3 times experience design delivered breakthrough results
Pinterest: Understanding and responding to creators’ needs
In internet years, Pinterest is a veteran. Founded in 2009, its first incarnation was as a place to ‘pin’ or save things you found on the internet.
But as internet trends developed and social media platforms became the publishers for a new generation of creators, Pinterest had become a hub for original, creative content.
So as the team at Pinterest looked to develop its product, it put creators at the heart of its roadmap — by understanding their experiences, and what they needed from Pinterest in order to make it their publisher of choice, it would mean a richer, more rewarding experience for its 400 million active monthly users.
“As long as we keep close to creators, we’ll hold ourselves accountable for making the experience great for them” - Ben Silbermann, CEO and co-founder, Pinterest
The creator experience helps drive product breakthroughs
The team at Pinterest asked its creators to prioritize potential product developments to tell them what was most valuable to them. Their feedback was the starting point for developing a whole range of new features and
- Tools to capture inspirational moments on the fly
- Robust editing tools
- A platform where they could easily publish and project their ideas
As a result, Pinterest was able to focus its product development on tools like its video and image editing software, and identify updates to its UI that would enable creators to showcase their work easier with their audiences.
Under Armour: Experience Design at Scale
In one of the most competitive categories on the planet, Under Armour has always had an army of product testers on its side to give real-time feedback on new products and concepts.
The challenge they faced was scaling it. It’s one thing to scale customer feedback through an email database — but how do you scale a community of human product testers and athletes?
To really understand what people wanted next, the team at Under Armour needed to say goodbye to its old system, where product testing managers had their own databases of testers, each one siloed from the next.
The goal was a single platform, where any employee across the business could log in, and access key insights about any audience, on-demand.
It would provide them with richer data, enable them to create more granular audience segments, and democratize access to its testing community and the insights they generate.
Knowing exactly what athletes want next
Under Armour is now able to pull a host of different data sets into a single system — direct consumer feedback, social media, review websites, and performance data recorded through its app, MyFitnessPal — giving them visibility into how customers are doing at every stage and take action to support them in achieving their goals.
Beyond that, they’re able to overlay performance data from MyFitness pal to see how that feedback translates to athlete performance. The team is able to automatically identify issues athletes might be experiencing with a product, find the root cause, and recommend corrective actions/products.
All those insights are then available to everyone as they design new experiences for Under Armour’s growing audience — they can see in real-time the products and features they like, how they use them, and how they make them feel.
Volkswagen: Turning the car sales model on its head during COVID-19
When it comes to designing new experiences, never was the need more urgent than in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. For Volkswagen, that meant showrooms closed and overnight the company lost access to its only route to market.
So they turned conventional thinking on its head.
How can you give customers access to the same experience they have in a showroom when they’re stuck at home?
How could the company continue to generate revenue when the vast majority of its business relied on in-person visits, whether to buy a new car or service an existing one?
‘The world’s smallest car showroom’
VW has been using augmented reality (AR) in its employee training programs for some years, but the pandemic forced them to think differently.
Armed with rich consumer insights, they knew they had to design a new experience for consumers that would take the idea behind the employee training tool and make it more accessible to customers.
So they re-tooled the platform, removing the need for expensive equipment, and designed a new AR showroom experience that could be used from any device.
“We’re able to make decisions in real-time backed by customer, brand, product, and employee data. It gives us the ability to move quicker and more nimbly than our competitors.” - Jason Bradshaw, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Volkswagen Group Australia.
A new way to buy, sell, and service cars
Another move Volkswagen made in the early days of the pandemic was to launch a new way for customers to buy, too.
Able to tap into rich insights in its own customer experience program, Volkswagen’s team knew that customers were open to buying a car online — and in just 14 days had launched the platform.
The access to always-on insights gave them the agility to go to market quickly with a new offering, that increased the brand's sales by 300% overnight.
Through the new platform, Volkswagen customers were able to build, buy, trade in, and get their cars serviced without ever having to leave home.
It turned the car sales model on its head, and thanks to the agility of Volkswagen’s team, could be done in record time.
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