Much has been written in the past decade about the importance of usability and the user experience to customers’ perception of an organization’s brand. Jared Spool’s 1996 article “Branding and Usability” correctly identifies the importance of Web site usability to brand experience and provides evidence that a positive user experience has a direct correlation to positive brand perception. More recently, authors such as Dirk Knemeyer have expanded on this theme.
recognizing that both online and offline customer experiences contribute to brand image
highlighting the importance of consistency between the customer experience across all touch-points
working from the premise that an organization engages in a broad, complex set of interactions with its customers, of which the brand experience portrayed through its Web sites is only one
acknowledging the fact that brand is inherently something we can only influence, not control
The key to creating brand loyalty is developing a consistent and salient brand perception through the association of specific emotional experiences with a product or service. A classic example of this is the emotion of wonder and happiness people associate with The Walt Disney Company’s films and theme parks. By crafting amazing experiences for the people who enjoy their products, Disney has created such a favorable association, leading consumers to feel they can trust the brand and know what kind of experience to expect from a visit to a park, hotel, or movie theater. People can appreciate their intense focus on the user experience, whether watching Mary Poppins, meeting characters like Goofy and Minnie Mouse for the first time as a child, shown in Figure 1, or watching Toy Story characters leap to life in the amazing and spellbinding zoetrope at the California Adventure theme park. Read More
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”—Carl Jung
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”—H. G. Wells
With so many choices as to how we can spend our time in the digital age, attention is becoming the most important currency. In today’s splintered media environment, new digital products and services must compete with everything under the sun, making differentiation key to developing an audience that cares, invests, and ultimately drives value.
What makes a person want to use one particular digital product or service over its competitor? What makes one user experience more engaging, interesting, or compelling than another? An often overlooked, under-appreciated, and rarely measured component of user experience is playfulness. The digital space is conducive to play—exploration, imagination, and learning. And many successful digital products are built for play or incorporate play into their interaction design. No matter how important our jobs, serious our responsibilities, or stiff our personalities, all people need to play—whether we admit it or not. Is the boss looking? Read More