How do you create a great experience for your customer?

The solution depends on what you are trying to create, however it is always important to get to know your customer first. There are millions of ideas we come up with daily, but the ideas in which add value to your customers lives are the ones which will stick. 

Getting to know your customer...

Empathise with your customers, find out what their pain points are. Have they ever had to create a work around to solve a problem before they could engage with your brand?

Data, web analytics, search log analysis, surveys, contextual inquiry, diary studies, task analysis, cognitive walk through and observational research are great when it comes to understanding your customers needs and behaviours.

What is trending...

Exploring industry trends, competitive analysis, market position, product/feature analysis, qualitative or quantitative heuristics analysis will also give you a great snap shot of what is happening across multiple industries. It is good to understand the big picture before jumping into solution mode. 

Lets get creative...

In my experience ideation works best in a collaborative environment. Treat every idea as valid and hopefully this creates a springboard of exciting thoughts for the team to work with. To facilitate discussion I have used techniques which allow the team to be creative and hands on. 

Post-it Notes ready...

Affinity diagraming, sketching and Lego Series Play are ways to get the ideas flowing, but it is important to set out an agenda and ensure you reach your desired outcome in the allocated timeframe. Less time can work more efficiently so you don't get stuck on one idea.

What to do with all the ideas?...

Armed with ideas and knowledge, there are multiple approaches on how to progress. So whether you are solving your customer experience for a physical space, digital application or both creating customer scenarios, task flows, research based personas, journey maps, site maps, wireframes and user flows are the tools I use from my UX tool kit. 

Time to put it to the test...

Before investing more time and energy into something they may or may not work it makes sense to test it. Paper prototypes, low fidelity prototypes, cardboard cut outs and test lab environments can be great for a usability test.

Find out if it will work...

Creating a prototype is key to understanding if you are going to deliver the right experience for your customer. It is important to create usability tests and recruit customers who appropriate for the ideas intent. Card sorting, path tests, task completion, talk alouds, eye tracking, participatory design and accessibility testing are just a few ways to be able to gain the required feedback. 

It's rare to get it right the first time. So it is important to ensure your project plan has enough time to iterate and test until you get it right!!

Sharing your results...

For all projects I have been involved in, communication can make or break being able to implement the idea. So prepare your research and document you findings. You should have been communicating your results at each stage of the process so there should be no surprises. Just excitement in the air. 

See the idea come to life...

Implementing an idea requires research, testing, innovation, planning, budgets, training and a collaborative team of people who share the same vision and passion for delightful customer experiences. 

I hope I get to work with you on what could be and original idea which adds value.