I was truly thrilled and honored to be selected to speak at the 2012 IA Summit. I've been going to the Summit for years (first time was in Vegas), and have always found the content to be top notch and the community to be even better.
So here's the proposal for the talk. I'm happy to hear feedback or suggestions as I put it together.
Happiness is overrated.
It's almost a mantra in the user experience world: you should aim to "delight" your users. You should stud their experience with moments of “wow”. You should exceed their expectations.
And when you do it well, you’ll create loyal customers, and even some social evangelists who will happily spread the word of your awesomeness across the web.
It’s conventional wisdom. But is it true?
Research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board (my old company), delved into the relationship between customers’ levels of satisfaction, and their loyalty to a brand. The study, which focused primarily on customer service websites and call centers, casts doubt on the dollar value of delight.
Delighting users doesn’t necessarily make them more loyal or profitable. In fact, your highest-value opportunities for boosting user loyalty lie in helping the ones who aren’t happy by eliminating their most common irritants.
During this talk we’ll get into:
- How bad customer experiences affect the bottom line compared to good ones
- Our individual and organizational bias toward designing for delight
- The top two drivers of user dissatisfaction, and how to avoid them
- Real-life examples of websites that have been updated specifically to build loyalty through better online experience
- The importance of service design to customer loyalty
- A new metric to measure (and present to senior management) the success of your service design
A recent conversation about user testing new features and designs induced me to get a little more organized in my thinking about the right method for particular testing goals. Two key dimensions to consider are:
- User Dimension (X Axis): Is our research goal to better understand how users are behaving on the site (aka, what users are doing), or is it more about understanding their underlying goals, tasks, and assumptions (aka, why users are doing what they do)?
- Product Dimension (Y Axis): Are we more interested in how well our product is aligning with user goals and tasks in terms of features, content, and high-level structure (aka, our product Strategy*), or are we measuring how well the design is presenting the product through visual presentation, IA, and labeling (aka, our product Surface*)?
* Surface and Strategy are designations borrowed here from Jesse James Garrett's Elements of User Experience. Surface is represented by the eyeball icon; Strategy by the lightbulb.
Given those dimensions, I tried to map the relative usefulness of various research and testing methods. What are your thoughts? How would you arrange these research methods?