Nowadays, there’s so much out there to learn from, it can be overwhelming. For marketers trying to stay on top of the constant tide of news stories, creative inklings, experiments, data, research, epiphanies, and how-tos, it can be hard to know what to focus on. Since we’re constantly monitoring what’s going on in the world of marketing, we decided to give you a quick and easy primer on the news you can use. Subscribe for weekly updates in your inbox so you don’t miss out on anything.
After Microsoft designer August de los Reyes suffered from a back injury that left him unable to walk, he started thinking about disability differently – as a design problem. At the same time, Microsoft design leadership was exploring what “design at Microsoft” meant. De los Reyes and Kat Holmes, Microsoft’s principal design director, worked with design experts from Harvard and the Ontario College of Art and Design to come up with a new approach to design. Dubbed “inclusive design,” it incorporates design thinking and universal design principles. Inclusive design is about looking at overlooked communities, from dyslexics to the deaf, to see how you can adapt to their world and build a better product for everyone at the same time. Already, the company has tackled many projects with this approach. One project brought a font and system of text wrapping that’s easier for dyslexic people to read – but also faster for people without dyslexia. Another project looked at how directions are given on Bing and pivoted from giving directions with cardinal direction (go north), to providing directions with landmarks and visual cues. Instead of telling someone to turn right in 300 feet, the service can tell the user to turn right at the McDonald’s.
As internet adoption becomes more ubiquitous, we will need to account for all types of users. This means thinking about people who have disabilities. It also means continuing to think about how we can make products, services, and experiences better for all people.
Fast Company dove into the elements of voice UX by looking at how Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and Amazon’s Alexa (Echo) perform. Siri and Google Now both have visual interfaces which help users with additional content. The Amazon Echo, as a standalone device, has more speakers and can better distinguish your voice from ambient noise, making it better at detecting voice activation. Failing to hear the command the first time can make the voice system more laborious than the physical alternative. Another thing to consider with voice-only interfaces is that when users are given a series of options, they must store them in working memory while they make a choice.
With more and more connected devices and the Internet of Things bringing connectivity to all areas of life, designers will need to continue to apply fundamental UX principles to new types of interaction.
Matt Gallivan, Experience Research Manager at Airbnb, discusses how UX research isn’t about providing universal truths, but reducing uncertainty. Increased types and models of devices and new interface standards, gestures, and interactions are creating a more fragmented user experience, requiring UX research to get deeper and narrower, instead of looking at broad experiences.
It’s an interesting look at the importance of UX research and the limitations of data. In our data-obsessed world, we’re seeing marketers demand data for almost everything. However, it’s important to understand the role data plays – it’s not necessarily always about having an exact answer, but a guide post along the path of iteration.
AdWeek covered a variety of digital marketing stats, but one of the standout stats is about the power of Snapchat. Gatorade’s Super Bowl Sunday ad on Snapchat with Serena Williams got 100 million views by midday Monday, close to the number of U.S. viewers who watched the game on TV. Snapchat has been in the news a lot lately – it seems as though a greater diversity of marketers are embracing Snapchat as a viable marketing channel. If you’re marketing anything toward people under 30, you should at the very least be evaluating Snapchat as a potential marketing channel.
This idea is simple but genius – use the app and your phone’s camera to “try on” any shade of lipstick. The app lets you pick from a huge variety of shades and provides product information so you can easily buy. This is a great combination of something people will enjoy while also accomplishing business goals. It’s also notable that this isn’t a cheesy experience – the technology used to create the experience makes it feel incredibly realistic.
Deadpool marketing has been everywhere, and it’s working. The anti-superhero movie starring Ryan Reynolds broke records for its opening weekend, making more than $130 million, the biggest opening ever for an R-rated movie. The marketing mostly focused on introducing people to the character of Deadpool through digital content. An interview on “Extra,” a 12 Days of Deadpool email campaign, a parody PSA, tweets during “The Bachelor,” custom emojis, GIFs, and a Deadpool Tinder account helped increase awareness for the movie. “This reaffirmed my faith in social media,” Marc Weinstock, president-domestic marketing, 20th Century Fox said. “There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not social media can really open a movie…and this proves it can.”