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Users are People Too


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Too often we create brands, experiences, and content that sacrifice humanity on the altar of conversion optimization. In this session, we’ll explore how to make our products feel less like a business transaction and more like a conversation through human-oriented brand, marketing, and experience design.

Don’t worry, this won’t be a stern sermon about user personas or focus groups – Meagan knows that conference attendees are people too. Instead she’ll share some of the practical hows and whys of designing for people, not customers.

“Perhaps all interaction is about wanting and getting.” –David Mitchell

Drawing on her experience as Creative Director at SproutVideo, Meagan will share techniques that you can bring to your work to honor the humanity of users through happiness-driven design and content.

Published in: Design
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Users are People Too

  1. 1. Good morning, WebVisions. Let’s do this thing! Meagan Fisher @owltastic on twitter
  2. 2. Previous Job Titles • Drive thru attendant • Cashier at a gift shop • Pizza waitress • Hotel receptionist
  3. 3. “We want to be a beloved business whose customers are loyal advocates.” The Service Industry
  4. 4. How? Show customers they are welcome, supported, & valued.
  5. 5. Trying to create that “Potato Patch” feeling
  6. 6. But… service is so annoying.
  7. 7. Software • Consistent • Streamlined • Efficient
  8. 8. Software • Consistent • Streamlined • Efficient • Mundane • Forgettable • Joyless
  9. 9. “We want to be a beloved business whose customers are loyal advocates.” Online Businesses
  10. 10. How? Show customers they are welcome, supported, & valued.
  11. 11. Become a beloved business • Have a (likeable) personality • Get users to the “kick-ass” zone • Create a minimum delightful product
  12. 12. Have a likeable personality.
  13. 13. Zingerman’s!
  14. 14. Even the President loves it.
  15. 15. “The initial welcome is crucial... it’s imperative that our greeting be energized, fun and out of the ordinary. A poor greeting—or even worse, no greeting—to guests sends a negative, unwelcoming signal. Passive, script-sounding, canned phrases are only a slight improvement.” Zingerman’s Customer Service Guide
  16. 16. Make the right first impression 1. Fun, out of the ordinary 2. Flat, empty, by-the-book 3. Negative, unwelcoming
  17. 17. People form a connection with anything
  18. 18. “Everything has a personality: everything sends an emotional signal. Even where this was not the intention of the designer, the people who view the website infer personalities and experience emotions… Horrible personalities instill horrid emotional states in their users, usually unwittingly.” Donald A. Norman, Emotional Design: Why We Love or Hate Everyday Things
  19. 19. Accidentally Horrible vs. Beloved Personalities
  20. 20. Visual Style = First Impression
  21. 21. “The major dimensions of personality are dominance and friendliness… positive emotions are associated with a friendly demeanor… while negative emotions are associate with unfriendliness.”
  22. 22. Dominant vs. Friendly • Angular vs. curved • Heavy vs. light • High contrast vs. low • Caps vs. lowercase • Bold vs. regular • Dense vs. whitespace
  23. 23. Yikes.
  24. 24. Dominant vs. Friendly • Angular vs. curved • Heavy vs. light • High contrast vs. low • Caps vs. lowercase • Bold vs. regular • Dense vs. whitespace
  25. 25. Dominant vs. Friendly • Angular vs. curved • Heavy vs. light • High contrast vs. low • Caps vs. lowercase • Bold vs. regular • Dense vs. whitespace
  26. 26. What kind of personality does my visual style communicate? Is it memorable and likeable? Have a likeable personality
  27. 27. Create a design persona.
  28. 28. “Freddie Von Chimpenheimer IV is the face of MailChimp and the embodiment of the brand personality. Freddie’s stout frame communicates the power of the application, and his on-the-go posture lets people know this brand means business. Freddie always has a kind smile that welcomes users and makes them feel at home.” Aarron Walter. “Designing for Emotion.”
  29. 29.
  30. 30.
  31. 31. …but a mascot doesn’t make sense for my company.
  32. 32. What would our design persona look like?
  33. 33. What does our content say about who we are?
  34. 34. “How can we leverage our content to identify, target, and engage top innovative pinfluencers?”
  35. 35. @unsuckit &
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
  38. 38. “Publishing content that is self-absorbed in substance or style alienates readers. If you’re the only one offering a desirable product or service, you might not see the effects of narcissistic content right away, but someone will eventually come along and eat your lunch by offering the exact same thing in a user-centered way.” Erin Kissane. “The Elements of Content Strategy.”
  39. 39. This could be any B2B service! ✓ Take control of your online channel ✓ Take advantage of enterprise-class features ✓ Scale and grow your business – now and into the future ✓ Flexibility to meet your unique needs
  40. 40. ✓ Grow Your Company with Customer-centric CRM Software in the Cloud ✓ The only cloud solution that delivers a real-time 360- degree view of your customer. ✓ A seamless flow of information across the entire customer lifecycle from lead through to opportunity, sales order, fulfillment, renewal, upsell, cross-sell, and support. ✓ Flexibility to meet your unique needs ✓ Elevates productivity across the organization with a 360- degree view of your customers. ✓ Improves sales performance through forecasting, upsell and commission management. ✓ Manage global sales and services organizations.
  41. 41. “Only NetSuite’s customer service software gives everyone that interfaces with the customer access to complete, key customer data in real time empowering them to better support your customers while driving upsell and cross-sell.”
  42. 42. what the hell.
  43. 43. Believe in Something
  44. 44. How can your design and content convey your company’s unique personality? How can you show the people using your service they are welcomed, supported, valued?
  45. 45. Getting users to the kick-ass zone
  46. 46. “How long do your users spend in the ‘I suck’ (or ‘this product sucks’) zone? Once they’ve crossed the suck threshold, how long does it take before they start to feel like they kick ass? Both of those thresholds are key milestones on a user’s path to passion, and it’s often the case that he-who-gets-his-users- there-first wins.” Kathy Sierra, Creating Passionate Users
  47. 47. I Love Vine Wine
  48. 48. Chardonnay South Africa “A spicy apple (pie?) scented wine. Dry with almost a creamy texture. The winemaker blasts classical music to his vines all day. Wonder if it helps…”
  49. 49. We can make this shorter! I suck I rule
  50. 50. Adding personality to the product
  51. 51. Creating “Minimum Delightful Products” • Remind users of the humanity behind the interface. • Include microcopy that’s informative and enjoyable.
  52. 52. “We want people to think of Dropbox as a place to collaborate, and a big part of that is elevating the people you connect with. One way we're doing that is thinking about places we can surface user's faces on the web.” Daniel Eden,
  53. 53.
  54. 54. “Words don’t always need to be pressed into service for functional needs; sometimes they can be used simply to satisfy our emotional needs. We’re emotional creatures… bringing a smile to your users’ faces can make a world of difference.” Christopher Murphy & Nicklas Persson. “A Pocket Guide to the Craft of Words, Part 2 - Microcopy.” Using Microcopy to create “Minimum Delightful Products”
  55. 55.
  56. 56. LumenBigott
  57. 57. Creating “Minimum Delightful Products” • How can we remind users of the humanity behind the interface? What elements in our product could have a human or emotional component to them? • How can we use our content and imagery to lighten otherwise frustrating moments in our product?
  58. 58. Treat customers like they are welcome, supported, and valued.
  59. 59. Become a beloved business • Have a (likeable) personality • Get users to the “kick-ass” zone • Create a minimum delightful product
  60. 60. Thanks! Meagan Fisher @owltastic on twitter