As we brainstorm ideas, create products, and build websites we often miss what’s “in-between” – – we miss the “meaning”. We can create beautiful websites, ads, and landing pages, but what does it mean to the user?
Why do they care? Users don’t seek out a website to play with the parallax design, or observe the color scheme used for a chart; they seek out a website to find information, meaning, and find solutions. They’re looking see pictures of their friends, purchase a dress for the big party, or balance their finances and budget for their dream home. It is those meaningful experiences that are adapted and integrated into our users lifestyles. Read More
Let’s cut to the main point: Never solve the problem you’re asked to solve – it’s usually the symptom, not the real problem.
We used to just make websites, but now we’re creating ‘experiences.’ User experience means different things to different people and when questioning any issues, you must ask yourself if this is the real problem, or if this is a symptom.
When attempting to improve the interface for our CreditRepair.com Members’ site we discovered the issues with the site were the symptoms of a larger problem. It wasn’t the colors or the design it was the overall experience we were offering; The disconnect between what the user expected and what we offered. We have a vision for CreditRepair.com, but that vision wasn’t being represented or experienced. Read More
You can ask the right questions, and get the right answers, but often what a website user says and what they actually do are two different things. The only way to get the real answers is to see them for yourself. Usability testing is becoming more common when launching new websites, redesigns, or mobile apps, and getting those answers early in the process can be critical to the success and performance of your website or application. Read More
The usual conference for me consists of website design, usability, and user experience, but this past week I attended a wild-card conference, that focused on branding. Taking on the task of creating and writing Style & Brand Guidelines for CreditRepair.com, this last quarter, gave me a new perspective on Brand and why we do what we do. It’s been a swift realization that Brand has nothing to do with colors, logos, terminology and tag-lines; it’s about emotion, experience, and stories. Here are a couple of highlights I pulled from the many presenters at Brand ManageCamp 2013.
1. No One Cares About Your Logo, They Care About The Experience
Take the Ritz-Carlton: A family goes on vacation to the resort. After returning home they discover they’ve left behind their son’s favorite, most prized possession… Joshie, the stuffed Giraffe. Dad does what most parents would do, lie, and say that Joshie is taking an “extended vacation” at the resort. Read More
While on a quick 36 hour trip to Boston for UXPA, I found myself sitting in the sub-zero Conference Center violently nodding in agreement as Jared M. Spool enlightened me on “Experience Rot.” I’ve known the problem, but never the term; Experience Rot are all those unnecessary features, tools, and added complexity on a website killing the experience for your users.
As we build and optimize websites I think we start with good intentions; trying to innovate, creatively design, and engage our users in a noteworthy experience, but as more features and content appear, the higher chance a user is to become frustrated and void of the experience they’re actually searching for.
As a general example: You release version 1 of a website, tool, or feature; it’s clean, simple, and contains only the necessities. Then you go back – adding features, pages, content, and [sometimes] junk with each new release. Before you know it, 50 new features have been added but only 3 of them add value to the user experience, the rest are damaging it.
Building a Winning UX: Jared Spool. UXPA Boston 2013
Jared Spool’s advice to avoid Experience Rot: Read More
I’ve been in the interviews, I’ve listened to the calls, and I’ve read the emails… Our members believe we can help them… and so do I.
We are marketers – we sing our own praise. Go to our sites, call our centers, listen to our ads, or read our material; we’ll tell you how great we are, and as a potential customer, that is exactly what you were expecting. Customers know and expect to be persuaded, but what pushes them from undecided into a paying client may often come down to that 3rd party word-of-mouth.
“Design that does not serve people, does not serve business” – Jeffery Zeldman
I walked away from the “An Event Apart” conference in Boston with a bigger picture of website design and content. There is of course a long way for me to go – but I caught on to a big theme which can be summed up in two words: “Content First.”
Our SMS text message campaigns have always done well, but it’s only been the last couple of months that I’ve realized how valuable that particular medium is. SMS messages give you the ability to contact your leads immediately and effectively.
I live and work to travel – and when you’re 24 and single, it’s ok to have that be your #1 priority, right? I recently got back from Thailand and it not only met, but exceeded any expectation I had for it. Read More
Anyone who ever had a good idea had to commit to that idea to gain success. We should be thinking the same way. How are we gaining success in our careers? Are we committed? Are we present?