A personal channel of objective, transparent thoughts.
User experiences are brands. Brands are stories. And stories must continue even through online diversity.
In their workshop at UX London 2011, Stephanie & Bryan Rieger mentioned that brand presence is undergoing a massive transformation. Because of the diversity of new devices and platforms, valuable storytelling in brand strategy doesn’t apply as before. Redesigns and startups are popping up at the same speed as devices are being sold.
A while ago, I came across this A List Apart-article: A Case for Web Storytelling. It says well that web design is in storytelling what TV was in the 50’s. Web agencies nor todays user experience agencies have never realized, that a product needs to be introduced by a story, and after launch fostered as a process. An ability that advertising agencies have always had.
When you combine the Rieger’s statement of brand transformation, the lack of storytelling and redesign, you’ll end up with some quite interesting, although serious observations:
1. Today brands are user interfaces, products just like training shoes or jeans. The first come across with brands is digital.
2. Storytelling is brand building. Every user interface has a story, which can either be affected or ignored.
3. Redesign needs to be dumped. Redesign is a story-killer and therefore a failure regarding consistent brand building.
Every product needs marketing in some form, but a functioning product doesn’t need illusions. Storytelling should be seen as modern post-launch design management. Advertising agencies live in symbiosis with their clients through long-term contracts. Below three basic steps of how user experience agencies could do the same:
1. The user-data of the product needs to be accessed. This shouldn’t be a problem for the clients.
2. The behavioral models of these should be analyzed regularly through a price affordable even to smaller businesses.
3. Improvement’s should be implemented when needed.
User experience agencies might just be in their first evolution-phase. There’s plenty of will to create purpose; either through independent implementation of an idea or just through spreading them. The next phase is to turn redesigns into design management. Overall it’s less expensive, and brands become stronger due to familiar stories.
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