Contextual Series: User Onboarding

Over the past few years I’ve been working with new technologies and working new techniques for approaching user experience problems. Companies have routinely approached the problem of providing segmented user experiences by selling different products or services. Those who don’t have the resources to do so pick one segment and focus on them while alienating all other users who are trying out their product. I am not a fan of either solutions and there are others who aren’t either.

The proper solution for ensuring that users are happy is by providing a product or a service that feels as though has been built for them. When a user comes to your newspaper site and you know that they like cars, you shouldn’t start giving them news about fashion.  They will see this and leave immediately, likely to never come back. First impressions are everything. But even with that great first impression, if you can’t keep the user interested and engaged, you’ve also lost them.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!  Hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends.

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that our of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Forget marketing if you cannot provide unparalleled support

2013 has been a year where my brand loyalty has gone out the window. A lot of the products and services I used to love have lost me as a customer and a supporter.  Why?  Because I’ve experience poor support.  There were also certain scenarios where I chose to buy a competitive product or service to the one I was considering because their sales and support team made me feel welcome.

This is certainly not a new theory by any means. Companies are hiring agents to man their Twitter and Facebook channels for users complaining.   Having been on both sides of the coin, it isn’t an easy.  As a user, you are frustrated that you aren’t getting what you expected, whether or not expectations are reasonable.  With sometimes unreasonable users, providing may sometimes feel like a lost cause. Let me tell you that it is not, I will share my GoDaddy experiences later.

There are companies that I have been very loyal to over the past 10 years. I’ve praised their product, chanted their name and also showed my support with my wallet.  I’ve also supported brands in general, regardless of the product they released.  When something doesn’t work as expected or breaks, support is the first line of contact. Some bend over backwards trying to make you feel comfortable, even if you are wrong. Then there are others who feel like they just read you an answer from a manual without care of you moving on.  This year, my worst experiences have all been with services, namely Lunarpages, GoDaddy and Spotify.

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