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More Than UI: How the Brand Plays a Role in the User Experience39:43 with Jason Toth
For years, branding and user experience design seem to be a discipline mixture more reminiscent of oil and water than peanut butter and jelly. However, the need for companies to communicate their values, messages, personality and products in a multi-channel yet consistent experience makes the line between branding and experience design razor thin. Touching on the intersection of marketing, service design, product design, technology, and customer/user experience, this talk will consider what the UX designer’s role could be within this landscape and whether or not we are (or should be) considering the brand experience in user experience design.
[MUSIC] 0:00 Is everybody familiar with this campaign, or image? 0:04 No? 0:08 Awesome, okay. 0:08 So about six years ago IBM launched a new kind of corporate strategic initiative 0:10 called Smarter Planet, and this is some of the work that came out of that. 0:15 And the premise was that IBM wanted to kinda harness the intelligence of 0:20 the world, or kind of connected data within, companies. 0:25 And it resulted in a pretty big boost, I think, to IBM's, kind of, 0:29 brand position or image. 0:33 So, kind of long been known for 0:35 having kind of a stale kind of communication strategy, big blue. 0:39 This kind of campaign, this is kind of very attention-grabbing, and is useful. 0:43 Nice big, bold colors. 0:47 Strong shapes and 0:50 just kind of an overall design aesthetic that was, was really well-done. 0:51 And also it was really min, minimalistic, modern and 0:55 kind of harkened back to Paul Rand's work that he had done for IBM in the 50s. 0:59 And then even with some of his poster designs in the 70s and 80s. 1:04 And then out of that also came things like this, 1:08 his kind of system of iconography that they created for 1:10 all the different kinds dis, like branches of the kind of campaign. 1:15 Well at the same time internally when I was working at IBM, 1:20 they kind of sent this down as a corporate initiative to say, how, how are you 1:24 guys then gonna incorporate this kind of new strategy or campaign tagline. 1:29 Kind of rebrand into the work that you're doing. 1:35 And so, there was a lot of confusion as you might imagine. 1:39 And, you know, 1:42 I had buddies that were doing things like grabbing these kind of, these icons. 1:43 Ripping out the color palates from that, and 1:48 then sort of just applying that to the product design that they were doing. 1:50 Kind of in an attempt to align themselves with this kind of strategic initiative. 1:55 And you may have seen something like this in your companies before, but it, 2:00 it, it really raises a question. 2:03 You know, how are you exers, in particular, 2:04 supposed to take what was sort of these lofty ideas of this campaign or 2:07 kind of initiative, and then apply that to the kind of work that they were doing. 2:10 The short answer is, was very few people knew how to do that. 2:15 Fast forward a couple of years now, 2:19 I work on kind of the opposite side of the spectrum. 2:20 In an interactive agency that's now working with big brands, so, I get 2:23 a chance to work with places like IBM and Lenovo, ESPN, Dick's Sporting Goods. 2:27 Conservation International. 2:33 So, so these kind of big brands. 2:34 So and this is kind of a collection of the things I've been, 2:36 handed over the past year from these companies, so. 2:38 This is the kind of documentation that I tend to see from them. 2:42 So brand guidelines, kind of corporate strategic initiatives. 2:44 You know, you can see awesome Venn Diagrams like this where apparently you 2:49 brand idea is somewhere in between what's special about you and 2:53 what the world needs. 2:55 So good luck, you know, translating that into something meaningful. 2:58 but, as, as, kind of, a result of that, we get a lot of fluff, right? 3:03 And then we have to kinda figure out what to do with those things. 3:07 But what it's really taught me in the last couple years, 3:11 is there's, there's just this really big gap between UX and branding. 3:12 So, many UX teams just don't know how to acknowledge or 3:17 they really just don't understand the role that or 3:20 how to communicate kind of the brand to their audience. 3:23 And a lot of question, lot of times, 3:27 they just question, you know, why do they even need to be doing that at all. 3:28 So I kind of came up with these three scenarios that I have seen over 3:33 the past couple years to sort of describe this relationship. 3:36 This is kind of the most, one I encounter the most. 3:39 I call it passing the buck. 3:42 So. 3:43 The idea here is that it's just somebody else's responsibility to 3:43 handle the brand work. 3:47 And, and there's a couple reasons that UXers typically kind of 3:49 have this mentality. 3:52 One is depending on kind of the level or degree of your visual proficiency. 3:53 Or how comfortable you feel there. 3:58 That you just don't feel that it's part of, kind of, your conversation. 4:01 Or if you equate branding to visual design then, 4:04 you kind of just don't really think it's part of something that you need to do. 4:07 A lot of times people just feel that marketing goals, brand goals are not 4:10 really aligned with user goals and therefore there's kind of that conflict. 4:14 Another thing is, also is we have gotten more specialized as user experience 4:18 designers there's more of a tendency to say then, it's gotta be somebody else's 4:22 responsibility, because somebody else has to sort of be more specialized than that. 4:26 But kind of whatever the reason this kind of mentality of passing the buck onto 4:31 somebody else really creates a problem. 4:34 And one of the problems, or the main problem is, by passing it, 4:36 we sort of give up the opportunity or the, the chance that we have to 4:39 actually impact how the brand is understood in a meaningful way. 4:43 Second scenario that I see is called kind of this look alike. 4:48 So in this scenario, design teams do want to have some sort of acknowledgement 4:52 of the kind of brand goals in their work, but they don't really know how to do it. 4:58 So as a result of that what you'd tend to see is just kind of looking around, what's 5:02 the latest campaign, or what's the latest product design that we kind of put out? 5:07 And then just sort of like blindly grabbing some elements and 5:11 copy wrighting, or color palettes that those things have. 5:14 And then sort of just applying it to the work that you're doing. 5:17 And the idea is that, 5:20 well, if we just kind of make it consistent, then we're doing okay. 5:21 So the, kind of like, brand consistency. 5:25 The problem with that kind of mentality, though, is that, again, it, 5:28 it sort of equates branding to a purely visual, kind of a, a pure visual process. 5:31 And then a lot of times it's just misusing or misappropriating elements. 5:40 In this last scenario, as a seed a good amount at, 5:45 at a place like [UNKNOWN] so we have a lot of clients that come in. 5:47 A lot of the interactive projects or work that we're doing are frequently seen in 5:50 conjunction with a larger rebrand effort. 5:55 And, as a result of that, depending on what the client wants a lotta 5:59 times they have one kind of consultants doing the brand and 6:03 kind of campaign work and then we're brought in as an interactive team. 6:08 And so what ends up happening is these things have to happen concurrently. 6:14 So, as our design team is working through IA and 6:17 content strategy, interaction design, and then far on the visual design there's 6:23 another vendor handling kinda the brand and strategy work. 6:27 But a lot of times the way that that work is made they 6:30 don't wanna share that work until it's kinda fully baked. 6:34 And they create sort of like this God-like brand documented and 6:37 then that finally gets thrown over the fence to us. 6:39 And then we're having trouble about how we're gonna apply that. 6:43 So it ends up being this problem where we're kind of interpreting a style guide 6:46 and trying to apply it after, after it. 6:49 So you know, there's really three kind of observations here. 6:52 [UNKNOWN] what I've discovered is many extras just 6:55 misunderstand the role that branding plays. 6:57 They don't see how it applies directly to the work that they're doing and 7:00 as a result of kind of, teams being spread across organizations, 7:05 those sort of brand principles are not being shared. 7:09 So for [UNKNOWN] I'm, I'm hoping to change that perception and 7:12 see how we can make these observations be seen differently. 7:16 So I kind of want to go through a really compressed kind of 7:21 five-minute understanding of kind of the history of branding, 7:24 which I know in itself seems kind of crazy, but. 7:27 Just to give some context there I want to take you through a couple case studies, 7:30 that think of companies that are doing, I think a good job of this, and 7:33 then take you through a couple lessons that we can take back. 7:36 So between companies and consumers, 7:40 there is kind of this communication space, so pre 1950s, if you think about branding, 7:45 it primarily consisted of just a simple mark on a product or 7:50 a symbol that represented a product. 7:55 The purpose of that mark was generally to kind of show the creator the source 7:57 of that particular company. 8:02 Literally it had its ties in the livestock branding so 8:05 the ideas you got from sheep and 8:08 I've got some sheep and if they ever kind of intermingle we can separate them out. 8:10 We know who's is whose. 8:14 So we know the owner. 8:15 gradually, you can imagine that morphed into products like ceramics or watches. 8:16 So that kind of brand mark was put on there. 8:21 So, pre-1950s it's mostly, it, it is 100% visual. 8:24 But it primarily surrounds or 8:29 centers around this idea that the brand mark is there for ownership or 8:31 to indicate a source materiality, sort of like the localization of that product. 8:36 Post World War II, so after 1950, there's several kind of factors that 8:42 have altered then how companies have to communicate with consumers. 8:47 The first is mass production so 8:52 we're just as you're able to in, have factories in different places. 8:54 And your processes to create those products are more efficient. 8:59 That changes sort of the game in terms of the, 9:02 the kinds of products that are being created. 9:06 Mass transportation is another kind of factor so 9:08 now because you're able to ship those products either by plane or 9:11 increased thoroughfares, then the product reach that you have is no longer local. 9:17 So it is, is increased in kind of its scope in that way. 9:22 Enter mass communication. 9:26 So now besides just print ads, you have the ability for radio and television. 9:27 To get across or to communicate kind of a message of your particular brand. 9:32 And then lastly people just had a ton more money to spend and 9:37 they wanted to kind of spend it. 9:40 So, what this kind of created was this diluted kind of unlocalized market 9:42 and so if you could imagine you know, dish detergent A and dish detergent B. 9:50 Now the processes to create those are almost identical, 9:55 they're probably made out of the same kind of materials. 9:59 They do the same kind of thing. 10:02 They can now be made in Michigan, another can be made in California, but 10:04 they can be sold in Texas. 10:08 So because you have this un, this kind of diluted market now. 10:10 A simple brand mark was not enough, in that kind of pre 1950 scenario to 10:14 separate or to distinguish your product from another one. 10:19 So they kinda had to create these new communication strategies to 10:24 break through sort of the sameness of the market. 10:27 And as a result, sort of advertising was born, and but you're still seeing for 10:30 the most part kinda unidirectional communications. 10:34 So the brand is just sort of companies companies communicating directly to 10:36 the consumer. 10:39 So later post-internet age, and, 10:40 you know, technology is again sort of like dramatically changed or 10:44 shifted our, this kind of space between a company and a consumer. 10:47 So, with the rise of social channels there's just a lot more means for 10:53 communication or avenues for communication. 10:57 The creation of off and online and interactions. 11:00 Which are also now even being merged. 11:04 Where both of those are kind of happening simultaneously. 11:06 You have direct communication so, you, now you can get online. 11:09 You can chat directly with a representative of a particular company. 11:13 Within kind of seconds so 11:17 that channel is opened up, forum support kind of websites are there. 11:18 And then we have instant accessibility to other people's experiences with 11:24 a particular company. 11:27 So where, again, if you think about that 1950 model, 11:28 I would have had to sort of been in the same location as that product. 11:31 I would of had to have bumped into somebody who also had that product and 11:34 then we would have had to share kind of our experience with it. 11:39 Now you can just get online and 11:42 you can read any number o things about someone's, how someone has done that. 11:43 So businesses are communicating to consumers but now consumers are able 11:48 to more directly influence how those companies are communicating to them. 11:52 So if you kinda look at a summarization here. 11:56 So that kind of localized business to consumer, very kind of static, 11:59 passive communication is now being replaced with much 12:04 more broad global types of communication. 12:07 Businesses to customers, customers back to businesses, customers to customers. 12:10 And then what was in sort of, sort of a passive static means of communication, 12:15 now you have much more dynamic interactive communication that is 12:19 occurring that gets to be more, much more experiential. 12:22 So, what, you know, what started as this kind of simple mark, it was just meant to 12:26 distinguish, or kind of one product from another in terms of its creator or source. 12:29 Is now blossomed into this, you know, pretty large ecosystem of this, 12:34 these connected experiences and services. 12:39 And so when you take it from a survey of what people were saying about that in 12:43 kinda the brand and marketing land. 12:46 This quote from Seth Godin. 12:48 So he talks about brand as this euphemism for 12:50 all these other things besides just a simple message. 12:54 Steve Sammartino from the Start Up Blog, excuse me. 12:59 Talks about brand being related to the sort of memory of 13:03 an experience that you have through an interaction. 13:06 Brain Solis of the Altimeter Group coined this phrase around branding of 13:11 experience architecture, that that's sort of the, the future that we're in,. 13:15 And then lastly Rick Wise of Lippincott talks about the, 13:20 the success of companies is going to be in their ability to craft these kind of 13:24 holistic, total customer experiences. 13:29 So, when you kinda look back at the diagram here and rethink how that might 13:32 look in a more, kind of summarized way, it's really about this creation of this 13:36 customized personal experience between a, a company and a consumer. 13:41 So it's this shared, kind of unfragmented experience that consumers kind of want to 13:47 be able to consume in many different ways. 13:51 So logical question then is whose responsibility is it to 13:55 design this experience. 13:58 So if you think back to 1950s or 14:02 even prior to that it was the actual creator of the, the product. 14:04 In the 1950s, talking about an agency, so 14:09 likely an art director, copy writer, and account manager. 14:12 They were sort of the ones responsible for 14:15 defining that message, and then forcing that to be sent thru the company. 14:17 But today when you start looking about the number of disciplines that can touch this, 14:23 you're talking about everything from product design to customer service to 14:27 industrial design to UX service design. 14:31 All of these kind of groups are responsible for helping shape that. 14:35 Because if you think about crafting the entire kind of experience, 14:40 if that's really where we are in terms of brand,. 14:43 Or that we need to define the experience architecture that's got to 14:46 go beyond just sort of a simple messaging being dictated by 14:50 what would typically be seen as kind of a, a singular creative group. 14:54 So it includes kind of all these touch points. 14:57 So you start putting some faces to this and 15:00 now we're talking about copy writers and art directors. 15:02 They are still certainly a huge part of, of defining and 15:05 even possibly creating the initial strategy for a brand. 15:08 But social media managers, 15:11 industrial designers, marketing analysts, customer support specialists and 15:14 even UX designers are then part of this kind of model as well. 15:18 So next few minutes we'll just go through kinda some examples of companies that I 15:23 think are doing that pretty well. 15:28 So first example I wanna go through is airbnb. 15:33 So, if you know, not familiar with them they provide a means for people to host or 15:36 rent lodging, kind of in the vein of a peer-to-peer network. 15:40 So they're long-known for having a really great user experience design. 15:45 I think a lot of that is because their founders come from a marketing design and 15:48 user experience background. 15:53 And recently it made some waves of their kind of overall approach to their brand. 15:56 Pr, prior to the logo design so I'm not gonna talk about that. 16:01 but, prior to that there was a lot of discussions about what they were going to 16:04 do with the business. 16:09 So there were some questions on, you know, what's, what's next for 16:09 you guys, how are you gonna kind of expand the business. 16:12 And those, a lot of people thought they were gonna do that laterally so, 16:14 right now they're having peer-to-peer sort of network around. 16:18 Lodging those questions were you know, seen at the automobile so can we, 16:22 you know, share automobiles in big cities or power tools or something like that. 16:25 And they said no, that's actually not what we want to 16:29 be defined by this model brand what our brand really is about is hospitality and 16:32 kind of the pivotal point for them coming to that decision is they brought in the, 16:37 sort of the Snow White project, if anybody knew they [UNKNOWN]? 16:42 Okay, so the founder was watching Snow White and 16:47 understood sort of the background of how Disney created that movie. 16:51 And he got into this idea of storyboarding, so 16:55 he hired a Pixar animator to come in and 16:57 they storyboarded out the entire sort of trip experience of a user. 17:00 So this is everything from you just you know, 17:04 having an idea in your head that you wanna go somewhere all the way through booking 17:07 it to actually getting out of the cab and then realizing where am I gonna go now? 17:10 Or how am I gonna get to my location? 17:14 To the actual experience of the the, of the, of the lodging all the way back home. 17:16 And so they kind of got that out, and they whittled that down. 17:22 They kept editing over weeks to 30 key touch points or frames within 17:24 the total sort of like customer journey or the experience of a trip. 17:30 And what that revealed to them what there was a gap between what they how they 17:35 wanted to be perceived and communicate their brand in terms of hospitality and 17:41 the experience that they were actually creating, so 17:46 doing those story boards helped them do that. 17:48 So they hired a guy named Chip Conley who had run a bunch of boutique hotels, 17:51 around the globe, who's retired. 17:56 They brought him back out of retirement and said we want you to 17:57 be the head of our global hospitality division that they created. 17:59 And so as a result of that now they've created endless amounts of 18:04 documentation around kind of hospitality standards, hospitality tactics, 18:08 and all of this kind of kind of experience that they've had. 18:14 And they've even gone as far as trying to train people in how to be better hosts. 18:18 Because that fits sort of their, new brand model. 18:22 And then even in product design, so they have a open policy of we want to 18:26 improve our product and we're willing to listen to any kind of idea that you bring. 18:29 But the first question to ask is how does it improve one of those 30 touch points 18:34 that we have, so if it doesn't improve one of those, then it's not going to 18:37 increase or benefit sort of the, the brand experience that they're trying to create. 18:41 So it's a great example of a company that could have just been 18:46 seen as a company that was a booking application actually shifting that 18:49 into a kind of really personal customer experience company. 18:53 The second custody, case study I wanna go through is Urban Outfitters. 18:59 If you're not familiar with them they cover home goods and fashion or 19:03 a clothing retailer. 19:06 And I really like them as as a case study because in an industry the fashion 19:08 industry which is generally declining or 19:11 is not been seen this doing very well in the last couple years, 19:13 they've actually increased their profit margins and their sales. 19:17 And I think they're prominently doing this because they really know their audience 19:20 really well. 19:24 So their audience is primarily early adopters, so people who want to be kind of 19:25 at the, the forefront of technol, or fashion and, and kind of home goods. 19:29 As a result of that, then they model their kind of product line after that. 19:35 So instead of having kind of a, a more narrow focused set of products that they 19:38 have lot of that, so it's available to many, many people, they have a very, very, 19:43 very broad product offering, but a very shallow number of those products. 19:48 So increases this idea of exclusivity, with this particular audience, 19:54 it generates a high demand for 19:58 it and, it kinda limits the amount of availability that they have. 20:00 So they state in their mission that they wanna be a, 20:04 a voyage of discovery for their customers and as a result of that, the entire 20:08 experience that they create around their company kind of reflects that. 20:13 So, some of the things they do. 20:18 In the upper right, you see one of the images of a store they have,. 20:21 They don't have kind of a set guideline for every store. 20:25 So in every city across the globe, 20:27 where ever you see an Urban Outfitters, the store is a reflection of the, 20:29 the community, the demographic, the needs of that particular group of people, and 20:32 it even affects kind of the products, that they have in the store. 20:37 So if you were to go to, variety of them across the globe, in itself just going 20:40 into one is gonna sort of be a new kind of discovery for you. 20:45 They also, even in their product line, 20:50 the catalog that they have online is different than the catalog they have, 20:52 or what they have in the store is different than their print catalog. 20:55 So again, each one of those avenues becomes a sort of voyage of discovery. 20:58 And then even in the left here, 21:03 the kind of branding that they do, specifically visually. 21:04 The logo tag treatment changes frequently. 21:08 Again, to reflect this idea of, like, newness. 21:11 Or, sort of, you're coming to a new place of discovery. 21:13 And then this also even translates into their product design. 21:17 And even their technology decisions. 21:22 So this is an app that they have. 21:24 That is specifically around this idea of voyage of discovery. 21:26 So you take the app in store. 21:29 Interactions that you have with products and kind of goals, things that they 21:31 outline in the app within the store by socializing those, by completing those, 21:35 you get reward points and then you get to use those for to buy products. 21:41 And then even on the other end of the spectrum. 21:45 In technology decisions. 21:48 A couple years ago they changed their recommendation engine that they used, 21:50 now they use a product called Bay Note and 21:53 the reason that they chose Bay Note was because they thought that it mapped best 21:56 to their wisdom of the crowd approach to recommendation so the idea that 22:00 this particular audience frequently shares kind of, recommendations with each other. 22:05 So they wanted a recommendation, and 22:09 [INAUDIBLE] would model that sort of behavior. 22:11 And as a result of doing that, now they have one out of every four, customers that 22:14 go online clicks on a recommendation which is extremely high in e-com, industry. 22:19 And then they also have increased their online sales based on 22:26 recommendations from 1% to 7%. 22:29 So in about 90 days the technology decision that 22:31 they made to use Baynote kind of paid off. 22:34 And the kicker to all this is they used zero money on marketing and advertising. 22:37 They spent all their money on the creation of these sort of experiences. 22:43 Either in the store, or these apps that they create. 22:47 So, um,they, they kind of magnifies that. 22:50 And then, what it does, is, is the experience is the brand. 22:53 The brand is the experience. 22:57 And that becomes their sole marketing tool. 22:58 So the last example is Warby Parker. 23:02 So if you're not familiar with them, 23:05 they're an online retailer that sells, prescription in sun glass eye wear online. 23:07 And so in 2010, they kind of flipped the, the eye wear industry on its head by 23:12 saying that you're getting ripped off by these sort of other eye 23:18 wear companies that are charging you about 400% more than what you should be paying. 23:22 And we're here to remedy that kind of problem. 23:26 So the, their primary customer connection from the outset was sort of 23:29 positioning themselves as a customer service business that also sells products. 23:35 And specifically they have accomplished that by really 23:41 taking the hyper-personalized kind of experience do you have in a store, 23:44 looking at eye wear, and translating that online, so they've invested in 23:48 kinda really into intuitive, innovative, tools to help you do that. 23:52 So they have tools to help you measure pupilary distance, 23:56 which is necessary if you're gonna buy eye wear. 23:59 They have a try-on, a virtual try on tool. 24:02 So you can dump a bunch of glasses in. 24:06 Try those on. 24:07 Scale them appropriately. 24:08 Rotate them. 24:10 really, really well done. 24:11 And then they encourage you to share those out so kind of mimicking the idea of 24:12 taking a friend with you to the store and then sharing that out and trying to see 24:17 and get other people's opinion on the kind of glasses that would look good. 24:21 And then it even extends to the home try on program. 24:25 So you select a bunch of glasses. 24:27 You get it in this nice box that has these divisions which would be 24:29 similar to a tray that you'd be given. 24:32 If you're at a eye wear brick and mortar store and then again they have 24:33 instructions on how you would kind of translate or share that out. 24:37 But one of the things they do really well, 24:42 pretty cool, they created a YouTube channel that is primarily, 24:43 centers around very personal communication back to you, as a consumer. 24:47 So you might have had a customer support call with them. 24:53 And about 10 minutes later, you'll get an email with a link and 24:55 that'll take you to the YouTube channel, where the person that you just spoke to 25:00 will actually s, call you out by name and give you about a 10 or 25:03 15 second video that's a follow up on the call that you have. 25:07 They do the same thing with their kinda social channels. 25:10 So if you tweeted them or Facebook, it's a way for 25:13 them to sort of to communicate back. 25:16 So if you think back at those diagrams, and 25:18 you talk about that gap between a company and, and a consumer. 25:20 They done a really good job of like, kinda closing that pretty tightly. 25:24 It's a, it's a good example of a brand that's defined by 25:28 the customer service that they offer. 25:31 So there's this sort of merger of the experience they've created in 25:33 this cluster, customer service that they have offered. 25:37 So one end now with kind of four UX lessons that I think we can take back, 25:42 so we talked about some common scenarios that I think exist in 25:47 this relationship between brand and UX. 25:51 Talked a little bit about the history of branding looked at 25:52 a couple case studies so here are kind of four lessons that I think we can take. 25:56 So the first is finding common ground. 26:00 So too often I hear that there's kind of like no place for brand goals and UX and 26:03 it's just not sort of a responsibility that we have. 26:08 Kind of highlighting that pass the buck idea that I demonstrated before. 26:10 And, and I read this in an article though that I'm not going to tell you who, 26:16 who wrote it but it said the brand is an important part of the company's identity, 26:18 but is entirely separate from the UX designer's job. 26:22 The user will experience it but the purpose of the brand has nothing to 26:26 do with the user's goals, only the company's goals, therefore not UX. 26:29 So it's sort of this, this problem where there's an understanding that the user is 26:34 going to experience the brand but 26:38 then the idea that it's just not part of a UXer's job to be considering that. 26:42 And I recognize it's only one voice. 26:47 I'm kinda, I'm not, I'm not pulling the quote out of context. 26:49 But I'm not giving you the rest of the context. 26:51 But it is sort of indicative of this, that passing the buck mentality. 26:53 Or some things I've seen. 26:56 But I'd like to suggest there's actually more common ground between branding and 26:59 marketing goals and user experience. 27:04 So in 1960 Jerome McCarthy penned these kinda four Ps which are kinda the was 27:07 saying is the four touch points so. 27:12 Product, price, placement, promotion. 27:14 And this was typically how brands were instructed to sort of or 27:16 companies were constructed to communicate their message. 27:20 And admittedly, you know, it kind of created this artificial layer between 27:25 the product and the consumer, how it was communicated. 27:28 But I don't actually think this model, I think, I think it's a model that we think 27:34 it still exists or we sort of have in our mind might be happening but. 27:37 What I've seen is much more talk, much more, kind of, 27:42 dialogue, that has shifted from this idea of touch points between a product or 27:45 a company and a consumer, into what's being seen as outcomes. 27:49 So impression, interaction, 27:54 responsiveness, resilience are typically seen as the way that marketing and 27:56 brand, kind of, groups are trying to communicate to their audience. 28:01 So the idea of impression, so it, does this service or 28:06 product meet my needs is a question that they ask. 28:08 Interaction, is this product or 28:11 service doing what it says it does when I'm interacting with it? 28:13 Responsiveness, is this service or product approachable? 28:18 Is it accessible? 28:22 Is it, again, listening to my needs for what I have. 28:24 And lastly, resilience. 28:27 Does the service or product care about me? 28:28 Does it care about others? 28:30 Does it care about some greater sort of cause. 28:31 So if this is a truly what marketing and 28:34 brand groups are sort of some of the goals that they have. 28:36 I would argue that all those questions that I just outlined are questions that we 28:41 would oftentimes ask as user experience designers, and 28:44 therefore there's a much tighter common ground, or 28:48 that becomes a points of conversation that we can have with each other. 28:50 The second lesson I wanna go through is this idea of becoming the glue. 28:55 So think about successful companies and sort of you know, how, 29:01 how they kind of communicate their, their products or their, or their companies. 29:05 A lot of times it's that this inner section of, 29:09 branding technology business and kind of human kind of needs. 29:12 And so you think about companies like Ben and Jerry's. 29:18 Or Burt's Bees. 29:21 Apple. They sort of do a really good job of, 29:22 of making those kinda insights kind of available. 29:24 And using that to, to kind of communicate. 29:27 Well, a lot of times the problem is that insights within the companies, 29:31 most companies,are coming from siloed teams. 29:34 So you know, 29:37 brand insights, human insights, technology insights are handled by different groups, 29:38 they don't often communicate with one another, and they're fairly siloed. 29:43 And obviously, you know, I can't kinda solve that kind of problem here, but 29:47 what I can suggest is if you think about the groups that 29:51 we interact with as user experience designers, so users. 29:54 And technologists and 29:58 designers and business development teams and marketing teams. 29:59 We're, we're sitting at those kind of intersections of those insights. 30:03 The problem is, we just of have to kind of make those things sticky. 30:07 So at Vigit one of the kind of common things we talk about as 30:11 user experience designers internally is the idea of us being Sherpas. 30:15 So how do we sort of guide other teams through sort of the terrain of a, 30:20 of a project? 30:24 And when you kind of apply that to the same kind of way that we 30:25 would address branding and 30:29 kind of marketing goals there's a couple of things I think we can do. 30:31 I think we need to kind of get out of our own silos. 30:34 And start to go and interview these other teams, so start talking to people who 30:37 are doing and defining marketing goals and brand goals for your companies. 30:41 I think we can even use things that we have such as personas and 30:47 other means to document those goals to identify UX needs that they have, or 30:51 moments in which we can kind of help them create those those plans. 30:56 And finally we kind of facilitate those meetings among the, the people. 31:02 An example I give is when we recently did some work at ESPN we 31:07 had a contact there and she was really amazing at being able to bring in 31:10 people from almost every kind of department that were, uh,was at ESPN. 31:16 So editorial and technologists, and their marketing teams. 31:21 And by her sort of being that glue, and 31:25 bringing all those companies together, they did a really amazing job. 31:27 They were able to start talking to one another, understand their needs more. 31:30 And then allowed us to go in and 31:34 identify opportunities that we could kind of help them out,. 31:35 So it's a lesson I've kind of had a hard time learning, you know? 31:39 The faster that we stop sort of waiting for that mandate to come down, and 31:43 someone to kind of give us that kind of plan. 31:46 And we're the ones responsible for bringing those teams together. 31:48 And finding those kind of common points then the better I 31:53 think our experiences are gonna end up being. 31:56 The third lesson I wanna take is, this is getting macro. 31:59 So I think we do a lot of micro kind of we're really 32:01 good at micro designs so even at the tiniest scale. 32:06 So you know, understanding how users interact with buttons or gestures. 32:10 That kind of design. 32:15 We're also pretty good at even micro projects within a company, 32:16 so designing a campaign site for a company or designing a mobile app for 32:20 a bank or even doing usability testing within on a kinda legacy kinda product. 32:25 But if we're thinking about designing kind of the total brand experience then we've 32:33 gotta kind of back out of that micro kind of view and 32:37 we have to start considering how these are going to, 32:41 how these decisions are seen in kinda larger brand ecosystem. 32:43 And one example of this I think is really well. 32:47 This is from Tom Schneider, he's the VP of UX at Rosetta and 32:49 he crafted these ideas around grand experience metaphors. 32:54 And these are kind of some diagrams or metaphors that he creates. 32:59 And the idea here is the UX can actually help in bland, 33:02 brand communication planning. 33:06 By mapping common user experiences thru these sort of metaphors, 33:09 and then looking for brand opportunities, but kind of rooting them in 33:14 this context of of, brand metaphors, or experienced metaphors. 33:18 So this is a example of a company who create medicine for 33:24 an adult that has kind of bladder control problem. 33:29 So. 33:32 He starts the, at the core of the metaphor is this idea of a parent 33:33 who needs to is watching their kids and kind of spectating. 33:38 But there's like not a bathroom kind of near there. 33:43 So, that's the kind of metaphor of 33:46 the situation that they might find themselves in. 33:47 And then from that, he then starts to think about other metaphors that 33:49 are similar, so that might be being in a movie or being on a long car ride or 33:52 going out on a dinner date, similar kind of uncomfortable situations. 33:57 And once he has those larger metaphors, he's then able to look for these sort of 34:00 opportunities for co, how you could communicate the value of this product. 34:05 So that might be things like refreshment stands or 34:11 movie ticket sales, outdoor media, that type of thing. 34:15 So what he's looking at is brand intersections that are both A, 34:19 the customer experience but also then reinforce the brands value. 34:25 So that sort of combination. 34:29 And then once he does that, he takes it into a more traditional, 34:32 sort of like customer journey map, where we take, 34:34 look at a user and how they might go from being unaware of a product, all the way 34:39 through conversion and then finally being an evangelist for the product. 34:44 So he's taken a task that was, for 34:49 the most part, absent of any kind of UX or user real input. 34:50 It was mostly just done by brand teams that were planning, weren't really taking, 34:54 kind of, the user in to consideration. 34:59 And he's placed it in sort of a meaningful context now. 35:02 And so it's, it's a good example of, of just planning or 35:05 rooting brand planning into sort of a meaningful customer experience journey. 35:08 And so the last lesson I wanna leave with is this idea of embracing the X and 35:15 D of UXD. 35:19 So I think if we're being honest, we kinda look at the landscape of 35:22 the dialogue a lot of times around user experience design right now. 35:25 There's a lot of discussions. 35:29 Hyper-focus, kind of, on the processes and the technology that we use. 35:31 A lot of debates about methodologies. 35:35 And while those are, not saying the discussions are necessarily bad. 35:37 but, sometimes I wonder if we seem to be too, 35:41 more worried about how we're getting to a solution rather than 35:44 actually evaluating the quality of the solution that we're creating. 35:47 So I've kinda wondering if we've lost sort of that spirit that many of us had when we 35:52 wanted to use our experiences, on, which was to root this in actual experiences. 35:57 So has anybody seen this Simon Sinek's Golden Circle? 36:03 Have you watched this TED Talk? 36:06 Yeah, so it's great. 36:08 So, the premise, you know, is the idea that most communi, 36:09 companies communicate from the outside of the circle in. 36:12 So they start by, here's what we do and here's how we do it, and 36:14 then they finally get around to telling you why they do it. 36:18 But he discovered that most successful companies actually start with the inverse, 36:21 so they go from the center of the circle out. 36:27 They start with the why, and what he says is, 36:29 people don't buy what you buy, they buy why you do it. 36:30 And he supports this theory by demonstrating that the part of the brain 36:35 that's responsible for decision making or behavior change is motivated by the why. 36:39 So if you think about it, if we start with the what and the how, more often 36:45 than none, by the time you get somebody to that point, they don't care anymore. 36:49 If you actually hook them or you engage them through the why, 36:53 you have a much higher percentage of chance that you're going to 36:57 change their behavior, or influence them in some way, 37:02 which does get back to this idea of the experience that we create. 37:05 So, you know, 37:10 the challenge I think we have is starting our projects more with asking why. 37:10 and, you know, not to be controversial, but if the why then results in 37:17 this thing that we should use an agile UX process then great. 37:21 If the why results in us doing lean UX, great. 37:27 If it results in us designing in the browser, great. 37:30 But let's make those decisions not because there's industry dialogues saying that we 37:35 should be doing it, 37:39 but that is rooted in the actual why of the, of the product that we're making. 37:40 So kind of in summary, so the first thing, 37:47 finding common ground, though UX marketing and brand goals, I'd like to say that 37:49 they're actually more aligned and that there's a common ground there between it. 37:53 If we can start to think about those things like resilience, 37:58 responsiveness, kind of interaction becoming the glue. 38:00 Let's use our sort of unique position at the intersection of all of 38:03 these different company insights, these silos that are there. 38:07 To start pulling those teams together, and 38:11 creating and crafting kind of more holistic experience. 38:12 Let's get macro, so understand our role within the kind 38:16 of larger brand ecosystem, or understand what we're doing as a result of that. 38:21 Understand how what we're doing is more tied to the larger brand ecosystem. 38:26 And then embracing the X and D of UXD like we just talked about. 38:32 So, kinda close out. 38:37 I think, you know, 38:38 this is, this the image that I think many of us conjure up when we're thinking about 38:39 sort of like the role of or strategy around branding and kind of marketing. 38:43 And I'm not saying that this still doesn't happen. 38:49 I'm not saying there's not necessarily a, 38:51 a place for this kind of role or kind of attitude. 38:53 But I do think we have to move past it based on this idea that companies need and 38:57 see their brand being tied to the experience that they're creating for 39:03 their customers or their users. 39:08 I also don't want you to leave thinking that I'm standing up here saying that I 39:10 think that UX design is or UXers are the new kind of brand leaders, but 39:15 I would like to challenge us to start considering how the role that we're 39:19 playing is affecting the kinds of brand and marketing decisions that are made. 39:23 Or, more importantly, how we can create more meaningful and 39:28 honest brand messaging and experiences. 39:33 So, with that, thanks. 39:37 I'll put these online. 39:39 [APPLAUSE] 39:39
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