Experience. Experience is so important, I believe that it is also under valued. It is talked about I’m sure, but not really considered as carefully as it should be, or deserves. My definition of experience is closer to what Wikipedia calls User Experience (UX), it states that experience –
Is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service…experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.
Experience design, or designing a good, useful, considered, common sense experience should be at the core of most things. For example, the shopping mall experience, let me break it down for you. Imagine this you arrive at the mall to find a car parks that are cleverly spaced apart, it gives you sufficient room to open and close your car doors and boot-space. You find that all the entrances to the mall are close to parks and are well marked, hell, perhaps there is even a mobile app developed by the mall developers / owners that shows you where you have parked and where the shops are situated that you have planned to visit. You enter the mall to find that the climate is carefully monitored and controlled in relation to the outside temperature. The lighting in the Mall is also well considered, it is very natural and is easy on the eyes. The restrooms have a generous space for mothers and parents to change and feed children. There are plenty of big comfortable seating strategically placed so that husbands, and fathers can be comfortable while waiting for their partners. You get the picture that I’m trying to painting. Build brilliant experiences.
Let me try and tie this into mobile and social context. A New Zealand Herald article supported by research from PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that Kiwi’s are tipped to spend up to $2.7 billion dollars online over the next 12 – 24 months. The article goes on to say that online shopping via mobile devices is also on the rise in New Zealand “mobile shopping has been one of the key drivers of online retail sales in the last 12 months and will continue to drive sales in the next year”. The same article stated that “more than a third of the 200 consumers surveyed were using a smartphone or a tablet to buy online; a similar number followed an online shopping site on Facebook”. Not only are people in New Zealand buying more online using their mobile devices, but they are also using their mobile devices and social media apps/ tools to follow and interact with brands that they are loyal to or have an interest in. To me that sounds like a huge opportunity. What kind of experience will prospects and customers have? Is your organisation ready to make the most of this opportunity? Do you have a website optimised for mobile devices / users and an effective social media strategy?
A recent Mashable article also states a way to grow business online is for your business, brand, or organisation to have a mobile friendly website. A mobile friendly website means that ” your customers can access information on the go, wherever they may be. It also means they’ll be more likely to share your site with friends, since they’ll be able to pull it up and show it to others, even when not at a computer.” Too many sites are not mobile friendly, those experiences to put it frankly suck.
Experience needs to be carefully planned out and designed to meet the needs, tasks, and requirements of your consumers / users. Great experiences build relationships by bringing brands and consumers closer together, they make consumers feel valued, considered, and will engender loyalty. Develop authentic real and engaging experiences.