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Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on Emotional design: what marketers can learn from a weather app. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
It’s time we treated form and function with even-handed consideration, writes Jacqui Jewell. To illustrate, she dissects the visceral, behavioural and reflective elements of the weather app on iOS.
Marketing is fast catching on to the idea that consumers buy an ‘experience’ rather than a product or service. It is all about the ‘relationship’ with the brand and/or product, and with all relationships comes human emotion.
When it comes to experiences with products and services (whether it be a blender, a new TV interface or an online budgeting app) marketers should know that certain elements can be tweaked to ascertain good responses to what is being sold.
Functionality and aesthetics are two elements of the user interface that have often been in conflict. A stunning design serving no other purpose but as an expression of beauty is not going to help you find the enter button on a banking app. A dull, stock-standard but functional interface is not going to inspire the user to return.
It is time we treated form and function with the even-handed consideration reserved for newborn twins; wrapped up in a blanket of ‘we love them both equally’.
Good experiential design means that beauty and functionality are in balance and that we acknowledge the concept of ‘emotional design’, a term coined by Donald Norman, a professor of cognitive science and usability consultant for the Nielsen Norman Group.
After banging on about the primacy of functionality over other considerations in his book The Design of Everyday Things (his critics had a field day), Norman decided to backtrack and explore people’s relationship to design. The result was the book Emotional Design.
Through his research, Norman found that design affects how people experience products, which happens at three different levels, and translates into three types of design:
1. Visceral design: a subconscious and even biologically pre-wired response to a visual (think of your automatic responses to seeing a cockroach or an attractive person).
2. Behavioural design: how the product/application functions, the look and feel, the usability, our total experience with using the product/application. Users form their perception of a product through use. Thus design needs to ensure the product is easy to use, addresses the end users goal/purpose, is enjoyable and free from causing frustration.
3. Reflective design: how it makes us feel after the initial impact and interacting with the product/application, where we associate products with our broader life experience and associate meaning and value to them. Consumers maintain an innate sense of identity through the consumption of the product over time. (Most of us know the bond we have with our iPhone and how losing it elicit panic).
Emotional design delves into the human aspect of the user experience and takes us on a journey that not only collects the cognitive, scientifically measurable elements of product design but also collects the emotional, affecting parts of the experience.
In the world of marketing, brands need to understand that various design elements in a campaign or other customer touch points contribute to the emotional response of the audience. By recognising the role of design in the selling process and actively integrating ‘emotional design’, marketers can boost the impact of their campaigns and deepen their relationships with their customers.
As an example of the three steps of ‘emotional design’, let’s analyse the Weather app for iOS. (I could use the entire Apple brand to effectively portray ‘emotional design’ at work but, hey, no one needs to tackle that mountain. Let’s keep it simple).
On a visceral level we are met with a clean, uncluttered interface, and a pleasant pictorial indication of the weather (blue’s always a good indicator when it comes to weather, yeah?). This is supported by a clear and bold delivery of what we have opened the app for – quick information. A clean and uncluttered interface unconsciously communicates simplicity, ease and luxury. The first part of our journey has begun and so far so good.
The behavioural part of the design is our total experience with the app.
- We effortlessly view the visual indicators of the weather (the subtle animations),
- we connect to the aesthetic of a sunburst and recollect emotionally what that means to our own experience of such,
- we relate to the visual story of storm clouds gathering and are persuaded to look into this further to see if rain is forecast – a simple finger-swipe to the left tells all,
- we can then move down to the five-day forecast, laid out neatly in the same screen – universal weather icons tell all, and
- swiping left or right here brings up other (personally chosen) cities for weather consideration, all with a descriptive visual, leaving us with a nice feeling of connectedness. The world becomes a smaller place.
No frustration has been experienced in our interaction (aside from maybe cracking the sads about a pending rain-storm on a weekend) and we are left with a satisfactory user experience. The brain takes note.
Reflectively we now associate this app with simplicity, clarity and ease of use. It becomes our ‘go-to’ app for whenever we are planning our living activities.
In the bigger picture of our lives we welcome anything that aids us and creates a feeling of effortlessness, such as this weather app. Alternatively, if we were navigating an interface that was unintuitive and messy, difficult to navigate and visually harsh, we would walk away with a feeling of (often subconsciously) unease, frustration and incompletion. We would not be quick to return.
As Donald Norman’s discovery stated:
“The surprise is that we now have evidence that pleasing things work better, are easier to learn, and produce a more harmonious result.”
Not so surprising any more. Emotional design is fast becoming important to marketers as they holistically approach the creation of great user experiences. Each system (form and function) impacts the other and works together. Knowing that emotion is so vital to how we think makes it more important than ever to seek and create a meaningful connection with the consumer and to ensure the best user experience possible.
Jacqui Jewell is Senior Designer at We Are Social.
- Experiential Marketing: A New Framework for Design and Communications, Bernd Schmitt Ph.D
We Are Social kitchen fork goes viral
Novelist Nikesh Shukla and We Are Social creative Nick Hearne have been winning the Internet with their footage of a lamb chop in space. In June 2014 the pair ‘borrowed’ a fork from We Are Social’s kitchen and sent a Tayyabs lamb chop into space to promote Nikesh’s new novel ‘Meatspace’ (get it? Meat. Space. The book has nothing to do with sending meat into space!)
The video has officially GONE VIRAL, with attention coming from: Vice, Huffington Post, BBC, Mashable, Today, Daily Mail, The Telegraph, Time Out… and the list goes on, and on. Check out the awesome footage below.
UK-based travel company launches travel show on Snapchat
Topdeck has unveiled the first travel show on Snapchat, partnering with YouTube star James Hill to host “Topdeck Snaps,” a six-episode series focusing on exploring Budapest, Berlin, Krakow, and Prague. The series, which will be amplified on Topdeck’s social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, will use the hashtag #TopdeckSnaps and take advantage of Snapchat’s Stories functionality.
During the campaign, Hill will live like a local and show insider tips as well as real-time and authentic cultural experiences. The intention of the campaign is to “introduce [Topdeck] to a 18-34 audience in a way which inspires and challenges perceptions of what a coach-based holiday around Europe actually is.”
Instagram is the place to be to reach millenials
In a recent study conducted by Instagram, the platform found that 13-24 year olds are “checking the app on average five times per day, with 42% regularly engaging with brands.” In October, Instagram Australia launched its inaugural ad campaign with ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s and early results have been promising. The photo sharing app currently has 10 ad partners in Australia running campaigns with more to launch in December.
Over half of UK ad budgets to go digital in 2015
UK readers, do you feel digitally savvy? Well that’s because you are. In fact, you’re so digitally savvy that advertisers are set to spend more than 50% of their £15.7bn budgets on digital in 2015. That puts the UK at number one in the digital ad stakes, followed by Sweden (47%), Denmark (43%), Australia (42%) and Norway (40%).
Twitter adds Offer button
Twitter is bumping up its e-commerce offering with the launch of ‘Twitter Offers’. A set of partners can now tweet messages containing an offer, which users can claim in store by registering their credit or debit card. All this in time for the festive season – it’s a Christmas miracle!
Twitter tests in-tweet analytics
Twitter has started an experiment with in-tweet analytics, in which some users are seeing a ‘view analytics details’ button on the mobile app. Clicking the button allows you to, well, view the analytics details of the tweet, including impressions, total engagements and engagement rate.
Samsung sponsors rugby highlights on Twitter
Samsung mobile is sponsoring rugby video content on Twitter, through the Sky Sports Rugby account. It’s a nice example of a brand taking a normal online behaviour (in this case sharing video clips in near-real time) and embracing it, rather than trying to shut it down.
— Sky Sports Rugby (@SkySportsRugby) November 22, 2014
We Are Social and Bulmers start ‘yarn-bombing’
Bulmers and We Are Social are joining up to make winter a little warmer, by knitting Twitter handles in yarn to create ‘tree cosies’ for Bulmers’ apple trees. The cider brand is asking its community to respond to a set of competition questions, with a few lucky winners getting their Twitter handle yarned up.
The ASA bans Oreo YouTube ads
The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency has banned a set of YouTube videos for Oreo, because they did not adequately point out that they were adverts. If you’re desperate to feast your eyes on an ‘Oreo Lick Race’, though, fear not! We’ve got one embedded below.
1 in 4, let’s support Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
Everyday is a good day to help others. Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, the leading Australian national organisation helping people who suffered childhood trauma and abuse recover, have just launched the campaign 1 in 4. The campaign highlights that one in four adults suffer from the effects of childhood abuse or trauma. On the website, thanks to Facebook Connect, users can see a visual representation of this dramatic statistic, based on their network of friends.
On the website you can also donate and show your support: all funds raised will be used to deliver workshops for survivors, family and friends. So, do it. Like, now. There is no better time than now.
Sport and Reality drive conversation on Twitter
Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings have launched in Australia, enabling networks and advertisers to understand how audiences are reacting to TV shows and the reach of these conversations taking place on Twitter. The aim is to highlight the commercial opportunities TV networks can find on social, and how online conversation can help to drive TV audiences.
In October, viewers sent 1.2m tweets relating to TV shows, which led to 97m impressions. Looking at what happened last month, we can say that Aussies are crazy about sport and reality, and they aren’t afraid to tweet it. The highest rating programs of October were the NRL Grand Final, the Bathurst 1000, and the finales of reality shows The Block, The Bachelor, and The X Factor.
Promotional posts to lose organic Facebook reach
Uh oh, organic reach on Facebook is about to drop again. The network has announced that any “overly promotional” posts will suffer – that’s those which push people to buy a product, install an app or enter a competition, among others. Our very own Robin Grant spoke to Marketing Week about the changes:
Brands are producing more content than ever, but News Feeds only have limited inventory – the obvious solution for Facebook is to sell eyeballs to the highest bidder. That doesn’t mean that producing quality content is no longer a priority, as engaging content will get the lion’s share of the little organic reach available, but more importantly drive media efficiency, maximising the effectiveness of Facebook spend.
Digiday was quick to point out that organic reach isn’t dead yet. Brands can still reach 25% of their audience per month, especially if they’re producing high quality content. The importance of that last point is highlighted in the below graph.
Facebook adds Yelp-like ‘Places’ feature
Facebook has added a feature called ‘Places’, which collates and showcases ratings and locations of local businesses. Now, we don’t want to start any rumours, but it’s pretty Yelp-y. Looks like there’s a new pair of rivals in town.
Facebook creating ‘enterprise social network’
If there’s one problem with Facebook, it’s too many friends and not enough colleagues. Thankfully, Facebook is working on a new network, ‘Facebook at Work’, which will allow everything from internal messaging to document collaboration. Hopefully it won’t be another outlet for your boss’s baby photos.
Twitter responds to stock price fall
What do you do when your stock price plummets? Well, if you’re Twitter, a whole host of things. First things first, the network has pointed out the value of its “logged out” audience, which it numbers at 500 million unique visitors every month.
CEO Dick Costolo also announced a number of updates to the way the platform works. First of all is something called ‘Instant Timeline’, which will make it easier for new users to find and follow the accounts relevant to them. There are also going to be better video capabilities in the main app, tweaks to celeb pages and users will be shown the most popular messages they missed from their network when not logged in. Finally, direct messages are going to change – you’ll be able to share tweets within them.
WeChat adds 30 million users
WeChat has reached 468 million monthly active users, which is a lot, isn’t it? However, growth is slowing – 6.8% in Q3 2014, down from 10.6% the previous quarter.
YouTube plans premium music service
YouTube is launching a paid music subscription service, through which users can stream high-quality, ad-free music and music videos. It’s also adding a new way to discover full albums, with discographies listed on artist pages.
Pinterest plans to position itself as pre-search engine
Pinterest has a vision. It’s hoping to become a resource for people who have the faintest hint of an idea, long before they’d use a search engine. This was made clear in a presentation by head of engineering, Michael Lopp, using slides like the below.
Updates to Instagram
Instagram has made a couple of changes. First of all, you can now go back and edit captions on posts, particularly useful for typos/failed jokes. It’s also added a new ‘People’ tab to the Explore section, where users can see any accounts that may be of interest to them.
Oily bum ‘breaks the internet’
— Nissan (@Nissan) November 12, 2014
— JC Le Roux (@JCLeRoux) November 12, 2014
— metmuseum (@metmuseum) November 13, 2014
Banana Republic joins the We Are Social club
We Are Social has partnered with Banana Republic in the US on social media strategy, activations and community management. So far, work has included #thenewBR, a campaign to promote the autumn range through influencers and contests, as well as #ShareHappy, through which users could tweet @BananaRepublic to get cupcakes and balloons sent to someone in NYC.
Discounts for followers
OnePiece has opened a New York pop-up shop that trades social media popularity for discounts. Shoppers will receive $1 off for every 500 followers they have across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Not meaning to brag, but if I pop in, I’ll be saving myself a tidy total of $1.
Radar gets turned off
The Samaritans have pulled their ‘Radar’ app after a petition amassed over 1,000 signatures. Radar allowed users to sign up for alerts if anyone they followed on Twitter posted a message that contained a number of key words that might suggest negative/suicidal thoughts. After a number of questions about privacy, the app is now gone for good.
Our team will be on hand to welcome you in and guide you through who we are as an agency and what we do. We’re opening up the doors of the agency during the Web Directions Conference and will be sharing some of our recent work plus a walkthrough of our specialist capabilities & teams.
There will of course be beers, nibbles & popcorn – because We Are Social in all the right ways. See you then!
Instagram ads are just a scroll away
Australia is host to nearly 4 million Instagram users who are about to experience first hand what sponsored posts on the channel will look and, more importantly, feel like.
Nine brands, including Audi, Vegemite, McDonald’s and Tourism Queensland have already signed-up with the channel’s ad platform. They’re all facing the same challenge Lexus and Michael Kors in the US were confronted with earlier this year: The sudden experience of non-organic content on a previously ad-free newsfeeds will trigger certain irritation. Let’s see if the content delivers the right user experience to justify a ‘branded interruption’.
Facebook brings back the nineties with Rooms
Remember the nineties? Queen Victoria, William Gladstone, the two Franco-Dahomean Wars. Oh, the NINETEEN nineties? They were good, too. Facebook’s harking back to the era of quasi-anonymous internet chatrooms with its new iPhone app, Rooms. Users can chat about different subjects depending on the Room, and won’t need an email address to sign up; anonymity in social has been big news recently, and it seems Facebook is taking it seriously.
Facebook page admins can save and backdate posts
Facebook is letting its page admins create drafts of posts, which they can either save for later or backdate. Remember, admins: with great power comes great responsibility. If that’s good enough advice for Spiderman, it’s good enough for us all.
Twitter creates Fabric
Twitter has created its own mobile-app platform called Fabric, which it hopes will lure developers and their dollars. Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, has called it “the future of mobile software development”. Of course, he would say that.
Twitter’s Buy button set for general release
Twitter is planning to roll out its mobile Buy button to everybody who wants it some time during Q1 2015. So far, it’s only available to a select number of partners, one of which you can see below.
New iOS Vine app
The Vine app for iPhone/iPad has been updated. Now you can follow channels and post straight from the app. If you’re lucky enough to have iOS8, it will look all new and shiny for you, too.
Foursquare downloads are up or down or maybe around the same
Foursquare is doing brilliantly/terribly, depending on who you believe. The network itself is saying that, in the ‘post-Swarm era’ (as historians will call it) they’ve increased their user base to 55 million, a 54% lift in users compared to the same month in 2013. Very good. However, other research suggests that, after initial uplift, the numbers are actually in decline. The below graph looks particularly bad, with all its downward lines; note that Swarm downloads peaked in August, and have been dropping since.
Build your own Mercedes on Instagram
Mercedes has gone all clever on Instagram, using thousands of different images across hundreds of linked accounts to let people customise their own car through the network.
HP makes TV ad from Vine videos
To promote its Pavilion x360 laptop, HP created a set of around 30 different clips from different Vine influencers, producing 950,000 engagements and 50m organic views. It’s now turning the campaign into a 30 second TV commercial – the first of its kind. We’re sure you’ll want to watch it over and over again. Hahaha, a joke about the looping Vine format! Whatever next?!
JBL headphones has created a cordless range, and is promoting it using Vine star, Paul Logan. He’ll be creating a series of videos, including some based on stories sent in using #CordFail. JBL wants to hear about the worst things that have happened because of a wire. Say, for example, you dropped your phone just as the doors of a lift closed, and found yourself suspended by your earphones. Something like that.
IHOP and hip hop
Pancakes have always been the hip hop lover’s breakfast food of choice. At least, that seems to be the message from pancake chain IHOP’s new Twitter tone of voice, which has seen massive results in terms of engagement. It raises a question about alienating certain other audience segments, but the RT figures suggest that people are loving it so far.
Pancakes on fleek.
— IHOP (@IHOP) October 21, 2014
Is it worth it, let me work it. I put my fork down, flip it and reverse it. pic.twitter.com/5IoqsqoqUA
— IHOP (@IHOP) October 8, 2014
The Instagram vending machine
A vending machine that can’t swallow your change! Nice one, IHeartRadio. The radio station has sent its invention around college campuses, selling T-shirts in exchange for Instagram photos. So far, the campaign’s seen 5.7m impressions.
Her majesty tweets
Last week, another celebrity tweeted for the first time. Not just any old celeb, though. This one is the constitutional monarch of 16 of the 53 member states in the Commonwealth of Nations (thanks, Wikipedia). Here’s what she sent, and a couple of the best responses.
It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) October 24, 2014
Can’t believe someone’s started a sodding parody account. pic.twitter.com/BNNq52p61m
— Elizabeth Windsor (@Queen_UK) October 24, 2014
@BritishMonarchy Welcome to twitter! Abdicate.
— Spooky Alex Hern (@alexhern) October 24, 2014
Maccas just got a little bit fancier
McDonald’s is changing the fast food game one burger at a time. The Showground Rd Maccas in Castle Hill is the first one in Australia to introduce a ‘Build Your Own’ gourmet burgers range. Think wooden serving trays, metal chip baskets and table service!
Customers are greeted with a touch screen kiosk that’s both easy to use, and focuses on up-selling – tapping into the growing customisation trend where you can increase your basket size, opt for a milkshake instead of a soft drink and add seemingly unlimited extras to your burgers like tomato onion relish, or tortilla shell strips. One catch though? It’ll set you back roughly $15 for a meal…just a little bit fancy?
The Beautiful way Australia supports Mental Health Day
You may have noticed your social media feeds washed over in a sea of colour last week. This was the work of not-for-profit organisation OneWave, who organised the world’s longest fluro wave at Bondi Beach as a show of support for World Mental Health day. Participants were asked to wear their brightest clothes, choose their ride of choice and enjoy a wave as the sun rose over Bondi on the morning of October 10 – and of course, participants took to social media to show off their beautiful colours.
Humans of Australia is a thing that needs to happen now. Who’s with me?
Teenagers like, totally hate Facebook
Facebook looks set to join pogs and yoyos (does this blog post make me look old?) on the teenage scrapheap. A survey by finance folk Piper Jaffray has found that only 45% of teens admitted to using the network this autumn, compared with 72% in spring. There’s certainly fear that, if trendsetters deem the network ‘uncool’, their friends will follow (and where they go, so will the marketers). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna strap my Heelys on and head over to Tumblr.
Organic Facebook reach keeps plummeting
Adobe, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, has released its Q3 2014 report, finding that its clients have seen a 50% drop in organic reach over the course of the year, while paid impressions have increased just 5%. The company predicts that paid will grow another 10% to 20% in Q4, as marketing budgets increase for Christmas. To those of you that like graphs/hate words, here’s that story reworked for your benefit.
More video views on Facebook than YouTube
Facebook has, for the first time, surpassed YouTube for number of desktop video views. The social network snuck past its rival by a cheeky billion (12.3bn views vs. 11.3bn from July 2013 to August 2014), aided in part by its autoplay functionality. Marketers are making up part of this trend, as suggested by Socialbakers figures released last week; between May and July 2014, there was a 50% jump in the number of videos uploaded directly to Facebook from content marketers.
Kotak Mahindra creates Facebook money transfer
India’s Kotak Mahindra bank is allowing customers to send payment through Facebook, using their username and password. The ‘bank agnostic’ transfer system works with 28 different banking partners.
Facebook stickers available for comments
Facebook stickers are being rolled out to all post comments (timeline, groups and events), where previously they’ve been available only on Messenger. Below you can see how people might use them to talk about burgers, if they forgot the word for burger.
Audio comes to Twitter
Tweets from people you don’t follow in your timeline
You may have noticed tweets in your timeline from people you don’t follow. Well, Twitter has confirmed that the feature, with which they’ve been experimenting, is now a full part of the service. The network said:
When we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.
Snapchat shows its first ad
Snapchat has entered the advertising game. Last week, it announced that this would be the case, before releasing the first advert over the weekend: a snap for upcoming horror flick ‘Ouija’.
The message showed up in users’ ‘recent updates’ feed, where we’ll expect to see any other ads in the near future. Asked about the reasons behind advertising, Snapchat said:
We need to make money.
Fair enough guys, it’s almost payday. We’ve all been there.
G+ is going nowhere
Google+ is staying with us, at least for the foreseeable future. Google’s new head of social media, David Besbris, has said that the company plans to remain in social for ‘the long haul’, so don’t go deleting your account just yet.
Skype creates a rival to Snapchat
Skype has launched a video messaging app, called Qik, which is the latest in a list of ‘Snapchat rivals’. Users can send video messages to their friends via the purely mobile app – each of these can last up to 42 seconds. Jokes on a postcard, Douglas Adams fans.
KLM is #happytohelp
Dutch airline, KLM, used the hashtag #happytohelp for a week-long customer service campaign, in which they used Twitter to help travellers, whether or not they were KLM customers. The aid took many forms, from personalised videos to a boat for skipping JFK-bound traffic.
— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) October 13, 2014
McDonalds planning a cool 14,500 Facebook pages
Yes, McDonalds wants to have 14,500 Facebook pages by 2015, including one for every restaurant in the US. The goal is “real time” interaction with consumers.
Wyke Farms trademarks ‘Free Cheese Friday’
Wyke Farms has become the first brand to register a trademark based on the success of a social campaign. It’s been using ‘Free Cheese Fridays’ to give out, well, you can probably guess. So now NOBODY ELSE can give out dairy products on Fridays. It all sounds like a laugh, but you didn’t spend your weekend trying to find a use for 14kg of Stinking Bishop.
Social media and the Scottish referendum
Social media was more influential than its mainstream counterpart in influencing decisions around the Scottish independence referendum. According to YouGov research, 39% of voters were influenced by something they saw on social, compared with 28% for mainstream media. Poor old Alex Salmond clearly doesn’t have enough Facebook friends.