I work for a nonprofit focused on games and learning, and for various reasons, I’ve interacted with quite a few ad agencies in the past few months. One recurring theme was a strong desire on their part to understand games. As an upfront disclaimer, I am not a game designer. (That said, working around coal does result in a bit of dust in one’s lungs.) With that disclaimer, I offer up a boilerplate message to your client who’s interested in gamifying their product.
Last week CNN’s Fortune website published an intriguing article by Shelley DuBois titled The Real Threat Facing the Airlines. In it, DuBois argues that the most pressing threat to large airlines is their lack of understanding and support for their most valuable asset—their brands. There are a few smaller airlines that are highly focused on brand (Jetblue, Virgin, Southwest), but the larger carriers are still competing on price (a losing battle to commodification).
The author brushes on the key ingredient to success, but what’s missing is a deeper exploration of brand in this context. While it’s fine to appreciate the smaller, successful carriers’ smart branding and marketing efforts (JetBlue’s recent “Happy Jetting” campaign, for example), that alone wouldn’t push them past their competitors. A key ingredient to each of these companies’ successful brands is their focus on user experience across various touchpoints.
Over the past 4 days I’ve received 23 27 30 calls from a toll-free number. If I picked up the call, I’d hear the end of a message (no identifying details). Thinking it’s rare for a toll-free number to be call-able, I didn’t even try to call the number back. Finally on the 3rd day, a message was left, and when I listened to it, I realized it was my bank calling.
Recently decided to give TD Bank a try and applied for (and secured) a loan from them. I chose them for their better interest rate, and figured if it made sense, I’d shift all of my accounts over from Citibank, who I’ve used for personal and business accounts for the last twelve years.
Advertising in our online banking is here to stay, so there’s no point in whining about it. However, since online banking is a task-based interaction, it’s tricky to get this right. Citibank often gets it wrong, and the most frustrating example is a modal lightbox that appears during the signoff process.
The New York Times public editors very public utterance. Great summary + analysis from Clay Shirky on newspapers meeting readers’ needs vs. their own expectatins. The very fact that the question was raised by Brisbane is shocking and unlikely to go away. Fully expect this to be dissected in UX classes and textbooks in the near future.
I’m a big fan of the Cheat Sheet published daily by The Daily Beast. As soon as the iPhone app came out, I downloaded it and its become my morning ritual to crawl out of bed, make coffee, and catch up with the news via the app. Sadly, it’s also become a ritual to be aggravated at the app each and every morning. What are the issues? Speed, stability & buggy image display.
Awesome tail-chasing experience with Adobe today. Here’s the rundown:
- Call main support line.
- Navigate phone tree.
- Rep #1 gives me number for Enterprise group.
- Call new number.
- Rep #2 transfers me to different department.
Great post by Seth Godin on building trust and the importance to brands. Definitely easier to cut corners in an experience than do the hard work. Better to take the long view, work it out, and create a better experience for your customers. In the process you’ll build trust and build your brand in a real, sustainable, long-lasting way.
Seth’s Blog: Trustiness.
Ask pretty much anyone in the US these days how they feel about banks and you can probably guess what the tone and tenor of the answer will be. But wait – all the advertising we see from the banks paints them as great institutions, looking out for our security and making life easier. Why isn’t that sticking?