TechTalk - The UX Edition


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The UX Edition of GfK echTalk, looks at Switching your Digital Ecosystem, Discoverability, Gamification, the future for recommendation models and much more.

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TechTalk - The UX Edition

  1. 1. TechTalk Contents 04 3-2011 Trends Opinion 04 Switching your digital ecosystem: a painful 22 Charlie bit me: how can brands create viral process? marketing materials? 12 Discoverability drives choice, adoption and 28 Where next for word of mouth? loyalty in the digital market 32 Loyalty in telecoms across the generations 16 Turning UX into hard metrics: the crucial role of User Experience (UX) 40 Your mum wants to be your friend: accept or reject? 18 Gamification: when brands get playful to engage with customers 48 Analysis: what gives our qualitative research the X factor 36 Is the end in sight for the personal navigation device? It depends how good the zoom is on your smartphone’s camera Inside GfK 44 Consumerization of IT resources: brings 52 Keeping you up to date with headaches for business the latest news from GfK 23 17 13 Editorial Welcome to our latest edition of TechTalk, our magazine that provides their business planning. The ever diverse range of topics in TechTalk your consumers perspectives on hot topics in technology research. For from gamification and viral marketing through to consumerisation this edition we are taking a close look at the User Experience, an area of IT resources reflects the exciting nature of our category and the that is rapidly becoming a key driver for customer retention as our discussions we are having with our clients. We welcome continuing main story explores. conversations so do reach out if you want to explore any of these topics further. Our research of over 4,000 smartphone users across nine markets discusses the way in which simplicity, integration and access are key Happy reading! parts of the user experience on which brands will increasingly need to focus in order to drive business. New areas of the user experience such as Discoverability are also taking centre stage; how do you Anette Bendzko encourage consumers to explore their technology and discover new Global Head of GfK Business & Technology digital experiences? Our research on turning UX into a hard ‘currency’ Tel: +1 847 371 1585 also discusses the way in which brands can really integrate this into Email: anette.bendzko@gfk.com02 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 03
  2. 2. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems swITchInG yoUr dIGITal EcosysTEm: a paInfUl procEss? By Richard Preedy & Ryan Garner Switching between smartphones (differentiated by their OS e.g. Android) is becoming increasingly difficult for consumers. When benchmarked against everyday services and utilities, consumers worry more about having to switch the type of smartphone they own than their insurance, home telephone or pay TV providers. Simpler, integrated user experiences are playing a huge role in driving this aversion to switching. These user experiences are no longer just device-specific, but relate to the wider ecosystem of digital content and devices. Easy access to content across numerous devices is driving higher There is no doubt that the use of connected devices (devices levels of loyalty to content ecosystems, leading consumers to that are connected to the internet such as smartphones, tablets, believe that switching their digital life to an alternative provider laptops and now TV sets) is changing consumer behavior. The is a difficult chore. For some (Apple iPhone & iPad owners in availability of apps and digital content has been extremely particular) the thought of switching is considered as difficult as important for the explosive growth of smartphones: almost moving bank accounts. It follows that digital providers that create every third mobile phone (29%) sold in 2011 worldwide is a harmonious user experiences across their digital ecosystems will smartphone (source GfK Retail and Technology data). But a be able to increase consumer loyalty. GfK’s research examined more subtle area, and one with growing importance, is the some of the key areas of smartphone user experiences and their user experience on these connected devices. While consumers impact on switching behavior. become used to increasingly intuitive and seamless interactions with the interfaces on their smartphones - as the connected04 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 05
  3. 3. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems GfK has contended before that content and services drive appeal and loyalty to smartphone providers. The data overall each of the three core areas above shows that those more engaged – i.e. use more of the user experience; simplicity, services on their smartphone – are more likely to state their future loyalty to their current smartphone type. The integration and access have similar data in the figure two shows that the tipping point for this levels of importance; however there are uplift in loyalty is at 7 or more services. some interesting country differences. There are some interesting country differences too, European countries (the UK, Germany, France, Spain and consumers in western mature countries Italy) use fewer services on their smartphones compared place greater emphasis on simplicity to non-European consumers in the US, China, Brazil and than integration and access to services. Japan. Consumers in the US are the most likely (61% of all US smartphone users) to use 7 or more services followed In contrast, chinese consumers place closely by China (56%) and Brazil (53%). This high level greater importance on the ‘access’ of service usage on smartphones has implications for the of content with 92% of consumers user experience. The research uncovers three core areas of the connected device user experience that impact service stressing the need to access content usage and loyalty. These are outlined in more detail below: across all devices. Simplicity Figure one: Perceived difficulty in switching providers (% of rankings). Over the years, smartphones have become infinitely easier to use which has empowered consumers to use more advanced features and to do more with their phone. Nokia, the early pioneer of advanced mobile phones, devices become more complex and advanced beneath the released the first mobile phone with a WAP browser Loyalty to Smartphone Type surface - consumer behavior is being impacted in new and in 1999 - the 7110. However, back then browsing the fascinating ways. internet on a PC was a cumbersome experience and 75% trying to access small bits of web-based information on GfK recently conducted research among smartphone % stated loyalty to smartphone type a mobile phone was never going to be a simple process, owners in nine countries around the world; Brazil, China, without even thinking about creating “enjoyable” user 70% France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US. experiences. We examined some of the key areas of a smartphones user experience and its impact on switching behavior. 65% Since then, user experiences have gone beyond the There are inevitable differences between the countries functional and have been refined to a level that add due to their varying levels of digital and technological an element of “intimacy” and “discoverability” which 60% development. Despite this, there are universal trends such creates new and fun experiences for the end user. We’re as: the more mobile services that consumers use, the now at a stage where new mobile device technologies less likely they are to switch their smartphone type in the 55% software and advances in mobile networks have made future (See data in figure one). 50% 1-2 Services 3-4 Services 5-6 Services 7-8 Services 9+ Services Number of services used on smartphone Figure two: Loyalty to smartphone type06 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 07
  4. 4. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems Integration consumers who are building a library As smartphones become more advanced, creating a smooth user experience becomes a more complex task. of media and content are demanding In order to make the most out of the wide-ranging access to their digital life regardless of capabilities of smartphones, the functions, features and the device they are using. services need to work in harmony. (Having the option to immediately post a photograph you’ve just taken with your phone to Facebook is a good example of this almost three in four smartphone owners harmonization). (72%) believe it is important to be able to access the same content (music, A significant proportion of smartphone owners (71%) Consumers who are building a library of media and now believe that the various features, services and videos, books, apps, etc.) on any internet “There are some interesting country content are demanding access to their digital life apps on their phone work seamlessly with each other. regardless of the device they are using. Almost three in enabled devices (smartphones, tablets, Nevertheless, regardless of this high approval rating, the differences too. European countries; the four smartphone owners (72%) believe it is important to pc, TV sets, etc.). proof of well-executed integration and a smooth user UK, Germany, france, spain and Italy use be able to access the same content (music, videos, books, experience is found in the usage patterns of consumers. fewer services on their smartphones apps, etc.) on any internet enabled devices (smartphones, By examining our data more closely, we find that those tablets, PC, TV sets, etc.). As one would expect, this who use more services on their smartphones believe that compared to non-European consumers becomes even more important among those who own a the services and features offered are much more tightly in the Us, china, Brazil and Japan. tablet as well as a smartphone and PC – 80% of this sub- integrated. Furthermore, those who use more services on group agree. Cloud-based services are being rolled out by their phones are more likely to consider staying loyal to many service providers to offer solutions to consumers’ their current smartphone type. Well executed service and consumers in the Us are the most likely content ‘access’ user experience needs. hardware integration are therefore having a positive effect (61% of all Us smartphone users) to use on consumer loyalty. 7 or more services followed closely by Overall each of the three core areas of the user internet-enabled applications commonplace among most china (56%) and Brazil (53%)” experience; simplicity, integration and access have Tighter integration of services also allows for more similar levels of importance; however there are some smartphone owners and a key driver of handset selection. intelligent use of customer usage and purchase data. interesting country differences. Consumers in western A growing number of people are finding a smartphone Companies that exploit ‘Smart Data’ will effectively yield mature countries (particularly France, Germany, Italy, solution that they are comfortable with. Consequently, greater results in engaging consumers with their service Spain and the UK) place greater emphasis on simplicity almost three in four (72%) smartphone owners state that or brand. Recommendation engines are a prime example rather than the integration and access (from the cloud) they find it easy to access applications and navigate the of this: these services provide new product or service Access to services. For example German consumers find their menu system on their phone. These subtle refinements of recommendations to the end-user by analyzing past Many consumers who have owned a connected device smartphones easy to use (84%) and place less importance the user experience have become immensely important to usage and purchase data. This intelligent use of customer are likely to have a varied collection of digital media, on accessing content on numerous devices via the cloud the consumer. Our research shows that disrupting this set- data adds greater relevance and discoverability which, if including music, videos, books, magazines and apps. This (64%). In contrast, Chinese consumers place greater up, (i.e. moving from a smartphone set-up that is known executed well, can heighten the user experience. new ‘digital life’- where the consumer has invested time importance on the ‘access’ of content with a huge 92% by the consumer to a new unknown one), has become a huge barrier to switching their smartphone type or digital and money collecting digital content - inevitably brings of consumers stressing the need to access content across ecosystem. new usability demands. all devices. This finding aligns with the ‘Cloud’ research08 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 09
  5. 5. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems The biggest barriers to switching smartphone types were related to user experience: »» 33% disrupting your current smartphone set-up (i.e. the apps and features I use) »» 29% having to learn how to use another type of smartphone »» 28% having to move your content (music, video, books, apps, etc.) from one type of smartphone to another we conducted in the enterprise market, where emerging However, GfK’s recent research examined barriers to losing the user experience benefits that come with it. This localized service provision. The opportunity in these markets markets like China were leading the way in their attitudes switching smartphone types. The list included brand and also impacts on the consumers’ perception of how difficult will inevitably lead to digital ecosystems developed by local and usage towards cloud based services. price considerations but the biggest barriers overall were it is to switch smartphone types compared to other providers offering digital platforms that are localized to the related to user experience: services and utilities. needs of eastern consumers. These parallels in the consumer and enterprise markets Overall and perhaps unsurprisingly, switching bank demonstrate the thirst for advanced technology in »» 33% disrupting your current smartphone set-up account is perceived to be the most difficult service to Regardless of provider, this cross-device accessibility of content emerging markets and their willingness to skip a (i.e. the apps and features I use) switch out of the list of services/utilities provided. When is (to some) of great benefit to consumers. It will encourage generation of technological infrastructure i.e. in the »» 29% having to learn how to use another type of we isolate those consumers with both a smartphone and them to invest more in their digital life and enable them to do consumer market skipping the desktop computer smartphone tablet with the same Operating System, the smartphone and discover more. Those smartphone providers that create generation means consumers have little local storage becomes the most difficult service to switch. harmonious user experiences will be able to increase consumer »» 28% having to move your content (music, video, (desktop/laptops have more storage space than mobile) books, apps, etc.) from one type of smartphone to loyalty to their digital ecosystems as consumers find it more and are relying on access to content in the cloud. In another This finding shows the importance of the device portfolio trouble than it’s worth to switch manufacturers/ecosystems Japan, technology (especially mobile technology) is highly in a service provider’s ecosystem, such as Apple’s. Apple when they have found a system that works for them. advanced and culturally customized. Japanese consumers was the first to launch a tablet, and they have since place equal importance across all three user experience The barriers listed above show the importance of the launched iCloud, which synchronizes content and data Brands competing in this space will be able to elevate their dimensions; simplicity (72%), integration (68%) and age-old mindset, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Consumers across devices. Google has taken a similar approach, customers’ switching consideration to a much higher place. access (72%). Japanese consumers are very comfortable become stuck in their ways and those who are satisfied making Android available on tablets as well as on This investment in user experience could yield great results and with the user experience of their connected devices so with their current set-up will be difficult to tempt to a new smartphones. Google’s services have always been internet those in dominant market positions at the moment would much so that the biggest barrier to switching smartphone platform. This mindset has only hardened with the growth based so that users of those services will experience similar be difficult to challenge in terms of capturing market share. type is disrupting their current set-up. This is also one of of connected devices, maturity of technology markets cross-device access to their data. Microsoft are also placing This is a luxury that many of the large high street banks have the biggest barriers globally (as detailed below) but in (Japan) and their rapidly improving user experiences, huge emphasis on their ecosystem of integrated services and experienced for some time. Japan’s case this is a lot more pronounced. especially when managing their digital lives. devices and their latest push into the smartphone sector in So what impact does the user experience have on future 2012, led by their partnership with Nokia, will be an important Source smartphone purchase considerations? Of course, there This is perfectly exemplified when we look at those who step in bringing together this ecosystem. Furthermore it is The GfK report on UX and loyalty in the digital ecosystem research was will always be those consumers who are looking to switch own a smartphone and a tablet using the same operating not just Apple, Google and Microsoft offering these kinds conducted by GfK Business & Technology. It includes the opinions of 4257 their smartphone type due to an unsatisfactory service system (OS). For this group, another barrier becomes of digital platforms. The importance placed on cloud based smartphone owners in nine countries who were interviewed between 17th a huge factor in their smartphone switching decision. and 28th October 2011 using online interviewing techniques appropriate provision or hardware defect. And for those who are services was highest among Chinese (92%) and Brazilian to the country. not subjected to such negative experiences, persuasive Almost two in five consumers in this sub-group (38%) (85%) smartphone owners. Whilst consumers in emerging marketing from rival brands and/or peer influence will still are reluctant to switch smartphone type because their markets aspire to western brands there is also a desire for encourage the thought of switching. smartphone and tablet would run a different OS thereby10 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 11
  6. 6. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability dIscoVEraBIlITy drIVEs choIcE, adopTIon and loyalTy In ThE dIGITal marKET By Simon Pulman-Jones Pleasure for its own sake is becoming as crucial to the effectiveness of digital operating systems as the fundamentals of UX design. We are seeing a new dimension for UX: discoverability - the joy of discovery for its own sake. Discoverability is about three key success factors: personalized discovery; game-like engagement and viral appeal. This new dimension is about understanding how to engage digital consumers – encouraging them in exploring, finding, trying out – ‘experiencing’ new digital stuff. User Experience – or UX – has historically been the discipline that What we are seeing is a new dimension being added to one has kept technology design honest. When all around them are of the core principles of UX: discoverability. Discoverability losing their heads about the next shiny new technology feature, has always been a fundamental requirement for effective user the UX experts are there, soberly insisting that any new design experience: “the ability for a user of a design to locate something must first and foremost be seen from the user’s point of view. Is it that they need, in order to complete a certain task.” 2 First you usable? Is it useful? have to be able to discover that a piece of functionality exists, and then you have to be able to discover how to use it. But a new So when one of the founding fathers of UX starts getting carried twist on discoverability is rapidly becoming one of the defining away about the intimate sensuality of a user experience, we characteristics and key success factors for digital user experiences. might be forgiven for thinking that we’ve reached a watershed in This is the joy of discovery for its own sake – the pleasure of trying the evolution of technology. That’s what the iPhone did for Don out an intriguing new App or widget, seeing if it’s enjoyable Norman1: “the iPhone felt like a piece of delight. It really is neat or useful, and either adopting it as part of your repertoire, or to go from one page to the other not by pushing a button but by throwing it away. swiping your hand across the page. The correct word is intimacy; it is more intimate. Think of it not as a swipe, think of it as a In the increasingly mature market for digital experiences, with caress.”2 intensifying competition between the main digital ecosystem offerings (Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows), the ability to Norman is not losing his sober UX grip. He’s recognizing the drive exploration and trial of new functionality and services is‘Discoverability’ is the new user fact that pleasure for its own sake is becoming as crucial to the effectiveness of digital operating systems as the basic UX vital. ‘Discoverability’ is the new user experience phenomenon providing this ability, combining Amazon-style, pleasurable,experience phenomenon providing the fundamentals. We love to do that caressing swipe so much that we take every opportunity to turn the page, to flick the button – personalized discovery of new product and service options, the engaging and immersive experience delivered by the gamingability to drive exploration and trial of to find out what delight is hiding around the next corner of the digital interface. industry, and the ‘viral’ infectiousness of quirky personal discoveries typified by functionality and services12 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 13
  7. 7. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability nurture that is being exploited when we are offered frequent updates to the Apps that we’ve downloaded. Somewhere in the discoverability is becoming an increasingly recent past, software updates have shifted from being about significant factor in some key business issues periodic step-changes in the level of functionality being offered, for providers of digital products and services to being near-constant incremental adaptations in the evolution of our digital experiences. So we are encouraged to be constantly discovering new ways to improve our digital fitness via new enhancements to operating systems, or new Apps. In this way, the smartphone ownership experience is like that of a Tamagochi products and services within your ecosystem easy and – the little electronic pets that require constant care. Our instinct pleasurable to discover and adopt is becoming a key to nurture our devices is a key element of discoverability – driving driver of loyalty, and a barrier to switching to other us to try new stuff that might help our devices thrive – and, by ecosystems. extension, us with them. »» As seamless shifting of valued personal content between TV, PC, tablet and smartphones becomes an Discoverability will become increasingly important in driving accessible, mainstream proposition, consumers are acquisition and retention of customers within fast-evolving new faced with the challenge of accessing familiar content digital ecosystems. Many are looking to the games industry for experiences on new devices, via new interfaces. know-how about delivering the fun, onward exploratory drive, Pleasurable exploration and experimentation with new and engagement required. This is a reflection of just how much Video clip: Volkswagen, The Fun Theory, piano stairs options is becoming a key factor in driving trial and the UX stakes have risen in the new world of digital experiences adoption. – where success depends not just on the effective and delightful The incremental enhancements intended to lock customers into a This new dimension of discoverability comes to the rescue of both delivery of core features and functionality, but also on the elusive given digital ecosystem – whether it’s Apple’s Siri, or a television consumers and companies. It can enable consumers, confused by »» As smaller, personal screens increasingly become the magic ingredient that generates fun and engagement. As Rovio, service provider’s 3D TV offer – depend for their success on too many options, to make choices that feel like happy, ‘meant to dominant device amongst people’s interconnected the creators of Angry Birds have admitted, “for every Angry Birds, customers being tempted into exploring and discovering them. be’ discoveries rather than random or forced choices. And it can mobile and home device ecosystems, an increasing there are a hundred dead birds!”7. Coming up with captivating How can companies foster the necessary urge to discover? provide brands with a vital way to engage consumers and lead user experience interaction burden is placed on limited and intriguing digital experiences is no simple matter, and the them towards new products and services. screen real estate. Where complex options cannot be success of future digital user experiences will increasingly depend One powerful tool is fun. Volkswagen recognized this with their Three dimensions of discoverability are increasingly becoming key laid out for consumers to view as easily as on larger on high-quality creative talent alongside the user-focus and initiative (“This site is dedicated to the thought success factors for products, services and consumer experiences in screens, discoverability provides the onward drive to disciplined logic of traditional UX design. that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change the new digital ecosystem: engage consumers and guide them through possible people’s behaviour for the better”). The Piano Stairs commercial options. Sources shows commuters exiting Odenplan underground station in Personalized discovery: Amazon-style data- or profile-driven 1) Just Noticeable Difference: the website of Don Norman ( Stockholm and being seduced into using the stairs rather than the surfacing of possibilities So, increasingly, UX is about more than ensuring that we are escalator when they discover that the stairs have been converted 2) “Why do some people really hate Apple?” Charles Arthur, The Guardian, Tuesday »» Game-like engagement: making the discovery of new able to execute desired tasks and functions via digital interfaces. 6th October 2011 ( into a giant electronic piano keyboard that plays when they walk options feel like the pleasurable result of a consumer’s The new dimension is about helping us feel that we are being people-hate-apple) up or down. own skill rather than something forced upon them engaged digital consumers – doing well at our job of exploring, 3) “The myth of discoverability”, Scott Berkun ( finding, trying out – ‘experiencing’ new digital stuff. Many digital experiences have reached a stage of maturity at essays/26-the-myth-of-discoverability/) »» Viral appeal: the magic ‘I found it’ quality which drives which usability barriers about how to use functionality have been YouTube-style selection and sharing 4); Tom Chatfield, an expert and commentator on Gamification, and largely overcome. At the same time, however, we are confronted author of Fun Inc.4, talks about nurture as a fundamental aspect by a new set of challenges – challenges to do with choice: what 5) “Fun Inc.: Why games are the 21st Century’s most serious business”, Tom Chatfield, As a result, discoverability is becoming an increasingly significant of people’s new relationship to digital media: “Nurture is the killer London 2010 to use? - Which App to use? Which combination of Cloud and factor in some key business issues for providers of digital products App.”5. By this he means that we are increasingly drawn to look connectivity solutions to adopt so that it’s possible to enjoy valued 6) “The irresistible power of digital play - Why Brands Need to Wake Up to Gaming.” and services: after our digital tools and devices – hoping that they will develop content wherever and whenever it’s wanted? Which device Tom Chatfield, Games for Brands conference, London, October 2011 and thrive. He quotes a teenage girl who said that she sees her should become the dominant ‘home’ or ‘hub’ device amongst our »» As the cross-platform media ecosystem battle Facebook profile, “as a little person I send out into the world 7) “Let’s Get Started - Games as the Fastest-growing Media Category of the Age: how ecosystem of larger- and smaller-screened devices? intensifies, each ecosystem’s array of Apps and Cloud can brands harness this explosive growth?” Ville Heijari, Rovio Mobile Ltd, Games for – and I really hope it doesn’t get hurt!” It’s this urge towards services grows richer and more complex. Making new Brands conference, London, October 201114 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 15
  8. 8. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Measuring User Experience TUrnInG UX InTo hard mETrIcs By Tim Bosenick & Sonja Kleinschmidt The importance of the User Experience (UX) is increasingly recognized for the crucial role it has to play in take- up and loyalty of devices & digital services. The consumer devotion to their product eco-system of choice, the way in which users are encouraged to explore and discover new service facets, the ease with which it is possible to execute the actions you want quickly and easily; all these are core drivers of adoption and loyalty driven by the User Experience. This has not always been the case, with UX historically being considered a discipline that is often separate from overall GfK sirValUse (our global UX team within marketing prerogatives; a stage undertaken as something of a the GfK business) has developed a set of UX hygiene factor to ensure ‘all is well’ before getting on with the ‘more important parts’ of the marketing cycle. performance metrics, so for the first time we can provide brands with a standardized UX The emergence of the central role for UX is clearly to be currency. applauded by those of us who always considered that the User Experience is, after all, what consumers are buying so we had better get it right! However, this move has brought with it expectations for hard data to support decisions about to represent good practice but are difficult to explore only via the product form factor or user interface. After all, if tough consumer sessions. decisions about the User Experience have to be made then it is perhaps not unreasonable to demand hard metrics to assist in the GfK has undertaken validation work using independent academic decision making. Historically this has been a problem for UX as evaluation to assess the the value of this approach. We tested the discipline has to date been largely qualitative in nature and four smartphone models (each with a different OS) and found generally not provided hard metrics into the business. consumer reaction to significantly rate the iPhone much higher than other models on measures around ‘fun’, ‘fit’ and ‘feel’ but To overcome this and enhance the impact that UX can make on the expert opinion relating to the UX found its score only slightly business performance, GfK SirValUse (our global UX team within higher than other smartphones tested. Both judgments are valid, the GfK business) has developed a set of UX performance metrics, integrating them to provide a single coherent measure to use so for the first time we can provide brands with a standardized within a business has proved to be an exciting development for UX currency. Our approach covers the hygiene aspects of usability the future direction of UX. (‘was I able to do what I wanted to do?’) through to the more holistic aspects of the user experience (such as ‘Was I able to Next steps in our development are to explore (with our database explore and discover new features easily?’). in GfK Retail &Technology) the impact of the UX metric on sales volumes. We aim that this will not only validate the relationship The two key strands of UX assessment are included – consumer between the metrics and business performance but also reaction is obviously there but perhaps surprisingly for those fundamentally position UX as the key business metric that any immersed in market research methodologies, expert judgment is brand in tech markets needs to get right. also included. Our view is that expert opinion is critical to retain as there are some key aspects of design that are long known16 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 17
  9. 9. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Gamification Interview GfK: So, tell us, what is Gamification? Kam: Gamification is the application of gaming mechanisms Gamification is the application of gaming into a real-world process, with the aim of improving the user experience through the notion of playing. mechanisms into a real-world process, with the aim of improving the user experience GfK: How is it currently being used in Marketing? through the notion of playing. Kam: Gamification marketing is being used in a number of ways, but its natural home is online – with prizes and rewards given to people when they post on blogs, share or comment. Really, it’s a way of sharing an individual’s engagement with a particular long, hard look at what you are doing and what it means – for proposition. What we see a lot of is, if you ‘Like’ content, post you, for people talking about you and for others hearing it. about it, or do something about it, you are then eligible for points There is no hard and fast answer. It takes a lot of focus and a real or scores that are redeemable – ideally for something meaningful understanding of the bigger picture and what it is that you are that the individual wants. It’s a kind of incentive. trying to achieve. GfK: How, if at all, is it changing or shaping Marketing? GfK: On that note, do you think a brand in any industry or Kam: To put it simply, it can change the conversation. When any category can use Gamification? social media came along, many decided they needed a Facebook Kam: The principle of engagement, particularly through playful page or a Twitter account but without really understanding what means, can be applied to a very, very broad set of tasks. However, this meant or how it would change the conversation between I do think that brands seeking to engage with gaming need the brand and the consumer. The same can now be seen to know what systems work and what their exit plan is. Right with Gamification. Many don’t realise that it can change how now, it seems that everyone is talking about how to get into consumers perceive the brand and its values. It is right for some Gamification, but without considering how to get out of it – and not right for others. i.e. how to avoid the psychological downside of giving people incentives and then taking them away again. I haven’t seen any GfK: Can you us a little more about what you mean by strategy that says ‘this is how we will wind it down’ and I’m a bit GamIfIcaTIon: whEn Brands GET playfUl To EnGaGE ‘changing the conversation’. That is quite an interesting way concerned about that. In my experience, you need to think about of putting it. What does that mean exactly? what happens afterwards, specifically: how will we manage it? wITh cUsTomErs Kam: Everything that a brand does affects its identity, its persona. How will we grow it? How will we keep it fresh? If, by using Gamification, a brand says “well, now I’m going to be Interview with Kam Star, CEO of PlayGen playful”, its marketers must understand that this has implications GfK: Can we now identify examples of proper Gamification for brand engagement. Those implications will depend on who versus more simplistic examples? you are, how you do it and how you frame it. I think that’s the Kam: I am not sure that simple is a bad thing. As you suggest, thing that will essentially change the nature of marketing in some Gamification comes in different guises. On one end of the ways. spectrum are the simpler, more points-based approaches. On the Marketers are increasingly turning to ‘Gamification’ to increase loyalty and change the way other are the more complex experiences with multiple factors; Sometimes when people talk about Gamification, they are ones that feel a bit more like a game, perhaps with different kinds in which people interact with their brand. But what exactly is Gamification and how, if at all, of themes and a narrative or storyline that people are following. actually talking about loyalty programmes. There is nothing should companies be using it? wrong with loyalty programmes – we love loyalty programmes Again, I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule about this. You – but, again, if you bring in a loyalty programme you have to really need to look at the specific case and what’s going to work Kam Star, CEO of PlayGen, has the answers – and one thing’s for sure: a successful Gamification understand that you are changing the nature of the conversation. in that case. I think there are some good examples emerging. You are saying something new about where your brand is and For me, successful Gamification looks like more engagement. It’s strategy requires a whole lot more than just points and badges… how it should be perceived. And you have to be pretty careful when people are coming back more often, they are doing more, that it’s something that can be sustained; if you whisk it away they are actively encouraging others to engage with your brand, as quickly as you brought it in, you could end up doing lasting they are recommending your brand. They are, when all is said and damage to your brand. In essence, it’s very important to take a done, buying more stuff. So, when Playboy uses Gamification and18 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 19
  10. 10. GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Gamification Interview GfK: Once the process is up-and-running, how much GfK: You’ve touched on a few already but can you give us right now, it seems that everyone is talking emphasis should be placed on tweaking and revisiting, or I think that in any audience you will have a some examples of really good Gamification when we are about how to get into Gamification, but revising your approach? looking at the outcomes and the impact it’s had on the Kam: If you look at some of the very successful loyalty whole mixture of different types of people. brand? without considering how to get out of it – programmes, you will see that most of them – once they have There are those for whom Gamification will Kam: There’s a website called allkpop – an English-language i.e. how to avoid the psychological downside established a particular mechanism – keep it fresh by introducing always be fun and interesting. There are gossip news site – that used Gamification. They doubled their of giving people incentives and then taking new offers or different ways of getting points. Whether it’s others who will be there for some other number of link shares and massively increased the number of for supermarket club points or airline miles, they also keep it comments they had. It really worked for them. It was basically a them away again. interesting by reminding people what it’s for, highlighting special reason. If Gamification manages to tap into very simple system, but very nicely integrated. There is another occasions, that kind of thing. This needs to be a managed process that, it will succeed. If it doesn’t, it won’t. good example called Club Psych, based around a TV series because, once the novelty has worn off, it won’t continue to called Psych. On the website there were actual mini games that engage unless there’s real meaning in it. Therefore, part of any you could play, like creating a virtual world of the set itself and Gamification strategy should be to keep it fresh – by reintroducing sending it to your friends. The site more than doubled both the gets a 60 per cent growth in monthly revenue, well, that’s done various offers, keeping the game interesting, maybe changing number of page views and the number of return visitors, so it had right. Likewise when DevHub, a website which effectively gamifies some of the rules, introducing new things… a massive impact. website design, saw its number of purchases per user per month goes up by three times. Probably a case in point here is Google, which gamified its GfK: Does Gamification work on any audience? news and gave out badges etc, only to pull it after quite a short GfK: Is it about giving consumers something they’ve never Kam: In any audience you will have different types of people, Then there are times when it goes wrong… for example, Tumbler, period because no one had thought properly about the meaning seen or done before, or is it about really getting to know and Gamification doesn’t work for every type. Twenty to thirty a micro-blogging site, introduced points every time someone behind it. I’m sorry if this sounds obvious, but this is what needs what it is that your audience will enjoy and engage with? years ago, Professor Richard Bartle identified four personality ‘tumbled’ something. The result of this was that people went to be considered every time someone comes up with a new Kam: It’s both. If you can give people something they’ve never types that engage in multiplayer games, and many have since onto Tumbler, hit the keyboard randomly and then posted. This plan. And, when you look at some good examples, it’s clear had before, if you can educate them as to why it’s a good confirmed that this is a good classification. Specifically, Bartle talks meant that the platform became completely filled with nonsense that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Around a festival called thing, and do this succinctly and quickly, then the opportunity about Achievers (people who like to get points and who will love and lost a lot of users. It has never really quite recovered. Bamboozle, a company called CroudTwist were giving away VIP is enormous. However, providing what your users yearn to have Gamification), Explorers (people who just like new stuff so will passes, the opportunity to be on stage with a band, merchandise, and to be a part of, to make them feel valued – well, those are love Gamification at first but quickly become bored), Socialisers GfK: How much science is there behind this and how much autographs, all the kinds of things that the people who were the fundamentals of a good user experience. I wouldn’t want to (people who don’t really care about points or badges and the like, is about intuitiveness? interested in going there would absolutely love. The meaning was choose between those two approaches. I think you’d need both. they want to just socialise) and Killers (people who are most likely Kam: Its less down to the science and more about the arts, obvious. to spoil it for others and would enjoy Gamification if they can although it’s both combined. It’s a little like architecture or an GfK: Do you have any more insights around what to do, or somehow harm other people, albeit psychologically). I think that amazing website user experience. You can’t say, ‘here is a formula GfK: Do you worry about any fatigue in the wider industry what not to do when it comes to gamifying the experience? in any audience you will have a whole mixture of different types and if you repeat this formula you will succeed’ because next time with so many people now adopting game design and these Kam: Fundamentally, you need to understand your audience and of people. There are those for whom Gamification will always be it will be subtlety different. When entering into Gamification, the more playful tactics? their motivations, why they are engaging with your brand. You fun and interesting. There are others who will be there for some ideal is to have someone on board who understands game design Kam: As a consumer, every time you come across something that need to understand how you can create value from the thing other reason. If Gamification manages to tap into that, it will and someone who understands behavioural psychology. You is gamified, the first question you ask yourself is what’s in it for you are asking them to do today that you didn’t ask them to do succeed. If it doesn’t, it won’t. just need people who have been around the block with the user me? If that is answered very clearly, then you will engage with it. yesterday. Generating this value is very very important and the experience and can give you some good insights. Then, you need My worry is that the area will start to become a little like internet key to success. The complete opposite would be not doing this GfK: What does the future hold for game-based marketing? to do closed beta community testing to identify where it can be advertising; of course internet banners are there, but most people – to simply take some gaming mechanism and create some kind Kam: I think the future is very bright. I think it’s very playful. There improved and how it could go wrong before you deploy it across don’t really see them anymore. of system that you think could be really fun without asking the are lots and lots of opportunities. The games industry has been your entire public-facing brand. In some cases, this user capability key questions… Is this meaningful? Does it create value? Does it around for about 40 years, perhaps a little longer, and even after testing has been missing! When people become fatigued with something, they will ignore create a connection? all that time we’re still coming up with new genres, new ways of it. But I also think that’s when marketers will take the opportunity playing. I think, game-based marketing, wow! We are probably to do something innovative, creative and refreshing with in year one or year two, and long may it continue – although I Gamification, framing it in a slightly different way. That’s what we still think there is a distinction to be made between game-based see with Facebook gains, with apps – it’s the same thing. marketing and loyalty-based, loyalty-driven campaigns.20 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 21