As UI and UX designers, it is easy to focus all of our efforts and attention on the user’s experience solely within the context of the app or web platform that we design. The process of creating digital products and the experiences they deliver is too easily segregated from the over-arching businesses that these products live under. It is easy to forget that a user experiences a business and products in several different contexts, especially when an app has physical or external aspects that supplement them. Uber, Airbnb and Taskrabbit are familiar examples.
Contemporary apps are beautifully designed with functionality to match. They serve their purpose without fail, to the extent that we rely on them without a second thought. When such high regard and level of trust are placed on an app and consequently the business, it can be severely damaging to the latter when these expectations and trust are broken. There have been recent instances involving Uber and Airbnb where the real wold experiences of these apps have not lived up to the promises of the user’s app experience. In such instances, the repercussions have been severe. Huge loss of user trust and gratification leads to a decrease in user base and opens up the market for competitors to fill the void, hence the appearance and recent success Karhoo. Obviously not every case results in such drastic outcomes, but the impact of breaking a users trust shouldn’t be underestimated.
On the other hand, when a business and it’s product exceed a user’s expectation within the real world context, it is hugely positive to the overall experience. To create a user experience that goes beyond an app is the key to a successful and lasting proposition. The world of users is no longer divided between the digital and the real, users expect an end to end experience that is aligned to all of their expectations.
One such experience I have had recently is with a new start-up bank in London called Mondo. Described on their homepage as “Built for your smartphone, this is banking like never before. One that updates your balance instantly, gives intelligent notifications, and is easy to use.” They do indeed uphold that promise. Every experience I’ve had with the app reinforces that description. But above and beyond that, what has really stood out for me has been the experience I’ve had outside of the app. When I received the uniquely bright bankcard within a few days of my account activating, both the account and card worked immediately and seamlessly. When I encountered the first issue with my account, it took mere minutes for someone at Mondo to respond to my query within the app. A great blend of real and digital, it wasn’t a robot responding but a helpful person guiding me through the process of validating my identity so I could transfer money to another Mondo user.
Attention given to every detail, not just to the interface, user experience, or core benefits of the app go a long way. These experiences aren’t just limited to the on boarding process or even the usage experience, but now they go beyond these to the experiences after a users time with an app is done. Now comes the ‘Closure Experiences’ (http://www.closureexperiences.com/) as defined by Joel Macleod. He describes closure experiences as “The satisfactory conclusion to a product or service relationship. Each party feeling satisfied with the completed transaction; it being a fair, just conclusion without negative consequence.”
The full experience of real and digital experience is something we should all strive to when we design a product for a business. We should take into consideration all touch points and experiences so as to create a long, lasting and positive experience with the user.
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