Who are we designing for? What are we designing? What outcomes are we targeting? What are the end-to-end user journeys as boundaries blur between consumers, stores and consumer brands?
How do you approach the messaging and the storytelling, especially given the challenges of channel proliferation? How do you break through the clutter? The first step in every digital strategy is to develop personas that segment the audience and serve as the foundation for customer UX and journey mapping analysis.
The best practice firms start with the user. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, they focus on personas or “one idealized digital user.”
The goal is to think about the prospect, consumer, user as a human being. What matters in his or her life. Why? Because users do not wake up in the morning and think, “I need a new app today,” for example. People wake up in the morning and worry about getting to work, getting kids to school, where to meet friends for dinner, paying your bills and saving for the future.
Understanding the persona and the daily journey is critical in modern experience design. If marketing is going to interrupt you with something that they think is important to you, they have to find a way to tell the user about it so that it resonates with the user. There has to be a benefit to user. There has to be substance. Hence the need for real-world story-telling and context.
What is a digital persona?
Personas are fictional characters used to represent specific segments that interact with the brand across a variety of touchpoints. Personas characterize attitudes, values and behaviors of customer segments, and draw from various inputs to accurately depict the customer. They are helpful in distilling key information into more succinct stories that can be quickly understood. Personas are developed using qualitative research interviews, ethnographic studies – talking to real people about their real needs, motivations and behaviors.
Why is digital persona development important? The new battlefield is the customer journey and its various touchpoints across the lifecycle: AWARENESS → CONSIDERATION → PURCHASE → LOYALTY → ADVOCACY.
Across every industry, consumerization is changing how People they interact with businesses. Traditionally, most businesses have followed the same marketing and sales playbook to generate leads, close sales and provide support to their customers as they did 10-15 years ago. Businesses need a more effective way to humanize the target audience in order attract, engage and delight customers who have access to an abundance of information and an ability to block traditional marketing and sales tactics. To do this, businesses need to deliver an customized experience, which enables them to be more helpful, more relevant and less interruptive to their customers.
I believe an effective way to illustrate how people have transformed the way they consume information, research products and services, make purchasing decisions and share their views. You get a sense of this by reviewing these general personas – Digital Susan, Social Ashley, Introvert Dave, Modern Meghan and Traditional Ted. Read more
Mobile is rapidly expanding opportunities to engage customers and increase stickiness. There is incredible amount of innovation taking place around Mobile Engagement, Messaging and Notification platforms. Messaging + Notifications = New mobile engagement toolsets. New capabilities are emerging to: power push notifications, sophisticated audience targeting, message centers, digital wallet programs, and location analytics.
Notifications are growing rapidly and becoming increasingly interactive. This is driving new touchpoints with messaging platforms and other apps.
Source: Mary Meeker, Internet Trends 2015
Wearables are increasingly become a central part of mobile engagement enabled by push notification strategies. Many retailers, CPG firms are experimenting with new micro-targeted contextual experiences leveraging proximity beacons, push messaging to integrate coupons, recommendations and next best offers into the watch apps to monetize push and in-app messaging.
The Apple Watch, for instance, is a long-term megatrend that we believe will transform user engagement via notifications and alerts. Unlike the tablet, phone or desktop, wearables, like Apple Watch, are built for quick interactions e.g., notifications and alerts.
A study by Kleiner Perkins found the average user checks their phone over 150+ times per day (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc.).In its 2014 annual Internet Trends report, KPCB found that people check their phones, on average, 23 times a day for messaging, 22 times for voice calls, multiple times to see if there are Facebook updates and 18 times to get the time. We expect many of these 150+ “interrupts” are naturally going to migrate to the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch’s small screen size enables a fundamentally new user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). There are new inputs (force as well as touch), subtle vibration, digital “crown” control, new inter-device communication modes, and new data points that phones have never been able to collect (e.g. heartbeat).