Quick! Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I ask you these two questions:
What was the worst experience you had last week?
What was the best? It’s ok. I’ll wait.
I’ll keep waiting.
Don’t feel bad. It’s how our brains are wired. Bad things, like a sabertoothed tiger, could be dangerous, even fatal. It was in our best interest to remember bad things and bad places so they didn’t jump out and eat you. Good experiences are nice and all that but were not nearly as important as a poisonous plant or attacking animal. Technology might have advanced but the way our systems function, at their base level, has not.
We have an uphill battle. We have to try and be more memorable than a sabertoothed tiger. Creating a good experience won’t get you remembered. Unless you are creating something people really need or are able to charge crazy low prices, a good experience won’t be enough to bring people back to you. What you want to create is an experience that is much more than good, you want to be memorable, fun, awesome, kick-ass or delightful.
Take these Garlic & Parmesan Smashers fron Next Door. It’s a simple roasted potato, right? Wrong! It is the most delicious potato I have ever eaten and enough to lure me back downtown, where it is not easy to park, just so I can have these potatoes. In fact, I love when people ask for meetings downtown so I can sneak into Union Station and eat all the carbs and fat I need for an entire week. This is a great example of taking something easy to overlook and elevate it to something…delightful.
Experiences begin the minute they become aware of us
Design thinking helps us create solutions for real users because it reminds us that there are real people on the other end of our products. I think this is one area where my extensive restaurant background helps. I’ve understood since I was 14 that the customers experience begins when they call to make a reservation and ends with the presentation of the check or car valet and that EVERYTHING in between has to support that.
Digital experiences are no different. From the loading screen to the success of a transaction, everything has to make sense to the real person on the other end. In fact, it should be something they don’t have to think about at all.
We achieve this by starting with the problem and then finding many possible solutions, refining those, testing, looking at our data and then starting the process over again.
It’s All About the User Experience
“You are not your user.” This was drilled into our heads from the first day or User Centered Design class. It turns out to be true.
The solution that seems perfectly clear to me may be clear to absolutely no one else. UX is a great time to set my ego aside and research, design, test-repeat. It’s frustrating when the first idea doesn’t work but so gratifying when you get it right and see people enjoy the product.
Because I LOVE data.
years inCustomer Service
20 years of waitressing + Retail jobs and 5 years of incoming sales/receptionist jobs.
hrs of Theater and Film Study
Creating experiences in person and in film.
Per year, so far. I believe in giving back and try to do it by teaching kids how to tell their stories digitally.
Cups of Tea
Per year…and that’s a conservative estimate.
Want to talk more or just geek out over…anything?
Get in touch.