Smart UX managers deliver better experiences and better revenue. That's their job.
At the heart of this year's MX Conference was a talk by Hotwire Group's head of mobile, Melissa Matross. Her story starts with her hatred of display ads and how they took away from the quality of the Hotwire experience as a “necessary evil.”
Knowing her frustration with the ads, her boss challenged Melissa saying, “If you want to get rid of the ads, find a way to replace the revenue.” This was the opening that Melissa says changed her career.
Before her story's done, you hear how she found revenue, dramatically improved the experience and Hotwire's brand impression, and ignited her career:
Melissa Matross | Better Revenue through UX: Bringing Down the Banners the Hotwire Way
Last week I posted about how businesses over-invest in advertising and under-invest in the improvement of the service experience, which creates what I call a Service Anticipation Gap, or SAG. Customers are falsely led to expect a service that's better than what it can be. The result is wasted ad spend and revenue losses from customer (dis)engagement.
Businesses have gotten used to confidently connecting spending on ads and seeing the returns in revenue. Or as @odannyboy overheard, “Advertising is a lazy man's monetization.”
And here's where the folks that plan and design services have stumbled. We haven't been able to make the same connections between investments and results that make an investment decision in good service design a no-duh. The efforts to improve services haven't historically met with the same financial success as ad spends, and therefore business lack the confidence to spend on it. Confidence is lost because coordinating systems and people with a vision of how the service reallyshould be isn't as easy as pumping out ads via a partner agency.
Has a commercial ever brought you to tears? Images of families reconnecting in an airport or a child hugging their parent with delight because a service was able to bring together a magic moment? I think we've all seen some wet eyes resulting from a well crafted 30-second ad spot.
How about tears brought about from an actual service? Or someone jumping in the air with joy because of how great that check-in process was? Nada. It's a rare, rare bird.
But what if—WHAT IF—services were just as good as they were advertised to be? What if they were even close? Wouldn't that be a shocker? Or OMG, wouldn't that be an incredible business!
In the past six months, I've been leading design teams of twenty, sometimes thirty people. Some of these people are designers, but the majority are managers, business strategists, front-line workers, and P&L owners. Most of my team members come from my client's organization. Together we have been solving big wonky strategy and design problems that matter deeply to how our client will continue to support and grow relationships with their customers in the future.
One of the challenges of investing in a great user experience is the concern that it can be easily copied — you do a lot of work to find the perfect experience and then your solution is out there in the world for anyone else to copy. So if UX can be easily commoditized, you just invest in it as a commodity, right? Wrong, dude, wrong.
After an appearance at last year’s UX Week, Cameron Gray, Vice President of Engineering at online training experts Mindflash will return to our stage at this year’s MX Conference with a talk about Agile and UX.
As a design process freak, I jumped at the chance to interview Cameron and ask him about the way he is integrating UX in Mindflash’s Agile development methodology.
[Peter Boersma] You (re)joined Mindflash almost 4 years ago, after a 4-year stint at another company, and run the development team. What have you changed to the way that team is managed? What…
They say, if it moves measure it. I’ve been finding myself thinking a lot about how to measure UX lately—mainly to realize that I halfway don’t believe it’s possible. My gripe is that even if you can regularly track and look at numbers (itself no small feat), it’s hard to know what they mean exactly. And yet, without understanding the quantifiable effects, it’s very difficult to know or show what impact user experience is having in an organization. And that’s important.
The cake model of product strategy is actually two different models for how to evolve and improve the scope of a product over time. I’ve found it’s a very helpful tool for helping teams think through what’s going to be a successful customer experience in the short term and the long term.
Model #1: Dry Cake
The first model shows the “dry cake” approach that many organizations plan out new products and experiences. They start with cake, then maybe add some filling, and then plan to add the icing as the final step. It makes sense from an…
I’m very pleased to announce the relaunch of Changemakers.com, the leading network for open source social innovation. Changemakers is a program of Ashoka, a global non-profit organization supporting the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Changemakers hosts competitions to find the best solutions to social problems, and allows the community to collaborate on, refine, enrich, and implement those solutions. The Adaptive Path team included Leah Buley, Rae Brune, Dan Harrelson, and Kumi Akiyoshi, with Jody Medich and Gray Kuglen.
[caption id=“attachment_3416” align=“aligncenter” width=“500” caption=“Redesigned Home Page”]
The redesign was a nine-month project involving not only…
Ad-driven websites represent a great battle between business needs and user needs: How can one increase ad revenue (“More clicks!”) while streamlining the user experience (“Fewer clicks!”)?
This clash arose throughout our collaboration with MySpace, as we worked towards simplifying the bloated layouts and navigation. Because making more pages accessible in fewer clicks implied fewer opportunities for ad impressions, improving the user experience and increasing ad revenue seemed like competing goals. Could there be a way to make fewer pages more profitable than many?
Enter the “hero ad.” Blowing away the half-dozen ad slots that once competed for attention on…