Measuring, Understanding and Designing Every Interaction

Why you must measure, understand and design exceptional experiences across every interaction people have with your brand.

[multi-channel experiences image credit: Dries Buytaert | Copyright: Dries Buytaert]

When people think about your brand, they think about all of their interactions with your brand, not just the good ones.Your customer service is exceptional but at the same time your store layout is confusing so people can't find anything. Your price point is low but also your product is incredibly slow and difficult to use. Guess which of these things your customer will remember about you.

The best (worst) example I'll always remember when I think about holistic experience design is The New York Times. Regardless of your political viewpoints, or the 'Caliphate' podcast, hear me out.

When it comes to the storytelling experience and how people want to receive their news, The New York Times has always prioritized the design of these experiences. Remember Snow Fall? However, most threads you'll find about the Times experience online will be complaints about how difficult it was to unsubscribe from before they updated the experience.

The subscriber experience (see note below**) will probably be the experience former subscribers remember most vividly, not the storytelling.You can easily find threads about this issue with a quick internet search, but I'll save you the time. This is what the experience was like previously:

In this Reddit thread, an insider shares why the experience was like this and how it was intentionally designed by someone at The New York Times.

Subscribers were in subscriber jail unable to manage their subscription through a self-service option. This was unacceptable. Subscribers of The New York Times expected more from their beloved "Old Gray Lady."

Consumers demand flexibility today. Creating a delightful subscriber experience, whether you are onboarding or offboarding, is not optional if you want to maintain your brand reputation. Just because subscribers are leaving you today, it doesn't mean they will not promote you tomorrow or even subscribe again when their needs change.

As John Maeda pointed out in his 2021 CX Report, we should think about the user experience holistically from the buyer experience to the experience people have as users of your products and services. Maeda describes "infinite loops" people go through over a lifetime of touchpoints with your brand, moving back and forth between moments of being a buyer and moments of being a user or customer.

This is why UX teams measure every interaction someone has with a brand during their lifetime. I coach teams to listen to how people interact with your brand in physical spaces, how easy it is to use our desktop and mobile apps and interrogate how you are resolving your issues with customer care.

Always be listening. Taking a mixed-methods approach helps avoid blindspots. With a tech stack that includes UserTesting, Qualtrics, Figma, Power BI and Miro, teams can listen then create understanding and meaning from the signals they are getting and design solutions to remove friction and increase delight in their customers.

[**The New York Times subscription experience has been updated! It is much easier to unsubscribe today even though it means letting some subscribers find greener pastures.


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