Never did I think I’d write two blog posts about LEGO in the same year. Back in October, we blogged about LEGO’s “Yellow Submarine” venture, a brilliant cross-generational product built on the mass appeal quality of the Beatles.
Today, we’re looking at LEGO from the inside, courtesy of one of their former designers, Jonathan Bree. His story – “5 Things I Learnt As A Designer At LEGO” – is an education for those of us who create anything, whether it’s a kids toy, a radio format, or a mobile app.
I’ve shared the article with our team at jacapps. While our company has now designed and created more than 1,000 mobile apps in the past eight years, we are continually reminded of the importance of the UX – User Experience – in our quest to build the best apps possible.
We know there’s simply more to apps than just cranking them out and getting them approved in the app stores. The statistics show that consumers are more fickle about the apps they download and use. It’s no longer enough to simply have an app for your brand. The onus is on developers to create a user experience experience that makes the app enjoyable and yet simple to use.
Bree is also a proponent of taking an invention, a product, or in the case of radio, a format, feature, or morning show bit apart in order to “find a better way.”
Looking at it from a LEGO perspective, simplicity is often a strength – the fewer the hoops and barriers, the more playful and fun it will be. That’s the case whether you’re building a LEGO house or planning a January promotion for your station. How often do we hear radio contests that make demands from an audience that is already suffering from “short attention span disease?”
The entire process revolves around a better UX. Bree’s premise is that “every point of the experience matters.” Whether you’re a program director, a morning show host, or a general sales manager, the challenge is about honing and improving the interaction points with listeners or advertisers.
And the LEGO way maps out the entire experience – or journey – a product or service travels with the goal of making it smoother, easier, and enjoyable.
And that involves tracking the moods of the user through the different interaction points along the way. The LEGO slide below is a brilliant depiction of a consumer’s journey – in this case, something near and dear to me, a travel experience that involves a business trip.
Each step along the way, Bree notes is a “pain point” – a chance to either present a great experience or a potential pitfall that can inflict damage on a brand. The “Experience Icons” on the lower right represent those opportunities in which to create a positive experience, while highlighting those “make or break moments” that will either ensure or discourage repeat visits.
In the case of radio, it’s that question of how programmers and talent can create more “occasions” of listening. Yes, better teasing matters. But the focus on the UX goes to the heart of keeping a listener coming back for more.
And finally there are the steps along the way that require data that can improve a better experience. More and more, radio has the analytics necessary for improving customer experiences – and we’re not talking ratings. Open rates on emails, web and mobile page views, and ticket sales for events are all metrics that matter in an improved User Experience.
A better UX works for a station brand in so many of its regular activities. It’s the process in which a station promotes and executes an event or festival. Or it’s the design, creation, and execution of an advertising and marketing program from the sales department. At every step in the process, the User Experience matters.
Every moment of every day, consumers make their decisions – whether it’s selecting a restaurant, a car dealership, an airline, or a radio station. The UX is often the key determinant in whether they’ll return, and as importantly, recommend the journey to a friend or family member.
When we examine station Net Promoter Scores in order to assess a station’s word of mouth, the grades are often determined by the experience a brand provides during those key touchpoints.
This isn’t about whether listeners rate a song a 4 or a 5. It isn’t about whether the audience gives a DJ “excellent” or “good” scores. And it’s not about whether the sales rep got the buy. Those were the old yardsticks.
Today, it’s about the UX.
Do you know your station’s Net Promoter Score – the degree to which your audience recommends you to friends, family, and co-workers. That’s a key data point in our Techsurveys. Learn more about Techsurvey13 here.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.