The ubiquity of big data, the Internet of Things, and other latest technologies have altered the consumer decision journey significantly.

 

Often, companies tend to focus on the larger aspects of customer experience – new features, better customer service etc. and assume that they’re doing enough to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

 

The hard to ignore truth is , customer experience is shaped not by the big ol’ features but by the small ‘micro-interactions’ – the tiny contained product moments that revolve around a single use case. Things like that little +1 sign that appears when you add an item to your online shopping cart or the thumbs up sign when you ‘like’ something on Facebook. Who doesn’t love the kick one gets from that little vibration in the Fitbit when one achieves the daily target for number of steps! And don’t you appreciate that ping from your mobile phone warning you that battery is running low?

 

As Dan Saffer rightly put in his eponymous book, microinteractions are the ‘feel’ part of a product’s ‘look and feel.’ Often, this ‘feel’ is what differentiates the product you love and from the one you just tolerate. If done well, micro interactions can be signature moments that increase adoption and customer loyalty.

 

It is super critical to focus on those little atomic interactions your consumer has with your product or service rather than working at a macro scale, where the details often get lost.

 

So, how do you design a system that is human and more humane?

 

Navigating Through This New Normal Requires Bold New Capabilities

#1. Decipher Your Customer’s Intent with a Contextually Intelligent System

 

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Acquire information about a user and his environment

Design an analytics engine that typically draws its raw contextual data from sensors, devices or immediate surroundings, plus stored information on the device. Observation of contextual data might be episodic and initiated by the user, but most often is passive and continuous.

 

Model the current circumstance or intention of the user

Build a predictive model of user intent with a contextual system that operates based on pre-programmed heuristic rules. Refine and augment the rules as the user repeatedly accesses contextual services.

 

Reason the interaction that can disrupt and differentiate

The insights from predictive modelling can be used to decide on contextually relevant microinteraction triggers that add value to the end user. This includes activating the back-end resources required to enable the experience.

 

Once the interaction trigger is modelled, user reaction (positive or negative) needs to be recorded to amend future responses as appropriate to deliver truly personalized experiences.

 

#2. Design a frictionless experience

 

 

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When microinteractions succeed—even invisibly, which is how most of them do—they make an emotional difference that’s greater than the sum of their tiny parts.

 

Careful orchestration of these interaction triggers is incredibly complex given the varying expectations, messages, and capabilities associated with each channel.

 

You need to perfect the ability to test new user experiences and constantly evolve the atomic triggers to make a macro impact on the overall customer experience

 

#3. Engineer: With Design Thinking as the Crux

 

 

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Fast mover advantage is a key requirement for companies in highly competitive markets. Engineer the Minimum Viable Product which creates a viral effect for your micro interaction triggers.

 

Translate high level design concepts into a working prototype and rapidly test how the predicted atomic interactions resonate with your customers. Give your customers what they love the most, quickly!

 

The effective design of microinteractions can quickly elevate your offering from ‘good’ to ‘great’ resulting in greater customer stickiness.

 

Leverage the power of these ‘little things,’ now!