What do they really want?

You’ve heard me talk about my new role and it’s been eye opening to say the least.  Partly because it’s new.  Partly because I want to do so much.  Partly because it’s a constant learning experience.

It’s different than any other product I’ve ever worked with before and it’s the beginning of the journey, not somewhere in the middle.  One of the first things I had to do was step back and realize, my user was different than any other user with my previous products. Yes, there was some cross-over, but the majority had a different spin on who and why they would be using the product.  And what they wanted out of it.

Breaking it down by User types helped me get a better feel for use case of each.  Back in her days at IBM, Mary Beth Raven, wrote a lot about User Persona and the User Experience.  I find myself thinking back those articles and what they taught me.  You have to take yourself out of the ‘developer’ role and think not what do I want, but what does my user need.  It’s easy to forget this step.

Another recent article I read from the Beradi Group, spoke about the ‘9 Marketing Musts, Delivered by a Duck‘.  For those of you that haven’t heard, I giant 40’ duck has been hanging out on the Three Rivimagejpeg_0ers here in Pittsburgh.  While her article was marketing focused, the 5th item really hit home for me.

Made us feel something. At the Duck, couples hugged and things were downright joyful. We hummed Sesame Street’s 1970s hit, “Rubber Duckie.” We felt a sense of belonging and a pride that Pittsburghers were doing artsy, creative things. It made us think differently, too. We wondered if air kept it afloat, like a balloon. What happens to it in a sharp wind? Could it tear a hole? As art does, it shook us away from our day-to-day routine and helped us see things from a new perspective. That’s why we’ll remember it.

User are emotional.  They attach themselves to decisions they make and typically make those based on emotion.  If you don’t believe that, look at all the companies that leave IBM Domino & Notes for other email platforms.  It’s an emotional decision. You are never going to take that out of the decision making process.

As you build your customer experience, attach yourself to the end-user and the emotion that goes into buying and using your product.  Your end result will be better for it.


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