Musings on User Experience

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Because of digital, everything is now human.

Products that existed only on supermarket shelves and in kitchen cupboards are now living and breathing via digital.

Products are now members of our social network.

They have been humanized through digital interfaces.

The brand is now in one to one relationships with thousands of fans.

Brands are alive – and need to be human through interactive interfaces. And to be human, interfaces must be intuitive.

Customers now see every intuitive interaction with a brand through a digital interface as an authentic human interaction.

The most intuitive interface is the most authentic, and the most instinctively human.

Only one interface is born instinctively intuitive: the nipple.

Everything else needs to be uxed to feel instinctively intuitive.

Instinctive intuitive design is hard won through interation and testing.

Innovative and intuitive are sometimes not good bedfellows  – the best way to achieve a task may not be the most innovative.

But great innovation should never make us think.

Because in the end, we don’t want to think.

We just want to experience.

We want to flow through tasks and achieve our goals without having to relearn, rethink, or redo.

We want return to our mother’s nipple – the first most intuitive and beautiful experience.

UX is the design of interactions that feel instinctive and pre-learned and which allow experience to flow.

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Musings on Digital Strategy

 

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If you don’t know where you are going – how can you get there?

There is a storm upon us  – the Digital Storm. The third industrial revolution.

After steam and electricity comes digital.

Vision is needed to lead us through the storm.

Without vision we have no strategy, and without strategy, there is no measurement.

And without measurement we are just hit and hope meandering wonderers.

Vision is a company’s narrative.

It is its story.

A story in which it is the hero who beats evil and wins the day.

Without narrative there is nothing.

It is imperative we tell stories.

Humans are programmed to see structure in everything – we connect up the dots where there are no dots, we see faces in the clouds, Jesus in burnt toast, the future in tealeaves.

Stories are what we are and what we are remembered as.

Strategy is a story clients can believe in – a narrative that is backed up by research, analysis and emotion.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I HEART the Enterprise – making large companies human again

When I use to think of the word ‘Enterprise’ I couldn’t help but think of Star Trek and Spock’s pointy ears, and somehow the milky white blood of the android dude in Alien would get in there also. It’s to do with the inhumanity of the large company I think. In the last two decades they have managed, through terrible one-size fits all broadcast communications, to make me feel a complete lack of respect and empathy towards them. And it seemed up until now they didn’t care. But then along comes social, and now boy do they care!

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Silos eh! Nothing is connected together!

I have also changed in that time. I have moved from a creative agency to a digital consultancy and now  find myself working more and more with said Enterprise. And I love it.

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But what is an Enterprise? Wikipedia defines it as:

A business
A company
Entrepreneurship, the practice of starting new organizations, particularly new businesses

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Why defining your company’s Digital Brand Experience Strategy is key to creating brand advocates online

We are hard wired by evolution to see structure in everything. We look for understanding and empathy everywhere: we see faces in clouds, in burnt toast, in rice pudding, we look for the friendly face in the crowd and we gravitate to empathic people. And thus when we are online we prefer companies whose websites show humanity, forgive our errors and have personality over the more generic ones. In short, we want our digital brand’s interfaces to mimic human to human interactions. Therefore it is key that your customers can see the face of your brand in your website interfaces and can hear its voice in the copy, and that that face and voice is on-brand (i.e. coherent with your offline brand if you have one) and one of meaning and purpose.

From recent work with our clients we know how crucial it is to understand what your current brand experience is (across all touch points) and why it is so important to build a cohesive strategy in order to compete in the digital economy.

Below I detail how and why you need to create a Digital Brand Experience Strategy.

First of all, what is the Digital Brand Experience?

The Digital Brand Experience is the feelings and thoughts generated by an interaction with a brand’s digital interfaces across multiple digital marketing channels and touch-points with the purpose of creating a lasting relationship between the company and the customer across the entire Customer Decision Journey.

Digital interfaces must be on-brand in order for a customer to have the correct experience (feelings and thoughts when interacting with the brand across digital touch-points) and then execute the correct actions. This experience must be unique to the brand and coherent across all channels and platforms.

Before a coherent digital brand experience can be achieved the ‘experience’ must be defined, and once defined then implemented through the design of the interactions which make up the interfaces.

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A Brave New Social World: the social business and humanising the organisation

‘We’re going through a revolution in the way people communicate. I think it’s the most significant revolution in communications since the invention of the printing press.’  David Meerman Scott – The New Rules of Marketing & PR 

What is this revolution and where is it happening? The revolution is the hyper connectivity that surrounds you, your colleagues, your friends and your family – and which is infiltrating your company from the inside out. The revolution is also the humanising pressure social technologies are having on organisations.

The humanisation of the organisation is the key concept in relation to the future of its internal and external social ecosystem. It will be the decade’s key business battle ground – ‘become human and connect at every level with both employees and consumers or die’ will be the rallying cry. In fact, the ability to be human and on brand in B2C, B2B and B2E relationships will be the differentiator as consumer power and employee flux increase – and what is now termed the Social Business (or Enterprise 2.0) is one model of how to meet this brave new social world.

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The Story of Digital Commerce in 8 Parts

So, you are a large enterprise and you have a brand into which you have poured large amounts of resources and effort in order to create a recognisable and memorable and consistent brand experience. And then along comes the Digital Strategists like me talking of interface, on-brand digital interactions brand experience strategies and the like. But to you that is all gobbledygook – the internet is very simple you say– it is no different to out of home, tv, radio etc. It is a broadcast channel and therefore what is good for tv is good for Internet (with a little repurposing of course). Voila! Job done. Knock off early and down the pub for a pie and a pint! That’s the most revolutionary interactive invention in the history of mankind sorted then. Easy this digital stuff – what’s all the fuss about you ask?

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Viva La Revolucion Digital!

A while back I  chaired AdTech London and I got very excited about the great case studies that were presented over the 2 days. We had some very clever people and some very successful brands from the UK and abroad come and share their ideas about the future of digital and show some good old digital best practice. And it was great to see digital in practice. By necessity due to the amazing pace of change there is a lot of theory in Digital I find. What we need more of is practice in my opinion because without it we are fumbling about in a digital darkness. Less concept, more proof of concept, so to speak.

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