Dear Steve

We all know how awesome Steve Jobs was. I could not write any better or tell you any that has not already been said about him. He was super-cool, a visionary, creative genuis, hard-worker, and business thinker. I have found a few things from around the web tha he has said or has had a hand in that I think are cool. Every thing he did was classy, Pixar and especially Apple. I am a beliver and disciple of the Apple design approach which can only be described as functional beauty. Minimal with maximum user focus, natural useable design. Clean and uncluttered. Perfect (in my heavily biased view). So to Steve – thanks man.

Steve Jobs on design –

“In most people’s vocabularies, design means veneer. It’s interior decorating. It’s the fabric of the curtains of the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

The following is from his famous and well quoted Stanford Commencement Speech to the graduating class of 2005 – he put’s things so well here, it’s beautiful, real gold. The best damn advice that I have heard.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Innovation

”Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Finally, this one’s quite apt.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful–that’s what matters.”

Mission accomplished.

Focus on the user experience

Although I post the video some time ago, the message is still relevant. Focus on the end user experience. Let me give that some context.

Innovation is a key to growth and to the development of a competitive advantage that can help your organisation rise above other competitors and those offering similar products or experiences. This is especially true in these ‘tight times’ when many organisations are competing for your hard earned cash, those extra dollars, discretionary fund (big or small) that you have available for (in this case) entertainment and other things.

There are many ways that an organisation can innovate, or in other words develop strategies that will allow for innovation. An organisation can choose to innovate around their product or service, innovate with their marketing approach, and also innovate in the distribution process. One area that I think can provide some easy wins is innovation around the user experience.

What is user experience; well to me user experience is about designing the product or services around the needs and requirements of a user. This will require an organisation to really consider how their product or service will be experienced by your user and making it awesome. To do this an organisation must commit to a process of meaningful customer research to gain an intimate understanding of what makes their users or customer’s tick. HINT –  never assume, ask some questions, spend some time, uncover the real trends and motivators. By understanding the real user or customer experience you will develop products and services that are really meaningful to them, and they will sing your praises to their friends and family, hopefully in a viral social way.

Recently my wife and I went to the new Hoyts Cinema in Te Awa at the Base on the out skirts of Hamilton, New Zealand. The experience was awesome. Mind blowing. The whole experience was seamless and exciting, to me it was close to perfect. From the serve your self food bar, to the wall of screens showing previews on the way in, the huge comfortable seats, the massive screen (really…its huge), and finally the booming sound system. It was an experience, a customer / end user focused experience. Well done.

Developing a mobile experience

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.

Word.

It’s a Social, Social World

Video. Social media guru’s from big business get together to discuss where things are heading and the impact of social media and mobile.

  • 1.6 Billion Mobile phones sold will be sold this year.
  • We are now hyper-connected, mobile makes this easier.
  • A guy who has and uses 12 mobile devices at one time (to understand the user experience).
  • Social media the most influential tool in journalism than the printing press.
  • Social media can help amplify the voices of those who are not being heard.
  • How to harness the power and value of social networks to help solve social issues.
  • User created content

See the link below. Word.

http://fora.tv/2011/07/01/Knowledge_Exchange_Its_a_Social_Social_World

Hyperfactory – Mobile Marketing Masters

I tend to listen carefully to the things that Derek Handley talks about, he is the CEO of Hyperfactory the world’s number one mobile marketing agency, as they say on their web site –

WE ARE THE HYPERFACTORY. WE POWER BUSINESSES AND BRANDS. THROUGH THE MOBILE MEDIUM. WITH US YOU GET THE BEST OF. BOTH WORLDS: AGENCY & TECHNOLOGY

He’s the latest video fro Derek, word –