smart watches, glasses)
    • Heads-up displays (HUDs)
  • How to run your own cross-channel research study
    • Longitudinal (diary) studies
    • Field studies
    • Traditional usability testing
    • Technology and tools to collect and analyze data
    • Combining qualitative and quantitative research


The course is mainly in lecture format with a couple of group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes

  • Findings from our own usability studies
  • Videos from usability testing of people's behavior
  • Screenshots of designs that work and don't work
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers


Janelle Estes

Janelle Estes is a Senior User Experience Specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. Estes works with clients in a variety of industries and presents regularly about usability methods, email newsletters, writing for the Web, and the user experience of nonprofit websites. She has been the primary researcher on and co-author of NN/g reports covering email newsletter design, ecommerce communications, non-profit and charity websites, senior users and and social media messaging. Read more about Janelle