The Native Versus Hybrid Conversation

When creating a digital product making the right decisions at the right time is key. Sure, things change but certain decisions, such as what operating system your building for, should not. Deciding whether to build your app native or hybrid is a decision to make up front.

My name is Thiago and I’m front end web developer at Mobiddiction. Here’s my point of view on things to consider when making such a decision. To go hybrid or native, that is the question. I hope the following will help you to make a more informed decision.

What’s The Difference?

  • Native Applications are written in programming languages specific to their platform. Most Android applications are built using Java. Most iOS applications are built using Swift. From a build point of view each requires different expertise from the other. As such, you’ll need two dev teams, one for IOS, the other Android.
  • Unlike Native, Hybrid Applications are not written specific to platform. They are more like web sites that scale and optimise to requirement. Again, unlike native that need two types of development expertise, hybrid requires one.

So, first glance it seems like a no brainer. Why go native and build twice when you can do it once with hybrid? I hope the below helps your decision making.

Your Consideration Set

What’s best for you depends on many things. Time, budget and capability are a big factor but ultimately what (should) matter most are your customers. Here are some of the pro’s and cons of native versus hybrid applications.

To go Native

  • PRO. Speed of user experience. Native apps are designed specifically for the system on which they operate (Android/IOS). They are designed and built to work harmoniously with the technology to deliver quick, fluid and seamless interactions and experiences.
  • PRO. Access to API’s. All the APIs and functionalities that the platform offers can be easily accessed in the native development environment. There is no layer translating the functionalities to the hardware and no restrictions or dependencies besides the ones of the native environment.
  • PRO. Long-term specs. Over time there will be updates and changes in the APIs (API stands for Application Programming Interface, are a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building application software) or even your operating languages like when Apple switched from Objective-C to Swift.

Objective-C and Swift are programming languages used by Apple for the OSX and iOS but these changes often offer a backward compatible and usually it comes with guides for how to port between these changes.

  • CON. Specific Build Requirements. Native apps need to be built using code and software specific to their operating system. For example, we build for IOS using SWIFT and for Android using JAVA. As you can imagine when you’re building for both, things can get complex. At Mobiddiction we split into teams, one for each operating system but work collaboratively.
  • CON. App Updates. With change comes cost. Because native apps, especially Android are built to many different screens, sizes and specification, any change or updates required must be applied across the board. It’s definitely not a one size fits all approach and this could potentially take time and your budget away.
  • CON. Framework Own Rules. Native platforms define their own rules and frameworks and many businesses with existing development (ie. web, desktop app, etc) personnel, they would be unable to utilise these existing resources.

To go Hybrid

  • PRO. Unified Development. The code is written once and once only. Unlike Android and IOS there’s no complexity or variation to account for. As such hybrid apps are at times easier to manage and maintain.
  • PRO. Native Feel. Great framework projects like Ionic or React provide tools and abstraction layers that facilitate to make a web view act and feel like a native application and they can be distributed on the App Store’s.
  • PRO. Desktop Version. Front end developers usually support and will most likely recommend hybrid Apps because it lets developers utilise skills they already have such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript (Angular, React). It is also possible to use the Code of the app with small modifications, to deliver also a desktop version of the solution.
  • CON. Limitation of Choice. Unlike native applications there is a greater limitation as to what can and cannot be done in hybrid. A hybrid build must select the best from available functionalities to deliver a desired outcome.
  • CON. Fluidity of Experience. Hybrid applications (at most times) will not deliver as fluid an experience as native. Motion graphics may feel more forced, touch interactions less responsive. So, if customer experience needs to be considered very carefully before you make your choice.
  • CON. Debugging. The layer that sits between the chosen framework and the native functionality makes debugging a potential nightmare. Developers have to rely on the frameworks to play nicely with the targeted operational system.

In Conclusion

The pros and cons speak for themselves. Sure, native looks and feels better but it could cost more and may take longer to build. Hybrid works across all platforms but this can be at a cost to the end user? We recommend you experience for yourself apps developed both natively and as Hybrid before making your choice.

These are but some of the things that will no doubt shape your decision making and next steps. With the speed at which technology continues to advance I think hybrid is going to become much more comparable to native. Already I’m seeing new and exciting open source frameworks like React native, CordovaNativeScript, and Ionic being built, making it possible for hybrid solutions to use more native features and this is only going to progress.

The mobile ecosystem changes faster than we’d like to believe and if this sound like a lot of information, it’s best to get an expert to review what is it that you are looking to achieve. So, if you are stuck between a rock and hard place and need to make a call between going hybrid or native and not sure, give us a yell and we’ll be sure to direct you in the right direction. We have a few passionate people and have this debate often at work 😉

Thiago de Faria Franca

Web developer, Kentico CMS specialist and in love with the JavaScript goodies like NodeJS, Angular and Ionic. Can’t wait for the gap to be bridged between Native & Hybrid!

Mobiddiction Win! BEST SMARTPHONE APP for LIFESTYLE, ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA

Awards ceremonies are inspiring but quite intimidating places. In a room surrounded by such incredibly talented people, there can be no greater feeling than being recognised for the work you do.

We’re not one’s to gloat but it feels fantastic to win this AMY award. Big thanks to our client the Sydney Royal Easter Show – without question this is as much recognition of your efforts as it is oursNext up, Mobiddiction are finalists in two categories for the Annual Business Awards. Wish us luck.

 

Gaining audience insight through mobile engagement

PMY Connected Stadium infographic PMY Connected Stadium infographic

By all accounts the recent Justin Bieber concert was amazing. What we found more interesting though was the amount of insight and audience understanding that was garnered through the captive WIFI portal that we deployed on behalf of PMY and LIVE at Etihad Stadium.

A few years ago, getting to this level of insight was impossible. Now, with the greater need to stay connected, marketers can gain much better insights into audience attendance at events.

Last week, the Sydney Royal Easter Show 2017 came to a successful end. In the early stages of the event, app downloads were considerably higher than the previous year. This signalled that the event was likely to receive higher attendance than the previous year. The results were even better than expected.

We’ve blogged previously about how we’re using R Analytics to understand traffic flows and gather insights. Expect further developments shortly, and if there are any specific reports or features you’d like to see let us know.

And now for some cute pics from #myeastershow.

How I came to be an Imagination Sommelier

I’ve always been an apple fan. Since my trusty Nokia was overthrown back in the day apple have been my brand of choice. That said with all the noise and excitement around Samsung, especially of late, my curiosity was peaking. Having family living in Seoul, Korea I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Surely they’ve got nothing on apple? Or so I thought until I stepped inside their flagship environment, the Samsung D’light store.

Set within trendy Gangnam, Samsung’s head office is as one would expect from such a prestigious brand. It’s a big, modern and yet discreet looking building that’s glass reflects light almost making it invisible. With public access only to the first three floors I can’t but help wonder what goes on above…. how would working here compare to my own experience of the industry?

Samsung HQ Korea

GROUND FLOOR

On arrival wife, daughter and I are greeted and asked to provide our details. From the get go it’s evident this is not a retail space for shifting product but rather, an experiential environment for building brand love. With our photos taken, details captured and RFID bands supplied the journey begins.

Activation 1.

It starts by getting acquainted. A member of staff instructs on how to interact with the first station. Placing wrist band to sensor my face and name appear on a large display above.

Samsung-Arrival

Next, we head to a space titled EMOTION. On route a massive UHD 105” TV catches my eye.

UHD Samsung TV
But will it make you happy?….probably, yes!

 

Activation 2. It’s time for the wife to follow her heart.

Corny I know, but a great experience non the less.

Activation 3. Sense.

Not sure how this makes her thoughtful but again…

Activation 4. Imagination. Build Your Own Environment.

Activation 5. Summary.

Having followed my heart, played with my senses and created my own miniature world it was time to encapsulate and reflect what this represents in me. And so, on the 14th April 2017 I gained the title Imagination Sommelier!

Activity-5-Cool

I know, I look cool

 

Ground Floor Summary

We really enjoyed this experience. Sure, the output of our interaction was a little corny but, the interactions themselves were fun. Buoyed by this we took the escalator up to explore how Samsung is connecting tomorrow.

LEVEL 1 - IOT

LEVEL 2 THE FUTURE

This is Samsung’s IOT space, a place to flex its muscles within real world contexts. Our journey starts with education. A large display wall of ‘things’ gives context and via short animated story we discover the role IOT plays in a day in the life of Jane.

Next, we head to a large space divided into sections representing Healthcare, Retail, Education and the Home. Each space a sterile white canvas. Using tablets and RFID sensor points they are brought to life via augmentation. Each demonstrating the value of IOT within everyday contexts.

LEVEL-2-IOT

IN SUMMARY

Samsung are already a brand we accept and use within the home and this has got to be somewhat advantageous. There is however an area of grey that’s still not entirely clear. How will Samsung mobile phones, using android OS connect to Samsung IOT products? With the latter using Tizen, Samsung’s own OS will the two operating systems be able to seamlessly connect and if so, at what cost?

Perhaps this the start of Samsung looking to take back control of all that it is? Time will tell. If you’re ever in Seoul be sure to check out the Samsung d’light store. It’s well worth the visit.

Adding intelligence to your customer experience

The SalesForce World Tour was recently held at the Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, Sydney. Kicked off by awesome numbers from our very own Jessica Mauboy and a keynote from Mark Hawkins, the CEO of SalesForce.

salesforce_mobile_technology_event

It was interesting to hear from a company that is helping so many businesses with their digital transformation efforts.  The top 5 transformation themes for enterprise are;

  1. Intelligence
  2. Speed
  3. Productivity
  4. Mobility
  5. Connectivity

While we naturally agree with connectivity and mobility, it was gratifying to see Intelligence at the top of the list.

For their part, SalesForce has created Einstein” – an AI data scientist tool within SalesForce.

“Einstein is like having your own data scientist to guide you through your day. It learns from all your data, and delivers predictions and recommendations based on your unique business processes. In some cases, it even automates tasks for you, freeing up time for you to connect with your customers”

This is great news because solutions like this take context into account for the user. For some time now we’ve been exploring the opportunities to understand the behavioural data that mobile apps provide to identify opportunities to improve customer experience.
 
Adding intelligence to the customer experience requires having the capability to distill insights from the data stream. We’ve been playing with R Analytics to do exactly that. The chart below shows foot-fall flows based on triggering beacons in an experimental space.

Visualising foot traffic flows between beacons Visualising foot traffic flows between beacons

The width of the flows indicates how many times mobile devices engaged from one beacon to another, and the pink dotted lines indicate backflows. Having visualised this data, now it is possible for us to explore how to improve the experience through the use of prompts and nudges.

While we don’t have Einstein, we have been working on a few prototypes with IBM Watson. In particular using the Voice and Conversation APIs to create moving experiences. More on that in our next blog post.

And here is a robot we met at the event.

 

 

 

Native app animations in Xcode using Sketch, After Effects and Lottie from Airbnb

Mobiddiction - After Effects to Lottie - Hero 1000

Animated icons and illustrations in native app on-boarding screens are becoming more popular. They visually delight the user and also help make the experience more intuitive.

Native animations

Yet, creating them can be troublesome and the two questions we keep coming back to are:

  • What do you use to author the asset?
  • What format does an iOS or Android developer need?

At Mobiddiction, we’ve tried a few combinations and will take you through our workflow.

This tutorial requires the following software:

  • Sketch
  • After Effects
  • Lottie from Airbnb
  • XCode

In this tutorial, we’ll take you through setting up Lottie inside After Effects and Xcode. Creating and exporting vector assets from Sketch. Animating and exporting them from After Effects. Finally, creating the Xcode project and building a working prototype.

Here’s what we’ll be making:

Mobiddiction - Sketch to Xcode - Native Animations

01. Setup Lottie

Getting everything working is a good place to start.

First up, go to the Lottie site:

http://airbnb.design/lottie/

Scroll down and follow the links to Bodymovin (the extension you install in After Effects) and the iOS Integration page (that shows you how to setup the Lottie library in Xcode).

01.1 Install Lottie - Site links

Install Bodymovin

The best way to install the extension is on the Bodymovin GitHub page:

https://github.com/bodymovin/bodymovin

  • Download the ZIP from the repo
  • Extract content and get the .zxp file from ‘/build/extension’
  • Use the ZXP installer from aescripts.com.

Once you’ve downloaded these, you can bring the extension over to your desktop, you can find it here:

bodymovin-master/build/extension/bodymovin.zxp

Open “ZXP Installer.app” and drag the the extension into it.

01.2a Install Bodymovin

Open After Effects and make sure the extension has been installed. You should see this:

01.2b Bodymovin After Effects - 1000

Select Bodymovin and if everything went well you’ll see the Bodymovin window. We’ll come back to this later in the tutorial as we get ready to export our animation.

01.2d Bodymovin Window

In the menu, go to:

After Effects CC/Preferences/General

Make sure “Allow scripts to Write Files and Access Network” is checked.

Install Lottie in Xcode

Visit the Lottie iOS GitHub repo here:

https://github.com/airbnb/lottie-ios

You’ll notice in the “Setup Lottie” section that the first thing you have to run is a Terminal command. We tried this and nothing happened and here’s why: Lottie requires “CocoaPods”, a dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects.

Setup CocoaPods

To make sure you have it installed, run Terminal and enter this command:

pod --version

If you get an error, you’ll have to install CocoaPods on your system, you can do this by opening Terminal and entering this command:

sudo gem install cocoapods

Next, you need to setup the CocoaPods master repo by running this command in Terminal:

pod setup

When everything installs we can move onto Xcode. If you get an error you can follow some of the solutions provided in the CocoaPods troubleshooting guide:

https://guides.cocoapods.org/using/troubleshooting.html

We’ll park CocoaPods for now and move onto Xcode.

Create an Xcode Project

Open Xcode and create a new “iOS/Single View” project:

01.3a Create Xcode Project - 1000

We’ve saved ours on the desktop in this folder structure (you can save yours where ever you like):

Mobiddiction Lottie Tutorial/Xcode/MobiddictionLottieTutorial/MobiddictionLottieTutorial.xcodeproj

Install Pod File

Close this project and install it’s pod file opening Terminal, changing the directory to the Xcode projects directory by running this command (change the path to your path in this instance):

cd /Users/yourusername/Desktop/Mobiddiction\ Lottie\ Tutorial/Xcode/MobiddictionLottieTutorial

Then run this command:

pod init

This create a pod file in the same directory as your Xcode project. Open it with your favourite text editor and enter:

pod ‘lottie-ios’

Your file should look like this:

01.4a Edit Pod File

Save this file, go back to Terminal and enter this command:

pod install

Again, if you don’t receive any errors you are now ready to start using Lottie inside Xcode.

Here’s what we’ll be doing next:

  • Create an After Effects animation with vectors created in Sketch
  • Bodymovin to export into a JSON file
  • Bring this JSON file into Xcode and implement it with some Swift code.

02. Sketch file

Our Sketch file contains 4 art-boards and their shapes: beacon, smartwatch, mobile and our logo. Here’s a screencast that shows you how to setup an art-board, add a coloured background rectangle and start drawing out it’s shape.

The screencasts that follow have no music so you can listen to your own tracks and not get interrupted. Enjoy.

The final art-board in the art-board has 2 states of the Mobiddiction logo and you’ll find out why once we bring it into After Effects.

02.1 Sketch File - 1000

03. After Effects animation

Start setting up your After Effects file.

This screencast takes us through:

  • Creating a composition at 375px x 667px (25 fps)
  • Adding a shape layer for the background

Next up, how to get the shapes in Sketch into After Effects.

  • Export the shapes you’ve created in Sketch as .EPS files
  • Bring them into After Effects and convert them to editable paths, clean up these paths.

Create the shape morph and tweak the timeline.

  • Add another shape layer that we’ll use to morph between these shapes, add path and fill modifiers to it so we can see it
  • Keyframe each icon’s path and copy them over to the shape layer we’ll use to morph between each icon
  • Tweak keyframe interpolation until the first 4 icons morph from one to another smoothly, add 180° clockwise rotation to each icon morph to give it character
  • Make the background colour change with each shape morph.

One of the last things we have to do in After Effects is to transition from the last shape to our logo icon.

  • Add a null then parent our icon to it
  • Pop this in as the shape that precedes it pops out of view
  • Export the completed animation with BodyMovin.

We exported the JSON file to this path and name:

Desktop/Mobiddiction Lottie Tutorial/Xcode/MobiddictionLottieTutorial/MD Logo Animation.json

04. Xcode file

We’re going to stop here and bring where we are into XCode. There will be an update to this tutorial that adds more flourishes at the end frame and gets it running in Android Studio. For now, we have all we need to make working prototype.

  • Open the Xcode workspace file you created earlier in this tutorial
  • Drag the JSON file into Xcode as an asset
  • Write the code needed to loop it
  • Test on an iPhone 7 emulator.

To create the on-boarding version we’ll setup a swipe controller and it’s code to swipe between each icon morph.

We’ll skip to the end result and provide you the code we’ve just written in both examples in the source files.

Your final Xcode screen and it’s working prototype should look like this:

04.2 Xcode - Onboarding Complete

Congratulations, you’re done!

Here’s the source files for this project, they can help you create your own projects and teach you how to reproduce this tutorial:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8yn495x0lx5bv5g/Mobiddiction%20Lottie%20Tutorial.zip?dl=0

Good luck and have fun.

The team at Mobiddiction.

How should marketers invest in IoT & Wearable technology?

IoT & Wearable technology is giving almost everything the ability to be connected. With new products being launched every week the speed of change is exponential.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on this exciting space and have developed some prototypes. Like using IBM Watson‘s speech-to-text API to create a conversation UI based on user voice input. Running Alexa on a Raspberry Pi and our famous uptime Christmas Lights.


So the question arises, should we be considering IoT and wearables as part of the future customer experience? And how should I approach this new area of interactivity?

Today

While the promise is significant, the technology isn’t quite there yet. The major barriers to adoption are:

That said, it is time to start factoring it into future customer experience roadmaps. As a marketer there are three avenues we should plan for and prepare an execution strategy.

Feedback & Research. A connected product is a fountain of knowledge, providing a continual unprompted feedback loop.

For instance, if you can track when a lightbulb is about to run out through a smartphone, you can then send over a discount meeting this need. If the civil defence force can monitor the population flow across popular destinations using beacons and wifi data they can use this to respond faster and better to emergencies.

As the amount of data-collecting devices rises, and the amount of data available to marketers increases, we’ll see marketing campaigns based around and catering to consumers’ daily habits. The challenge here lies in having the systems and processes that allow you to capture, access and act on this information.

Building a better brand experience. Major venues and retailers we are working with use sensor tracking to understand the flow of foot traffic and purchase activity. This is then used to optimise everything from store layouts to shop inventory to bathroom locations.

Other global examples are companies such as Disney that utilise RFID-enabled wristbands that provide theme park entry, access to hotel rooms, and a payment method. There’s enormous potential in optimising experiences rapidly based on real-time insight. This kind of insight lets IoT provide answers to many questions that, until now, have been both highly critical and completely elusive.

The challenge here lies in thinking about how IoT can help enhance and streamline your brand experience.

Active Advertising, Retention & Loyalty. We’re already seeing advertisers using IoT to extend their relationship with the consumer beyond the point of sale. Pernod Ricard is a great example, their bottle design lets you order new stock when you’re running low. You can also scan QR codes for recipe and cocktail ideas (do people still do that?).

It isn’t just another way of collecting data on the consumer – it also allows traditional FMCG brands to strengthen customer relationships.

Questions like, is a billboard more effective in fast or slow traffic? Are consumers more responsive to sports advertising before or after a workout? Do coffee ads perform better with coffee drinkers who are tired, or who’ve had a good’s night’s rest?

Marrying attribution analytics to location-based, fitness and sleep tracking data will provide insights in a state-of-the-art way.

The challenge here lies in embedding a customer journey based marketing methodology into everything you do.

The IoT train is leaving the station. Make sure you’re on it.

And please remember that computers won’t be human till they can gossip 🙂

Wearables – context, convenience and compactness

We recently purchased a bunch of Samsung Gear S3 watches because they are the best Android wearable on the market right, wanted to see their limitations compared to other wearables and what we can bring to the wearable app market. Initial experience with the devices are:

  • The swift performance beats any other Android wearable on the market
  • Features a high-quality, high-resolution display
  • Notifications are accessible and clear, less invasive using the S3 vs. mobile device
  • Wearables haven’t come that far in innovation within introduced devices in the 2016/2017 wearable market: devices are still bulky and the features and integration with the users smartdevices are yet to introduce any new innovative tech that we have yet to see

 

Having used the Pebble, Apple watch, LG watches, and older Samsung Gear devices we were starting to loose faith in the wearable future. Then came Samsung Gear 3 along with watches from traditional watch makers Michael Kors and Fossil.

We’ve been studying these devices to understand the user context in the overall customer experience. Specifically, it’s captology given the initial issues with user-experience.

We decided to experiment by creating our own watch face for the Gear S3, to see what some of the challenges and opportunities exist when integrating wearables into your mobile customer experience strategy.

White-WatchFace Mobi-WatchFace

Early results

We asked one of our designers, Tim, to develop the watch faces using no core development tools. This was to see how easy it is for designers to create personalised experiences. When designers can play and create, we know we’ve got a scalable solution.

Here’s what Tim had to say:

“Building these watch-faces aren’t intuitive or easy to pick-up and create, the ability to do more advanced features within tested tools Gear Watch Designer and Facer (Gear Designer in particularly more-so) are limited and require more knowledge into Android development to expose more of the advanced, cutting-edge features to utilise the device to its full potential.”

Challenges

  • Screen real estate is limited and masked as a 360px x 360px circle, so designs, iconography and typography has to be mirrored on device as the mockup is designed to ensure legibility and accuracy in detail within the final output
  • Hit areas are small, so factoring hit spaces for multiple elements within the 360px circle is essential for the user functionality and satisfaction
  • Maintaining integrity as a watch-face first and a HUD for your phones health data, extra available information second. As an individual who has used multiple wearables from the OG Pebble smart-watch to the FitBit Charge; in the end, no matter how many applications or plugins are available to improve the wearable, if it can not properly display both the time and notifications as they roll in, it doesn’t serve its first and secondary purpose to better my digital engagement

Opportunities

  • With wearables and NFC, helping consumers navigate through physical spaces will become a breeze
  • the Watch UBER app for example takes the anxiety out of having to watch the screen – it just buzzes on your phone.

Things to watch out for

  • Maintaining clear, legible type for all people: taking into account information at a glance and possible extras: buttons, glyphs, and trackers in more advanced watchfaces
  • Custom (not-native) font integration needs to be rendered as bitmaps and cannot freely be implemented, which can become a nightmare if more that just numbers need to be used
  • Not all watches are created equal (when it comes to shape, aspect ratio and resolution).
  • Screen burn – If an always-on or inactive watch-face can be enabled, over long periods of time the device has the potential to burn an image of the watch-face into the LCD, consideration to low colour, low detail shapes on these watch states are essential to your wearable’s lifespan and customer positive affirmation with your product long-term

Evolving our understanding of customer experience to improve revenues


“If you are like other CX pros, at some point in your CX career you’ll encounter the “money question.” Your CEO will ask you: “What’s an improvement in our customers’ experience worth in dollars and cents?” And it’s likely that you won’t have a (good enough) answer, as 50% of CX leaders Forrester surveyed have not yet modelled how CX quality influences customer behaviour.”


That’s how this article on Forbes magazine begins. Why? Because there are customer experiences to be improved, customers to be engaged and ROI to be delivered.

All that’s required is a meaningful connection. But how do marketers get to grips with the complexity of measuring and innovating in their customer experience?

With all the talk seeming to focus on the smart tech, intelligent retail, smart cities, we thought it would be a good idea to look on the simpler side of IoT. Where businesses should be looking to invest in the here and now.


Make Sensors Your Friend

Sensors can detect, identify and connect people to your brand via proximity. Providing there’s a network connection they essentially can turn inanimate objects into digital platforms through which to interact, engage and capture information from your audience.

  1. Apply a sensor to an object
  2. Create and transmit something people want and value
  3. Capture data from the interaction made
  4. Re-invest data into new more targeted and personalised experiences

As you can see, IoT enables a whole new type of measurement and engagement limited only by that of imagination.

Sensors enable. It’s important to realise that this is all they do.

What matters most is the value of experience they enable people to have. With every opportunity now a potential chance to engage, the challenge for brands is figuring out how to get permission to do so.

Take the example of the recently released BPme Fuel payment app. It enables customers to pay-at-pump, saving precious time, which something we really value. The customer experience is seamless (after a few teething problems), and has resulted in more visits to BP.

It’s also easy to see the commercial drivers behind this investment.

  1. It sidesteps the heavy capital investment of integrated payment pin-pads into fuel pumps
  2. It allows BP to learn about customer behaviour, purchase frequency and consumption habits
  3. It provides a more personalised, contextually aware channel to deliver promotional offers

The single biggest driver has to be the learnings that are possible from the customers that actually use the app. And being able to apply those learnings to improve customer experiences across the board.

Considering the needs states and designing a mobilty framework around those needs will allow brands to create shared value and encourage loyalty.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth primer on the Internet of Things, this report from Goldman Sachs points the way and also check out key developments at IoT Alliance Australia. And if you do embark on an IoT-enabled future, just remember not to do this “Ok Google”!

 

Developing tools for Customer Experience mapping

In designing customer experiences, there are a number of methodologies that can be followed.

Recently we’ve been working on a lot of customer experience and user experience workshops (yes they are different). We’ve pulled together the resources and frameworks we use to share with you.

Probably the most common is that great 3M innovation – the post-it note.

MD-CJM-0

This handy, colourful utility has aided many a workshop.

Everyone has a photograph of the wall after a good day’s worth of prototyping. The challenge, however, is how to keep the end user’s needs and emotions in mind

The empathy mapping tool from Dave Gray is a particularly useful tool to understand needs and emotional states.

The empathy mapping tool takes a moment in the customer experience. It asks participants in the workshop to look at the world from the user’s point of view.

To actively consider their feelings and actions. To understand how the responses in the customer experience shift their emotional states and help or hinder.

In the process of working through the exercise, teams develop an understanding of the underlying “why” and also identify opportunities to innovate

Improving Customer Experience workshops

But we think something is missing. The more workshops we’ve run, the more we’ve come to realise that there is a natural grammar to the customer experience mapping process.

In every customer experience, there are some well-defined stages that the consumer goes through. The start of the journey, research, achievement, success or failure.

To make this process more efficient, and fun, we’re thinking about creating a toolkit that supports facilitation.

Customer experience mapping wall

Specially, we’re creating a series of easy to post tokens that help brainstorming in sessions.

Just imagine being able to throw up a magnet on a magnetic wall.

Experience mapping tokens

Then grab some white board pens and markup the steps the user is taking through the key moments.

Then it’s a simple matter of using the trusty post-it note to markup opportunities for innovation.

We’re also looking for ways to better understand feelings at each stage in the journey.

Using the emotional pinwheel it is possible to model all the different likely emotions a person may experience through their journey.

Let’s mobilise the pinwheel so when you shake it it gives you an emotion to work with. Let’s really focus on bringing interactivity to these workshops and start putting together solutions which have impact.

MD-CJM-3 (1)

Let us know if you’re interested in using these tools and we’ll go ahead and get them made :).

 

Resources for marketers and practitioners