Five preconditions for action
- Cue: Something needs to cue them to think about it. The possibility of going running needs to somehow cross their mind. Maybe a push notification, an SMS invite from a friend, or an ad on TV.
- Reaction: Once cued, the mind will automatically react to the idea, intuitively and emotionally. What do your users think about running? For some, it’s great; for others it’s new and strange. Others still might be embarrassed about being out of shape.
- Evaluation. With conscious awareness, the mind will do a quick cost-benefit analysis. How hard will it be to do, what’s the value for them, what else could they do with their time, etc.? For some people, running is a net negative (maybe it aggravates a knee condition) and for others, it’s great.
- Ability. The person must actually be able to act and know it. The person must know logistically what to do, and have the resources and self-confidence to do it. Some users may not have running shoes, for others it’s raining outside: they can’t run even though they wanted to.
- Timing. The person needs to have a reason to act now, rather than doing something else that’s more urgent. Maybe the user wants to run, but is busy watching TV and procrastinates.
When arguing a case to make a website mobile-friendly, abundant evidence exists to present to the business owner, such as the Pew Research study that shows that 56% of US adults carry around a smartphone. However, while general statistics are useful for demonstrating the value of designing with mobile in mind, they don’t provide the guidance necessary to understand precisely how users will interact with a particular brand on their phone.
Frequently, design and development teams will be asked to redesign a dated website to be responsive. Looking at existing data would provide crucial insight into how best to present information to mobile users. Google Analytics offers a number of free features for incredibly detailed analysis of mobile activity, with the ability to easily compare to desktop activity.
If you haven’t yet installed Google Analytics, setting it up is easy. Just create a free account, and then Google will walk you through the process. You’ll need to place a tracking code in your page before you can start to collect the sort of data that we’ll review in this article.
It seems to be a truism that businesses need to get social, but what does that mean? Sites today are littered with buttons to facilitate users sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and a host of other sites. Similarly, many companies also have their own accounts on various social networking sites and do all they can to get likes and followers for the content that they post there.
While these approaches can be an integral part of an overall customer experience strategy, it’s important to consider the wisdom in surrendering the majority of social interactions to third party sites. There is an alternative. Fostering communities within the walls of a businesses website can pay tremendous dividends and be one of the most impactful dimensions of the overall user experience. Commercial websites that cultivate a community within their user experience can develop relationships with consumers that go beyond the transactional and reach into the realm of emotion and identity—far more powerful and compelling levels of interaction.
This article shares four case studies of websites leveraging the power of communities to positively impact user experience. From stickiness and user feedback to tech support and improving the efficacy of calls to action, developing digital communities can offer tremendous benefits beyond just the brand awareness gained through a Twitter account or Facebook page. There are, of course, potential pitfalls and best practices for those interested in pursuing this strategy so we’ll take a look at those as well.
“Some product teams that lack the ability or the will to collaborate attempt to align themselves around design deliverables—whether wireframes, mockups, or UX design specifications,” answers Pabini. “In such cases, product teams are likely bypassing envisioning and ideation altogether, which is when collaboration should primarily occur. As a consequence, they are unlikely to achieve true alignment, which assumes team members’ having a mutual understanding of both product requirements and users’ needs. This often happens in immature product-development organizations that do not allow sufficient time for planning, requirements definition, or design and, as a consequence, do not make essential decisions until it is too late in a product development cycle to realize them. Such teams often sacrifice quality and slip their schedules.
“Over-relying on wireframes in this way is also antithetical to agile or lean development—both of which rightly discourage throwing deliverables over the walls that sometimes exist between disciplines and instead call for a collaborative approach. Collaborative, multidisciplinary teamsalways produce the best results. In fact, this type of team is absolutely essential for innovation.
As UX professionals, we need to engage in human-centered problem solving on a daily basis. The most effective UX designers function as catalysts within organizations that are attempting to solve problems or build things. Devising solutions requires systems thinking. UX professionals must balance the technical aspects of building products and their relationships with developers with the needs of the business and their collaborations with product managers, while ensuring that design, aesthetics, and usability get adequate consideration and are not underserved by any involved parties, including clients.
User experience is becoming an established business practice for any successful company that makes things for human beings. (I know that is broad.) And technology companies—especially software development companies—are at the head of the curve in realizing that creating great user experiences is becoming a necessity, not just a luxury. Companies like Apple, Samsung, Yahoo!, and Google have large, well-funded User Experience departments. The design of better user experiences has contributed to the improvement of computing platforms, including operating systems, applications, and Web sites. More recently, social media have highlighted the importance of great user experiences at companies like Instagram, Path, and Paper.
Matt: We rewrite or refactor about 10 to 15% of WordPress in most releases, so that we can keep users getting updates and new features quickly, while doing the “ground up rebuild” incrementally in the background, fixing bugs and getting feedback as we go. Sometimes old functions hang out for a while, as you noted with
deprecated.php. That’s because we try to be good about backwards-compatibility, so that people can upgrade to the latest version without worry.
Tell Mark Zuckerberg and His Friends to Save the Internet
Think about how much we rely on companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Yahoo. Just like us, these companies will suffer in a world without Net Neutrality.
We know that Comcast and Verizon have been making Netflix videos harder to download. Google (which owns YouTube) could face the same treatment. We’re entering a world where all of us will find it harder and harder to get the information we need.
This means that the messages we send to our families and friends might not go through. The videos we want to watch might not load. The apps we want to use might not function. And the Internet we love is in danger of being destroyed.
No one (except AT&T, Verizon and all those other greedy Internet service providers) wants this kind of world. So we need to work together to bring Net Neutrality back.
Tell the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix and Yahoo to urge the FCC to reclassify broadband and save the Internet: http://act.freepress.net/sign/internet_nn_ceo/
It happens like clockwork. A client signs on to the idea of creating a blog, investing in a content marketing campaign, starting a new social media program or rewriting the bulk of their website and a look of panic begins to overtake their body. It’s not panic over what they’re going to write. They know how to use content marketing tools to identify that (or that we’ll do it for them). They’re worried about how they should say it.
It’s an insecurity about their voice.
Before content was given respect and before social media gave brands a microphone, it was easier to hide behind a generic brand voice. But today, that simply doesn’t fly. You need a strong, branded voice to assert yourself in a crowded market, to get attention and to tie people to your brand.
But how do you create one?
Below you’ll find a short list of the questions we use to help our clients find the right voice to attract and sell to clients.
1. Who is your audience?
Are they male or female? Are they conservative or do they like to push the boundaries? What type of language do they use on social media, in support emails to your team or during in-store face-to-face conversations? Who do they value and look up to? What are they looking for?
Or, here’s a simpler question: If your customer was asked to explain your product or service to a third-party, what would he or she say? What words would they use? What attitude would they take?
It’s tempting to look inward when deciding on your voice but I always prefer to start by looking out. Your customers, their comfort levels and the things they want in you will help you decide upon the voice you need to take to get their attention. Collect a good profile.
It goes without saying that social media plays a prominent role in the business world. Nearly every company, large or small, interacts with its consumers via Facebook or Twitter. However, the impact of social media on businesses expands far beyond the company Facebook page. Social media also plays a critical role in the big data and sales strategy of each company.
In what ways does social media greatly impact Big Data?
Big Data is a term referring to the entire databank of information that companies gather concerning their business activity. Various data points can then be associated and connected to enable executives and marketing experts to accurately analyze data. Primary to the success of big data analysis is increasing the number of data points in order to uncover new insights about the consumer.
Every interaction on social media— searching, clicking, liking, sharing and commenting on specific items of Web content— creates a new data point companies can utilize. Of course, with the great popularity of social media sites and networks among global consumers today, the amount of user information each network gathers each day is immense. The constant input of data by social media enthusiasts is a great resource for companies’ Big Data bases, providing a goldmine of leads on consumer preferences, spending habits and other relevant personal information.
In other words, big data and social media work together in a mutually beneficial loop. Social media interaction provides data that companies can analyze with big data technology, which provides insights on how to improve interactions with the consumer on social media.
What major influences does social media have on sales?
Sales teams have been collecting and analyzing data on their customers for years. All types of collectable data concerning customers and potential clients or leads for a company can be extremely revealing in terms of current and projected consumer preferences and buying habits. This data is crucial for designing future product and service advertising, promotion and marketing for companies.
Some consumer data has obvious relevance to the manner in which people spend financial resources to acquire favored products or services, such as popular product models and purchasing trends. Additional information about consumers that may seem mundane or irrelevant may actually be of great assistance to marketing experts when planning future advertising and promotional campaigns. For example, likes and dislikes of potential customers concerning products different from those now sold by a company can provide valuable insights for future plans for new product designs and releases.
In today’s complex digital business operations, social media has a profound influence on Big Data and CRM. By incorporating social media use and its vast consumer data-providing capabilities in your company’s major data compilations and CRM, you will undoubtedly experience greater success and profitability.