The essentials for building a great brand

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A brand is defined as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” – American Marketing Association (AMA).

Going by this definition, building a brand is all about creating brand recall and building a positive perception of a company, the products and services in the minds of people via attributes mentioned in the definition of “brand”. When we think of famous brands like Coca-Cola or Mc Donald’s, what comes to mind is our feelings associated with the brand. So, it is very important to make sure that customers have positive feelings associated with a brand at any stage, be it during product research or purchase or post sales.

Now, let us try to understand how to achieve brand recall. There are 3 key aspects of brand building in the Internet age – positive online presence, good customer service and differentiated products.

Thanks to the evolution of the internet and online information on the product and its reviews, customers are no longer fooled by television commercials. So, companies need to work towards having good brand reviews of products and services on the web. The more a company invests in doing this, the more successful it will be in making higher profit margins. Employee branding and a good work culture also contribute to the company reputation. So, it is safe to say that “Internal employee satisfaction is a reflection of external customer satisfaction.” Ultimately, every feedback and every comment matters if a brand wants to achieve the top spot.

Other than the regular means of brand building until purchase stage, we must work on customer satisfaction post purchase. Gone are those days when the payment for a product or service was considered to be the end of a sale. Now, companies must focus more on providing great post purchase service to the customer. Social Media channels like Twitter are good means of being in touch with happy customers and sorting out issues with disgruntled customers on a daily basis.

Compared to before, customers in the current generation consider it a matter of privilege to be associated with a good brand. For example, owning brands like Apple and Nike induce a feeling of pride and satisfaction among the customers, thanks to their cutting edge/ world class product designs and promotional strategies. So to say, brands must work on creating a unique experience of products and services for its customers by investing heavily in R&D of its products and services.

Another factor that is important in building a brand and retaining customers is introducing loyalty programs/ discounts /prizes to keep the loyal customer glued to your brand for as long as possible.

Once all these above factors have been taken care of, another thing a company must focus on is, the kind of celebrities associated with the brand as they make or break the brand. For example, Tiger Woods was associated with Accenture, as he was considered a celebrity with a huge fan following, until an unfortunate event in his life, changed that perception.  In such a situation, a brand would immediately want to break the contract with such a celebrity to save itself from brand damage.

Overall, a brand must focus on each and every aspect of a customer lifecycle in order to build a sustainable brand over a period of time.

If you have any views on building a brand, please share them on the comments below.

 

 

The Importance of Creating Learnable Systems

Why it is important to focus on learnability as an important aspect of creating any experience.

User Experience (UX)

A common definition is the combined broad disciplines of user research, personas, information architecture, content strategy, interaction design, visual design, prototyping, usability testing and ultimately front end development.

Customer Experience (CX)

The design of the complete customer journey from the point where the user connects with the brand to the level of support they expect and receive…at every level, on every device and on every channel.

UX according to Wikipedia…

User experience (UX) involves a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.

I tend to describe it as any act or effort that makes people happy.

Learnability

In my opinion, “Learnability” is the most important aspect about usability. Measuring perception is everything when it comes to learnability. It is not just about the placement of a piece of text, the size of a button, thecoolness of a control or the colors of status indicators. Its more about the piece of text itself and how your users interpret it when they read it for thevery first time.

Does the design provide closure?
Does it help users with the next logical step?
Does it prevent them from turning to someone and asking “Hey, do you remember how to…

Learnability is about the details you add to help increase the adoption and comprehension of any experience. It is about those finer details that help save time for your users when they experience something new.

People have an amazing knack of getting accustomed to badly designed interfaces. For any product or experience to be successful in the long run, there are a few basics that must absolutely be in place. These are not value adds or USPs (Unique Selling Point), but plain and simple table stakes.

Interactions have to be usable, else they are going to fail.
Products have to be aesthetic, else they will mostly fail.
Systems have to be performant, else they will definitely fail.
Systems that are hard to learn… WILL FAIL.

As designers, we strive to make the most intuitive, aesthetic and usable systems for our users and often ignore learnability. We often forget that users start with a blank canvas. I’ve come to realize that the success of any system should be measured by how quickly someone, with absolutely little or no context, gets it or how easy it is for someone to complete a task after watching it no more than once.

Example 1 — Uninstall Programs (Otherwise called Removing something from your computer that you no longer want or need.)

Removing software on Windows (prior to Win 8).

Windows 8_UX

 

Let’s look at how a user uninstalls a program from her/his computer. For starters, the word uninstall itself is daunting.

Do you really uninstall your tap, bulb or your television? You remove it. You trash it.

Though much improved in Windows 8, the process was extremely daunting in previous versions. They still have this thing called the Control Panel if uninstall wasn’t scary enough.

One had to open the control panel if you managed to locate it, find the software you wanted to uninstall and then click a button and then hope that it did a clean job. Microsoft even has a detailed page describing the process.

And here’s a video in case you want to refresh your memory.

http://youtu.be/6iWM-y17_No

Compare this with the experience in OSX. You find a program and then drag it to the trash can just like any other file. Simple and Learnable.

Microsoft_improved

To the credit of Microsoft, they’ve improved it a great deal by making the interaction a lot simpler and learnable in Windows 8.

Example 2 — Interacting with an ATM screen.

ATM_UX_Example

How many call to actions do you see? What do you think about the UI text on this screen? What do you think about the sizes of each control and their positions? How long do you think it would take a customer with little or no technical knowledge to learn how to enter a pin?

Now compare the above example with the one below.

ATM_UX

Clearly the skeuomorphism is a bit much but the interaction seems so learnable! From the messaging on the screen to the size of the buttons, it just seems that it would take very little time for someone to ‘get’ what they need to do.

In Conclusion

Everything that we add to a screen matters. Your perception of an interaction or an interface does not count. Test, Test and Test again. See how your users perceive every single element that you add for them. Your job is to make their lives a little easier. Don’t make it hard for anyone to learn something new. Remember how we learnt the alphabet using standing and sleeping lines?

Every little thing is important. The verbiage, color, size, padding, margins, line-spacing, sentences, feedback and interactions of every single element on that screen. Never ever compromise on learnability and performance. As a rule, If it is hard to learn and doesn’t work fast enough, its pretty much useless.

This writeup was partly inspired by a quote I heard from someone at Microsoft. Yes you read that right… Microsoft.

“50% of most usability related issues can be solved by simply addressing the UI text.”

By: Jatin Shah
UX Architect at Aditi Technologies
Twitter

 

 

 

The power of customer experience to shape brand perceptions

 

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Scene #1

One fine morning, when I was going through the daily chore of checking my Facebook newsfeed, I came across a post by one of my friends about her delightful experience with a particular cab service provider. She had written how she had left her cellphone in the cab and the driver came back to return it in the evening. More than a 100 people had liked the post and a few commented about their similar experiences with this company. A couple of other folks also joked about her phone being an old featured phone model which nobody would want to keep.

Scene #2

I was travelling by bus and a lady sitting in front of me made a call to the customer service department of a leading e-commerce company in India. She got through to a representative and described the product she bought online a few days back. She explained the hardware problem she had found with the newly bought phone.

The executive, I guess, suggested she go through the user manual, installation guide etc. and offered to try and resolve the issue over the call. She got a bit irritated since she had already mentioned that it was a hardware issue, which would presumably be impossible to resolve over a call. Although it didn’t go into shouting and screaming since she was in a public bus, her agitation could be felt easily by all the fellow passengers. I could sense the lack of empathy and bad quality of solution provided by the executive.

The problem was finally resolved when the call was transferred to the manager, who agreed to pick up the product from her address and give her a full refund. She explained to the manager how she had always been shopping from this ecommerce giant and had liked the experience overall; but this particular purchase which was worth thousands of rupees had shattered her faith in the company.

What I learned from these stories

It’s quite clear what happened in the above two cases. In today’s world, the customer holds the power of making or breaking a brand in the true sense. It’s an era where the customer is the marketer! I am sure more than a hundred people who liked the post, including me, about the cab service provider company, would have more faith in that brand now. Whereas, the poor experience passed on by the online shopping giant would be shared with more friends, colleagues and relatives and some of them might hesitate to go ahead with such purchases, even though their past experiences have been good.

We, as humans, give a great deal of importance to empathy and emotions. Even if we don’t know someone personally, we somehow feel connected to their experiences. Sometime, somewhere, we have gone through it too.

However, we should not forget that an experience is always a perceived one. It totally depends on how an individual feels about the experience. An experience can be overwhelming for somebody but maybe not so intriguing for others at the same time. A lot of this perception depends on our expectations as a customer.

In conclusion, we can say that the need of this hour is to identify your customers as individuals, understand their expectations, segment them and treat them in such a way that they become promoters of your brand. Word of mouth indeed travels far and fast!

 By Sona Todi

 

 

 

Stop guessing! Decipher your customer’s intent with touch point analysis

96% of unhappy cucustomer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-thumbnailstomers don’t complain and 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.

For businesses to create deeper, meaningful and empathetic customer connect,  it is indispensable to experience their brands as their consumers do to determine every possible way to make the product or service experience better, more pleasant, more human, and more productive.This is possible only when every brand carefully analyzes every touch point throughout the customer journey – before, during, and after purchase.

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Today’s customers are more demanding and less forgiving than ever before.

Getting the Touch-Point Analysis Right. First Time. Every Time.

Any organization that performs touch-point analysis with utmost care, can uncover powerful customer insights as well as opportunities to improve how well customer-segment needs and wants can be met.

Establishing a Cause and Effect Relationship between Each of the Customer Actions

Human experience is complex, and mostly intangible. Several companies that do touch-point mapping exceptionally well, establish a cause and effect relationship between all the customer actions to arrive at a deep and meaningful understanding of each engagement.

Piecing together the bigger picture of why and how customers are interacting at various touch-points can help in delivering a predictive and proactive experience. The questions listed below can drive meaningful insights about customer behavior at each touch point.

Context and Device

What are the devices used for engaging with the brand and how best can you leverage all the contextual data gathered by the device, such as time and location?

Engagement channel

Which is the actual site or media through which the customer first engaged? (Email/Social/Website/Paid Ad/SMS)

Touch-point sequence

How did the customer progress through the buying journey? What and where did the customer stop before and after engaging at each touch point?

Content consumed / action taken

What are the various content viewed/clicked/downloaded by the customer?

Time elapsed between each engagement

What is the time frame of each engagement, and the time elapsed between each activity and between activity and inactivity?

Finally, spot the touch-point that can trigger emotional connect.

Touch points with high volumes of customer interaction and those that can evoke strong emotions in customers turn into loyal advocates and will be ever willing to spend with the brand even if meaningful and available alternatives are presented.

Here are a few examples of the brands that have capitalized on this very fact to create a steadfast advantage over the competition.

Case In Point

PayPal’s Customer Effort Score

In the E-commerce industry, reducing customer friction is extremely important. Every extra second the website takes to load, costs you a customer. Reports suggests that even just a 1 second delay in page load time could reduce conversions by 7%. If that increases to 2 seconds, you’re looking at an abandonment rate of 40%.

PayPal was one of the early players to realize and act on optimizing this particular customer touch point. And the result? Well, a $2 billion increase in transactions. Now that’s quite a big win!

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Starbucks

So, how is Starbucks keeping pace with competition even now? Simple, personalization at every touch point and their ability to cater to each individual customer as a segment on its own. The “My Starbucks Rewards” and the loyalty mobile apps was a great step towards customer delight.

By optimizing the mobile touch point with a killer mobile app, Starbucks saw a whopping 4 million dollar mobile payments every week. customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-starbucks1         customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-starbucks2  Tesco’s Social media strategy to show they care

Tesco like any other retail giant, has a myriad of touch points. Tesco has always been right by their customer’s side to assist them at every step.

The most remarkable is Tesco’s efficient use of Twitter as a customer service channel. Tesco uses Twitter really well for social customer service. Tesco is able to build a stronger relationship with customers by connecting at a personal level by adding a bit of humor to every interaction. customer-touch-point-analysis-mohan-litehouse-design-blog-tescoThese are just a few example of impactful touch point experiences.

Have you been overwhelmed recently by any such experiences? Share it in the comments below.
By Mohan Krishnaraj

Customer Journey Mapping in the Internet Age

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Customer Journey mapping is an integral part of customer experience design. Customer journey maps help to understand the 360 degree view of customer experience lifecycle. While designing the customer experience for any business, it is very important to start with a holistic customer journey map.

 

 

How it began

Earlier, life was simple and easy. There were only brick and mortar stores to shop from. Customers would visit shops and supermarkets and come out with bags full of products. But in late 90’s, the Internet changed the entire ballgame. Everything became connected. Customers now have a “border free” pass to shop. Options increased and so did competition among brands. Life became complicated for brands and simpler for customers.

Every shopping experience has a journey with arbitrary starting and ending-points. Brands try to articulate this journey by drawing an end-to-end customer journey map. An effective customer journey map represents the journey of the customer from the initial desire/need of a product/service to its fulfillment.

With the huge penetration of mobile and social channels in our lives, the previous notion of effectiveCustomer journey map (CjM) is fading. Customer journey is not simple anymore. The traditional funnel has transformed into a never ending loop. Customers are always active on one or the other channel and different customer segments may take different paths to complete the same objective.

Take this for instance, traditionally a person would call customer-support of the respective service provider and log a complaint regarding pathetic speed of his 3G connection. A modern, net-savvy customer may just log a complaint onto the service provider’s website. But, for the same issue, a millennial may just post a negative comment (“3G service sucks”) on the service provider’s FB page and expect the company’s representative to respond and resolve. The goal remained same, but the paths taken by the customers were different, and so would their experiences.

 

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So what should be done?

Customer Journey Mapping is not new. Early adapters and evolved brands have used it for long to deliver rich experience across all the touch-points and throughout the channels. Amazon and Nike are best examples of retail giants who have used “Customer Journey mapping” as their tool-kit to deliver seamless in-storeonline and out-of-store experience.

In the age of customer, it’s necessary to have seamless Omni channel experience across all  possible paths of the customer journey. Social media and mobile have added new channels in the customer journey but it’s of prime importance that we do not create new customer journey with inclusion of new channels. Customers relate with the products and brands instead of the silos, they want the flexibility to seamlessly interact with both traditional and modern channels.

Companies are required to understand that each touch-point is an opportunity to deliver better customer experience.  Brands should know different customer segments and all possible paths in a consumer’s journey. A holistic CjM is required for seamless customer experience throughout the journey and across the channels regardless of the paths. For mapping a holistic customer journey brands need to consider:

  • Omni-channel experience (in-store, online and Out-of-store)
  • All possible touch-points
  • Interaction between customer and touch-points
  • Customer emotions at different channels and touch points
  • Connected channels

The benefits of early CX adopters are slowly fading as customers already have a lot of CX oriented companies to choose from.  The present age requires that organizations refrain from self-centered policies and adopt a customer-centric view instead.  It is the era of holistic customer journey maps and delivering memorable experiences.

By: Shantanu Singh

5 Key Business Functions Social Media Can Enhance

Fact: ‘72.6% of salespeople who use social media outperform their colleagues who aren’t using it.’

There is no denying the fact that social media, if done right, can do wonders for a business. Most organizations depend on some kind of funding or revenue. They have to keep either customers or stakeholders or both happy. Social media can help satisfy these needs. Let’s get into the specifics of which business functions can be amplified with social media.

Sales

Like all other communication channels, social media can help drive sales revenue. When it comes to leveraging social media to increase sales for an organization, acquiring net new customers via social channels and converting them via social engagement are two basic ways of driving sales. If you try to be creative enough, you can also leverage social media to increase the number and frequency of customer transactions in addition to increasing the yield (buy rate) of customer transactions.

You can also increase sales by amplifying the reach of the marketing campaigns.

EXAMPLE:

You want to increase sales of your newly launched perfume. You create an ad campaign for it, with PR and other marketing and promotional collaterals. 10 years ago, this would mean TV, radio, print, billboards, events, dealer incentives, point of purchase displays, and trade reviews. It is still relevant today, except that media environment is richer today. Television ads and other videos have huge audience on YouTube. Blogs can enhance the relevance and depth of content around the new perfume. Facebook presence can be leveraged to promote discussions, publish videos and articles, schedule events, launch contests and distribute offers.

Companies can also promote special sales and offers directly through social platforms without being too pushy!

Customer Support

Today brands are at an advantage since most of the conversations and mentions of a company or brand happen openly out there on social. It implies that your customer support department can easily monitor on what is being talked and how the public opinion of your brand is faring. A brand now has the power to spot trouble, help the customers in need and immediately sort out the issues. It all depends on the brand whether to make or mar its reputation in front of the customers.

Human Resources

You can either sift through piles of resumes or hire through trusted networks of peers, colleagues and friends. You can either take your chances on strangers or trust someone you know has your best interest in mind to recommend only qualified applicants they think will be a good fit.

I am sure it’s easy to make a choice here. 🙂

Public Relations

Social media has direct and immediate impact on the way your business is perceived in public. The ability to monitor online mentions of a company name or particular product or service gives companies the opportunity to respond to negative attitudes, invalidate false humor and separate myth from fact.

This practice is commonly called as ‘online reputation management’ or ‘digital reputation management’.

Business Intelligence

Everything in social media is easy to monitor and searchable. Access to Business Intelligence is now cheaper, faster and richer.  From keyword searches to analysis covering share of voice, sentiment, and volume of mentions, the amount of actionable information a company can capture on the social web is mind blowing!

Social media is one of the most important areas of focus when it comes to social media integration for organizations. It’s the first area a brand should look into.

Get your social stuff going then!

By: Prerna Singh

Designing for Dyslexic Users

Dyslexia_Mervin

Dyslexia is a learning disability which is often overlooked while designing accessible websites. However dyslexia is fairly common among young users and should be definitely considered while designing sites which might cater to children. Dyslexia also occurs among adults and hence designing for it should also be a factor while designing any site irrespective of whether it caters to children or adults.

So what exactly is Dyslexia?

The British Dyslexia Association defines dyslexia as:

“A combination of abilities and difficulties that affect the learning process in one or more of reading, spelling and writing.

Accompanying weaknesses may be identified in areas of speed of processing, short-term memory, sequencing and organization, auditory and/or visual perception, spoken language and motor skills. It is particularly related to mastering and using written language, which may include alphabetic, numeric and musical notation.”

As per the Dyslexia research institute, 15% of the US population is dyslexic while about while about 10% of the UK population suffers from dyslexia.

The challenges faced by dyslexics has been highlighted in a number of movies including Taare Zameen Par which was India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film award in the 2009 Academy Awards.

designing-for-dyslexic-users-taare-zameen-par

 

So how do I design for dyslexic users?

When asked to design for accessibility, designers are overawed by the large number of requirements and expected levels of compliance which are needed to make a site accessible.

While it is of critical importance that your site should be accessible to provide a uniform experience to all users despite them being differently abled, designing for dyslexic users is relatively simpler provided some design principles are adhered to as elaborated below:

1. Avoid using justified text

Justified text was introduced while designing for print as the straight line of each margin can guide the eye across columns of text and the aligned columns help define the different areas of text creating a logical flow of words, thus enhancing readability.

That said, justified text in the web causes large uneven spaces between letters and words making it hard for people to read and even more harder for dyslexic users. When these words line up above one another, a distracting river of whitespace appears which causes dyslexic users to lose their bearing while reading content. This is called the river effect.

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2. Avoid double spacing after periods

While browsers eliminate redundant spaces, additional spaces present between the HTML content tags are retained. Hence double spacing after periods can confuse dyslexic users, as they can create “rivers” within text that make it difficult for users to find the end of sentences.

3. Avoid extremely high contrast between the text color and the background

While high contrast does enhance readability, extremely high contrast such as pure black text (#00000) on a white background (#FFFFFF) is hard for dyslexic users are they are sensitive to the brightness that high contrast colors cause resulting in the words to swirl around or blur for them.

How Dyslexic see

To avoid this, ensure the text color is a lighter shade of black like dark grey to ensure dyslexic users are not affected by the contrast.

This W3C article has good recommendations on the recommended contrast while designing for people with dyslexia.

4. Avoid using moving images

While moving images and flashy animations are distractions for everyone, they are even more severe for dyslexic users as they constantly distract them from their focus on the page and almost make the page unreadable for them. Hence while designing pages with animations, make sure they are very subtle and don’t distract the user from the content. However if possible avoid using animations at all.

5. Break your content down

While long lines are text are hard for users to read, it’s even harder for dyslexic users as they suffer from low concentration and can lose their place while reading long lines of text. Hence break down the text into smaller manageable pieces with a lot of white space and a suitable heading. To quote this research article on document design for dyslexic users

 

“Text should be chunked into groups according to subject matter. This breaks up long groups of text into more easily read sections. Chunked text should usually be grouped under a heading and spaced out, so the reader can easily tell apart each chunk. “

An excellent example is how apple does it

Apple_ Engineered to perfection

 

6. Choose your font correctly

While there are a number of font options available while designing for dyslexic users, If possible, use a sans-serif font. The decorative “hooks” on the main strokes of serif letters may create problems for dyslexic users.

This is because Serifs tend to obscure the shapes of letters, making the letters run together. But a sans-serif font would allow dyslexic users to see the shapes of letters clearer. This is because a lack of hooks increases the spacing between letters and makes them more distinguishable

Hence dyslexic users might see words with a washout effect as shown below:

Dyslexia User

 

Some good font choices while designing for dyslexic users are

  • Arial
  • Century Gothic
  • Verdana
  • Trebuchet
  • Lexia Readable ( free font designed specifically for dyslexic users)
  • Dyslexie (free font designed specifically for dyslexic users)
  • Sassoon (paid font designed for dyslexic children)
  • Sylexiad (paid font designed for dyslexic adults)

Designing for dyslexic users does not involve significant effort and if some preliminary efforts are taken during the design phase, you can make it so much easier for someone with dyslexia to view the site without frustration. It’s not easy to get information when you read with visual distortion. Everyone has the right to information, whether they’re dyslexic or not.

 

By: Mervin John Singh

 

Woo Your Customers with Predictive User Experience!

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Today, we are in the midst of a revolution wherein customer experience is the currency by which companies will live or die.  More than ever before, customers are now truly in charge of the power to express their opinion openly and make them count. With the convergence of cloud, social and mobile, the customer can now be an instant expert, instant advocate or an instant critic.

Gone are the days where customers have been just considered as numbers or accounts. It is high time that they are regarded as unique human beings with distinct sets of needs. We need to acknowledge that they now expect more than just a product or service. They expect a relationship that is on equal terms. We need to earn their trust and keep up to it.

Today we are in the midst of ever-connected, always-on, highly opinionated, on-the-move customers.

Not so long ago, every business assumed that the key to delivering great customer experience was only about understanding the need and reacting to it.

But now, customers are expected to be at the center of the world and giving them that special attention would mean empathizing and connecting to them at an emotional level. When we treat customers like individuals, predict their interests & preferences and proactively deliver those experiences, magic happens.

Thanks to the large amount of data that organizations have, it is used as leverage to identify patterns and build new models to predict future actions. While one aspect of using this data can help businesses achieve saving cost, the other most important use of this data will be in delivering superior experiences even before the demand.

This layer of intelligence to deliver a personalized and contextual Predictive Experience (that I may call) is going to be the way forward for businesses to become a customer’s company.

The latest report reveals that only a third of surveyed businesses are already in the game. Successful companies will only be ones that can harness real-time and predictive aspects of analytics and combine it with the user experience.

Here are examples of few such companies that are revolutionizing predictive experiences, making them have a notable advantage over the competition.

Mercedes:
Their effort in becoming a customer’s company is evident with their investment on developing a “Digital Companion”. The predictive experience they aim to deliver, elevates the notion of a car. It transforms from the “best driving experience” to “an old friend” who knows you and you learn to trust.

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Amazon:
The anticipatory shipping initiative by Amazon has set the retail industry on fire. With anticipatory shipping, the idea is to use the data to predict what customers want and then ship the products automatically.

Think of the feelings you get when you see that an Amazon package has arrived at your door — it’s delightful and exciting, even though you know what it is. I bet those feelings are amplified when you don’t know what’s in the box.

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To remain the pioneer in moving the customer experience needle, you need to deliver predictive experiences to your customers that can connect at an emotional level.

And, it is this emotional bond that can turn your customers into loyal advocates.

Share the strategy that has helped you attract and retain customers at every touch point.

 

By: Mohan Krishnaraj
Sr. Director – User Experience
Aditi Litehouse

 

 

Where the Code Gets Shipped: Aditi Litehouse

ImageGreat ideas come in a great workplace. And great workplace have great workstations.

Every Aditian has a unique way of designing their workstation that will best suit themselves. There’s a saying that you can read a person’s attitude and personality by the look of their workstation.

William Faulkner said “A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station….”

In the first edition of  ‘Where the code gets shipped’, we get you a sneak peek into one of the coolest bays at Aditi…Litehouse!

A happy go lucky team which has bagged several customer centric and fun-tastic awards. Aditi Litehouse is that part of the office which makes people’s heads turn and stop to look around. Take a walk with us to look at the Litehouse bay at Aditi Technologies. Image Image Image

ImageWall paintings – Each team member has a designated wall for art-work.

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A wonderful playlist and a boombox makes you groove.

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Different LED screen sizes for responsive testing and multi-tasking.

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And there’s LIVE weather report too!

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Colorful bean bags for taking a short nap after a sleepless night.

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The white boards are filled with doodles at any point of time.

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Acknowledgement for the great work.

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Be a sport. Play a sport!

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Crisis time? Lets gather NOW – Anywhere, Anytime! No meeting request hassles.

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The sound-proof conference room for meetings and calls.

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The top view of the entrance to the bay.

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With their Funtastic team trophy

Here are some more interesting stats that boosts their productivity
Distance from the entrance: 50 feet
Distance from the coffee machine: 30 feet
Distance from the smoking zone: 50 feet

The Litehouse Team

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So what’s your ideal workstation? Feel free to share with us what you think is the most important thing on a workstation and tell us which items you love the most.

By: Sachin Katekar

 

 

The Wearables

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A morning like any other, my wife and I set out on our daily run. Standing at the apartment gate doing a couple of stretches, from across the street we hear a strained “Sar! Sar!” (A localization of Sir). Looking up I saw Ravi – who irons our clothes – walk briskly across the street, with a big grin on his face. He came up to us and shows us a rather large watch on his wrist. “See Saar, I’ve got a watch like yours, I can make calls from it!” My wife and I looked at each other and I had to break it to Ravi that our watches didn’t have the feature to make calls or send messages, but only told the time and distance, speed and so on. Ravi looked quizzically at us like there was something wrong with us – almost like what’s the point of wearing that fat watch if it’s only going to tell you the time (never mind all the other features that are crucial to runners)! That said we quickly got going on our run, and left Ravi staring at his watch with wonder.

In the mid 1980s, I sat glued to the television as it roared “Atomic Punch”… “Rocket Missiles”, Johnny Sakko screamed orders into his watch while his Giant Robot obeyed his commands. On Sundays, Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise spoke to his watch “Beam me up, Scotty”.

The concept of wearable devices has existed for decades. Devices such as hearing aids have been around for even longer. Recently, we’ve see the emergence of Google glass, (rumors of) iWatch, bluetooth ring, Samsung galaxy gear and so on. This is just the beginning of a more internet-connected world, where all wearable devices will be able to interact and share information with each other.

What probably draws us to wearable devices is its simplicity – taking an everyday object and enhancing its features. We’re already familiar with all kinds of devices, so they don’t seem like something extra that we need to carry around. If you were to carry two or even three mobiles you would think twice.  The technology used is still in its infancy no one has really come up with that one gadget that attracts the masses. They are still more tech gadgets than fashion accessories (though this is currently changing).

At present there has been an explosion of fitness and health bands and this will continue to be on the rise for a while. It is contagious – when I run, I’m constantly looking at my watch, what pace am I currently at? Is it too slow? Should I be running faster? And when I happen to forget it, the same questions keep popping into my mind – I do miss it. We’ve turned into a generation obsessing about calories burnt, heart rate, blood pressure – rightly so with all the stress and poisons we live with and breathe in. My parents, being diabetic would benefit from reminders to take their medication – a smart phone would solve this if they remembered to carry it with them, hence wearable device would make it that much more easier. There are infinite possibilities for creating health related gadgets – but why restrict it to humans? Our pets could also benefit. Most of the time we have no idea how our pets are feeling – if a ‘wearable’ collar could communicate with our phones about how a pet was doing, the data could be sent to the vet and help with diagnosis if the situation arises.  

Samsung has already built a ‘Smart Home’ prototype, where users manage all their connected devices from a single application. The fashion industry has also started to embrace this technology. Francesca Rosella of CuteCircuit gave her models the power to customize their outfits with a swipe of their iPods, which caused the garments to do things like shimmer, change color, and even play video. Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak comes instantly to mind – Hyperstealth, a successful Canadian camouflage design company has come up with Quantum Stealth, a material that renders the target completely invisible by bending light waves around the target – imagine being able to enhance this with smart devices.

Going back to Ravi staring at his watch – wearables are penetrating a larger audience, they will become more affordable and are almost certainly going to change our lives in the years to come.

Thanks for listening.

Athreya Chidambi