What do you think of when you hear the term “user experience”? If you’re like me, you typically associate user experience with the web. Creating a positive user experience has become standard for web design, but considerations for UX shouldn’t stop there. That’s because consumer experiences with brands extend far beyond their digital devices. Planning and designing for these interactions is critical for keeping customers engaged, even when they’re offline.
3 Brands That Get It Right
In fact, here are a few examples of brands that have pinpointed situations where users regularly interact with their brand. Even better, they’ve successfully created a unique and pleasurable user experience.
- Packaging and Delivery | Club W What’s better than relaxing with a nice bottle of wine? Relaxing with a nice bottle of wine curated based on your personal palate and delivered right to your door. With Club W, users complete a palate profile online. Then, they’re presented with wine options that best match their tastes. While the online experience with Club W is enjoyable, it doesn’t stop there. Each month, customers get to enjoy three new wines shipped directly to their door in a beautifully packaged box. A flavor profile card that includes background information and food pairings accompanies every bottle. Furthermore, by scanning a bottle, customers can learn more about that particular wine and reorder it for the next month if they choose. As a bonus, customers can choose to skip a month as often as they’d like. Club W has made the subscription-based wine service painless and enjoyable.
- In-Store | Apple When it comes to providing a unique in-store shopping experience, Apple gets it. Not only are the stores aesthetically pleasing, they are designed for extreme efficiency. Apple has taken the tedious process of standing in line to check out and transformed it into a much simpler interaction, and it’s all made possible using Apple products. When a customer is ready to check out, they approach a salesperson (known as an Apple Genius) who completes the transaction on the spot using an iPhone. In situations where all salespeople are busy, customers can access the Apple Store via their own iPhones and pay with their iTunes account. By simply considering their customers’ needs beyond the actual interaction with the product, Apple has transformed the shopping experience.
- Transportation | Uber Transportation is another area where user experience needs are being taken into greater consideration. Uber has capitalized on this by creating a simpler and more enjoyable cab experience. Both a standard cab and an Uber cab will get you from point A to point B, but Uber has created simple solutions for the common frustrations associated with traditional cab rides. Don’t know the exact address of your location? No problem. Uber uses GPS technology to find you and pick you up. Don’t know how far the ride will be and get stressed out watching the cab meter price increase? Uber will give you an accurate fare estimate before you book your ride. Don’t have any cash on you? Your fare is automatically charged to your credit card and can easily be split between multiple riders. Beyond these perks, customers have the chance to rate their driver after their ride. If they had a negative experience, they will never be paired with that driver again. With that, good Uber drivers are often equipped with candy and water to make the ride a better experience. By improving the entire cab riding experience, from finding a ride on your phone to actually getting to your destination, it’s easy to see why its service has taken off in cities across the country.
These are just three examples of brands carefully considering how customers interact with their products and services on and offline, and intentionally designing experiences that bring them together seamlessly. However, there are many other ways that design thinking can be applied to user experience in the real world. Think customer service, company events, maps and signage. Almost any situation can be an opportunity to interact with a brand. And the more engaging those experiences become? The more likely those customers will come back.