Thursday, 14 February 2013

putting the you in ux

last week i went to an #ogilvychange talk in the very snazzy ogilvy offices in canary wharf. rory sutherland hosted the evening to promote matt watkinson's new book, the ten principles behind great customer experiences. this is a summary of some of the points that were discussed.

principles not processes
with business and purchase decisions being emotionally driven, we need to rely on using psychological principles to make decisions about the customer. matt readily admits that the principles are obvious but that they are abundant by their absence. a lot of emphasis is currently put on authenticity and meaning within brands but i believe it's as manageable as making people aware of why you're asking for a certain action, this clarity is really what leads to good will and participation.

ux's part in the customer journey
the customer journey is more extensive than we imagine and provides many more opportunities for brands to be helpful to their customers than the straight forward service they promote. that said, if customer experience is so important why isn't it better? why is it so difficult to make it better? matt believes it falls upon companies to set their customer expectations and to then meet them. by examining what distractions your customers are experiencing you can map out a more streamlined route for them to take - ux should be effortless and stress free.

the objective and the super objective
if your brand is the answer, what is the question? to fully explore this it's interesting to look at the difference between the somewhat obvious objective and then to delve deeper into the super objective that may not necessarily have been thought of by the customer when they set out to fulfil their primary objective. this was illustrated by matt by looking at photography. the objective would be: take a photo. this is solved by a brand such as kodak. however, if we push this a step further to the super objective: share experiences and the way we see the world with others, the real solution would be brands such as instagram and tumblr.

sensory indulgence
according to matt, "great customer experience should indulge the senses" and he demonstrated this with the satisfaction in the textures that come with unboxing the leica. another great example of this, as cited by adam powers, is the little bit of resistance and puff of air that comes when you open an apple product. these relatively minor considerations do a great deal to add to the customer experience of the product and subsequently their perceived image of the brand.

great expectations
the implications for managing people's expectations are really far reaching and vary greatly between brands. as matt pointed out, there are a different set of expectations on apple than there are on android. harking back to a recent blog post by james caig, john lewis don't exceed expectations but you know what you're going to get. people want what they know - they don't want the best burger, they want a burger just like the burger they had the last time.

many other points were raised in the q&a and it made for a really engaging talk. i only wish i'd been able to stay longer. along with matt's book i also managed to pick up a copy of this handy dandy #ogilvychange book, which is beautifully designed and offers interesting insights into behavioural science practice from a range of the best behavioural economics books out there. snap one up at the next #ogilvychange talk.