Increasing value over engagement

We live in the age of distraction, users are reaching a saturation point and adapting their behaviours to tune out continuous digital demands for attention. For digital product makers, it’s important to recognise that this is now the context for which you are strategising and designing.

Product teams should aim to create meaningful interactions instead of simply striving for ‘more engagement’.

At times, design and product teams jump into a brand’s deliverables, with no clear idea of what the company is actively seeking from the engagement or without fully understanding the needs of the user.

We should be aware that when brands seek engagement without enough consideration for the real value they are delivering, users may start to change their behaviour to match. The creation of an email account specifically for online shopping to avoid email signup messaging is an example of such behaviour change.

By applying a more user-centred approach, we could present something valuable to users in the brief time they have.

Enhancing moments

Rather than creating something new for an aspect of a service, we need to go where users already are to bring something more valuable. Can a functional moment be made more interesting? Can mundane interactions provide something more useful? Is is possible to restructure an experience into useful bite-size moments that users can leave and pick up again?

Users often don’t do what you thought they would, which is why an iterative, prototyping approach with users embedded into it allowing you to observe actual behaviour is so important. By seeing how people are using devices, products and services instead of focusing on how we want them to interact with them, or what we want from them is the best way to increase value to interactive moments.

Build a great story

Humans like to think and talk in stories so think about your narrative and understand the journey and why users might want to take it.

If you have a product to sell, purpose to share or an audience to relate, people are far more likely to connect if you deliver a well-crafted story with an emotional core. Ask what is meaningful to your audience and why?

Discover what your audience wants

In developing agile products we need to be aware of the assumptions we are making, and to test whether they are true. It’s only by listening to what they have to say and observing that we might find out that perhaps they didn’t really want the thing they seemed to want, or told us they wanted.

Listen to your user, your customer, your audience. We are at a time when customers, are making rapid decisions about whether to engage and are filtering out what they don’t want. Find that one image that connects with the audience to make your story unforgettable.