It is more important than ever to align your digital strategy with those age-old, simple questions - the five Ws with the one H. They will increase your potential for happier users and better business outcomes.
We live in a world where ideas can be crowdsourced in no time, sentiment is determined at halftime, and impact is discussed in real time. In today's hyper-connected world, finding the right approach to creating digital experiences is no easy feat. It requires balancing customer, partner, and employee needs with brand opportunities and business needs, all at the right touchpoints.
The challenge is that due to technological change, power and influence have considerably drifted away from brands, marketing, product, and user experience teams to social media-empowered users. To keep up, we all need to be more nimble, more iterative, less structured, and more adaptive. It is more important than ever to align your digital strategy with those age-old, simple questions - the five Ws with the one H. They will increase your potential for happier users and better business outcomes.
So, ask yourself:
Why Are You Pursuing This Digital Initiative?
You must fully understand why you're taking on this initiative. To find the Why, answer these questions (more questions, I know, but they'll get you the answers!): What's the purpose of the digital experience (website, mobile app, or social presence)? What is the reason for development, maintenance, and support? What specific function does it play within the enterprise overall? Are you driving acquisition or supporting service? Only when you are clear about the promise your brand makes are you able to build a strategy to deliver on that promise.
The Citi Bike mobile app is optimized to help participants of New York City's bike-sharing system to locate bicycles and access location-based relevant information. The app is a crucial component of the ride-share experience.
Who Are You Shaping It For?
Brands need to shift their mindset from identifying with B2B or B2C toward focusing on what the two terms have in common. Both businesses sell to humans; what makes them unique are their needs. Teams must plan for human needs instead of dividing the world into two broad sectors. You should promote outside-in thinking instead of relying on an inside-out view of the world.
The FedEx mobile app is optimized to serve both B2B and B2C customers. The app includes a FedEx Delivery Manager feature to customize delivery options and even sign for packages directly from the app.
Where Are You Offering These Experiences?
It's crucial to envision the entire digital journey before solving individual digital touchpoints. Where will you find your users, where are they coming from, and where are they heading? Understanding the digital customer journey allows you to connect the touchpoints, fill in likely gaps, and project desired outcomes.
Uber's mobile app has a single-minded mobile focus, People are usually on the go when they need a vehicle and want to know how long it takes and where the vehicle is.
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Thomas Mueller is the chief experience officer, digital, leadership, and simplification, at Siegel+Gale based in New York. Thomas is often inspired by cycling trips through New York's Catskill Mountains, where he spends much of his free time renovating his country house and admiring the simple wonders of the constantly changing scenery.
As a brand experience visionary, he passionately believes in honing the essence of simplicity to enable remarkable experiences through any service, interaction or communication. For the past 17 years, Thomas has devoted his work on the client side at agencies to the pursuit of making users and brands equally happy.
Today, as chief experience officer at Siegel+Gale, he works with consumer brands, financial services firms, media companies and nonprofits such as American Express, Bank of America, Citi, IRS, Penske, United Mileage Plus, HP, SAP and Rotary International to help them leverage the power of simplicity. Prior to joining Siegel+Gale, Thomas worked with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Arnold Worldwide and Razorfish.
Thomas holds a BFA in communications design from Fachhochschule München in Germany, an MFA in media design from the Art Center College of Design and a certificate from the Harvard Business School's Business Perspectives for Design Leaders program. He has contributed to such notable publications as the Wall Street Journal and Forrester Research Reports. His many awards include the New Media Invasion Gold Award, Cannes Silver Cyber Lion, Art Directors Club NY, The One Show, Webby, WebAwards and DesignInteract.
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